Distance learning with e-careers

I recently bought a Groupon voucher for a company called e-Careers.  The deal cost me £79 and included training material for the Microsoft 70-680 course and several CompTIA courses.  At that price, I was very keen to snap up the deal.  However, it hasn’t exactly been plain sailing thus far…

I was told it would take 3 days for them to set me up with an account.  Fair enough, I’m sure this was a very popular deal so I obliged them.  3 days pass and sure enough I receive an email confirming account creation.  Eager to get learning, I signed in and opened up my account.  In true geek form, I was very excited to see what materials I was to be presented with.  The course without discount costs near to £1000 so I was confident I was on to something a kin to Trainsignal or CBT Nuggets…Oh how wrong I was…

For those who aren’t aware of Trainsignal or CBT Nuggets, they basically offer video driven learning content with the ability to follow along with tutorials via virtual machine.  Naturally I started with the 70-680 course as I am currently studying towards this particular Certificate.  I was pretty disappointed when the window finally opened and I was presented with a monotone speaking American with no personality, giving a Powerpoint driven presentation.  I find it almost impossible to learn anything this way as I have a short attention span.  This went on for several videos, in fact in the 3 hours of video content I did watch, I saw only 3 demonstrations.  Needless to say, I was delighted I hadn’t paid full price for this course.

OK, so the course material is of a poor standard, but what of the other features?

The course comes with a glossary based memory game where you match a glossary item with its definition.  You play against a computer of either beginner or expert skill level.  This was actually not so bad for the first game or so, as I was able to test my knowledge of things in an interactive way.  Maybe things were looking up…maybe not.

I had a look at some of the other additional content, like a printable version of the course content – basically a textpad version of the ppt narration.  All in all, a pretty disappointing experience.

Moving on from course content, I had a look at the exam papers.  Equally disappointing.  Questions that don’t make sense.  Questions with wrongly marked answers.  Questions that are far more complex than the learning material, basically one of the worst exam sims I have ever sampled…

I guess what I am trying to convey is that if something sounds too good to be true, it generally is.  I say generally rather than indefinitely because sometimes you do come across some gems.  Check out Professor Messer for example.  Video driven learning content containing some powerpoint slides but mainly made up of live demonstrations.  When it comes down to learning an OS, nothing beats hands on experience, and having someone show you exactly how to do something after teaching you the theory is pricesless.  And did I mention all of this is yours for FREE?

Check it out:

Professor Messer…

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28 thoughts on “Distance learning with e-careers

  1. Thank you for sharing, I was looking everywhere for reviews of this course as the deal is on again. Sounds like it is $150 for a reason… Will you be completing the program or have you ditched it?

    • Hi Ellen,

      Stay well clear of this deal! I should have known there was something up for the price they were charging! Don’t be sucked in by what the Groupon deal says, the certificates E-careers give you are worthless! I don’t think I’ll bother completing the course. I may use the practice exams but they are pretty absurd questions so will use them in combination with questions from another resource.

      Have you checked out that Professor Messer website? Depending on what you want to get trained up in, it’s a good starting point.

  2. Thanks again for the advice, you have saved me $150! I did check out the website however, I am more interested in creating websites and I didn’t see any training related to that… I appreciate the link though!

  3. Thank you all, i have searched for reviews for this program before making the purchase and you have all confirmed my suspicions. Just saved me $99.00.

    Thanks

    • Hi Wayne, thanks for dropping by! Glad the review gave you some perspective into the course! Hope you find a more suitable IT training package! Have you looked into any other options?

  4. Woah, thanks for the quick review.
    This deal showed up on the American Groupon,
    and I’m glad I didn’t buy it. I’m looking for something like this though :\
    And I don’t mind paying a pretty penny for it

    • Hey Nolan, thanks for dropping by. Did you check out the link to Professor Messer’s site? It’s really good and the online video content is free! The stuff he has up there partially covers what the e-careers offer included. If you have the money for it, Trainsignal and CBT Nuggets are pretty good video training sites – the former being my personal fav. If you go the route of trainsignal anything by the trainer ‘SuperCoach’ is VERY good!!

  5. Thanks so much for the information! Very informative and it saved me from buying the deal. Professor Messer is really good, but unfortunately they do not have any webdesign training 😦

    • Hi Jonneke, thanks for your comment! Sorry Messer doesn’t have what you are looking for. I will keep my eye open for free Web Design training material as it is something that pops up from time to time.

      • Thanks for this useful review! Groupon is proposing right now a web design course with E-careers (value: 1607$) and you saved me the 149$.
        Shopping around for free similar trainings, I came across this:
        http://webdesign.about.com/od/onlinetraining/a/blwebdevclasses.htm
        I haven’t tried it yet, so I can’t really say what are the good/bad aspects of it. It might not have the interactive and didactic side of a paid online training, but after all it’s free.

      • Hi Remi, thanks for the feedback. Glad the review was useful for you and that you have decided to stay clear of E-careers! Sometimes the free content sites aren’t as feature packed as some of the professional video based sites like CBT nuggets and Trainsignal, but as you say they’re free!

