Friday, 6 December 2013

87.2% of IT professionals think classroom-based training is better than self-study.


Firebrand recently conducted a survey to get the opinion of the IT industry on classroom-based learning vs. self-study, when it came to preparing for exam success. Using SurveyMonkey as the platform,  a total of 952 responses were collected and collated.

Outlined below are the results of the survey in more detail including the raw numbers and charts showing visual representation of the data:

Which form of training gives you the best chance to pass your exam and gain professional certification?

There were two options to answer this question, "classroom-based learning" or "self-study". A total of 952 IT professionals answered this question. The chart below shows the results:




This data tells us 87.2% of IT professionals think classroom-based training is better than self-study when it comes to preparing for exam success.

Why is self-study worse than classroom-based learning?

Respondents who preferred classroom-based learning (830), were then asked why self-study was worse. There were 5 options available, respondents were asked to select all which apply, options were: 

  • No qualified instructor to teach you and provide guidance.
  • It's easy to get distracted.
  • It takes too long.
  • Self-study material alone is often not enough to prepare you for the exam.
  • Other (please specify)

98.5% of respondents (818) chose to complete this question. The responses are contained in the bar chart below:


This data tells us that IT Professionals think ease of distraction (75.8%) and the lack of a qualified instructor (71.5%) are the two biggest reasons why self-study is worse than classroom based training when preparing for exams. Another common reason (59.5%) is that IT professionals believe the self-study material alone is not enough to prepare for the exam.

22.7% of respondents (186) selected "other", outlined below are a selection of reasons given:

"When studying alone you tend to think of all theories and practices in terms of your current working environment e.g local government, banking etc. Classroom study allows you hear of real life examples across a number of sectors which help to broaden thinking and fix learning."


"Feedback and questions from fellow students often raise issues that you might not think of when studying alone."


"Self-study rarely provides adequate synopsis and insights gained from the instructor's experience, which places new concepts into better context"


"1-Lack of lab facilities in technical study,  2-Inability to have mistakes corrected"


"Everyone has different learning styles and hearing real life examples from an instructor are more likely to be memorable than reading dry text from a book.

"I am a kinaesthetic learner with a borderline reading disability (oh yeah and an ex teacher): QED books don't work - have to hold, touch, see, talk, do, ask.... books are kinda *#?*# for that."

"It's the interaction with the other students. You may think you know / understand something, then someone else asks a question and you realise you didn't quite get it"

What do you think?

Share your thoughts with us. Maybe you prefer self-study, classroom-based learning or both, maybe you just think our results are plain wrong. Join the conversation by responding in the comments section below.



About the Author

As part of Firebrand's global marketing team, Edward actively works to serve the IT community with news, reviews and technical how to guides. Working in the Industry for almost 3 years years, Edward has a wide variety of experience with Microsoft Technologies including SharePoint and Windows Server and Exchange Server. Edward is an active member of the IT community contributing to a variety of tech publications including Microsoft TechNet, Channel Pro and PC Advisor among others.