What is IT training?

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It seems like such a simple question to answer, doesn’t it?  But if you ask a random group of people what their definition of IT training is, you will actually broadly get two different options.  Interestingly, neither one of these answers is wrong.  However, it demonstrates the importance of making sure that you explain exactly what you mean when you talk about IT training.

Answer 1 – User training

User training is what most people who don’t work in the IT business would mean when they talk about IT training.  This means the training teaches you how to use software packages like Microsoft Office, but also in-house CMS (content management systems or customer relationship management systems – another IT concept that can mean more than one thing), and other frequently used programs.  Interestingly enough, this IT training generally doesn’t go any further than Word, Excel, PowerPoint and CMS.  Anything more in-depth, such as Adobe or Photoshop and it is classed as specialist IT training and not for the everyday, regular mortal!

Answer 2 – Professional IT training

The other response you are likely to get is that IT training is something that professionals undertake.  This can be one of many things:

  • Training in the IT processes utilised in the organisation in which they are employed (including hardware)
  • IT skills that can be transferred (helpdesk skills for instance)
  • In-depth training on complicated software packages such as the ones mentioned above.

It is this distinction that can make it so difficult to really define what IT training is, and isn’t.  The label itself is not useful either, because this distinction isn’t explained in the terminology.  IT itself is really what allows an entire organisation to operate and goes beyond the software and hardware, but is about how these interact, how the networks are operated and how the server is set up.  At the same time, people how use parts of the IT system – computers and software packages – need to have some training as well.  Essentially, therefore, IT training is simply training in the part of IT systems in which you are employed.

When looking at it in that manner, it is hardly surprising that IT professionals have somewhat of a bad name.  Nobody knows exactly what they actually do and what sort of training they undertake.  In fact, they often don’t know themselves what they mean when they say they have undertaken “IT training”.

This is also why it is so important to ensure you explain very clearly and in details on your CV exactly which training courses you have undertaken.  Simply stating that you have been trained in IT means very little, as described above.  Even saying you have been trained in, say, Microsoft Word isn’t sufficient to describe the skills that you have.  You must actually name the course and what its objectives and outcomes were.  This is the only way to make it clear what sort of training you have taken part in and how this can be used professionally.

About the Author:

Jasmine Walker is a renowned author of all things IT related. When getting the latest information on IT courses, Jasmine visits

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