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  1. Senior Member powerfool's Avatar
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    #1

    Default Inexpensive VMware Training Options

    As many know, VMware requires authorized training to order to attain the VCP credential, in addition to the exam. This training is rather expensive compared to many other IT training courses, especially if you are paying for it out of pocket. There have been numerous threads with questions about inexpensive training options. The most inexpensive way to get VMware authorized training is to attend a university course that is authorized through the VMware IT Academy. Through these arrangements, universities are able to offer official VMware training courses at normal tuition rates. Many universities participate and it even counts for college credit, but that isn't important to everyone. Also, another perk for students that attend a course through the VMware IT Academy is that you receive a 70% off voucher for the VCP exam.

    VMware maintains a Google Docs Spreadsheet with participating universities via a link on its Participants webpage.

    Of special note, however, are two universities that offer these courses online: UCSC Extension and CCC&TI.

    Both schools offer the "Install, Configure, and Manage" course for about $1000. (UCSC increased to $1100, but they offer an early registration discount of 10%).

    CCC&TI offers the "What's New" course for $500, which satisfies the retraining requirement for those with a VCP on a previous version that have missed the grace period to just test.

    UCSC Extension - 30027 - VMware vSPHERE: Configuration and Management [V5.0]
    CCC&TI VMware Landing Page

    I attended the UCSC Extension course and I thought that the curriculum was fine... as it was the VMware official curriculum, but the instructor was very monotone and essentially read the course manual in his video presentation. Also, this is a very traditional length course, so it spans a few months.

    I have not attended the CCC&TI course, so I cannot comment on the quality, but the course is "Install and Configure" course is covered in five weeks.

    Given what I know about UCSC (the courses fill up very quickly, as well) and the timeframe available at CCC&TI, I would currently recommend CCC&TI, as I think they could only improve over UCSC. If anyone has feedback on CCC&TI, in terms of quality and the technical reliability of the course and labs, please share. Please note, UCSC had sufficient reliability for lab connectivity.

    Best wishes on your virtualization endeavors.

    EDIT: I am working to get this thread stickied so it will be easy for new members to find.
    Last edited by powerfool; 12-22-2011 at 07:27 PM.
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  3. Premier Field Engineer Everyone's Avatar
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    #2
    The important thing about Universities offering authorized VMWare training that counts as college credit is the payment opportunities it opens up. A lot of employers have tuition reimbursement, but a lot won't pay for IT training or certifications. Taking this at a college would make it eligible for tuition reimbursement, meaning less (and up to no) money out of your own pocket.

    Also for those of us who have anything like unused G.I. Bill benefits, you could use those to take this too.

    For the unfortunate who do not have any tuition reimbursement available to them, aside from the lower cost, you could potentially get a student loan to help pay for it and spread the cost out.

    Definitely makes it more affordable and more within reach to anyone interested in it who isn't fortunate enough to have an employer willing to pay for it.
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  4. DoWork
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    #3
    I'm taking the CCC&TI ICM5.0 course in January. I'll post back a review of the course.
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  5. Senior Member scott28tt's Avatar
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    #4
    I'm not sure I'd be too happy if "the instructor was very monotone and essentially read the course manual", not a single student I've trained in my 5.5 years as a VCI could say that about me.

    I'm not saying that academy-based courses don't have something different to offer, and your experience may be different to that of most people participating in these courses.

    Scott.
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  6. Senior Member powerfool's Avatar
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    #5
    Quote Originally Posted by scott28tt View Post
    I'm not sure I'd be too happy if "the instructor was very monotone and essentially read the course manual", not a single student I've trained in my 5.5 years as a VCI could say that about me.

    I'm not saying that academy-based courses don't have something different to offer, and your experience may be different to that of most people participating in these courses.

    Scott.
    Well, I think that overall, there are many folks that aren't pleased with VMware's requirement to sit one of their courses and would be satisfied with self-study. To be honest, I just went through the motions so I could get credit for the course. If I had a better instructor, I may have bee more engaged. The other issue that I had was that it was labeled as "self-paced;" to a degree it was, you could do the labs and cover the material as quickly as you liked... but you still had specific dates for the mid-term and final, plus you had to wait for the semester to officially be over in order to get credit for the course.

