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IT teaching takes perseverance

After a would-be IT trainer gets the brushoff from local schools, Molly advises him to push for more information about what criteria they seek, and to be patient.

Dear Molly: A while back you wrote about how to get involved in IT training. I have a background in teaching and have decided I want to teach a few computer classes at night. When I started checking around with the schools in the area, they all looked at my resumé and said politely, “Don’t call us, we’ll call you.” What gives? I thought IT trainers were in high demand.

Molly says: Supply and demand are relative–when demand goes down, supply goes up. Unfortunately, when the economy turns sour (a lot or a little), companies cut their spending on training or eliminate it altogether. Demand for IT classroom training has dropped significantly over the past few months as the economy has started to cool. Training is also a cyclical business–more people take training classes in the fall and early spring than any other time of the year.

The schools in your area may have all the instructors they need to carry the course loads they are offering. Or there may be something about your resumé they don’t particularly like. See if you can get some particulars on why they are turning you down. Tell them you would really like to get into this area of teaching and ask for details on how you can do that.

If they tell you they only use certified instructors, consider certification. If they tell you that you don’t have enough experience, volunteer to do a few short courses for the teachers or parents at your local school. If they tell you they already have enough instructors, ask them to hang onto your resumé and check back with them every other month or so. Teachers do leave–often with little or no warning.

Above all, be patient!

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

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