Professional training provider Sideris Courseware announced that it has enlarged its suite of courses, bringing its total number of titles to more than 500. In addition to developing new offerings around familiar topics like Linux, Oracle and Microsoft technologies, Sideris is rolling out content that goes beyond its traditional learning programs, said Dan Sideris, president of the company.
“There are three different directions we’re going in,” he said. “The first is with regards to high-end technical curriculum. The second direction we’re growing in pretty heavily is soft skills. The third direction we’re heading in is localized languages. We look at the market and customer feedback. That drives the content that we acquire. We try to proactively anticipate (industry trends), and I think we’ve done a fairly good job of that thus far. We also want to try to have the best-of-breed in broader areas.”
Although the soft skills covered in some of the courses are something of a departure for the company, IT professionals can still benefit from curricula that deal with subjects like employee management, communication, stress management and workplace conduct. Foreign language programs are another relatively new development for Sideris. “We’ve got a fairly strong customer base for our French titles,” Sideris said. “We’re talking to a German company about releasing the Oracle 10g content in German. That’s another kind of value-added specialty that seems to be paying dividends.”
Sideris continues to offer all of its technical learning content in the form of instructor-led hard-copy materials, which are supplemented with 24×7 online mentoring. However, the focus is shifting away from specific certifications and more toward the concepts behind them, Sideris said. “What we’re really seeking to do with the new products we have now is to really focus on practical use of the technology beyond just covering the certification test requirements. The certification tests for stuff like Oracle and Linux are really essential—there’s no question about that—but one of the things that the test sometimes doesn’t do or can’t do is address the practical application of the technology. We want them to have the knowledge to pass the test if that’s what they’re interested in, but they also have to use this stuff in their jobs and careers successfully. Some of the vendors are starting to streamline the certification tests because they want more people to pass and they don’t want it to be so burdensome. That’s fine, but it means that we can’t just cover the certification criteria and still have practical value.”
For more information, see http://www.sideriscourseware.com.