As an organisation that is widely seen as belonging to the “IT training industry” it is important that we at Sysop understand the difference between Education and Training.
These two words are often viewed as meaning the same thing but there are key differences. By understanding this and optimising our services accordingly we feel we are able to better service our clients. So what is the difference?
In the IT Service Management space we are blessed with reams of best practice guidance for which there are recognised qualifications an ITSM professional can pursue in order to develop their understanding in these areas. When you ask, what the objectives are in attending a course then an individual will often indicate “passing the exam” as being of most importance to them.
From an individual’s point of view then maybe this is true – adding a worldwide recognised qualification to ones CV is undoubtedly valuable career progression. The goal of passing an exam does lend itself to an Educational approach - one where course content is structured around a defined syllabus to which the examination is based upon.
Is passing the exam the only value a course brings?
What about the knowledge gained from the course that will enable an individual to go back to the workplace and do their job better? After all, often it is the employer who is paying for an individual to attend a course in terms of both the course cost and the time away from work. Undoubtedly the knowledge is of greater value than the qualification when you consider the bill payer’s point of view.
Therefore a “training” approach is in the better interests of the organisation where skills are developed and an individual better armed to go back to the workplace and make a real difference.
At Sysop we make a distinct definition between education and training. We offer “Education” qualifications which are the syllabus led courses which culminate in an examination. During these courses we do our very best to take a training approach by using experienced practicing consultants who are able to apply real-world examples to build on the theory and enhance the knowledge gained whilst not deviating away from preparation for the exam.
However, it is outside of our accredited courses where we feel we present the greatest value to our clients. Without the constraints of an examination, we are able offer services much more focussed on organisational improvements. Whether it be our practical workshops, motivational business simulations or consultancy services we are much better placed to take on board issues and challenges an organisation is facing and adapt a more targeted approach to best address these.
We therefore consider Education as being all about learning the theory, and Training focussing more on developing skills and experiences.
There is definitely relevance for both approaches but with training budgets being as stretched as ever then a stronger emphasis on “training” will no doubt represent greater value for an IT Organisation.