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GekkoCube

[.net] SetFocus technical training school is it worth it?

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GekkoCube    116
so im looking to change my career by entering the IT industry, where there seems to be way more jobs, especially high paying ones. i came across setFocus and all i need to do is sign some papers. (btw, i had a similar post like this in the Lounge section). here's the scoop. 3 months of 9 to 5 intensive .NET (C#) training, 5 days a week. and it costs $17,000 US. yep, i'd have to take out a loan to do this! but it looks mighty promising... www.setfocus.com but im just afraid i'd fail the courses, or not being able to get a good job afterwards. any thoughts?

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Morpheus011    309
17 grand seems like a ridiculous amount of money for 3 months of training, even if it is 9 to 5. If you think about it, that's 8 hours a day (I assume 5 days a week) for 40 hours a week, at 12 weeks == 480 hours. That's roughly 35 dollars an hour which is more then I'd personally be willing to pay for something that I could teach myself.

If you are really serious about learning C#, as I assume you are, then why not go spend 50 to 100 bucks on some good books and teach yourself. Any tough questions you have I'm sure can be answered here or elsewhere on the net.

good luck.

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Telastyn    3777
I've run across these guys in my job search. They post contracting positions, and then you follow the link and it's "come learn/train with us, and we'll give you a contracting job after you're done!". Even if the contracting job isn't really "hellish, under value contracting job in Alabama where you'll owe us your soul if you try to leave early", I'm not going to trust my financial well-being to such an underhanded place.

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GekkoCube    116
actually i've heard all good things and no bad things about SetFocus.

Sure, they do a slight of hand trick by posting jobs.
But i look at that as all marketing...nothing more, nothing less.

I've talked to about 4 people who've graduated from it, and they all recommend it.

The word is that SetFocus gives you intense training, tests you weekly, gives you lab assignments that are relevant to companies/businesses, and gives you team projects that are also relevant to companies.

the advantage here is that companies go to SetFocus for graduates of their master's program because they know their graduates have been filtered (4% get into the program). plus students who graduate from setfocus are proven to know their stuff.

but the big advantage to companies is that they get access to these graduate (even non graduates still attending the program) without having to pay any money to SetFocus. in other words, setfocus doesn't seem like your typical recruiter. and they definitely do and offer more than your usual training program/boot camp.

i've done a bit of research on this company, cuz 17 grand is not money i have to spend willy nilly. nobody does. but setfocus has appeared on online articles from MSN, Wired, and a few others...and they all have nothing but good things to say!

so...in short, im sold. ill be taking their masters program starting in July.

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Telastyn    3777
Quote:

...proven to know their stuff.


Specific, limited technical knowledge; not any sort of design, algorithm or computer science background. Best of luck, but in my experience trade schools are less than worthless.

*shrug* Post back some as you take the classes and how it works out, I'm sure others will have more interest as time goes.

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jason02    100
hey gekkocube, ill see you there in july lol..

im going to setfocus too.

ive done as much research as i can on setfocus, there doesnt really seem to be alot of material on them as far as unbaised opinions go, but most of the things ive read about setfocus has been good. ive come across maybe two bad reviews of setfocus.


i graduated with a degree in computer science last year, and due to my lack of experience, ive had a hard time gaining employement in this field.

you guys say trade schools are worthless, teach yourself blah blah, well technically, yes, i could teach myself, but the way i see it im not paying for the actual education, im paying for the connection...

sometimes its about who you know and not what you know to get your foot in the door. setfocus has relationships with alot of companies that hire graduates from the program, sometimes before they even finish the program. Plus they give you alot of real world experience that a ebook on .net couldnt give me. Also i can put all of the project ive done in their program to beef my resume up.

i think my chances are pretty high of finding employment after the program, if the stats of their graduates finding employment after the program is 95-100% in the last few years. and it also doesnt hurt that .net is a hot field right now!

So gekkocube, will you be attending via the grid or going to the actual facility in parsippany?

[Edited by - jason02 on September 16, 2006 6:24:01 PM]

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Strider_Hiryu    211
I have yet to spend $500 in learning tools and classes for getting into, or learning software development. If you're gonna get a loan for that much, you'd be much better off getting a degree. At least with that, you can go anywhere, as opposed to having a bunch of certifications for one particular trade. Who knows, after 5 months or so of training, you may not even like software development. Even if you want to just go for the networking, once again, I've spent far less than that in order to get 'connected' with people. It costs nothing to go out and meet people that like doing something, and 9 times out of 10, they'll be more than willing to give you the guidance you need. After all, you're on GameDev, that's a pretty decent connection in itself. You wanna meet people in your area that do tech stuff? Start at the bottom, and get a job doing helpdesk. do it for a year or two, meet people, improve your skill, and move up. At the least if you don't meet anyone, or decide not to pursue tech, you've made some money as opposed to losing it.

