Submitted by: James Copper

For those who already have a developed skill set in a given field and simply need certification that says as much, intensive courses provide the best options. These course are usually taught from the assumption that students already know much of the material and that the coursework will essentially constitute a review. These courses are usually of a shorter duration than regular courses, have testing at more frequent intervals and less guidance from instructors.

Intensive courses are particularly popular with IT professionals who need to brush up on skills or who need to study one aspect of a server operating system. Many of these professionals already have more than basic knowledge of the field and are able to quickly assimilate learned materials into their work life which allows them a steeper learning curve than most students. It also drastically cuts down on the amount of time they must invest toward learning a new subset of skills or a certification which allows them to put that knowledge to work as quickly as possible.


Intensive courses can work for beginners, but only for those who have enough time to allot toward a great deal of study. Expect these courses to require students to proactively invest their own time toward the degree or certification being sought and to have little room to accommodate “make up” work, missed days or scheduling conflicts.

Businesses will sometimes put their own employees through intensive courses that cover a subject which is of import to their work flow. This may include having IT techs take intensive networking courses before an expansion to cut down on the costs of contractors or to have those individuals responsible for training personnel in new software take an intensive course before that software is launched in the work environment.

Intensive courses are often offered by vocational and community colleges. In areas where particular industries are of great importance to the local economy, these courses will usually cover topics relevant to that industry. In a city that serves as the regional center for health care, for example, there will generally be intensive courses in related topics that allow those institutions to enjoy a steady flow of new employees and to keep existing employees trained in the latest tools and technologies that allow them to deliver for their customers.

For employers, allocating resources toward training the best and the brightest employees via intensive courses can be very productive, especially in the fast-moving business world of today. These employees will generally enjoy a great increase in skills and become more useful to the company. Those who are particularly talented may be able to fill several roles by participating in such training. The costs can sometimes be somewhat steep, depending on the subject involved, but most often much less so than the costs of contractors or hiring additional personnel. Having a gifted tech take an intensive course to receive their MCSE, for example, will provide the company with a very valuable human resource in short order.

About the Author: James Copper is a writer for

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