""I also wanted to know I was looking to take a class or certification in PHP I did google it and looked at a few sites, but its either way too expensive or I dont understand exactly what they offer.. does anyone know of a PHP Training course or Certification program?""
I keep my ears and eyes open ... I read forums, and I came upon the quote above.
Classes and certification are very different things - in a class you'll learn, and with a certification you'll pay money, sit a test, and receive documentation that you've reached the standard required by the certifying body which may (or may not) be appropriate for any particular job role ... but that's a side issue in today's blog.
Good training DOES cost
. If it's the education of our children, then we might not appreciate the true cost as it's met through taxation - and not just taxation on those who currently have children at school, but on the population as a whole.
Technical IT training (the above forum was relating to PHP) requires the provision of a venue, hardware, software. A tutor. Training notes. A backup team to accept bookings and check that people have selected the correct course for them, to invoice, and (regrettably) to chase late payments. To provide sales and marketing material to ensure that people can find out about the course in the first place. And to keep the training centre clean and tidy and maintained.
The bigger the class, the lower the cost per trainee can be. BUT with a language such as PHP a bigger group means a slower course as it's paced for the weaker trainees. With each trainee having subtley different requirements, and everyone needing individual attention during practicals, the optimum class size is really four or five, and over seven trainees the gain that the trainees make (on a public course) tails off quite dramatically. With a private course, where the trainees may come from a more similar background, will be prepared for you to talk to them in groups during practicals, and will have similar targets the group size will be able to increase and still everyone will get a realistic product / course.
I'm going to suggest that one of the reasons that the original author can't understand what some companies are offering is because they're deliberatly being a bit obscure; they may know that they don't have an ideal product as they're trying to keep down to a price that pulls in a lot more punters.
In our own case, when we survey the market we find we're quoting prices some 25 to 30% lower that other similar courses. We can do this because we don't use middlemen to help us fill our seats (such agents often request / demand from 25% to 40% of the course fees as their cut), because our training centre is located in an area of lower property prices (i.e. NOT London or major city), and because Lisa and I work from home (so don't have to pass on the costs of an extra office building) and are enthusiastic enough to do a lot of the backroom work unpaid in the early morning, evening and at weekends. But if you're looking for a week's course that costs you just the same amount of money that you personally pay each week for your kid's schooling - sure - we're way out of range.
The first picture shows a delgate on one of our courses
. The second picture is one that I took while I was actually attending a one-off course, given by one of the Perl Gurus. I included it here to show a large course group (of the size that I consider unsuitable for beginner course), but it does also provide a reminder that the trainer him/her self needs to be trained to a high standard in order to provide an excellent course - and that's another cost for the training company. (written 2005-11-18, updated 2010-06-20)
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