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View Full Version : What % of your turnover goes on training ?



Dominic Connor
3rd August 2013, 11:05
What % of your turnover goes on training for new skills, maintaining existing, including books, etc.

The impression I get is that contractors under-invest in their primary asset-their skills.

NotAllThere
3rd August 2013, 11:16
About 1% for me this year - often less than that. But then, I have a huge turnover. The trouble is, I've either done all the courses relevant to my skillset, or I've already got the skill through working it out for myself.

The 1% this year was a workshop for some new technology that I'll be working with later in the year.

d000hg
3rd August 2013, 11:35
Virtually 0. But I never paid to get my skills as a permie, and nor did anyone else - I've always learned by doing. A project has some side work in new tech X so I take it on and learn a bit about X.

Actually I do spend freely on books when I need them, On the basis that spending an hour looking at books to choose one, I could have just bought 3 and done some work for the same net cost.

edit: would a mod add a poll?

MadDawg
3rd August 2013, 11:36
The problem with training courses isn't just the cost of the course - it's the lost billing days too.
Thinking I might see what's around at the end of this gig - haven't done a formal course for years.

aussielong
3rd August 2013, 12:00
I would like to do the CQF (Dominic's course) Certificate in Quantitative Finance (CQF) - Mathematical Finance Qualification | CQF (http://www.cqf.com/)

But it's too damn expensive at over 10k sterling ..

I'm paying a maths PhD to teach me the same stuff at a much lower cost

The certificate itself is not recognised anywhere, especially outside of the UK

Dominic, why not make it 5k? Its largely self study anyway

VectraMan
3rd August 2013, 12:20
0%. Books are a waste of time compared to all the free (and more up to date) information available online, and training courses are only for the gullible, unless very specific.

d000hg
3rd August 2013, 12:34
Books may get out of date but there's a big difference (to me) between reading and figuring out the official documentation from MS, and reading a book which has done the figuring out part for me. It's a bit like at university - you could skip all your lectures and learn from the textbooks but it's not generally as easy.

Plus I have no interest in keep right on the bleeding edge; I'd distrust any company who wants to do a project in tech so new there aren't any books on it. And staying up to speed is a full-time job, I'd rather get good at a tech and use it :)

NotAllThere
3rd August 2013, 12:36
...

edit: would a mod add a poll?Done.


0%. Books are a waste of time You've read a book? :eek

scooterscot
3rd August 2013, 12:49
Probably spent €10k on software over the last year.

sasguru
3rd August 2013, 12:57
I'm paying a maths PhD to teach me the same stuff at a much lower cost


Must be expensive, what with the special needs supplement. :laugh:laugh:laugh

IRMe
3rd August 2013, 13:15
Not paid for any training from My Co yet. Bought some software to play with and some books which I've skimmed, keep meaning to do a certification but then I have so far managed to land work in that field without it. So far my clients seem to appreciate that the text book answer rarely fits their environment, or that it all needs figuring out from fresh each time anyway so they'll take decent soft skills and a technical mind.

A lot of the things I end up doing are new to me the first time around. Get brought in as a specialist in technology A B and C, later get asked to look at Tech D which I've never seen before but client doesn't have anyone free to do it. D goes on CV and next client hires me because they need someone who knows something about it.

aussielong
3rd August 2013, 13:16
Must be expensive, what with the special needs supplement. :laugh:laugh:laugh

Are you going to be showing yourself up again today, with your limited grasp of logic and causality?

:rollin:

sasguru
3rd August 2013, 13:30
Are you going to be showing yourself up again today, with your limited grasp of logic and causality?

:rollin:

Oooo 'ark at him! Gets some training in O-level maths and thinks he's God's gift to the mathematical firmament.

:rollin::rollin::rollin:

Spacecadet
3rd August 2013, 14:42
What % of your turnover goes on training for new skills, maintaining existing, including books, etc.

The impression I get is that contractors under-invest in their primary asset-their skills.

Has your account been hijacked?

eek
3rd August 2013, 14:50
Must be expensive, what with the special needs supplement. :laugh:laugh:laugh

:rollin:

I never spend much as training without immediate experience rather defeats the object. If I stick doing what I'm doing in the current contract I will do some just to get the certificates as my MS ones are out of date.

Chances are I won't bother as other things are bringing in enough cash to live on.

eek
3rd August 2013, 14:50
Oooo 'ark at him! Gets some training in O-level maths and thinks he's God's gift to the mathematical firmament.

:rollin::rollin::rollin:

CSE surely?

SueEllen
3rd August 2013, 15:56
Has your account been hijacked?

