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Bootcamps
Boot Camps

For the purpose of exemplification, I'm using the MCSE 2003 as the reference to course curriculum. There are, however, many other certifications and technologies available from most bootcamps.

What is a Boot Camp?

The term Boot Camp (a.k.a. bootcamp), as it is referenced in the IT Industry, is generally an intensive course or collection of courses that have been designed to help knowledgeable IT Professionals attain the Certification(s) they desire in an extremely short amount of time.

Generally, boot camps will offer you a seven exam course to be completed in 9-24 days (depending on the bootcamp). That's 1 exam every 1-4 days for those of you not paying attention.

What are the different types of bootcamps?

There are bootcamps for nearly every certification vendor, but the most common of all is the MCSE Boot Camp. Because the MCSE is the most sought after certification in the world, every bootcamp has adapted or developed course curriculum to fit the training requirements of the certification vendors while catering to the training needs of the exam candidates at a pace faster than the average IT Professional can take.

What do boot camps generally cost?

The associated costs all depend on the course(s) that will be taken. For comparison, the prices range from $3,750 to $8,995 for the MCSE 2003 Certification and often includes the MCSA and Security+ Certifications.

What should I expect of a Boot Camp?

Very long days and very long nights should be expected for the entire time you're enrolled. You're spending alot of money for such a short amount of time, spend it wisely. Some recommendations we've seen include 4-6 hours of study time on top of the 8 hours of instructor-led classroom instruction that is provided. However, the recommended 4-6 hours is a general minimum that most individuals should automatically exceed. These courses aren't forgiving and will often leave you wondering if you're going to pass the next exam.

Cheating in Bootcamps

Cheating Boot Camps often don't give you the necessary information you need to know before taking the exam and often expect YOU to rely on your prior knowledge of the technology. This is a very poor practice and has probably left alot of pissed off students without money or certifications.

Just as everywhere, there are also bootcamps that promote cheating. We urge you to avoid these more than anything and we ask you to realize that a Boot Camp willing to help you cheat is also willing to cheat you out of your money. If you find a bootcamp that is well set in the Industry, the time you spend there will be worth the money it cost to get you through the courses.

Often, and this is not always the case, but often, these cheating bootcamps try to get your business by being the lowest priced bootcamps on the market. Our only advice is to research the bootcamp thoroughly before you make any commitments and compare their packages to those of the other bootcamps in your area.

IT Boot Camps and the US Military

If you're a U.S. Veteran, you're looking to continue your career in the IT Field, AND you're willing to 're-up' for another type of bootcamp, then you're in luck. There are IT Bootcamps in the United States that accept the Montgomery GI Bill. One such bootcamp that accepts the GI Bill is listed [[HERE]]. As we find more, we will keep this page updated.

Is there anything I should look for before enrolling in a bootcamp?

Absolutely, the first thing you should look at are their certifications. All legitimate bootcamps are (or at least should be) Certified or Authorized partners of the Certification Vendors they are training for. You will, however, need to do more than just look at the Trainer's certification list. VERIFY with the Certification Vendor that the Training Center is on their list.

Here are a couple links that will help you find Microsoft Certified Partners and Microsoft IT Academies

  • Microsoft Partners
  • IT Academy Locator

    Secondly, check our Bootcamp Forums for any information that WE may have on them. We are also trying to build our knowledgebase on Bootcamps so that we can provide other IT Professionals with the information that you may not have had help finding. If you have any information we can add to this page or our forums, please email it to us at:

    And lastly, check sites like http://www.realbadbusiness.com/ or http://www.bbb.com/ for information on the bootcamp you're researching. There may be something there that you don't know about that you should definitely know before entering into any agreements with them.

    Here is a list of classrooms known to CertGuard

    This is a dynamic list and will change without notice. We have classified all websites that are related to personal IT training in a classroom environment as "classroom". Some of these sites may be bootcamps, others may not be. Please be sure to check on the classroom environment you're interested in before signing any contracts with them; it may save you time, money, and your certifications in the long run.

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