Tourism school enters computer market

An Auckland training company is breaking out of the tourism and travel markets by offering computer and business courses.

An Auckland training company is breaking out of the tourism and travel markets by offering computer and business courses.

Internet Learning, which has grown out of the New Zealand School of Travel and Tourism, is offering about 300 CD-ROM-based computer-related courses. They range from the basics of Microsoft Word and Excel to the Microsoft certified systems engineer (MCSE) qualification. The course content is provided by US company LearnKey.

Internet Learning manager Stephan Hauke concedes the company name is misleading in that the courses are supplied on CD rather than online, but he expects that to change within a couple of years.

"LearnKey is spending megabucks to get its content online so it can save the CD costs," says Hauke. He predicts the bandwidth limitations which stand in the way of delivering the courses' video and audio content over the internet will be overcome in two years.

While content is not yet online, support is. Hauke says those who enrol for Internet Learning courses get internet access to frequently asked questions lists and chat rooms related to training issues. Internet Learning will provide first-level help, based on staff members' own application experience, but questions too tough for them to handle will be passed on to GlobalPro, the company which is hosting Internet Learning's website. GlobalPro is a Microsoft certified solution provider.

Help requests which it can't answer will be escalated to LearnKey, says Hauke, and a response provided "in 24 hours".

The course costs range from $169 for single-user, beginner-level Microsoft Access training, through $1495 for a single-user Cisco certified network administrator course set (five CDs), to $12,000 for the MCSE for an unlimited number of users (excluding GST). Internet Learning doesn't stage MCSE exams; they can be sat at Computerland or Drake International, at an additional cost of about $200 a paper (there are seven for the full qualification).

"The beauty of it is that it is cheaper than classroom-based training," says Hauke. But that's not borne out by classroom trainer New Horizons, which charges $735 for three days of HTML 4 training (to advanced level), compared with Internet Learning's $1990 for a nine-CD course. The classroom option is cheaper still when a "club" deal is done, which enables students to do any of 32 internet courses for $995 over six months, or $1495 over 12 months.

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