    I have been doing virtualization for about five years, at this point (not to mention a user for the original VMware product, which became VMware Workstation, back in 1999). So, my experience and diving into Mastering VMware vSphere 4 should be good enough.
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  7. Senior Member MentholMoose's Avatar
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    #6
    Quote Originally Posted by scott28tt View Post
    I'm not sure I'd be too happy if "the instructor was very monotone and essentially read the course manual", not a single student I've trained in my 5.5 years as a VCI could say that about me.

    I'm not saying that academy-based courses don't have something different to offer, and your experience may be different to that of most people participating in these courses.

    Scott.
    Keep in mind that his comment is based on the online version of the course which I believe has pre-recorded lectures, and sometimes video-based teaching can end up being a little dry. I haven't seen the videos but I can vouch for the professor as I took the VAP version of the ICM 4 course with him at a B&M school. His in-person lectures were fine and he really went out of the way to help students, for example by showing up during the extra lab hours on Saturdays. I would definitely take another in-person course with him given the chance (granted, I only paid $250 for the course, including the lab manuals and the VCP410 exam ).

    My personal experience is that the VAP format is excellent for learning vSphere. Given a choice I would go with the VAP ICM course since with the boot camp course I don't think having the entire course content blasted at me over 4 insane days would help me learn. Taking the ICM course over 10 weeks gave me time to comprehend, learn, and retain the material as the course progressed. The pace was such that we could go above and beyond the official content (for example, during the extra lab hours), making it an ICM+ course of sorts. For a >90% discount over the boot camp course it was a fantastic deal.

    If it was not for the VMware Academy Program there is no chance I would be a VCP today. My employer would not pay the $3000 for the boot camp course and I certainly couldn't pay that out of pocket. So I may be a bit biased in favor of the VAP courses.
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  8. Virtual Member undomiel's Avatar
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    #7
    Quote Originally Posted by powerfool View Post
    I attended the UCSC Extension course and I thought that the curriculum was fine... as it was the VMware official curriculum, but the instructor was very monotone and essentially read the course manual in his video presentation.
    This is how I found the UCSC course as well. after trying two of the videos I threw them out the window and just stuck to doing the labs and reading the course manuals. I liked the course manuals but definitely don't feel like they dig in deep enough. I was not impressed with the labs. No thought or comprehension of what you are doing is required.
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  9. Carpe Noctem azjag's Avatar
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    #8
    You get the opportunity to rate your instructor and the class when you finish the class. Submit your comments and if enough students feel the same as you VMware will address the issue. It is a requirement of the VMware IT Academy which the school is a member of. Considering the demand and how much the school is making I'm sure if an issue was brought to their attention it would be addressed. I know this because I am being considered for an instructor position by a community college here for the VMware IT Academy. Part of the requirements is satisfactory feedback about the course. VMware is really interested in what the students have to say.
    Last edited by azjag; 12-27-2011 at 08:05 AM.
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  10. Senior Member scott28tt's Avatar
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    #9
    The current ICM course delivered by VMware and VATCs is 5 days in length, it's not a boot camp, and the information is not "blasted" for most that attend the course. Many attendees already have at least some exposure or experience with vSphere, and one that are totally new get any extra attention they need.

    VMware/VATC training has a place, as does the Academy model, I fully appreciate that.

    I do find it surprising that video-based and in-person lecture sessions from the same instructor can be as different as being described here, I've delivered training using all kinds of methods.
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  11. Senior Member MentholMoose's Avatar
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    #10
    Quote Originally Posted by scott28tt View Post
    The current ICM course delivered by VMware and VATCs is 5 days in length, it's not a boot camp...
    Sorry, I thought it was 4 days (like the ICM on vSphere 4.0), but I still think it's a lot of material to cover in 5 days. 40 hours in 5 days is an intense schedule, at least compared to the 40 hours over 10 weeks (or even 5 weeks) for the VAP format course. From looking at the Global Knowledge web site it seems "boot camps" are 12 hours per day for 5 days, but 8 hours per day for 5 days is still relatively intense. IMO, describing the 5-day ICM course as a boot camp is fair even if VMware does not define it as such, but if it makes you feel better I will go ahead and refer to it as the "standard" course from now on.

