The current market for IT professionals is growing at an exponential rate and bringing in a lot of students and entrants with the promise of lucrative career paths. But, unfortunately, this growth also makes the industry a target for schools that offer quick and cost-effective courses, often referred to as ‘cert mills,’ selling false promises to students by emphasizing a quick diploma over practical and valuable knowledge. These schools produce students with certifications, but lacking the skills that the IT industry requires. In this blog post, we’ll be discussing the dangers of such schools and how to recognize them.
These schools focus on pushing students to acquire certificates, without giving them valuable industry insights. A certification might be a valuable asset, but for an IT professional, it should be a means to an end, rather than an end in itself. The underlining assumption here is that having many certificates will help the student achieve IT success, but it is nowhere close to the truth.
One of the red flags of such schools is if they promise students many certifications in a short amount of time. This implies that the school will not provide hands-on experience, critical thinking, and industry workplace skills and only focuses on exam preparation.
Another red flag is the emphasis on job placement rather than an education. Many of these schools play with the student’s aspirations and career goals by luring them with higher salaries, luxurious lifestyles, and quick ‘fast track’ courses, often disregarding the importance of practical experience and industry knowledge. Additionally, choosing the right course and the right certification path is essential for the IT industry and knowing that any certification should be complemented with practical experience and knowledge of the industry’s changing landscape.
Thirdly, a good IT school should provide practical experience, rather than just theoretical courses. It is not uncommon for these schools to have a curriculum with only a few weeks of classes, followed by weeks or even months of self-study or exam preparation, often leading to poor results and far fewer job prospects for many students compared to their peers from good institutions.
Lastly, a hard sell for enrollment is a red flag for a fake school, and a genuine institution would not need to rely on hard selling. Therefore, students must choose an IT school that will genuinely work towards retaining their student success and provide a conducive environment for steady growth.
In conclusion, IT professionals should make significant career decisions after careful consideration. The current market is booming, and there are numerous avenues for students to gain knowledge and valuable insights; however, the foremost thing to keep in mind is that shortcuts to success do not work; comprising theoretical education for quick gains will have an adverse impact on one’s career growth in the long run. The IT industry is vast, ever-changing, and challenging, making lifelong learners and constant skill-building essential to keeping up. Therefore, choose your school and certification based on industry insights and growth prospects, since in the end, it is not just the certification but the application and relevance of the skills that will impact your career.