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IT Certification FAQ

Is Financial Assistance Available For Certification Training?

Absolutely. If you are on a company payroll, there may well be dollars in the budget that can be funneled your way. If you can convince your employer that the training will benefit the company as well as yourself, then the companys training budget may cover part or all of your expenses. Another employer source to look into is the tuition reimbursement program, which may refund part or all of your tuition fees, provided you meet the company's requirements.

Uncle Sam is sympathetic to students, too. If you're an American, funds you expend on education (in some cases, including related transportation costs) in your current field can be deducted on your federal income tax return, either on Form 2106, Employee Business Expenses or on Schedule C, Profit or Loss from Business. The 1997 tax act created a lifetime learning tax credit that may apply to you as well.

Judicious selection of learning alternatives and a little shopping around can save you money, too. For example, some community technical colleges have begun offering some of the same exact classes you will find at Novell Authorized Education Centers at a fraction of the cost. You'll often have the option of purchasing a package deal that includes several courses but at a discounted rate that is more affordable than purchasing each course individually. It's the certification version of bulk discounting. And then there is the ultra-condensed version, where you travel to a learning center, bury yourself in theory and technology for two weeks, and emerge certified (or nearly so), though perhaps a bit dizzy as well.

Another, somewhat less desirable alternative, is to finance your certification by paying for it in installments rather than large lump sums. Alternatively, you can extend your chosen program over time, enrolling in courses as you feel financially able to do so. Recently, loan products specifically geared to certification candidates have appeared on the scene.

You may also be able to get your (or your employers) training money to serve double duty by parlaying your classes into college credits.

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