    Quote Originally Posted by scott28tt View Post
    ... and the information is not "blasted" for most that attend the course. Many attendees already have at least some exposure or experience with vSphere, and one that are totally new get any extra attention they need.
    So how much exposure should someone have before taking the standard, 5-day ICM course to be able to handle it? Or in other words, how much of the material should you already know to avoid feeling like the instructor is a fire-hose of information? 25%? 50%? If I had to know even 25% of the material before taking a $3000 course, I would not be happy spending my own money on it. In fact, I would feel downright cheated if $750 of my fees essentially went to reviewing info I already knew considering I could do the same in my spare time with a $40 book (or even for free by just reviewing documentation).

    OTOH, if I were totally new to vSphere, I feel it would be difficult to retain enough of the information with the intense schedule of the standard course to justify the cost. Even with hand-holding, I am certain I would end up having to go over most of the material again from scratch on my own, in which case I might as well have just gone the self-study route to begin with. By comparison, the pace of the VAP course seems more suitable to students new to vSphere. But that is just my opinion. I'm sure some people prefer attending the standard course over the VAP course or self-study (especially if they don't have to pay for it themselves and get time off work to attend), and/or will benefit enough from taking the standard course to justify the higher cost.

    Quote Originally Posted by scott28tt View Post
    I do find it surprising that video-based and in-person lecture sessions from the same instructor can be as different as being described here, I've delivered training using all kinds of methods.
    At least at the college where I took it, if after the first couple sessions I didn't like the professor, I could have dropped the course without cause and obtained a full refund. This apparently isn't an option at GK since VMware courses are specifically excluded from their "100% Guarantee" (according to Global Knowledge Policies). I'm sure you would provide an exceptional experience, but can the same be said for every instructor? I'm not so sure, and besides, even good instructors may have a teaching style that does not mesh with all students. I would be extremely hesitant to spend $3500 with no recourse whatsoever if I got stuck with an instructor that wasn't exceptional or had a teaching style I did not like.

    The VAP ICM course, lab material, and exam (and even the Mastering VMware vSphere 4 and Exam Cram books) came out to be under 10% of the cost of the standard course for me. Even if I knew 100% of the material beforehand, I would not consider it a major loss. The alternative to getting the VCP when I did (vSphere 4.0 days) would have been spending $3000 (now $3500) out-of-pocket for the standard ICM course, $175 for the exam (now $225), and taking 4 vacation days (now 5). This was not a reasonable option for me, and even today obtaining the VCP would not be possible for me if it weren't for the VAP.

    While we are on the subject of course formats, there is one thing I am curious about. Are there any requirements to "pass" the standard ICM course, besides just showing up? If someone attends every meeting but, for example, sleeps the entire time, or only plays Angry Birds on their iPhone, do they still get credit? I would hope not. The VAP courses are graded like any college course. I had to complete the labs, turn in homework assignments, and pass exams to get credit (and yes, I got an "A" ).
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  12. Carpe Noctem azjag's Avatar
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    #11
    Quote Originally Posted by MentholMoose View Post
    While we are on the subject of course formats, there is one thing I am curious about. Are there any requirements to "pass" the standard ICM course, besides just showing up? If someone attends every meeting but, for example, sleeps the entire time, or only plays Angry Birds on their iPhone, do they still get credit? I would hope not. The VAP courses are graded like any college course. I had to complete the labs, turn in homework assignments, and pass exams to get credit (and yes, I got an "A" ).
    I do not recall any participation requirements other than showing up. There was no test at the conclusion of class. Things may have changed since I took the class in Feb '10.
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  13. Senior Member scott28tt's Avatar
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    #12
    Quote Originally Posted by azjag View Post
    I do not recall any participation requirements other than showing up. There was no test at the conclusion of class. Things may have changed since I took the class in Feb '10.
    VMware do actually give VCIs a definition of "active participation" and a guideline as to how much of that each student must make in order to be marked as "completed" for their course.
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  14. Senior Member scott28tt's Avatar
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    #13
    You are clearly in favour of VAP as it suits your circumstances, I work for a VATC and am a VCI, this discussion could run and run I feel. I'm not here to defend VMware's various training programs or learning methods - there are merits and downsides to both VAP and VATC programs/methods.

