One thing for sure about IT is that it is a career for people who have the desire to keep learning. The ‘Shelf Life’ of the skills of an IT professional is less than three years. This means that if you don’t keep learning and growing, your skillset will be obsolete quickly. This is different from other professional fields where you can coast on your skills for five, seven, even nine years and be just fine.
So if you’re convinced IT is the right career for you, be prepared to keep the learning going long after you earn your first certification, get your job, or even get that promotion. You’ll need to find a way to incorporate learning into your weekly routine, your quarterly goals and your annual performance review.
Whether it’s a weekly IT podcast or a newsletter or RSS feed, find a way to stay current with IT news and events. This will keep you ‘in the know’ with terminology and new tech.
You’ll also need an IT learning platform that you can trust. This can serve two purposes for an IT pro. First, it can be a reliable knowledge base to help with a specific issue or incident. Second, it’s a place to watch full courses to learn technology or perhaps get certified.
But how to choose a learning platform?
I set out to find a platform and decided to share my results with you.
A quick Google search yielded a few choices: CBT Nuggets, Pluralsight, ITProTV. When I searched for review sites like G2, TrustPilot and TrustRadius, one of these had higher reviews than the rest: ITProTV.
I decided to check out ITProTV for a month and see how well it worked for me.
First impressions of ITProTV
The first thing I noticed about ITProTV was that their videos are the star of the show. Which is to say that their IT learning content is great, but the platform itself is pretty basic. It did the job though. Check out was smooth. For this experiment, I chose a month of premium membership for $49 USD, but I had a coupon code that took it down by 30%, so my actual cost was around $35 USD.
(Keep in mind that I had priced out a classroom session for A+ and it was literally more than $3,000 USD, so these prices were much more realistic for me. I am not sure how anyone affords in-person learning anymore. And anyway, with COVID-19, in-person learning wasn’t even an option after all.)
There’s a dashboard when you log in, a welcome video, and then I was free to start picking courses. They had “recommended” ITProTV 101 to me. I breezed through these videos talking about how to use the platform and the optional virtual labs and practice tests.
I decided to tackle CompTIA Security+. I noticed that ITProTV was CompTIA’s official video partner and so I figured this was a good fit since I intend to take the exam and try to earn this cert.
What is like Using the platform?
The course on ITProTV is long – nearly 28 hours. At first, that felt like climbing a mountain. Once I had a few episodes done, however, I gained some confidence. First, a lot of it somewhat familiar from other courses I’ve taken and from my work experience. But even the parts that weren’t were pretty well explained. By episode 5, I became a big fan of the instructor, Wes Bryan and his sidekick Cherokee Boose. These two explain things together well and you actually get the feeling that they genuinely like each other.
The ITProTV style has a lot of the studio shots in the course, so you don’t just see a desktop or diagram. You actually see the instructors on camera and they talk to you and each other as though there are students in the room.
This is different from a lot of other online learning when. You see PowerPoint slides and hear a voice. ITProTV felt more like a late-night talk show. In fact, sometimes I watched on my desktop, sometimes on my iPhone, and sometimes I pulled it up on my AppleTV and hung out on the couch. Admittedly, I only did the couch thing when I knew it was an episode that I was going to need to watch twice in order to absorb concepts that were new to me. So I’d watch once casually and then again for retention of the info.
Accessing the ‘Add-Ons’ on ITProTV
My ITProTV premium membership also allowed me to access virtual labs. There were 24 labs provided for my CompTIA Security+ course. I did almost all of them! These we well worth the time since they added to my comprehension of the information. In fact, the cost for the membership was a real value when considering how much it costs just to get labs separately.
I also used the practice test that came with my membership so I could see how well prepared I was for the exam itself. ITProTV doesn’t have test questions after each episode or segment of the course, so the practice test was the only way I could see if I had absorbed the information.
Using ITProTV as a ‘knowledge base’
One cool thing about ITProTV is that there are transcripts for the episodes. So let’s say you have a specific question on the expansion slots on a PC. You can go into ITProTV, search that term and get to the episode of CompTIA A+ that covers that topic. Further, you can search the transcript for the exact spot in the episode and then watch. Now, I know that you use Google for that and I did too. However, the quality of the instruction with ITProTV just makes my Google searching days look sad.
I know I can trust that ITProTV is up to date and that if I have follow-up questions, I can reach out to the instructor (in this case, Wes Bryan) and get a clarification. It’s really like having a true classroom teacher in that respect. And yes, I don’t need to skip those annoying YouTube ads…ITProTV just has your high quality, trusted answers. That alone is worth a membership.
ITProTv Pricing Review
What Changes are needed in ITProTV?
If I had anything negative to say about ITProTV it is that some people may feel like they ‘chat’ with each other too much. The two people running the show sometimes have small discussions. For me, this felt like a nice break and it even helped clarify points at times. I can see where this may get annoying for someone who just wants the facts and want to keep barreling through.
I did notice that ITProTV had an ‘Accelerated’ version of Security+ designed for people who may have a lot of knowledge already so they can move at a faster speed. This is NOT me, but it does seem like a good compromise. I didn’t try that course out, but maybe there is less ‘cross-talk’ on those? Regardless, if you’re in a hurry/have more experience, ITProTV has something for you too.
The only other downside was the price. I thought the price was fair when I was studying for my test, using the labs and the practice tests. However, for the long term, $34/month is a lot. I was going to cancel, but a nice lady over there at ITProTV moved me down to the Standard “video only” membership. With my discount, that comes to $21/mo. No access to labs and exams, however, I don’t need those at this time. She said if I decide to take another test, I can upgrade back to Premium. So that flexibility is really nice. Bravo ITProTV.
Another area that could be better is the recommendation engine. I am used to Netflix telling me what I might like, so it would be great if ITProTV did the same. I would like to see a learning path that I can follow based on my interests. If other people who watched Security+ also watched GSEC CIAC Security Essentials, let me know. I mean, Amazon is usually right on with the recommendations, so I am guessing ITProTV would be pretty good at that too.
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ITProTV Customer Reviews
ITProTV Review Conclusion:
So, all in all, I really like using ITProTV for the Security+ course. I got through all 28 hours, did some practice tests and now I feel like I am ready to sit for the exam. I also like having a trusted tool (more reliable than Google) at my disposal when I get stuck or have a question. Because they were able to reduce my price, I feel like I will stick with them for a while.
I feel like the instructors are my friends and I hope to one day meet them in person to thank them for taking this journey with me. If that’s what ITProTV is going for in their company then it’s working.