His wife stole his login.

doodab
3rd August 2013, 16:50
It depends on what you call training. I have never paid for a training course and probably never will, but I invest a fair amount of time & money in self teaching and consequentially spend a fair bit on ebay tat

aussielong
4th August 2013, 10:08
I've been eyeing a statistics course lately. There are some decent rates about if you are a good statistician.

Its a one week course in London- project based with multiple choice exam. The 2000 sterling price is putting me off though

Loads of cheap stats courses about now - its eminently pickupable

minestrone
4th August 2013, 10:27
I've been eyeing a statistics course lately. There are some decent rates about if you are a good statistician.

Its a one week course in London- project based with multiple choice exam. The 2000 sterling price is putting me off though

Loads of cheap stats courses about now - its eminently pickupable

I am sure you could put all the courses in a little spread sheet and tell us all the median cost once you know how to work it out

aussielong
4th August 2013, 10:31
I am sure you could put all the courses in a little spread sheet and tell us all the median cost once you know how to work it out

Naa, get a Bob to do that. I'm into hard stats work like standard deviants and normal distributables.

minestrone
4th August 2013, 11:04
Naa, get a Bob to do that. I'm into hard stats work like standard deviants and normal distributables.

I think I know what is coming.

darmstadt
4th August 2013, 11:12
I think I know what is coming.

Does it involve the word 'cretin' anywhere?

doodab
4th August 2013, 12:20
Having just availed myself of the gelatinous horror that comprises the subset of society that shops In Tesco I feel like something of a deviant myself.

Dominic Connor
4th August 2013, 13:32
I would like to do the CQF (Dominic's course) Certificate in Quantitative Finance (CQF) - Mathematical Finance Qualification | CQF (http://www.cqf.com/)

But it's too damn expensive at over 10k sterling ..

I'm paying a maths PhD to teach me the same stuff at a much lower cost

The certificate itself is not recognised anywhere, especially outside of the UK

Dominic, why not make it 5k? Its largely self study anyway

The pricing is not my call, sadly.

AtW
4th August 2013, 13:44
I've been eyeing a statistics course lately. There are some decent rates about if you are a good statistician.

Its a one week course in London- project based with multiple choice exam. The 2000 sterling price is putting me off though

So, your calculation is that paying 2000 GBP for a course that might allow you to get contracts with 500+ per day кфеу isn't a good investment of money?

Dominic Connor
4th August 2013, 16:13
As has been pointed out I do some training, but given that the course is both expensive and niche, I'd be surprised if it were useful to a large % here.

One reason for training is protection for the bad times, be clear I've had the market for my own skills go titsup (I was an OS/2 guy) and it wasn't pleasant. When listing some skills I had on an article for the Register, a couple had died so abjectly that the editor asked me what they were. Some of my skills are so stupid that some people don't believe they ever existed, these include Microsoft Unix and programming modems with Excel macros.

Given that this is the fate of all skills, why so little effort to move on ?

Yes you can blag version N+1 if you've done N or even N-1, but eventually there isn't a version N+1 (else we'd be on dBase 12 and DOS 42) and as we're seeing with Java a skill can get so common that the price comes down even if a lot of clients use it.
It doesn't take many extra chargeable days to justify a course and a small % on your daily rate has much the same effect.

MadDawg
4th August 2013, 16:19
As has been pointed out I do some training, but given that the course is both expensive and niche, I'd be surprised if it were useful to a large % here.

One reason for training is protection for the bad times, be clear I've had the market for my own skills go titsup (I was an OS/2 guy) and it wasn't pleasant. When listing some skills I had on an article for the Register, a couple had died so abjectly that the editor asked me what they were. Some of my skills are so stupid that some people don't believe they ever existed, these include Microsoft Unix and programming modems with Excel macros.

Given that this is the fate of all skills, why so little effort to move on ?

Yes you can blag version N+1 if you've done N or even N-1, but eventually there isn't a version N+1 (else we'd be on dBase 12 and DOS 42) and as we're seeing with Java a skill can get so common that the price comes down even if a lot of clients use it.
It doesn't take many extra chargeable days to justify a course and a small % on your daily rate has much the same effect.

But what do you pick and why? There's a myriad of technologies out there - who knows what will be the next .Net and what will be the next Delphi?

On a side note - I'm assuming some of the training you offer isn't just stating the bleeding obvious - why not update the example video with something that makes us think "That sounds useful".


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OCZxDBOIv9s

Lockhouse
4th August 2013, 20:11
I splurge every few years; do a few courses to get some more "stamps in the book" at an appropriately benched time. I did three courses this year, one after the other as soon I finished my contract then used them to get another gig within two weeks. They were the first courses I'd done for five years and my CV needed an update.

The only reason I do any sort of formal course is to get the certificate to get my CV in front of clients - not to actually learn anything. If I need to learn stuff for my contract I'll generally do it on client time.

aussielong
4th August 2013, 21:56
The pricing is not my call, sadly.

