What's on the US training agenda for 2005?

Information security, VoIP, Java and Linux are key growth areas for US training in 2005, according to training provider The Training Camp.

The company, which is projecting 2004 revenue growth from its security, Java and Linux training courses to be 54%, 32% and 27%, respectively, says the demand for Linux and Java certification training will continue to grow next year. And as an illustration of the high demand for security training, The Training Camp anticipates that security will make up a third of its revenue this year, from zero two years ago, says Chris Porter, president at The Training Camp.

Why should any of this be of interest to you? Because the programs that training companies offer are a good reflection of the technologies customers are demanding in the market, and also, the attendee profile is a good indicator of where a certain technology is in its cycle.

For example, the cost-savings promise of VoIP has caused a demand in training in this technology. Porter says it was The Training Camp's customers who first brought VoIP to his company's attention. The company first rolled out its practitioner-level VoIP training program six months ago and now runs a public class every month, from one class every two months when the program was first introduced. It will also provide between 20 and 30 private classes over the next quarter.

Most of the students are from consulting firms, which indicate that end-user organizations are at an evaluation stage and are demanding VoIP consultancy from their business partners. Porter expects to see more students from end-user organizations next year, as they begin to adopt VoIP. He adds that he is also seeing interest in VoIP training from the military, government agencies, and telco carriers and equipment manufacturers.

The Training Camp's information security course is targeted at senior managers charged with building a security strategy. The demand for such training reflects the higher focus that organizations are assigning to security and the companies' desire to develop an enterprise-wide secure strategy that brings all their security efforts together. The Training Camp's program covers penetration testing, ethical hacking and forensics, and students are prepared for the Certified Information Systems Security Professional exam, which is governed by (ISC)2.

Linux is another growth area for The Training Camp, which offers exams for the systems administration certification of the Linux Professional Institute. Porter believes there are several issues driving the demand for Linux training, including companies seeking to lower TCO and lessen their reliance on Microsoft technology. Interestingly, Porter says The Training Camp has seen a lot of interest in Linux training from the auto industry - perhaps this has to do with the increased competition in this industry, which is leading auto manufacturers to seek lower cost computing environments?

It was surprising that The Training Camp singled out Java as a training growth area in 2005. "With the proliferation of mobile devices and set-top boxes, Java development is a core competency that Web application firms are looking for to build hardware-independent applications," says Porter, adding that Java enrollment has run full over the past six months.