    For clarity, each day of the 5-day ICM on vSphere 5 runs from 9:00am-4:00pm approximately, with coffee and lunch breaks. Global Knowledge do have a full customer care program, but I'm not involved in that aspect of the business so I'm not going to involve myself in a discussion around that subject. Obviously we are not the only company offering official VMware courses either.
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    #14
    Quote Originally Posted by scott28tt View Post
    VMware do actually give VCIs a definition of "active participation" and a guideline as to how much of that each student must make in order to be marked as "completed" for their course.
    There is our answer. That and the fact you would be an idiot to pay $3k for a class and not make the most of the training.
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    #15
    I am planning to take the cccti course but with the starting time at 6pm est, i might not be able to since i am on the west coast and that I am in Canada. The ucsc course is kind of long, spanning over 2 months. Anyway, how come the cccti and/or ucsc courses are not mentioned at all on the vmware communties and vcp test experience blogs out there? these online courses are 1/3 the cost of those in-person classes that dont really help you pass anyway.
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  17. Carpe Noctem azjag's Avatar
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    #16
    Quote Originally Posted by pusher View Post
    I am planning to take the cccti course but with the starting time at 6pm est, i might not be able to since i am on the west coast and that I am in Canada. The ucsc course is kind of long, spanning over 2 months. Anyway, how come the cccti and/or ucsc courses are not mentioned at all on the vmware communties and vcp test experience blogs out there? these online courses are 1/3 the cost of those in-person classes that dont really help you pass anyway.
    Somethings to remember:
    The college courses don't cover all the information on the test either. If the cost to cover 60% (wild guess) of the material required to pass is $3500 how much would the class cost to cover all materials and prepare you for the exam? How long would that class have to be? What employer would pay $8-$12k to send an employee to 3-4 weeks of training? Again this is just a guess.
    The VMware academy at individual colleges uses the exact same training that you get in the week long class. They are built on the same class materials and deliverable that one would receive in the week long class.
    Instructors at the college are not allowed to meet more than a specified amount of time each week so that the academy version does not compete with the week long version.

    Details here:
    VMware IT Academy Program

    Welcome to Techexams =)
    Last edited by azjag; 01-12-2012 at 09:16 AM.
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    #17
    Quote Originally Posted by azjag View Post
    Somethings to remember:
    The college courses don't cover all the information on the test either. If the cost to cover 60% (wild guess) of the material required to pass is $3500 how much would the class cost to cover all materials and prepare you for the exam? How long would that class have to be? What employer would pay $8-$12k to send an employee to 3-4 weeks of training? Again this is just a guess.
    The VMware academy at individual colleges uses the exact same training that you get in the week long class. They are built on the same class materials and deliverable that one would receive in the week long class.
    Instructors at the college are not allowed to meet more than a specified amount of time each week so that the academy version does not compete with the week long version.

    Details here:
    VMware IT Academy Program

    Welcome to Techexams =)
    Thanks, I've been lurking on Techexams for quite a while.

    From what I have researched, anyone who really wants to pass the VCP 4/5 knows that the courses (online=$1000, college=?, 4days training=$3000) don't help you pass at all. They just need to go through the motion so they can sit the exam and get the VCP cert. So, if the $1000 option is there, why don't other people jump? It's an obvious no-brainer. The only place I see this $1000 option mentioned is here at TechExams, which I think is quite odd. I know it's legit.

    I don't plan to depend on the online course at all. I am planning to take it because it's a requirement to sit the exam and get the cert, which is quite lame from VMWARE; and we all know that. That's life and the upside down game we have to play.
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  19. DoWork
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    #18
    Got my books today for the CCC&TI class. Woohoo!

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    #19
    Quote Originally Posted by pusher View Post
    Thanks, I've been lurking on Techexams for quite a while.

