Q

I'd like to learn more and tackle various MS and Linux certs, but my employer does not offer any pro

I'm currently working as a PC support technician on the Help Desk at a medium-sized company. I'm good at what I do and I've already earned an A+ certification on my own ticket. I'd like to learn more, earn more and tackle certs like the Network+, and possibly MCSA/MCSE or the various LPI Linux certifications. But my employer refuses to pay for such learning, in whole or in part, and won't give me any time away from my desk to study or attend class. What do you think I should do to improve my situation?
It's not unheard of for employers to expect employees to pay for and prepare for IT certifications on their own. But it's certainly not the most enlightened employee development policy, nor is it terribly supportive either. If you have the option of looking for other employment, I'd urge you to investigate a job change. While you're looking for a new position, you'll want to ask prospective employers about their company's policies regarding professional development. Then you can pick your next position with an idea of what kind support for employee training, development and certification you can expect.

If the market is tight and no new jobs are imminent, you should get started on Network+ on your own. Talk to your local bank or credit union and ask if they offer any educational loans for professional development. Don't be afraid to turn to friends or family for fundraising, either, should that prove necessary. By pursuing more training and certification, you'll keep busy while waiting for an opportunity to pop up and be better equipped...

for your next job when new opportunities become available.

Keep this up until you find yourself in a job where you can count on at least some degree of support for training and certification. Eventually, you will find yourself in a better situation -- just don't give up.

Best of luck,

--Ed--

This was first published in June 2005

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