Your training preferences

We've tallied up the answers to our quiz about your educational preferences and I have to say it's been quite the experience.

Some things that I expected panned out, but others threw me a bit.

For instance, I was sure a lot of you would answer that you are "too busy" for training, when in fact, you said one-day seminars top your list of educational opportunities. Below are some more highlights from the quiz, which drew more than 60 respondents.

1. Which of the following do you attend in a year?

* One-day seminars 38%.

* Vendor-sponsored tech days 32%.

* Multi-day conferences 26%.

* None of the above (too busy) 4%.

Some of you said that geography limits you from taking advantage of one-day seminars and tech days. You add that managers are rarely willing to pay travel and expenses unless the opportunity involved several days of learning. Another reader adds: "Vendor-sponsored events don't provide the breadth I normally need for my particular job."

2. Which of the following best describes your learning preference?

* Hands-on 39%.

* Out of the office 37%.

* Self-paced 19%.

* Book-based 13%.

* Web-based 13%.

Several readers from the military explained that Web-based training ends up being their choice, not because they prefer it, but because it's free to some military personnel. Others said getting out of the office is important because "I can focus on the subject and not be interrupted." Hands-on tops the list because "I learn fast when I'm allowed to play with [the technology]."

3. What technologies are you considering for your network?

* Security 17%.

* VPNs 14%.

* Wireless 14%.

* Voice over IP 12%.

* Storage 10%.

* IP technologies 10%.

* Performance and availability management 9%.

* Service-level management 7%.

* Web acceleration 6%.

* CRM 3%.

Many readers chose quite a few answers as their jobs demand knowledge of many technologies. "Technologies considered would be all," one reader said, adding "to learn, maintain and update." That's quite a tall order.

4. What perplexes you most about networking today?

* Lack of budget 32%.

* Lack of support from upper management 28%.

* Lack of standards/interoperability 18%.

* Lack of information 16%.

* Lack of products/services 6%.

This question elicited the most responses from readers - many of whom expressed their frustration in dealing with vendors and resellers. "Problems with standards/interoperability, poor technical support from vendors, and unqualified technicians from outside sources," one reader explained. Others cited budgets as their number one woe. "The frustration that tops the list for our technology as a nonprofit health care agency is lack of budget..." one reader lamented. Another said that a hiring freeze and layoffs have his company in a holding pattern. Others said that the solutions available just don't solve the problems at hand. Finally, some readers say it's not the cost of the item, but convincing upper management that the cost is in line with the need.

Thanks again for the input.

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