Best (Service Provider) Places to Work for in IT

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    Speaking of training IT people, ComputerWorld just published its annual report, “100 Best Places to Work in IT 2005.” Two service providers make the cut this yeart: InfoSys and Hewitt Associates.

    The ranking is based on a self-nomination/review/survey process, which evaluates such factors compensation, training days, general level of satisfaction, overall employee morale, number of promotions and percentages of IT management and staff that are women or minorities.

    So I was especially interested in seeing what the company profiles said about the number of training days allotted to each person and the size of the training budget. The results are telling.

    InfoSys allotted 21 training days per IT employee in 2004, and $682 in total training dollars, or about $32.50 a day. At first, that sounded way out of whack.

    After all, most US-based training runs for between $350 and $450 a day. A weeklong class would cost around $2,000, not including transportation, meals or housing.

    So how could InfoSys spend so little and derive so many training days? My guess: that amount takes into account that most of its employees are paying India instructor-led training prices. These are about a tenth of the US expense. You can obtain a mid-level Cisco certification for $220, or a mid-level Microsoft certification for about $71 a day, including room, meals, materials, exam fees, and local transportation. (In fact, Koenig Solutions woos US and UK IT professionals to its India-based training programs for just that reason. Become an MCSE over the course of 50 days of training for $3,550, not including your airfare.)

    Compare that to Sutter Health in Sacramento, CA, which allots five training days and $4,000. (Hewitt, by the way, allots six days per person and $1,300.)

    It’s no wonder India-based companies have a greater tendency to train its employees. It’s waaaayyyy cheaper to do so.

    Or it means those two service providers are relying on a heavy dose of self-training: “You supply the sweat equity and we’ll supply some books or CD-based training for your education.”

    And that also means you can’t really use the training budget details from those profiles to gauge much of anything. Who knows what they’re actually measuring?

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