e-learning enterprises

IT consultant Alison Benson, Manpower, said, "Manpower has seen a drop off in demand this year for contractors and an increase in permanent positions. E-commerce skills are really in demand and, for example, a Java programmer with two years experience can command a salary in the order of $90,000."

Manpower offers 1000 IT training courses online. Through the company, they get a password and can then download the courses onto their PC and start learning. Manpower offers the certification examination though its virtual university but candidates have to pay $150 for each exam. Benson said, "We offer these courses free as a means of upskilling candidates for jobs so they have to give us their resumes when they register with us." Manpower has formed an alliance with SmartForce and uses its courses.

SmartForce says an online MCSE course would cost $2500. The company also encourages students to enrol in the online mentoring option, which costs $3200. An MCSE taken at a training institution will typically cost $10,000, so online training and mentoring is a cost-effective means of achieving certification.

ExecuTrain's strategy is to provide a transitional approach that matches technology and experience with its client's circumstances. Anne Kirby, director, ExecuTrain, said, "We blend traditional learning with the right technology-based products and services to created a ‘digital surround' that will align training with the strategic goals of organisations. ExecuTrain's virtual classroom allows a live instructor to lead an interactive class to students at different locations using a combination of the following: audio conferencing, PowerPoint slides, multimedia authored courseware, Web-based material, streaming video, shared whiteboard, shared software applications and a host of student feedback options."

ExecuTrain's online live learning solutions are delivered via the virtual classroom using the Internet, intranet or satellite, and TrainNet for video intensive training.

Citrix training is conducted by the authorised learning centres Com Tech and Educom, but it does offer the Citrix Certified Sales Professional (CCSP) online at www.ccsp.net.

Cisco globally offers a networking academy which can be accessed through www.cisco.com/edu for registration. This is a non vendor-specific, entry-level networking course and can be used by a wide range of students. Peter Scope, education manager, says Cisco is rolling out the program in Australia.

"This is not a self-paced course, but a lot of the course can be done online. The course is augmented by practical laboratory exercises. There are already 3500 students using this course locally," Scope said.

SkillSoft has developed over 280 Web-based courses in 15 key business areas, including e-commerce. John Catlin, managing director, SkillSoft Asia Pacific, said, "More and more employers are recognising that their technology is valuable, but it's their employees who give them real competitive edge." SkillSoft provides Web-based training resources to Microsoft, IBM, PeopleSoft, Motorola, Xerox and Cisco.

Interim Technology recently joined with Impart and Southrock to launch a training program for call centre management.

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Merri Mack

PC World

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