Ken,
    Nice thoughts, but not very realistic.  I have been with 4 companies
(in-house as well as consulting firms) over fifteen years and have yet to see
any one of them spend any money on education for their personnel.  They all
promise the would when I first walked in but they would rather spend their
'budget' on software, subscriptions, consultants as well as their own
bonuses.  There have been many times where I have paid money out of my own
pocket for CD's, subscriptions, courses, etc., and advance my knowledge and
once completed,  take them into work to share them with anyone that wants to
learn. You bet these 'CIO's/Directors'  are the first in line to 'view' them
on company time, while I'm spending twelve hours out of my day to program,
fix problems, etc. (doing my job).  Guess what, none of them have ever been
fired.  Thirdly, when are we supposed to 'advance' out careers?  Maybe you
don't have a family and kids, but I surely do and trying to find extra time
to learn something knew, that may not pay off in the long run is a tough
call.  Yes, there are a lot of free or very inexpensive educational avenues
but you need to have the time to sift thru them to determine if that's what
you were looking for, as well as spend the time learning these new tools.  I
have an extensive library that has always been vastly more superior than
anyplace that I have ever worked or come across, and that is always utilized
by the many technicians that I am working with.  Have I ever been
'reimbursed' for the time gained by the company for using these tools? As an
independent consultant (only because I cannot find an in-house position), I
take insult to your reference to working as a security guard.  I do not have
a measly $6,000 laying around to purchase an education card, or the measly
$3,000 that I would spend on going to COMMON.  I have to scrounge for my own
education and make do with what I can find that fits my price range.  As far
as my 'client' rep is concerned, the only time they need to talk to you (the
client) is when they have something to sell.  Whether it's IBM, JDE, etc., or
Rep's, Tech's, Tech Writers, or Higher Ups,  I have never come across any of
them that had the time to spend discussing educational opportunities or have
gone out of their way just to assist the client, even when I have pursued
them.  It sounds like you fall into this category. Thanx for the lecture.


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