|Microskills San Diego Computer Certification School
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San Diego Computer School Reviews
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Questions To Ask Before Enrolling
If you do want to go to one of the vocational schools, then ask the following questions:
- What is your placement rate?
At the school I worked at, I was told not to talk about that because "if we said the placement rate was 90%, the next school would claim 91%, and if we said it was 92%, they would say 93% etc. It would become like an auction." The real reason was that the school didn't want to set themselves up for a lawsuit or get in trouble with the Bureau for Private Postsecondary and Vocational Education for exaggeration of the rate. They might be in trouble anyway, the schools are legally required to tell you their placement rate! If you have a beef against a school, the BPPVE or the Better Business Bureau are good places to start. Laptop Training Solutions, in particular, looks like it has quite a few complaints at the BBBBPPVE has an annual site visit to each school, so keep an eye out for them if they come to a school. Ask them about your rights. One ex school employee stated that a school really need a full time person in compliance, as the state legislature, in order to protect the consumer, has really placed rigid restrictions on the schools
- Who do you place your people with?
Ask for companies and the names of people at those companies who do hiring. The school is legally required to tell you who they placed graduates with. Call them! In August 2004, Microskills was running at least one ad which featured employers saying how they hired their graduates.One was Brian Margarita, CEO/Co-founder for TalentLab, a San Diego-based headhunting firm. Do headhunting firms count as employers? He said that having "degree and certifications from" schools like Microskills was a great thing to have in the eyes of employers. Microskills can't issue degrees so that is misleading. Another company also was mentioned in this ad and at their request, we have removed any reference to them on this site. But you do have to be careful of these sort of references. Who are they: graduates of the advertising school, friends of the boss or of the placement officers? Or they may be totally legitimate in their endorsement. The employer who asked to be removed stated:
To answer your question I am a San Diego employer who hires Microskills grads as well as students. Given the nature of our work, we have established job placement relationships with numerous technical schools. ITT, Coleman College, Maric, Foundation College, UEI to name a few.
We have been told that it is illegal to guarantee jobs or to state income from jobs. Microskills in September, 2004 was running an ad featuring someone by the name of Wes Carroll who stated that he was before he enrolled he was earning 25K, and now he had finished, he was earning three times that amount. Jorenne Valenzuela and Dan Suspaniac (sp?) are two other former students who have sound bites where they attribute enormous success to having been at Microskills ($33,000 a year in the case of Dan). We don't know if these claims breach the State guidelines but they may be skating close.
- How do you know there is an enormous demand for computer certified people?
Ask for the statistics. The Bureau of Labor Statistics releases ten year projections every couple of years. See here for their report for 2002-2012, Don't let the schools show you old statistics which show network engineers as the occupation most in demand or showing the most growth. If you want these occupations, become a nurse or a janitor.
A former instructor at one of our featured schools said that it was a humbling experience looking for a job once he left. He has 15 years of experience and as far as certifications are concerned, more letters than Clay Aiken's fan club. What hope does someone with no experience have?
He stated that demand for Linux has gone up, the MCSE is almost a joke, and that employers want multidisciplinary skills (so you have to be able to build a web server, create the site, and create the online shopping cart!) and a secret clearance.
- What is your drop out rate?
At the school I worked at, when courses started, they were usually filled up. However, I found that the last classes of the course were virtually empty. I got a mild reprimand once for walking into a room which I thought just had a couple of dudes talking. It turned out it was a class in session! A class which though towards the end of the course program, the majority of students had to be enrolled in at the start. Most of the time I saw that room, which was used specifically for this class, it was empty.
I guess very few students made it that far.
- Are you accredited?
If they say they are in the process of accreditation, ask "when will that process be complete?" and "what accreditation organization is that process being done through?"
Being accredited means that they can issue recognized degrees and students are eligible for federal assistance such as very low interest loans with other great conditions.
Here is another Computer Training And Certification Option
Vocational School Enrolment Questions
One of our correspondents who works at a computer school sent us a list of questions that he thinks prospective students should ask before enrolling in any vocational school