Your ideal educational experience

In answering the quiz I set in a recent column, you gave me some valuable insights into what frustrates you most. But you also shed light on what educational experience would propel your career.

For those of you who said vacation would be the ultimate educational experience, I say "right on." While that sounds flippant, it's not meant to be. Vacations are great "think" time when you can review what you've done over the past few years and strategize what the next few years hold. I know that doesn't sound like much of a vacation, but this could all be happening while you're snorkeling in the Bahamas. I think everyone needs time out of the office to get a grip on their lives.

But vacation time aside, some of the other answers you gave were equally intriguing. Many of you said you would give up a week of your work/personal lives for the right opportunity.

Some said pursuing certification would qualify and others said comprehensive technology summits such as a weeklong look at every aspect of wireless networks.

Certification - MCSE, Cisco and Linux - topped your lists of educational needs. A large portion of you said that you had started your certifications but got sidetracked because of budget or time constraints.

Several of you commented that you would like to learn more about the financial side of your business. You said that you can explain your projects from a technology standpoint but sometimes struggle with calculating the return on investments.

You also said that you know it's important to present the financial angle to your corporate executives if you want a project to be approved.

Some of you said you still long for the perfect trade show experience where you wander through the booths seeing the latest and greatest technologies. You commented that trade shows still offer a chance to get an education through the sessions and meet with vendors about their technologies. You say point blank that if you're going to spend time away from the office, this double billing is what sells it to upper management.

A few of you said you'd like to pursue your graduate work and learn something other than networking to become more well-rounded. Many companies offer compensation for this type of pursuit so I say "go for it." You can never have too many interests.

One reader said he'd like to have a conference tailored to his needs where all of his job responsibilities were addressed in educational sessions.

Several readers said they would like to attend a seminar where hackers explain what they're thinking when they decide to wreak havoc. One reader said knowing this would help prevent big security disasters.

My favorite response out of all of them said simply: I would pass on the opportunity if I could have upper management/executives take a class in the value of IT.

What do you think? There's still time to send in your thoughts about the perfect educational opportunity.

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