Instructor-Led Telecommunications Courses and Online Telecommunications Courses
In this guide, we'll explore the types of telecommunications courses, the advantages and disadvantages of each, and best choices for telecommunications course providers.
Instructor-led short courses on telecommunications are typically two to five days long. A comprehensive 5-day (week-long) course on telecom technologies, products, services and players is often referred to as a telecom BOOT CAMP.
This type of course is typically designed as job training for non-engineering professionals, paid for by the student's employer.
"Non-engineering" means the assumptions are 1) The student is reasonably intelligent, 2) They have a desire to learn about telecom technologies, products, services and players, and 3) The training course starts at the beginning, with fundamental concepts, then mainstream technologies, explaining the jargon and buzzwords, and most importantly, the underlying ideas, and how it all fits together, while not getting bogged down with technical discussions.
The job descriptions of typical students include administrative personnel who order and coordinate services from telecom companies, sales and marketing personnel of all types, programmers and analysts, customer solution designers, finance people who have to pay for the equipment and services, managers, and anyone who has to be able to understand what the "techies" are saying.
The best instructor-led courses on telecommunications are from Teracom Training Institute, which has built a huge reputation for best-of-breed telecom-for-non-engineers telecom courses over more than 20 years:
Telecommunications BOOT CAMP (5 days)
Fundamentals of Telecom (2 days)
In-person instructor-led telecommunications training in a classroom setting is the gold standard: the best kind of training you can get. In a classroom means away from the never-ending distractions at work or working from home, enabling you to focus and learn. You can ask questions and interact with other students.
A differentiator between training providers is the quality of the course materials. Having a printed book with detailed notes during and after the class allows you to learn more and retain more compared to electronic copies of slides.
Another differentiator is how long the training company has been in business, and if they run scheduled public seminars. A company with little or no track record risks having incomplete and outdated courses. A training company in business for a long time and running public seminars will have the advantage of field-testing, tuning, refining and updating their course to be the current knowledge required in the telecom industry.
A third differentiator is telecommunications certification with the telecommunications training course. Does the provider include a telecommunications certification from an organization like TCO or iNARTE with the course?
A virtual instructor-led telecom course, also known as Live Online or virtual telecommunications course, is the same as an in-person instructor-led telecom course, except that the instructor and students are in different locations, and the course is facilitated by Zoom, Teams or another group videoconferencing platform over the Internet.
This has the advantages of an instructor-led course: staying focused, being able to ask questions, and getting away from distractions, plus the significant advantage of being able to have employees working from home attend the course, with no travel costs.
Telecommunications courses can be public or private.
A public course means that anyone can register, pay for and attend the training course as an individual or as part of a small group. Check if a discount is available for groups attending a public course.
In-person public telecommunications courses are usually held in conference facilities in major cities, scheduled on specific dates with registration open to the public. This is also called a public seminar.
Virtual or Live Online public telecommunications courses are also scheduled on specific dates with registration open to the public. The seminar is facilitated using Zoom, Teams or other videoconferencing platform over the Internet.
Telecom courses can also be held on-site at an organization's location for a group of their personnel. This is called a private seminar, an onsite seminar and sometimes a suitcase course.
A private telecom course is organized and paid for by an employer for their team members. In a private group, the students can ask questions about and discuss the organization's specific telecom implementations.
Management can get everyone up to the same speed, with a common vocabulary and frame of reference. There is an undoubted return on investment in terms of accuracy, efficiency and productivity.
Private in-person telecom training for a group is also a strong team-building exercise.
Private virtual telecom training for a group has the advantage of allowing widely-dispersed teams working from home to take a course together, getting up to the same speed and using a common vocabulary.
A differentiator is delivery of materials to students: does the course provider offer printed course materials shipped directly to the students for virtual classes? The literature is clear that people learn more and retain more with a printed book to accompany the instruction.
A seminar on telecommunications means a learning environment where the students can ask questions and make comments during the instructor's presentation. This lends itself well to groups of 10 to 30 students. Studies suggest that 14 is the optimal number of students in a class for maximum learning synergy.
Asynchronous instructor-led telecommunications course means that you can take the instructor-led training anytime, and progress at your own pace. And rewind! An instructor teaches the course directly to you via a video camera. High-quality courses add overlaid bullets and graphics in post-production.
This is as close as you can get to private one-on-one lessons without actually being there!
Asynchronous instructor-led training has the advantage of including the significant amount of information conveyed by body language and facial expressions. Many people learn better watching an instructor than computer-generated images.
Asynchronous instructor-led telecommunications training courses are less expensive than live instructor training.
Verify if there a telecommunications certification from an organization like TCO or iNARTE included with the course?
Self-paced courses on telecommunications that are not described as instructor-led are typically lessons presented in a browser that consist of computer-generated graphics, text, bullets and animations, generated with e-learning software and including quizzes and other bells and whistles.
High-quality courses will display the text corresponding to a voiceover onscreen, so the instruction doesn't go in one ear and out the other.
A differentiator is the availability of course books or study guides that contain the text and illustrations.
The best self-paced telecommunications courses include rich multimedia: graphics, photos and video, a voiceover with corresponding text notes onscreen, a course book, and a bundled telecommunications certification.
Another differentiator is access: does the student have access to the courses for only a limited period of time, and then have to pay again to continue learning?
The best telecom courses have unlimited repeats and no time limits.
Telecommunications certification courses are tightly aligned with telecommunications certification exams.
A telecommunications course provider will partner with a telecommunications certification body like TCO or iNARTE to develop the curriculum for the certification, then produce courses that correspond to the curriculum. These courses are preparation for the certification exam.
When certification is included with instructor-led training, the student must write an exam after the course to obtain the certification. The best providers will include certification exam preparation courses along with the certification exams.
Questions to ask include whether the certification expires and has to be renewed, or if there are yearly fees.
To determine if a telecommunications certification is recognized, search Google for telecommunications certification and see if it shows up in the results, and is listed in independent organizations' "Top 10" lists of telecommunications certifications.
The Telecommunications Certification Organization (TCO) and its Certified Telecommunications Network Specialist (CTNS) Certification are widely-recognized in industry.
Telecommunications courses for technicians, i.e. hands-on skilled tradespeople who physically build and operate telecommunications systems include courses in the area of structured cabling and courses in the area of wireless.
Bicsi has long been associated with cabling training courses, including Outside Plant design and Information Technology Systems Installation Methods.
Many community colleges have telecommunications certificate or diploma programs. The curriculum, quality of course design, instructor and materials can vary widely.
A certificate or diploma from a community college can lead to a career as a telecommunications technician, or in another direction, a career working for a telecommunications service provider on the administrative side.
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