Ask any IT professional who has been in the industry for some time and they will tell you first hand; “Experience is indispensable!”

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I just want to express my gratitude toward the faculty of The Canadian Institute of Learning. Before attending their school I had graduated from a university bachelor’s degree program and I was working for a number of years without significant progress. I had found that technical skill was in demand and quite marketable in competitive environments, so I sought formal training in IT. I had started training at another vocational school without much result, as I was led through multiple textbooks and completed a series of practice exams. After all was said and done, I felt that I had a large pool of disjointed technical knowledge swimming about in my head. As a result, I was sort of comfortable with networking when I started my IT career at an entry-level. But, I eventually found the Canadian Institute of Learning and started training again. There I received close, hands – on instruction and faced daily practical challenges in the classroom. I asked on the first day of class how quickly I could write an exam. I was told that I could start writing exams any time I wanted – but that I was there to practice networking until I was an actual technician… What does it feel like to learn a new skill in the class on a given day and use it again outside the class – independently? It is liberating to say the least. That’s not to mention that in my personal life I am now a real IT problem solver. It is rewarding to get calls from friends and family, who actually need and benefit from your technical expertise.

After the completion of the Network Technician’s course, I was immediately placed – by The Canadian Institute of Learning – with a competitive IT Infrastructure Services Firm that paid me a salary well above my previous IT employer’s (I’m still with them). At this new job I surprised not only myself, but the technicians around me. When I was exposed to challenges in my new position, I was able to take command of the issues with real confidence. That is because, at The Canadian Institute of Learning I was actually required to physically work with the computers and network systems regularly, so that I did not just have a theoretical or virtual understanding of networking tasks. I personally found that learning under the staff at The Canadian Institute of Learning is comparable to training as an auto-mechanic or electrician. You learn how to do your job by DOING IT and getting it DONE RIGHT time and again, so that there are NO DOUBTS when you are in an interview or on site. Look, we don’t ask whether – or – not our mechanics or electricians got their certifications from books or simulations. We know that they have to be trained and tested for real to bare their credentials. This is where IT must go. This is where The Canadian Institute of Learning already is!

The hands-on learning cannot take a back seat to reading and memorizing… Ask any IT professional who has been in the industry for some time and they will tell you first hand; “Experience is indispensable!”. So get the experience while getting the credentials and then get more experience in a promising career afterwards. I still have plans to return to The Canadian Institute of Learning for more training, as there is an obvious, direct correlation between learning from them and succeeding at my personal goals and in my career path.

Reginald Eugene | Network Technician, A+, Network+, Linux+, MCP

When I first came to the school, I was very impressed with the professionalism of the staff overall. They were courteous, helpful and went out of their way to make me feel welcome. After about 30 minutes during my initial visit, I was greeted by the president and found myself quickly swept into his office. After meeting the staff and having a tour, then having discussion a discussion with the Canadian Institute of Learning President, I knew it would be an easy decision as to what school I was going to attend.

I chose CIOL as there were huge differences between it and other schools. First of all being class size – other schools had a very high student to teacher ratio. When touring other schools, I found there were upwards of 30-40 students per teacher! The CIOL stood by the motto of small classes to ensure that everyone was looked after and had a lot of personal attention. This was very important to me, as I wanted to ensure I really was not just understanding the textbook, and that I would have plenty of help with hands on labs. This fact alone also showed me that the school was not just after my pocketbook!

The second reason was that you could write your certification examinations right on site. I did not have to go write my certification exams elsewhere. Third, they were very helpful in tailoring my training needs, whereas other schools were set in stone in terms of their course outlines. The fourth and final reason was that I could see they had tons of hardware that students could play with. An example being Cisco routers – they had physical routers of which we could use and learn from. Other schools did not have the Cisco routers – they depended on emulators to train their students. I felt that having the necessary hardware and software available was going to be critical to my success.

Once class started, I realized that the CIOL could walk the walk and talk the talk. The lectures were fantastic, and the biggest thing I can vouch for is the hands on labs. Lectures were detailed and crystal clear hand outs were provided. Every day would encompass a lot of time for hands on labs, which again I felt was the most important aspect of the course. The teacher spent tons of time with us to ensure we understood all the material and the labs. Final projects were challenging, and I found them to be true to life as to what you would see out in the field. Other students were great, and we had a lot of fun! The teacher built up an excellent team environment and we all grew close. I feel the team building environment created by the teacher will help us all out in the real world.

Overall I would recommend the CIOL to any prospective students. Their dedications to their students is overwhelming. I left the CIOL with my Diploma, an MCSE, MCSA, MCP, and Network+ certifications, and some great memories. I could not have done it without them!

Alex Zuber | Network Technician Penetration Testing, MCSE, MCSA, MCP, and Network+