Your commitment to yourself

It's hard to figure out when training became more of a burden on the employee vs. the employer. One reader says it started around the time that inexpensive training became available.

"When so much stuff was 'proprietary,' your only choice was vendor training, and it was expensive, specialized, and companies paid," he says. "Now there are many training delivery options such as books, CBTs, instructor led and satellite."

He goes on to say that an employee should own their knowledge and not give employers the power to say when and where they learn.

Another reader says that companies have lost sight of the fact that an educated employee is a better representation of the company to customers.

"With the growth of a company, new products will be developed or obtained via an acquisition," he says. "In order to be competitive in the market place, a company needs to have a trained staff. If you don't have a knowledgeable person talking about the product, then you risk having an unhappy customer."

Another reader says that keeping up your skills does not take that much time for you or the employer. "I obtained the major Cisco, and other certifications by spending 45 minutes a day during the workday for about six months," he says. "I think that most employers would encourage this because as long as tasks are completed, a knowledgeable employee is a more productive employee, and a more productive employee contributes to the bottom line."

But what about the control over what you learn? In some cases, if your company is in charge of your training, then they decide what new skill set you should seek. And some readers think this is not worth the expense. "Yes I do see the benefit of taking your future into your own hands because that way you can learn what you want and not what someone wants you to learn," says one network executive.

Another says you have to maintain control of your learning, but establish a financial partnership with your company. "I search for local 'high-quality' training that will meet my needs as well as those of the company. I then partner with the company investing in my own training and use the company's annual per-person funding to pay for the needed proficiency training."

An IT support staff member says that only one in five training requests has been met by his company. He says: "The responsibility for training is ultimately up to me and I do feel that it will pay off in the long run. There are also plenty of free-tutorials and white papers to help stay proficient and knowledgeable on various products and ideas."

Interestingly though, a lot of respondents said they pay for their own education now but when the economy improves, the cost of training should be the responsibility of the employer and the employee. What do you think? Let me know at

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