  6. Thank you! This is exactly what I wanted to read before I spend £60 on group-on voucher. There are a few ok reviews a few that have taken payment and then taken their sweet time and then yours that answered every question. I wanted to know what the course was actually like because on the website the list of topics looks great but I couldn’t see an example to try before I buy!
    Thanks again and I will check out that other site too!

    Naomi

    • Hi Naomi, thanks for your feedback! Yeah, the Groupon voucher makes it out to sound better than it could ever be! I did notice that the voucher was back up, looks like they have added another CompTIA pack too. I highly recommend checking out the Messer site. Great videos and they are free! Good luck in your studies!

  7. Thank you for this review, saved me time and money as Groupon has another new offer. You mentioned you prefer TrainSignal to CBT, can you explain why? I am deciding between the two and am looking for major differences.
    Thanks!

    • Hey Lauren, thanks for the comment! What is it you are training for? I have used the train signal material for the 70-640 and a couple others, and I find the tutors to be really high quality. Each of their videos starts with a clear slideshow presentation covering the topic of the video. They then dive into the practical demonstration which is done in a way that makes it easy to follow along to with virtual machines.

      My experience with CBT nuggets is a little different. You have to select videos from a confusing menu on a sidebar. Videos are then often just of a guy standing in front of a camera talking for 20 minutes occasionally turning around to write something on a whiteboard. It follows the same idea as a genuine Microsoft classroom based course, but I didn’t find it engaging at all.

      There is also vtc.com, which do various video training. I can’t remember if I have seen any of those, after a while they all blend in! I can check when I get back home, on holiday at the moment. A good idea would be to see if they have any trials you can watch. There is usually clips of their videos on YouTube. Also, check out eBay for buying any videos before going direct to their site as ou can often pick up second hand DVDs for cheaper.

      Lastly, remember to check out professormesser.com. He has a couple of courses covering Microsoft and comptia and they are pretty good..and free!

      Good luck!

      • Prof,

        Thank you so much for getting back to me. I am looking to do training in Microsoft and Cisco. Do you consider TrainSignal to be the industry preference or does it range based on individual preference?

        I believe prices are comparable so that takes away one decision!

        Lauren

      • Hi Lauren,

        No trouble at all. As I haven’t done much in the way of training for Cisco examinations, I can’t really advise you in that regard. From my experience, TrainSignal are superior for Microsoft certifications. I used them for the 70-640 and it was brilliant help. I’m not sure on industry wide preference, but certainly was the best choice for me!

        It is important to keep in mind that you should never sit an exam having gone over material from one source. Even though you go through a video course and ‘play along at home’ with the help of virtual machines, it’s always a good idea to pick up a book.

        Which of the Microsoft Certifications were you interested in?

        Doug

    • Should have also mentioned. If you plan on doing any microsoft exam, be sure to check out the end date for the exam as windows 7 and server 2008 exams will be retire as of the end of July 2013.

  8. I got here after searching for reviews on e-careers. What I have found is that 99% are glowing, sweeping long reviews of how amazingly wonderful they are, but if you look hard enough, there is no middle ground. There are one star reviews and there are five star reviews.

    That rings alarm bells to me. Seems lots of these distance learning facilities are a bit dodgy.

  9. I should of looked around went for the IT Mega Pack £1500 luckily only paid £250 through a voucher from MOD (Armed Forces Resettlement) What a joke.

    out of the 30 courses contained in this package 22 have been retired or exam no longer available. when i spoke to them before signing up to the pack I asked if all their courses were current and they’re answer was of course a resounding YES

    When I spoke to them in March they said they would look into it and then they said they were updating they’re catalog and this would available to me and the 12 months study package would start from the upgrade date.

    Used to be an instructor in the Royal Corps of Signals used powerpoint for some lessons but this is overkill (it’s like death by powerpoint)

    Hmm and I’m still waiting for updated package

    not impressed at all

    • Hey, Im sorry to hear that. Maybe you can threaten them with legal action? If what they have provided isn’t what was advertised then I’m sure you could manage to get some form of compensation. Is there a certificate you are aiming for in particular? Microsoft have in the past 12 months simplified their certificate path into distinct routes, here is an overview of their cert paths.

      Best of luck,
      Doug

  10. Thanks for this digitlive.

    Was considering buying their Project Management Training Package (EC110200) which is until midnight discounted from £500 to £99. Had assumed the training might be useful preparation even though certification exams are not included. Table of Contents online looked good.
    But from the sound of what I see here I may as well not bother.

    One alarm bell already rang for me when the online rep I chatted with said that the training and exam prep in one course aimed at the PMI Project Manager Practitioner certificate would be just as relevant in prepping for the PMI Project Manager Foundation course. And when I specifically asked were not the exam contents different he just fudged!

    Low cost online training need not be bad. I took a low cost Scrum master cert from an online resource and the information was accurate and enhanced my knowledge of Scrum. Also the test was accurate and relevant it seemed to me.

