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.