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IT Pros Boot Up For Training

Online boot camp provides Cisco certification.
IT professionals who want additional training or certification have some new options. Intense School, a training center for network professionals, is offering an alternative to spending days off-site to learn how to configure and support network routers. Beginning Sept. 16, the school (http://www.intenseschool.com) will offer its Cisco Certified Network Associate program over the Web, so that IT managers can train for certification from their homes.

Students in the virtual class will have the same Telnet access to live routers and switches as students in a physical classroom via a graphical representation of a lab. This model will help students understand that they're "configuring this port on the router or this port on the switch," says Bill Grismore, an Intense School trainer and collaborator on the online program.

"Traditional online training, which is mostly slide presentations, wasn't advanced enough," to address this topic, says Ron Rubens, the school's chief operating officer. The training center, which has been developing its online program for about a year, is using virtual meeting software from WebTrain.com Communications Platform Inc. to transmit live instructor-led sessions to students.

An E-learning boot camp could be effective for teaching IT certification courses, IDC analyst Mike Brennan says. "IT students are motivated and likely will be a captive audience for high-level certifications," he says.

Classes initially will be capped at 20 students. A Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer program will be offered next.

Cisco virtual classes cost $1,995, a one-time fee that includes tuition and books.