    Comments here that complain of the low quality of the test materials and other content are disappointing and mean that the value I was hoping to get from the course materials is possibly (?probably?) false hope.

    I will search further and see what else I can find as I am surprised to see names like jobsite.co.uk and Reed (the manpower agency) seemingly promoting and thus endorsing these courses / this company.

    But I guess I will keep my wallet closed this time around and not be stampeded into buying by the deadline. They seem to be agressive marketers if using groupon so I expect these discounts will come around again. At such time I will be able to ask them if I can review or sample the quality of the course materials or what assurances they can give me as to the quality of such. Their response will tell me everything I need to know.

    Thanks again
    Ivor

    • No problem, glad you found it useful. You’re right, these kinds of deals often come across as very forceful and aggressive. Hopefully you can find some well priced learning material for Project management. It’s not an area I’ve looked at myself so afraid I can’t offer much in the way of advice!

      Good luck!

      Doug

  11. My experience wasn’t great either. And @Ivor, no kidding about the customer service ‘fudging’ exam costs. I’m not even at the point if knowing how poor the content is, but I can imagine!

    I purchased a Groupon deal (which I will NEVER do again btw- so dodgy) for a course with e-careers the other day after reading all of the fine print. The fine print stated that it would cost $15 extra for certificates to be provided, and exam fees were not included. I went to e-careers to find approx exam fee costs and could find nothing. I called the customer service to find out how much extra and was told that that information would be sent through once I was enrolled, but they didn’t have the exact costs at that time. I was placated by an English voice, and polished customer service. Dumb of me.

    I received my voucher and went in to redeem on their website. I got an email saying I would receive a confirmation email and further enrollment information in 3 days time.

    The night of redemption I get an email from ‘Scott S’ saying the following: “I understand that you have recently redeemed a course with us. The reason for my email is that we have the foundation exam at $440.00. And we have had a customer who has paid a deposit of $130.00 but is unable to pay the remaining balance,This means we have the 1 foundation exam at just $310.00 instead of $440.00′.

    I write back and ask for all additional costs, and he calls me straight away and tells me that there is a further exam fee of $800+’ plus a coursebook that MUST be bought through them, and then he tries to get me to pay the $310 right there and then quite pushy, as the deal will run out as soon as we are off the phone! I’m not even enrolled or have yet to see anything related to the course at this stage. I refused and he was quite rude saying ‘this is what you signed up for’. I disagreed and said I needed more time to think as I was unprepared for these significant costs so suddenly. He then told me that I had 6 months to complete the training and pay all extra costs before I got anything from them. Left a sour feeling in my mouth. I am now going through a PayPal dispute to see if I can get my money back as I think that the fine print was misleading and really don’t appreciate the “car salesman” to “shakedown” tactics used by e-careers.

    never again!

    • Hi and thanks for the comment.

      That is shocking behaviour, I’m amazed they can get away with that kind of thing! Reading your comment brings back memories of having to wait several days for access to the crappy course content. So glad to be done with them. I still shudder every time I see a new deal via Groupon for them!

      Best of luck in your studies! 🙂

      Doug

  12. I too used a Groupon voucher to sign up for their Apple Developer Training course for iOS app development; supposedly it usually costs £149, brought down to £19. Bargain! Or, y’know, vacuous pit to throw your money into and receive nothing but unnerving silence.

    The course content was a shambles; it basically entailed signing up to a different website (buzztouch.com) and using widgets to drag-n-drop simple apps together. At least, that’s what I believed it was; by the time I struggled through to Chapter 10 (of 54), there was no audio. A five-minute video, with no audio. Well done, guys. Also, in Chapter 7 the author gets it completely wrong and actually causes a fatal error in his test app, but doesn’t realize it. Chapter 8, in its entirety, is dedicated to pointing out that Chapter 7 was wrong, and how to fix it. Unbelievably poor.

    However, it gets worse. e-Careers seem to be quite proud of their high rating on TrustPilot. Now, I emailed them over a week ago regarding my concerns and asking for a refund. I heard nothing back, so I decided to leave a review on TrustPilot. Within *minutes* e-Careers flagged my review for deletion citing ‘lack of proof of purchase’. So, they didn’t have the time within the last 8 days to reply to my email, but they DID manage to try to get my review pulled the SAME DAY.

    Clearly e-Careers are attempting to artificially engineer their reviews to make them appear to be a much better service than they actually are. Avoid e-Careers as if it were a plague-carrying rat zombie with the head of a tiger and the feet of a poorly-constructed online distance-learning course.

  13. I had a very similar experience with e careers the ITIL foundations that I had purchased.

    I was very disappointing videos that were made available to me. They almost sent me to sleep, again i think i had the same monotone american guy who got progressively sweaty I made a game off counting the beads of sweat on his face to keep me awake.

    I was also told I would get the certification exam included in the price which found I did not.

    I also had to wait three plus days for the content.

    But to top it off they lost some of my payments and requested further payments. (charge back in progress)

    I would not recommend this company.

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