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jason02    100
Quote:
Original post by Strider_Hiryu
I have yet to spend $500 in learning tools and classes for getting into, or learning software development. If you're gonna get a loan for that much, you'd be much better off getting a degree. At least with that, you can go anywhere, as opposed to having a bunch of certifications for one particular trade. Who knows, after 5 months or so of training, you may not even like software development. Even if you want to just go for the networking, once again, I've spent far less than that in order to get 'connected' with people. It costs nothing to go out and meet people that like doing something, and 9 times out of 10, they'll be more than willing to give you the guidance you need. After all, you're on GameDev, that's a pretty decent connection in itself. You wanna meet people in your area that do tech stuff? Start at the bottom, and get a job doing helpdesk. do it for a year or two, meet people, improve your skill, and move up. At the least if you don't meet anyone, or decide not to pursue tech, you've made some money as opposed to losing it.


i think we both have degrees. i saw another post by gekko and i think he said he got his 5 years ago. i got my bs degree in cs last year.


School is great for the fundamentals, but once again, in the real world, experience is what counts and what will land you the job. Just think, if i were to take a .net class at school, i would probably go for 3 hours a week right? If i were to read a book in my spare time i would proabably read for 2-3 hours a day...Well, setfocus is training us for 40 hours a week and gives us real world projects. I figure that after this training i still wont be a guru or anything but i should have above average knowledge on the platform.

youre right about starting at the bottom and working your way up, but it all depends on whats more valuable to you, money or time.


the way i see it, if i can get a job paying at least 35-40k after this experience, it was worth the 17 grand. And i can pay that off within a few months and be done with it. I would prefer to go that route instead of working a help desk job for 13-15 dollars a hour for a year or two. My time is much more precious to me right now.

[Edited by - jason02 on September 16, 2006 6:17:11 PM]

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Strider_Hiryu    211
Quote:
Original post by jason02
Quote:
Original post by Strider_Hiryu
I have yet to spend $500 in learning tools and classes for getting into, or learning software development. If you're gonna get a loan for that much, you'd be much better off getting a degree. At least with that, you can go anywhere, as opposed to having a bunch of certifications for one particular trade. Who knows, after 5 months or so of training, you may not even like software development. Even if you want to just go for the networking, once again, I've spent far less than that in order to get 'connected' with people. It costs nothing to go out and meet people that like doing something, and 9 times out of 10, they'll be more than willing to give you the guidance you need. After all, you're on GameDev, that's a pretty decent connection in itself. You wanna meet people in your area that do tech stuff? Start at the bottom, and get a job doing helpdesk. do it for a year or two, meet people, improve your skill, and move up. At the least if you don't meet anyone, or decide not to pursue tech, you've made some money as opposed to losing it.


i think we both have degrees. i saw another post by gekko and i think he said he got his 5 years ago. i got my bs degree in cs last year.


School is great for the fundamentals, but once again, in the real world, experience is what counts and what will land you the job. Just think, if i were to take a .net class at school, i would probably go for 3 hours a week right? If i were to read a book in my spare time i would proabably read for 2-3 hours a day...Well, setfocus is training us for 40 hours a week and gives us real world projects. I figure that after this training i still wont be a guru or anything but i should have above average knowledge on the platform.

youre right about starting at the bottom and working your way up, but it all depends on whats more valuable to you, money or time.

im approaching thirty and i need to get my career started quickly. If i were 21, maybe i wouldnt mind working my way up.

the way i see it, if i can get a job paying at least 35-40k after this experience, it was worth the 17 grand. And i can pay that off within a few months and be done with it. I would prefer to go that route instead of working a help desk job for 13-15 dollars a hour for a year or two. My time is much more precious to me right now.


You've got a point. Thinking about it in terms of time(I'm only 23, still working on a degree) makes the world of difference. I was using myself as an example. That's pretty much how I got into software development. Perhaps by the time I'm in my 30s or 40s, a class like that would be useful to me.

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Telastyn    3777
The real world wants real world experience, dealing with inaccurate requirements, ornery co-workers, unreasonable deadlines, and innumerable other nuances which no classroom can provide. That's why it's so valuable.

