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The Era of Continuous Learning Is Here

More than ever, bronchi working in IT means being committed to a lifetime of study and learning. There are many ways to stay current, but one of the best may be subscription-based learning services.  

SchoolchildrenIn looking over a number of certification programs recently — including those curated by Cisco, Brocade, VMware, and others — I was struck by how strongly the subscription model for learning has taken hold in the IT cert prep game. Certainly, working in high tech — especially in IT — requires an earnest commitment to lifelong learning.


And wherever there’s a commitment like this, or a need to be met, you can count on the marketplace to help meet such needs. For modest amounts of money, typically somewhere between $10 and $50 per month (with many options available toward the the lower end of that price range), you can sign up for an “all you can learn” plan.


Essentially, you align yourself with a willing and energetic provider of training, study materials, hands-on labs, and practice exams.


Pick a Learning Provider, or Two, or ...


Unless you want to hitch your wagon to some very particular star, however — let's say Cisco, for example — then it may not make sense to subscribe to a vendor- or organization-sponsored learning program on a perpetual basis. Even then, it might make more sense to buy in while you’re preparing for some test, and then buy out (at least for a while) once you’ve put that test behind you.


That said, this could be a great explanation for why more broad-based education and training providers such as, Pluralsight, CBT Nuggets, and others of that ilk, make more sense for IT professionals. Most of us have a range of cert programs to cover, and multiple certifications to keep up with, or renew, or replace, as circumstances will inevitably dictate.


This also provides justification for digital book subscription services like Safari ($39 per month/$399 per year) that provide access to as many tech books, video courses, and other materials, as one can handle at any given time.


The idea is to find one or two providers who can cover most of what you need, and buy into their offerings on a more or less permanent basis. As long as you keep using the tools and information they have to offer, the value for the expenditure works in your favor.