It seems only natural that computer-based training has become such a popular way of receiving education on so many different IT subjects. As CBT has become more sophisticated and interactive, it has become a widely accepted form of training.
Early computer-based training was little more than text on the computer screen, but today, that has all changed. You can find CBT programs that are highly interactive, have testing mechanisms that adapt to your skill level, and are user-friendly to the point of being able to almost duplicate a classroom experience. There are a few different types of CBT available. The first one is the learn-at-your-own-pace tutorial, usually a set of CDs that provide a learning experience that you can set to your own schedule. This does take a lot of initiative and self-motivation, since there is nobody behind the program driving you to succeed. Nonetheless, they can provide a valuable learning experience for those who are motivated to complete the program, and can make an excellent addition to the resume.
Another common type of training is the instructor-led CBT. In this type of program, you still learn at your own pace, but there is a live instructor behind the program that you interact with as needed. Periodic exams are administered, and you will probably have access to interactive tools like a message board–through which you can talk with other students and the instructor. This too, is useful for those who need to work on their own schedule.
The third type of training is instructor-led, real-time CBT. This is the next best thing to a classroom, and learning takes place in real time. Your class time is pre-set and you are on a regular schedule. The only difference is that you, the other students, and the instructor are all in different locations. These types of programs are highly interactive. You, other students and the instructor all interact in real time through a whiteboard, and sometimes even a video feed. Often, these are offered as options by mainstream universities as an adjunct to their regular classroom curriculum, and can sometimes be used to take courses for college credit.
Make no mistake, computer-based training is a real option for education, and employers acknowledge it as a legitimate educational background. Do remember though, that just like brick-and-mortar universities, CBT programs come in all shapes and sizes. Some are more reputable than others. And if you follow your training by obtaining a certification, you’ll have an excellent boost in the job market.