    From what I have researched, anyone who really wants to pass the VCP 4/5 knows that the courses (online=$1000, college=?, 4days training=$3000) don't help you pass at all. They just need to go through the motion so they can sit the exam and get the VCP cert. So, if the $1000 option is there, why don't other people jump? It's an obvious no-brainer. The only place I see this $1000 option mentioned is here at TechExams, which I think is quite odd. I know it's legit.

    I don't plan to depend on the online course at all. I am planning to take it because it's a requirement to sit the exam and get the cert, which is quite lame from VMWARE; and we all know that. That's life and the upside down game we have to play.

    Gonna correct some misinformation.

    1. There's no requirement to take the exam. If you want to become a VCP, then you need to attend a class and pass the exam.
    2. Classes do help prepare you for the exam. Are they enough by themselves to pass the exam? No. Are they completely useless? No.
    3. This is purely subjective. How much is your time worth? My time is extremely valuable to me, so spending $3k for 4 day class was a no-brainer for me.
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  21. Senior Member powerfool's Avatar
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    #20
    Quote Originally Posted by dave330i View Post
    Gonna correct some misinformation.

    1. There's no requirement to take the exam. If you want to become a VCP, then you need to attend a class and pass the exam.
    Same difference. That is like people putting CCIE-W on their resumes because they have passed the written exam. Cisco prohibits this, and VMware probably does too.

    2. Classes do help prepare you for the exam. Are they enough by themselves to pass the exam? No. Are they completely useless? No.
    3. This is purely subjective. How much is your time worth? My time is extremely valuable to me, so spending $3k for 4 day class was a no-brainer for me.
    There is a lot more cost to a 4 day course than the $3k. If you work, it is costing somebody the capital that would have been earned by you working... whether that is you doing it on your own or using PTO, or your employer covering your time. And for many people, it can mean travelling, which has its own costs and means that you can be away from family and other things (which could be considered good or bad, depending on who you are).

    Taking a $1k course on my own time without having to travel is pretty much a $1k expense... taking a $3k course is more like $8-10k, in my situation.
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    #21
    Great find! But I noticed that the UCSC course seems to be closed, and the CCC&TI course has increased from $500 to $1000. Are these two still the least expensive options out there? Thanks for any help that can be provided.

    P.S.
    Are there any blogs or twitter feeds that keep an eye out on VMware Certification discounts?
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  23. DoWork
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    #22
    The CCC&TI course has always been $1000. Unless you're referring to the "What's New" class. You might also look on VMware's site for local community colleges that may have it for cheaper close to you depending on your location.
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  24. Senior Member MentholMoose's Avatar
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    #23
    Quote Originally Posted by QHalo View Post
    You might also look on VMware's site for local community colleges that may have it for cheaper close to you depending on your location.
    This will probably be the cheapest option, but you need access to a school offering the course. I lucked out and was able to take the ICM 4 course at a community college and the cost, including materials and the VCP410 exam, came out to about US $250.
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    #24
    Thanks. There's three community colleges near me but all three had no idea about offering courses to satisfy the VCP requirement. So is the CCC&TI the least expensive online option?
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  26. Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    #25
    Quote Originally Posted by acljump View Post
    Thanks. There's three community colleges near me but all three had no idea about offering courses to satisfy the VCP requirement. So is the CCC&TI the least expensive online option?
    I noticed vmware does not update their college partnership page very often. I just finished taking the class over 5 saturdays at my local college. The instructor was from vmware. We had a discussion between the college class and the commercial class. Pretty much VMware doesn't like to advertise the college class. Lets face it, that is a lost of revenue stream. The idea behind the college teaching the class was to have the current professors teach the class. What they have found out most professors did not want to learn something new and teach it. It required the professor to go and take the VCP class. They wanted to teach the same old thing. The college class has restrictions on how many hours they can teach in a week so they do not compete with the commerical class. That is why you will see the class either as a full semester or 1 day per week.

    The other issue is, the community colleges don't want to spend the money to build the lab that is needed for the course.

    My instrutor said he tends to see different students go to the college classes over the commerical classes. The commercial classes tend to draw people interested in whats new, learn the material. People who are already a vmware admin, CIO, network admins etc. Time is money to them.

    Students taking at the college are focused on taking the VCP so they can make the next career jump. I noticed almost all people there were paying it for themselves and not their company.
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