Here at IT Training Blog we don’t usually like to speak out about anything controversial (maybe with the exception of exam cheating, but you know…). However, this is entirely called for. Why? Sallie Mae has just issued a major blow to our IT and computer training industry. So IT and computer training is in trouble. Because frankly, I can’t envision a world where I actually have to self-study with the Cisco press books, without an instructor to sift through the boring stuff and make it hands-on. Command line, command line, blah, blah, snooze… Agreed? Yeah, thought so.
The editors here at ITTrainingBlog.com have just received word this morning (from a handful of computer training schools) that because of the tough financial times, Sallie Mae has pulled their contracts with many computer training companies who fall under the private career school umbrella, across the country. This will make it impossible to get a small loan for a short term certification class. They (Sallie Mae) will continue to offer loans, as they always have, to degree based schools of very high volume. However, where as before, if us IT consultants and support personnel were stuck in a job that wasn’t getting us where we wanted to go, we had the option to hook up with a local IT or computer training company, get a Sallie Mae loan, get short term certification training (ie. CCNA or something like that) and move up in the world of IT. It has always been a pretty cut and dry process, loan, training, cert and then better job. In fact, in many cases its a fool proof equation. I can’t tell you how many friends I have who have done just that, literally word for word.
So Sallie Mae is yanking funding from, what the data we could find indicated was, about 4-10% of the computer training industry. There is no doubt that this will have a huge impact on computer training, the IT support industry and the overall economy. The most troubling part of this is that they don’t really have to pull these contracts. Its more of a move to “streamline” the portfolio, or in other words, bolster profits. Computer training loans and smaller private career schools do indeed make them a significant profit margin, just not the margin that the large schools can turn out.
Obama seems to be saving people these days, so maybe he can help us IT people out here. In fact, it doesn’t need to be Obama, anyone, help us out with this. I can safely say that the IT industry is more important than General Motors (more IT people than there are GM CEO’s :)). The country’s IT infrastructure (and I mean the industry infrastructure and not a network infrastructure) as well as the ability to seek private career training are TOO ESSENTIAL to our economic rebound to let anything like this happen. This move by Sallie Mae will be a detriment to the computer and networking industry!!
So if your reading this, make some noise. Stand up for our ability to move up!! Speak out against Sallie Mae removing small career training loans!! Blog, twitter, digg this etc. Spread the word.
So seriously, if you are reading this, please copy this link ( http://www.ittrainingblog.com/2009/03/sallie-mae-wtf-obama-save-me-too.html ) and spread it around, blog people blog!!! We can’t just sit back and do nothing here!