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Hands-on training options

Check Cisco, Novell, and community-college offerings in networking or telecommunications training. Hands-on training options Check Cisco, Novell, and community-college offerings in networking or telecommunications training.

Dear Molly: I am in search of a school in the New York City area that gives hands-on realistic training in computer networking and/or telecommunications. I cannot attend a traditional college due to family obligations and was wondering what you would suggest instead. I think the dime-a-dozen MCSE 11-week classes are unrealistic as a resource for good training, as they seem to only prepare you to take certification exams, but offer little or no hands-on training.

Molly says: Sounds as though you are looking for a training resource in NYC that has flexible class schedules (maybe some night classes) and lots of computer labs for students to use. It wouldn’t hurt if the courses offered college credits so you can start working toward a two- or four-year degree.

Make sure to read my response to a question a few days ago in which I talked about the five questions you should get answers to whenever you consider an IT training source. Check out the community colleges in your area, such as the Borough of Manhattan Community College’s academic and adult education divisions. Well-funded community colleges often have well-equipped computer labs for students.

Visit the Cisco Web site to find a NYC-area training provider and check out those schools. The Cisco training program involves much more hands-on work than the MCSE training mill operations you mentioned. Also, look around on the Novell site for information about hands-on technical training opportunities.

You may have to combine your local NYC training with a part-time job or volunteer position to get enough hands-on experience to suit your desires. Ask your professor or training advisor about paid and unpaid opportunities for getting real-world experience as you are learning. There might even be some work you can do for the college or for non-profit organizations that work with the college.

Molly Joss also writes the monthly Career Advisor column for ComputerUser magazine. Ask a career-related question at [email protected]

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