Dice Launches Site for IT Training Where Users Get to Say How Good

Jul 15, 2009
This article is part of a series called News & Trends.

There’s a new Web 2.0 tool out from Dice this morning that integrates learning with job postings and even recommends IT courses based on the contents of user resumes. And the courses are all failure-proof; you pass or get your money back.

The new Dice Learning has more than 62,000 course offerings, spread among online and physical programs. Most lead to certifications; some are individual improvement classes. Almost all the providers offer discounts (of up to 25 percent for students enrolling through Dice.

Special about Dice Learning is how users can search for these programs.

By going through the front door at Dice Learning, users can plug in keywords, browse the current 28 providers directly, or browse by application area. These passive jobseekers get offered courses and multiple ways of filtering the results — and the opportunity to click into relevant jobs on Job seekers who come to the main job site — — to look for work will be presented with learning opportunities related to the keywords they use to job-shop. A particularly clever feature matches up course offerings to experience, skills, and interests listed on user resumes.

If that’s all Dice Learning offered, it would be worth a look if only to cut through the clutter of a Google search. But we said this is a Web 2.0 tool and in this case that means reviews, evaluations, comments, and recommendations can be made for every one of the courses on the site. Since the site just launched, few, if any of the courses will have comments, but with all of Dice’s 3 million registered users able to log in to the new site, content for the most popular courses should grow quickly.

The other feature users will like is Dice’s money-back guarantee. Fail a certification test associated with a class twice and you get back the course cost.

Dice says its learning center isn’t a profit center. “The majority of learning providers do not pay a fee,” insists Evan Lesser, director of Dice Learning, who piloted a pre-launch demo of the site Tuesday. That may well be the case considering that direct trainers like IBM and Sun are also among Dice’s larger advertisers, suggesting a value-add.

Lesser, in a blog post on the site, details how the providers were selected, explaining that the company solicited input from groups of Dice users and established criteria that includes accessibility, breadth of offerings, authorization by the vendors, and quality, which was judged by Dice itself. That value was pointed out in the press release announcing the new site:

“Traditionally, finding the right training and certification is hit or miss, leaving tech professionals with more work to identify the right courses and providers,” said Tom Silver, senior vice president and chief marketing officer, Dice. “Dice Learning cuts through the myriad of training offerings to give tech professionals direct and easy access to what in our experience are the best courses and learning materials available.”

Overall, the new Dice Learning site looks to be a valuable complement to the training-heavy IT world. Besides its obvious value to active job seekers, it has a real appeal to passive candidates who want to improve their skills and earn additional credentials. Some of them might just be interested in the jobs that get presented when they search for courses, and those engaged professionals are just the kind of people recruiters look for.

This article is part of a series called News & Trends.
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