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jason02    100
Quote:
Original post by Telastyn
The real world wants real world experience, dealing with inaccurate requirements, ornery co-workers, unreasonable deadlines, and innumerable other nuances which no classroom can provide. That's why it's so valuable.



exactly my point. that is why it is important for me to get into that environment as quickly as possible so i can get that experience.

the hardest part in the industry is getting your foot in the door, at least when you get your foot in the door you have a better chance at finding a job. but i have nothing right now. im not even doing anything IT related at the moment.

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Eileithyia    100
i'm thinking about going to setFocus too. It's $18k now. they just told that today.

i took the first exam(45 questions, 75min) that they gave me. even though i messed up they still called me and said i passed. i didn't answer two questions because i clicked on "Next" to fast and on one question i selected the wrong answer then clicked on next. because i was sleepy on sunday night lol

now i'm thinking they are leting everybody pass.(Suspense, suspense) ^^ other than those 3 questions, i'm sure i don't get every questions right. some of those IQ questions are very hard. couple questions took me a long time to do it.

Anyway, i'm on the technical interview phase. i have to do a 20-question test and a vb.net program before the interview.

even if i passed, i still haven't decide on rather i should do this or not.



i also have a BS degree for 1 year+ now, so you don't need tell me to get one. i can't even get an IT related job and i have Intern exprience when i was in college too.

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jason02    100
i still say its worth going, for the career services they offer and partnerships they have with employers.

they said i did poor on the code but i did do pretty well on everything else, you probably have to have some sort of competence to get in.

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GekkoCube    116
my reviewer said that i got the highest score on the entry exams. i sorta kinda believe it because i thought the tests were a joke. however, i could see how difficult it would've been for people with no idea of OOP or folks with little to no extensive programming experience with it.

i too once thought that they just let every one in. but i dont really think thats the case. they say that only 3-4% of the test takers pass enough to move on. i kinda believe that too now. why do i believe that? because i think most people who do apply do not have CS backgrounds. i could be wrong though. yes 17k is alot of money, but they also have to keep their end of the bargain when it comes to their clients (Microsoft is one of their clients and also a sponsor of some sorts).

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jason02    100
Quote:
Original post by graveyard filla
ive heard a lot of good things about setfocus. a few people i work with have been there, and they all said good things about it.



oh yeah..great!

can you elaborate on some of these great things they have said about it?

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GekkoCube    116
i've talked to a few (maybe around 5 people) who've graduated from setfocus.
they say some people dont even graduate because they get great offers from companies. but every one i talked to had graduated.

some of the good things they had to say was that it gave them that jump-start that they needed to be competitive in IT. they all said it was the toughest stretch of studying they had to do though. a couple of people thought the tuition would've been more "fair" if it was only 75% of what they're asking now. but they still paid it all and said that despite the high investment costs that they'd do it again and that they're glad they did.

im looking forward to it. i cant wait. i think it's going to be a lot of fun, although i am a little worried that i wont have my own computer when im there.

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jason02    100
Quote:
Original post by GekkoCube

im looking forward to it. i cant wait. i think it's going to be a lot of fun, although i am a little worried that i wont have my own computer when im there.



maybe you should try buying a laptop with a credit card or bill-me-later...youll pay 30 dollars a month for the minimum payment, and then once the program is over, sell it on ebay. you should recoup most of what you paid for it.

youll end up spending just $100 dollars to have a pc for three months.

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GekkoCube    116
i think im just going to try and do without one.
i figure it'll give me more time to read rather than clicking around on a computer. i can always "paper code", so im not too worried...just a little worried.

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jason02    100
you might be fine, because i think the setfocus facility will be open till 10 for most of the week. im sure theyll have labs and stuff there.

the only problem is, we might need to do some "all nighters" and it would be more conveinient to have a pc at your disposal.

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Eileithyia    100
hey jason and GekkoCube which session are you guys going to?

2006Q3(Class Begins:Jul 3 2006) Parsippany
or
2006N3(Class Begins:Jul 17 2006) Jersey City

i'm still undecided. i might want to buy a labtop too if you want to go. i can't live without a pc.

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GekkoCube    116
about getting a pc. i thought about getting one for maybe $300. but i have a feeling it's going to be annoying carrying that notebook around.
i'm a pen and paper person myself so i can easily live without a PC.

for those all-nighters, i just can't do that.

ps - i havent even reserved a room at the Ramada yet! i thought setfocus reserved for us. so be sure to call in and reserve your room if you're staying at the Ramada!

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