It’s hardly a surprise when researchers claim that the IT boom has led to a massive shift of interest among students who are presently making their career choices. The recent introduction to India of numerous multinational software corporations (MNC) — and their accompanying hefty paychecks — is making it evident that a person with the right IT certifications and degrees has brighter career prospects. The demand for IT certifications is also driving the need to for qualified technical trainers.
It is said that, “Teaching isn’t a job, it’s a calling.” Teach, in Old English, meant to “show, point out, and give instruction.” This is especially true for technical trainers in IT. A good technical trainer not only needs a firm grasp of IT, and a continuous desire to stay abreast of new developments in the field, they also need to be a guide to students — to point out the importance and nuances of IT.
In India, most IT training institutes prefer their technical trainers to possess a Ph.D. (or at a minimum a master’s degree) in Computer Science with a decent certification course(s) under his belt. Besides formal degrees and actual certifications, there are a number of soft-skills that a technical trainer (TT) should possess.
A TT’s analytical ability should be impressive. The forte of a good teacher is how well they understand and demonstrate their subject and its topics. In order to adequately articulate subject matter a TT must have a clear understanding of the complete scenario and concepts of the subject in his mind, only then would he be able to enlighten his students. Just like a guide in the wilderness, a TT must know the lay of the land, the destination to which they want to students to reach, and an understanding and appreciation of the challenges in reaching that destination.
Learning IT is difficult — few students can master a concept in one attempt. Therefore, it’s imperative that a TT be able to demonstrate knowledge in a number of different ways so as to help their students grasp difficult concepts as the need arises. They have to be able to stick with topics and concepts until they make them clear to students.
Successful trainers are able to evaluate a learner’s needs and employ different practices as needed; for example, engaging them through various instructional methods and managing the technical classroom effectively. This requires constant effort, on other words tenacity!
If good teachers were once good students, then it is important that a TT remember their own certification journey, including both the trials and the sense of accomplishment. To become a successful trainer, it is very important for IT professionals to be tenacious and willing to spend long and hard hours understanding and demonstrating in their IT domains.
Current technologies and developments
IT is a fast-moving stream where every day new software developments take place. Daily updates given by the teacher are of utmost importance to the students. In order to be able to brief students about the latest developments in the technology sphere, a TT needs to be updated himself. He (or she) must have a high-level of interest in continuously learning about his IT domain. This requires regular and constant reading of tech blogs, joining online communities and forums, receiving email updates, webinars, and anything else that will help you know your domain. As an example, if you train in a Cisco certification you should be following Cisco and their updates very closely.
A trainer who is not current cannot adequately prepare students for certification exams.
Wide knowledge of varied subjects
Unlike software developers or networking engineers, for whom specific study of their own domain is enough, a trainer of IT should possess knowledge of multiple domains that may be interconnected. An abundance of knowledge in connected domains will give a trainer confidence in his abilities — and confidence is one of the key elements of a great trainer.
It won’t matter how much you know about your subject matter if you can’t communicate effectively. The articulate expression of knowledge should be clear, straightforward and easy for the listener to understand. A good trainer is able to communicate in such a way as to increase understanding and confidence in their students.
Being proficient in English is required for a trainer, regardless of what country they teach in. English is the lingua franca of business and IT — it can only help you to be able to communicate properly in English. Trainers should regularly practice English speaking and writing, not just in the technical terms of IT, but in plain speaking that informs and engages their listeners. You’ve invested many hours in becoming a trainer, invest more to become proficient in English.
A people person
A good trainer should like people. They are also part entertainer. Dry and boring presentations benefit no one. While you don’t have to make a clown of yourself in front of the class, you do have to be approachable and friendly by your students. Being energetic is always a plus. Check out this video of a trainer who, although not seen, sounds energetic and excited about his topic. Being energetic enables your students to feel your excitement and interest and to stay focused longer.
Becoming a certified technical trainer in IT isn’t easy. However, there are lots of opportunities for those who have the desire and drive. Four of the top IT Technical Trainer Certifications include:
Each of these certifications require you to be knowledgeable in your domain. In addition, each requires a lot of work and discipline to stay current on the domain. The good news is that although the route to accreditation as a technical trainer is difficult and long, they payoffs are well worth it.