Interview with Christopher Porter, CEO of Training Camp

Josiah Motley · December 13, 2019 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/4f49

A look into the world of tech, the inspiration behind the company, and more

If you look at some of the trending job markets, many of them are revolved computers, software development, IT, and more. 

With the job market continuing to evolve, those that are entering the workforce or those looking to make a professional change are searching for classes and training courses that they can benefit from, while also looking for options that work for them in terms of time and schedule.

Besides individuals, companies are also looking to educate their existing workforces to better equip them for this ever-changing world.

Training Camp is a company that provided courses, training, and certification programs for individuals and companies. Their focus is on this bustling tech, IT, and software world mentioned above.

I had the chance to interview Christopher Porter of Training Camp to learn more about their programs, the hardships they faced in the early days, and insights on getting into the tech field.

Check out the full interview below.

 

Care to introduce yourself and your role with Training Camp?

I, Christopher D. Porter, am the Chief Executive Officer of Training Camp, Inc. As the CEO, I spend the bulk of my time focusing on the customer experience - both in terms of developing innovative products and exceeding customer expectations.

In just a few sentences, what is Training Camp?

Training Camp (TC) is a leading provider of information technology and security training courses focused primarily on getting students certified in the industry's most in-demand technical certifications. Founded in 1999, TC has successfully trained nearly 100,000 certification candidates worldwide. 

Our corporate instructional philosophy, called "outcome-based delivery" uses blended- and adult-learning techniques to prepare students to successfully pass vendor certification examinations in a fraction of the time of traditional training courses.

What inspired the creation of the company and how long have you been in business?

Training Camp was founded, as most companies are, to satisfy a need.  In 1999, the Microsoft MCSE was the industry 'gold standard' IT certification. Traditional training courses took from 6 weeks to 6 months to cover the material necessary for students to pass the daunting 7 MCSE exams. 

Our first "Training Camp" was a two-week residential program that resulted in students leaving MCSE certified. This accelerated 'boot camp' or 'training camp' model has subsequently saved our customers more than one million working hours through accelerated learning, both in-person and online.

Most companies experience some type of early hardship - did you and how did you overcome that?

In our third year of operation, Training Camp's courses were delivered primarily in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania at an all-inclusive resort.  Students would fly in from all over the world to attend our industry-leading Microsoft MCSE and Cisco CCNA Training Camps.  

When 9/11 happened, roughly 80% of our customer base was either unwilling or unable to get on a plane to travel to our education center.  This national tragedy forced us to quickly expand our brick and mortar presence - opening locations in Phoenix, AZ, Las Vegas, NV, Orlando, FL, and Chicago, IL. 

Secondly, we unexpectedly became a pioneer in "Anywhere Learning" - live, online elearning where participants can attend our courses from the comfort of their homes or in one of our physical locations.

Are you focused on the individual or do you cater to companies looking to train employees?

In 1999, roughly 50% of our business consisted of participants that paid out of pocket for their courses.

In 2019, 90% of our attendees have their Training Camp experience paid for by their employers. We have built federal, military, and corporate practices that afford our clients with custom-tailored educational solutions to meet their unique requirements. We’re a unique business that can appeal to a spectrum ranging from a single person to a huge enterprise.

What are some of your most popular courses?

In the past year, we have seen significant growth in cloud (Microsoft Azure, (ISC)2 CCSP, CompTIA Cloud+) as well as continued growth in information security (ISC)2 CISSP, CompTIA Security+, ISACA CISM, and EC-Council C|EH.

Besides training and courses, do you have any tips for those trying to get into fields like IT, Networking, etc?

For individuals looking to begin a career in IT, entry-level opportunities in positions like help-desk support and computer repair are a great way into the industry with limited formal training and/or experience. 

These positions are great jumping-off points for job roles with higher pay-ceilings, as they often offer useful on-the-job and vocational training. 

Anything you'd like to close with?

With the proliferation of cloud computing, information security, and artificial intelligence, the number of information technology job openings is expected to significantly outpace the number of skilled applicants through 2030, making the investment in a career in IT a sure thing.

And the great thing about Training Camp is that we can effectively train anyone, anywhere, in a way that we’ve proven works.

I'd like to thank Chris for taking the time to answer some of my questions.


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Josiah Motley

Writer of things. Have been featured on multiple tech blogs and love watching trends in the app market.

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