Marietta company focuses on blended training.
The blended approach to training is the subject of the Insights column in this month’s issue of COMPUTERUSER. Marietta-based TechNet Training has been using this approach, and J. Whitted, TechNet’s Training Director, told us how it’s made them successful.
Who founded TechNet and why?
Sharon Habibi, the owner of Ace Computer Center, founded TechNet Training Centers because she needed to find technically skilled and qualified personnel. She started with four employees in February of 1998.
How are your instructors at TechNet trained?
All of our instructors have seven to 15 years of real-world experience; and are self-taught. They’re also all certified in multiple areas and have many years of teaching experience.
What’s different about you, compared to other technology training companies?
We were the first training center in Atlanta to offer the blended approach to training. No matter who you are or how you learn we have a component to meet your needs. The blended approach consists of four components: interactive computer-based training, instructor-led lectures, unlimited hands-on lab exercises, and test preparation workshops.
We are also the only technical school that offers actual college credits for our Certified Internet Webmaster program through Brenau University. We also partner with the Security Certified Program to offer certification training in security, and we started offering our first Wireless Security classes in June.
A large percentage of our students are referrals from our existing student base. This tells us we are doing something right. We work hard to provide our students with resources to help them enter in to the technology field.
Does your business come from corporations, people changing careers, or graduates who are just starting out?
Initially our business came strictly from career changers. Now we are shifting our focus and moving into the corporate sector.
How has the changing economy affected your business?
When we first opened our doors in 1998 we only provided MCSE training. But we would not have survived if we had continued to offer only one kind of training. We have expanded our offering to include MCSA, Network+, CCNA, CCNP, Network +, A+, Microsoft Office, Web Design and Security. In addition to the training, TechNet offers consulting services for small to midsize companies wishing to have an Internet presence. TechNet provides an array of Web Design services from maintaining to designing.
The change in the economy has forced us to look at what really counts, our customer. While our core business will still be training, we will also beef up our classroom rental business to allow our customers to have a choice. They can train with our instructors at our location or their own location.
TechNet does not want to reinvent the wheel. We want to build strategic relationships with companies in helping to deliver their training. Our goal is to partner with companies to assist them with their training and resource needs, whether it’s a training room, an instructor, testing vouchers or just a place for their employees to take their certification exams.
What plans do you have for the future?
TechNet is offering vendor neutral training in the areas of security and wireless LANS. We will also add Oracle training to our program.
We’d also like to get more women involved in technology. At our facility we are starting to see an influx of women coming into this male-dominated industry, and we are really happy to see the change. To help women transition into the computer industry, TechNet offers entry-level computer training.
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