The important thing here is what the courses lead to. Most of the qualifications you can expect to receive after completing the courses and passing the exams are internationally recognised, particularly those in the computer courses. The majority of the computer related qualifications are awarded by recognised institutions, which include Microsoft, Cisco, and CompTIA (Computer Trade Industry Association). The qualifications and skills you can expect to gain will ultimately help you get into employment.
As long as you follow the instructions in the course and do the exercises you’re told to, you’ll find you shouldn’t have a problem. Each course starts off reasonably simple and progresses from there. The simple idea is the more you progress, the more you learn. As you begin to understand more about the topic you’re studying, the learning material will gradually begin to get a little more advanced. In other words… the more you learn, the smarter you become, therefore the more you understand.
Although a small number of the courses recommend experience in a related area before starting, most of them can be done by anyone. There are no special requirements such as school passes in certain subjects. It is of course beneficial if you know the basics of computing such as how to use the internet, email, and Windows. There is also no age limit. It’s never too late to learn a new skill.
Most of the qualifications you can expect to gain from our courses are industry recognised. Techworks do not provide the final qualifications, these are handled by international organisations such as Microsoft, Cisco, and CompTIA. Techworks provides the training to assist you to pass the necessary exams to gain the qualifications required to work in a particular field, such as IT support or network engineering.
Each course is broken down into smaller parts called modules, making it easier to learn. A module is designed to teach you something different within the course. A single course such as Cisco Network Engineering contains eight modules for instance. Once you have completed all the modules in a course and passed the necessary exams, you should have the skills to do the job you are training for. Some modules contain sub-modules. These are basically modules broken down into even smaller learning parts. Some of these can take only thirty minutes to complete, whereas others may take over an hour. In some courses, such as the entry-level courses, the curriculum is set out in such a way to allow one module to lead on to another. This is not the case for every course though. Some courses have no set follow on structure. The student can start from anywhere in the course and decide which modules they wish to complete.
This really depends on you and the course you do. Obviously the more time and effort you put into the coursework, the sooner you’ll get it finished. Some people may take anything from 3-12 months to complete their chosen course. You have a maximum of 12 months in which to complete the course.
All you’ll need is access to a PC which is connected to the internet. Although most PCs shouldn’t have a problem running the courseware, it’s important to check that your computer has the minimum requirements to cope (see below). If you’re unsure what type of PC you have, just give us a call and we’ll tell you how to find out. You can expect all the support from us you’ll need.
Minimum Computer Requirements
128MB of RAM
Minimum screen resolution 800x600
Windows 2000 or 2003 or XP or Vista
56K minimum connection; broadband (256kbps or higher) connection recommended
Internet Explorer 5.5 or higher
Sound Card with speakers or headphones strongly recommended
Windows Media Player 9.0 or higher
Adobe Flash 8.0 or higher
NOTE: Because the courseware launches in a pop-up window, pop-up blocking software must be disabled throughout the time you’re accessing the online courseware. If you’re running cookie management software or a firewall, you should include the website as a trusted address in the program. Alternatively, you can deactivate the software while you’re accessing the courseware online.
This is entirely up to you. Once you’ve decided it’s time to get the ball rolling, all you need to do is make payment through the website or give us a call and we’ll take your order over the phone. Depending on your payment method, you should normally receive your log in details – which will allow you to start the course – almost instantly after registering and completing your transaction. There are no semesters or terms throughout the course, so you can start at anytime throughout the year.
You can do as many courses as you like. Of course if you choose to do this there will be more work involved. Most people would prefer to finish one course before beginning another. If you think you can manage, give it a go.
Instructor Training is less interactive, but much easier to learn for some people. Most of the time all it involves is sitting back in your chair and watching an instructor on the screen explain how it all works. The material is not live, but is pre-recorded. This means you can fast-forward, rewind, and pause the lesson whenever you feel like it. This type of training is ideal for people that don’t like reading or studying material intensely. It’s a very laid back approach to learning.
Unlike the Instructor Training, the Interactive Training is more hands-on. You’re required to interact more with the computer: such as performing tests, solving problems, looking at diagrams, reading notes, and discussing issues with a live online teacher. This type of course is more for people that like to feel involved with the learning process as it requires a bit more attention.
Aside from the obvious differences such as coming to class everyday and interacting with other students and teachers, the concept is pretty much the same. As in a class, you’re shown a diagram or presentation on the board which is then explained by the teacher. Once the teacher has explained what this is and how it works, normally you are then told to do some exercises yourself on your own computer. The teaching process is almost exactly the same with the online course. You are taught small steps at a time, then given small tasks to do which are designed to help you better understand what you’re learning. As with a class, there is always someone there to help you with the online course. Every Interactive course we offer has a 24/7 mentoring service, which is similar to MSM (Microsoft Instant Messenger). The idea being if you’re ever stuck, want to ask a question, or just need some advice on a certain topic, just type in your question in the mentoring box and you’ll receive a reply from a tutor at any time of the day throughout the week. You’ll never be alone when you’re doing the course work, there’ll always be someone there for you.
Yes, there are exams throughout each of the courses. It is your choice whether you choose to sit the exams. You can go through the whole course, gain all the skills, and possibly get a job without the actual qualifications. Of course having the qualifications will significantly increase your chances of getting a job in your chosen area. You can only gain these qualifications by sitting and passing the exams. There are mock test questions throughout all of the courses to help you prepare for the final exams.
Anyone can sit the exams at anytime, but will fail without knowing what to study. The courses are designed to help prepare you for these exams.
Not all modules are assessable, in other words... they do not have exams. Only those modules stated on the Exam Info pages are assessable and will therefore reward you with a certification if you pass that exam.
For UK customers, most of the exams can be sat at official Thomson Prometric Testing Centres which are located throughout the country. To find your nearest testing centre and get more information on the exams, click on the Exam Info tab on each course page and follow the links. Your exam paper is normally marked on the day of your test automatically by the computer you’re being tested on. Shortly afterwards you should receive your results. Your testing centre should be able to advise you how and when you should expect to receive your certification.
In the event you fail an exam, you can re-sit the test as many times as you like until you pass. You should be aware however that there are costs involved to keep doing this, so make sure you prepare well for the test.
Exams can range from £84 – £180. Some exams can only be purchased in US currency, but can be sat in the UK and other countries. If paying by credit card for these types of exams, your card provider will normally do the currency conversion for you. How many exams you choose to sit is entirely up to you. You may feel that the job you’re going into only requires the essential exams to be sat and you may choose not to sit the beneficial exams. Those exams marked with BENEFICIAL are not regarded as important as those marked with ESSENTIAL. These should just be used as guides however. You may choose to only do the BENEFICIAL exams.
Like any area of employment, the more skills and qualifications you possess, the better chances you’ll have of gaining employment. Some of the career paths Techworks offer have more job opportunities than others due to the demand in these fields for qualified people. You can compare demand for some qualifications against others by clicking on the names of the qualifications on each course page or clicking on the summary tab and looking at the certification statistics. Once you click on a qualification title, such as MCPD or A+, this will take you to a statistics page giving you up to date information on the qualification you’re enquiring about such as its demand and average income. The best way to see what types of jobs are available through the training you’ll receive is by doing some research yourself. One of the best ways to do this is to look at the current jobs available by clicking on the vacancies tab on each course page.
One of the best ways to approach this is to contact recruitment agencies. Let them know the type of work you’re looking for and the level of qualification you have. You may also want to give voluntary work a go. This can increase experience and add weight to your CV. For more information on volunteering, visit Volunteering England at www.volunteering.org.uk. If you need any help with the job search process, feel free to drop us an email for some friendly advice.