Online IT training opens up a world of possibilities, giving you (or your team) the opportunity to learn about the almost infinite array of technologies, techniques, and approaches to the work of an IT pro. With so much opportunity, it can be daunting to think about narrowing down how you will use the training that is available. Here are some critical components to building a learning program with online training.
Teams and individual learners that do well in their training have clearly-defined goals. If the measure of success is unclear, or goals are too vaguely defined, you or your team might struggle to gain traction in training.
So how will you measure success? Will it be course completion? Certification(s) earned? A particular number of hours trained per month? Our Goal-setting Workbook is a great tool to help you clarify success and create realistic timelines, and our Accountability Coaches can help you think through the best strategy for your training success.
Once you have identified what you need to demonstrate training success, write it down. This simple step will keep clarity around why you or your team are training and what you expect from the experience.
Online IT training is a marathon, not a sprint. So it’s important to take time to set realistic goals for training. It may seem counter-intuitive to hold off on starting your training while you take time to plan, but setting realistic goals that are meaningful and achievable will help keep you or your team motivated to train. Ask yourself:
- What do I/we need out of the training experience? (i.e., certification, hands-on experience, skills enhancement, etc.)
- How will I know when I/we have achieved training goal(s)?
Set the Timeline
Now that you have some goals in place, consider how long it will take to accomplish those goals. It’s critical that you be reasonable in your expectations for how much time you can dedicate to training on a daily and/or weekly basis. Ask yourself:
- How often can I realistically commit to training?
Generally, we suggest you make a weekly commitment to training. A commitment, for example, of three hours per week gives you the flexibility to react to unexpected needs at work and in your personal life, while also setting a training deadline (the end of every week).
Accountability is important when pursuing a long-term goal. Share your goals and your training timeline with a coworker, friend, or even your boss, and invite them to hold you accountable to your goals. This will provide you another element of motivation to keep you on track for your training.
Create a Training Plan
Flexibility is one of the greatest strengths of online learning. You can train anytime, anywhere. But flexibility also is what makes putting off training so tempting. After all, it’s human nature to put off things that are flexible. That’s why creating structure for your training and developing a study plan is so crucial.
A good study plan will consider all the work you need to put in to complete a course or prepare for a certification. We recommend creating plans with weekly goals. These goals should include all the video Nuggets, review, practice exams, and virtual lab work that you or your team will need to get done each week in order to stay on track to achieve your long-term training goals.
Our customizable study plan is a great tool to help you do this. And we have study plans for some of our most popular courses, already prepared for you!
Developing a learning program that is built on online IT training can dramatically impact your work.
- Every hour spent training saves five hours of lost productivity.
- IT certifications can boost your salary by 8-16%.
- Online learning increases your retention by up to 60%.
Whether you are looking to improve the performance of your team or need some professional development of your own, open up the world of opportunities offered by online training.
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