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Am I the only one who thinks this is a scam?

by jhourcle (Prior)
on Feb 28, 2005 at 22:11 UTC ( #435210=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to [Slightly OT]: Is certification worth it?

when he went for the interview they gave him a talk about how essential IT certification was to the industry in an attempt to persuade him to part with over 1,000 for an ECDL. When I explained that I had heard of their company and was aware of what they do the lady on the phone tried a different approach, trying to persuade me to enrol on their "Complete Learning Programme", which is the ECDL, A+, N+, MCSE and CCNA at a cost, after applying a lot of pressure on her to find out, of 8,000 (just over $15,000 USD).

I admit, I don't know about hiring practices in the UK or EU, but it seems rather odd to me that someone would contact you on the basis of your CV, but then suggest that you get some extra certification, at your expense.

I'm guessing that they also don't want to hire you until after the certification is complete, and they haven't given you any sort of documentation that would assure you of a job with them should you successfully complete the class. As they are the ones offering the certification, I would think that their cost of the class would be negligible for you to fill an empty seat in a non-full class. (I took a few Oracle classes for US$40, because I worked for the university that was offering the classes ... sure, I spent a few months when their incompetant record keeping resulted in them telling a collections agency that I owed US$3k, but it got cleared up, after much annoyance).

If they really wanted to hire you, they'd bring you on at a reduced rate, and pay you while you were taking classes, and they'd pay for the classes.

What would I do in this situation? I'd report them to whatever sort of fraud-reporting organizations you might have available, for potentially deceptive selling practices. If you want to take the classes -- you might want to contact a lawyer -- it's possible that you might be able to get some way to take the class, and then reclaim the money for the certification if they do what I think they are planning. (of course, would you want to have a certification from a company that might do such a thing? I know I wouldn't)

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Re: Am I the only one who thinks this is a scam?
by rozallin (Curate) on Feb 28, 2005 at 23:12 UTC

    Oh no, it's worse than you think. They don't want to hire me at all, because they style themselves as a training company which has a dedicated recruitment team who when not harassing people like me use the same recruitment agencies that anyone else with a computer and Internet connection can use to put people forward for jobs. So there is no job, only a promise from them that if you don't have a job within six months (note job, not job in IT or other field vaguely relevant to the certifications you've shelled out for) they'll refund your course fees.

    You're right in that this is an unusual hiring practice in the UK and I'm not entirely sure why the otherwise reputable recruitment agency that this company must have mined my details from allows this company to do this (or why they are allowed to advertise "jobs" on the agency's website with descriptions that state that candidates would be expected to pay for their own further training). I believe that the company is misleading people but I'm not sure what recourse I could take if any, primarily because I don't know enough about the company as the telephone conversation this morning was the only contact we have had and hopefully ever will have (in other words, no harm done). I do find it strange though that I haven't found or heard any negative experiences about it other than what Matt and I experienced.

    Rest assured, my original question was not whether or not to get a certification from this training company (when they first contacted me this morning I hung up as soon as they introduced themselves - besides, if I had 8,000 to burn I wouldn't be desperately looking for a job nor applying for full-time work at a fast food restaurant) but more about what I should do in terms of gaining some experience prior to graduating from University and whether some type of certification would be advantageous in this endeavour.


      I have no idea what the job market is like in your area, or other opportunities, but I've seen some things that can help for building your experience, and/or help in the job market. (okay, maybe not help that much, as I'm barely one month out from having been unemployed for 7 months)

      I'm of the opinion that certifications are a way of someone vouching for you. The better thing to do is to network with tech-folks in your area, prove yourself in that arena, and then let them know you're looking for work. (now, I say this, with over a hundred certificates under my belt... although, only about a dozen of them were from classes, the others were because my work had a contract with Brainbench, and I managed to prove that I have no life.

      Having someone vouch for you in the correct field is probably of more benefit to you than someone who can vouch for your ability to wait tables. Not being one to pass up on money, when the choice is money, or no money, I'd say that money is good. That being said, if you can, I'd take a part-time job in the field I'm getting my degree in, than a full-time job in some completely unrelated field. I have my undergraduate degree in civil engineering -- And I've done nothing professional with it. (unless you count laying out desks in our new office space, or the occassional building shelves and such).

      All that my degree has done for me is to show that I was willing to put in 4 years to getting a sheet of paper. (well, 4 years for the diploma, but then, when I was unemployed last year, I found that their computer system didn't reflect that degree, so I had to spend 4 months trying to get them to fix it).

      My advice would be to work on your degree over certification. If you have the time to spare, you'd do better off volunteering your time, and putting your skills to use. I find practical experience is much more useful than standard education -- You have to learn real problem solving, and often times, learn as you go, rather than having nice little exercises that neatly package this week's lesson.

      Anyway, I'd like to stress again networking -- I got my current job tip from a former co-worker who saw a notice on a mailing list she was on. And be willing to take a job below your level -- In my case, I took a job under my abilities (it called for 2-3 yrs Perl experience, while I had 9 at the time), mostly due to boredom, but it pays the bills, and I like the folks I'm working with. If the option's minimum wage in food, or minimum wage in the industry you want to progress in, take the minimum wage in the right industry. If you can only find a part time job, maybe you can pull 2 part time jobs (one in your field of choice, one not, just to pay the wallet).

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