Training comparison to QA Training, Learning Tree, GB Direct.
As we're reviewing our prices for the coming year (2010), we compare what we offer with other training companies offering courses on the same programming languages. Our new year decisions were already made, based on last year's research, but earlier today I visited the web sites of Learning Tree
, GB Direct
and QA Training
to do a sanity check for myself.
• We offer a four day Learning to program in Python course, and a four day PHP Programming course
amongst others at £1100.00 + VAT; I found 4 day courses from the three companies I have named above, in PHP and in Java, priced at £1375.00, £1695.00 and several at £1825.00 - all + VAT.
• We offer five day courses in Perl and Java
amongst others at £1350.00 + VAT; other courses offered by the companies I've listed on our subjects start from £1575.00 and go up (via £1595.00, £1750.00) to two courses priced at £1995.00 - again, all + VAT.
But list price / price per day isn't everything
... in fact it's only a small part of the 'deal'. You will find if you're a big company that you can push these other companies for discounts in all manner of ways (one of the more expensive web sites even lists four ways of getting the courses at somewhat lower prices.
And then there's the vital; question - Will you really learn what you need to learn, and do so efficiently?
I was struck as I did my research as to how long
some of the course are ... what we cover in 4 days seems to take other people five to teach. I don't think that's because we rush the subjects; rather:
• We offer different course durations for newcomers to programming and for delegates converting from another language, so our course pacing is much more accurate.
• We run full days of training - I was struck by a four day course that listed out contents, hour by hour, and it was a total of 24 hours of training. So that's 09:30 to 12:30 and 13:30 to 16:30 each day. We run 09:00 to 17:00 (16:30 on the last day) - that's longer, and even then we encourage you to stop around, ask extra questions ... the tutor is around until at least 18:00 and from 08:00, and you'll have training room access at any hour if you want.
• We have a maximum of eight delegates per course, which means that the tutor has far more time to give (per person) during practical and less formal sessions - again helping us to make the best of the time available.
Slightly cynically, I wonder if some folks have made a decided to make their courses five days rather than four because the market will bear it, and because 4 day courses are a bit of a nuisance to training company organisation - they leave resources basically unemployed for a day!
Remember ... if you send your staff on a five day course rather than a 4 day one, you're not only paying extra course fees but you're also paying them another day's salary away from their money-earning roles, and possibly another night's hotel accommodation too.
How are we able to offer such a good deal? For a start, we don't have the big overheads and high marketing budgets that others have, which they need to make them more visible. The majority of our business comes through "Ambassadors" - delegates who have been on previous courses, really liked the training they got, and have told their friends and colleagues. As a token of our appreciation, we make rooms at our hotel (which we run primarily to provide accommodation for delegates) available for past trainees at the delegate rate of £70.00 per room per night (including VAT, 2010 rate) [becomes £72.00 for 2011 due to VAT increase] if they would like to come, visit, tour Wiltshire and see Bath, Lacock, Longleat, Devizes ... at some future date, with their partner.
If this looks refreshingly different, why not try us? Current course schedule [here]
, and what else is different about our courses [here]
. And ... any questions ... please ask me!
This article has, clearly, picked out the positive aspects of what we have to offer. But we're very much a niche company, and there are certain things that we cannot offer which the "big boys" can. For example, many companies prefer to use a big training outfit for ALL their IT courses and of course that's something we can't provide ... although we do subcontract to help wider ranging companies meet specialized requirements where they have such a deal set up. As another example, our training centre is about 90 minutes by train from London, so if you're looking for a course where you can take in a West End show in the evening too, you're probably not looking to come to us!
(written 2010-01-02, updated 2010-12-26)
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