You'd sell a lot more units if 7City dropped the price. It's not far off the price of a Masters.

It's mostly employer funded, hence your price level I guess. Which excludes contractors.

Can you not discuss this with those who do call the price please? :)

aussielong
4th August 2013, 21:57
So, your calculation is that paying 2000 GBP for a course that might allow you to get contracts with 500+ per day кфеу isn't a good investment of money?

Why would I learn boring sh1t to halve my day rate?

aussielong
4th August 2013, 22:02
As has been pointed out I do some training, but given that the course is both expensive and niche, I'd be surprised if it were useful to a large % here.

One reason for training is protection for the bad times, be clear I've had the market for my own skills go titsup (I was an OS/2 guy) and it wasn't pleasant. When listing some skills I had on an article for the Register, a couple had died so abjectly that the editor asked me what they were. Some of my skills are so stupid that some people don't believe they ever existed, these include Microsoft Unix and programming modems with Excel macros.

Given that this is the fate of all skills, why so little effort to move on ?

Yes you can blag version N+1 if you've done N or even N-1, but eventually there isn't a version N+1 (else we'd be on dBase 12 and DOS 42) and as we're seeing with Java a skill can get so common that the price comes down even if a lot of clients use it.
It doesn't take many extra chargeable days to justify a course and a small % on your daily rate has much the same effect.

If you go this route you've got specialisation risk, for which you demand a premium. If you bet your career on a vendor product and do not do EXTREMELY well out of it, more fool you. You should always maintain a core transferable skillset as well as a niche money spinner.

AtW
4th August 2013, 22:05
Why would I learn boring sh1t to halve my day rate?

You can't possibly have your day rate halved because that would be against minimum wage laws.

aussielong
4th August 2013, 22:11
You can't possibly have your day rate halved because that would be against minimum wage laws.

:rollin: ha ha good one

Dominic Connor
5th August 2013, 09:27
But what do you pick and why? There's a myriad of technologies out there - who knows what will be the next .Net and what will be the next Delphi?
On a side note - I'm assuming some of the training you offer isn't just stating the bleeding obvious - why not update the example video with something that makes us think "That sounds useful".

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OCZxDBOIv9s

Perhaps we need a new thread on avoiding "the next Delphi". I don't have a simple answer, because its a function of what skills you have personally which determines which new ones you can pick up easily and cheaply.

Some of what I tell people sounds obvious to you and frankly to me as well. However you would be surprised how many people don't think their way out of career crises and being mildly well known I get a lot of people coming to me after the fan has been hit.

Even allowing for that you point about it being a little obvious isn't without merit, but I'm not punting a prepack solution here, I'm trying to get people to think about this a problem to be solved rather than a situation you are in.

BillHicksRIP
5th August 2013, 12:46
The courses I would need to go on are £2500 a week plus travel and accomodation and I'd lose a similar amount for non-billing. I'll wait until I'm between contracts and then just hammer the books then.

DodgyAgent
5th August 2013, 13:51
The courses I would need to go on are £2500 a week plus travel and accomodation and I'd lose a similar amount for non-billing. I'll wait until I'm between contracts and then just hammer the books then.

You can go to Thailand and get laid for less than half of that :happy

d000hg
5th August 2013, 14:13
Naa, get a Bob to do that. I'm into hard stats work like standard deviants and normal distributables.Plenty of deviants around, but I'm not sure they are very standardised.


Having just availed myself of the gelatinous horror that comprises the subset of society that shops In Tesco I feel like something of a deviant myself.You've eaten a chav?!

doodab
5th August 2013, 14:50
You've eaten a chav?!

I have walked among them, breathed the same air and purchased the same prepacked ready to barbeque morsels. I'm only a tracksuit and a baseball cap away from switching over to ITV4.

sasguru
5th August 2013, 14:54
I'm into hard stats work like standard deviants and normal distributables.

:laugh:laugh:laugh
It's good you Ozzies retain your sense of humour even when you're such losers generally.

EternalOptimist
5th August 2013, 15:55
Perhaps we need a new thread on avoiding "the next Delphi". I don't have a simple answer, because its a function of what skills you have personally which determines which new ones you can pick up easily and cheaply.

Some of what I tell people sounds obvious to you and frankly to me as well. However you would be surprised how many people don't think their way out of career crises and being mildly well known I get a lot of people coming to me after the fan has been hit.

Even allowing for that you point about it being a little obvious isn't without merit, but I'm not punting a prepack solution here, I'm trying to get people to think about this a problem to be solved rather than a situation you are in.

Do you get paid by the word ?
I run my business to maximise my profit. I will decide what training I need and how to map out my future. ta anyway






:rolleyes: