IT trainers design and teach computer courses for clients from different backgrounds and with different levels of ability. They work for colleges, IT training companies and in the training departments of larger organisations.
As an IT trainer, you could teach courses ranging from common programs like word-processing and spreadsheets (known as desktop programs) to technical areas, such as programming or PC maintenance. If you work within a company, you may deliver in-house training, for example, teaching accounts staff how to use a new payroll system.
In all cases, your duties would include:
- assessing clients’ training needs and agreeing learning outcomes
- designing new training programmes or customising existing courses
- preparing the training room and resources
- delivering training programmes
- evaluating the effectiveness of the training
- keeping records up to date.
A great deal of training is now available online, so IT trainers may be supporting learners in a virtual learning environment (VLE). See the profile for Online Tutor.
What qualifications and experience will employers look for?
You can become an IT trainer through several routes.
You could work as an IT professional and pick up skills through on-the-job experience, or you can qualify initially as a training officer and specialise in IT skills. In most cases, you will need a recognised IT qualification, at Level 3 or above.
Several IT qualifications cover the major desktop programs, including:
- OCR Certificate/Diploma for IT Users â€“ Level 1 (New CLAiT), Level 2 (CLAiT Plus), and Level 3 (CLAiT Advanced)
- City & Guilds E-Quals IT Users awards (7262) â€“ Level 1 (Certificate), Level 2 (Diploma) and Level 3 (Advanced Diploma)
- Edexcel (BTEC) National Certificate and Diploma for IT Practitioners
- British Computer Society European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL) and ECDL Advanced
- Microsoft Office Specialist programme.
If you want to focus on technical training, see the qualifications outlined in the Further Training and Development section below. You should also check the qualifications in the job profiles for Computer Service and Repair Technician, Web Developer and Network Engineer.
To teach in a further education college, you will need:
- at least a level three IT qualification
- teaching qualifications which are recognised by Lifelong Learning UK (LLUK).
See theÂ job profile for Further Education Teacher for more details about college work.
You may also find it helpful to have some understanding of computer programs used by people with sight or hearing impairment – check the Skill website for information. The City & Guilds Certificate in Supporting Users of Assistive Technology (3070),Â couldÂ help you improve your skills in this area.
See the e-skills UK website for further details about IT careers.
What further training and development can I do?
The Institute of IT Training (IITT) offers a range of certificate and diploma courses for IT trainers, including e-learning tutoring skills. They also recognise other qualifications as evidence of training competence.
You can also take various qualifications covering desktop applications and technical areas, someÂ specific to a particular manufacturer, others covering different products. Qualifications include:
- Computer Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) Certified Technical Trainer (CTT+) â€“ covers areas including PC maintenance, networking, security and Linux technologies
- Novell’s Certified Instructor (CNI) programme â€“ covers networking and Linux systems
- Microsoft Master Instructor and Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT)
- Cisco Certified Systems Instructor (CCSI).
Work-based NVQs covering training and development, coaching, mentoring and assessing are also available.