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Use of Training Budget

Hopefully, this is a fun question for you guys!

I've got about $1,500 left in my training budget for the year. What are some ways I can spend it wisely? Videos, training tools, cool training stuff for the office, etc. ? I can't use it to leave anywhere during the week since it's so late in the year (weekend trips OK). The money will not carry over to next year: use it or lose it. It needs to be used for developing my skills in some form or fashion.

As you can tell from my profile, I work in virtualization (citrix/vmware), systems engineering, networking and a few other things.

Any helpful suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
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Paul Wagner
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Paul Wagner
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6 Solutions
 
No MoreCommented:
For example :D
IT books - https://www.packtpub.com/
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Bryant SchaperCommented:
you could get a year subscription to cbtnuggets or the like.
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Rich WeisslerProfessional Troublemaker^h^h^h^h^hshooterCommented:
Safari Subscription for online books (more than anyone could ever read.)
Buy bundles of VMWare Study Guides for your in-shop library.
(and if you and/or your staff lean that way, you can get exam vouchers now for exams you take later.)
Of course, on-line training, like Pluralsight would be another option.
Depending on what y'all most need training in, you could invest it in hardware/software for a training/lab environment.  That obviously goes further if you have retired/repurposed hardware/software to start with, and just need a little more gear to really get things off the ground.
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Kyle SantosCustomer RelationsCommented:
Experts Exchange has Courses now that might be of some value for training purposes.
https://www.experts-exchange.com/courses/
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Attend an On-Line VMware Training Course and then that will meet the Prerequisites to Study towards a VCP, pass the Exam, and get Awarded!

VMware Education
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masnrockCommented:
How many people would you ideally like to train and what are the needs for this year? All of us can easily come up with courses that would cost $1500, but let us know your actual biggest needs trainingwise in the short term.
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Kyle SantosCustomer RelationsCommented:
If the surplus can be used for something other than training, why not a pizza party?

You're probably smiling / frowning at this suggestion, but anything to say 'Hey, I appreciate you' can go a long way.
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Paul WagnerFriend To Robots and RocksAuthor Commented:
Clarification: The money is for me specifically to train on anything related to my job. It can't be used for other people... or for pizza. If that was the case, I'd buy everyone a beer and we'd go skydiving!

The suggestions are good. Keep 'em coming! Anything like a weekend coding camp or online class? It'd be cool to take a class after work or something like that.

@Bryant - CBT Nuggets sounds good but I'm such a procrastinator. It's hard to set aside time to watch a video.

@Rich -Pluralsight looks cool. I'll check out their stuff... (see comment above)

@ Andrew - I'm already a VCP
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masnrockCommented:
I would look at the training LinkedIn has... they took over lynda.com

Books and ebooks are always excellent options. Even though they do age quickly, concepts tend to stick around.

Maybe look at training on developing technology products in your industry that could prove highly useful down the road.

I prefer to look at weak areas within my employer and work from there. Example, my employer could do better with project management and planning security into their projects.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Current VCP? want to progress it further ?
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Rich WeisslerProfessional Troublemaker^h^h^h^h^hshooterCommented:
> Anything like a weekend coding camp or online class? It'd be cool to take a class after work or something like that.

Have you participated in a MOOC?  Some (many) offer free classes, but many have longer programs (strings of classes), some with a final project at the end... for a fee.  While I have an affinity for Coursera, and I like EdX (Microsoft has it's own section there, as does the Linux Foundation) ... the professor who taught the Python series I attended over the last couple years turned us all onto Class Central and a good central site for finding MOOCs.

What sort of coding were you thinking about?  I can see Powershell courses available locally, but they'll be duing the week and a little more expensive than your budget allows.

Your local community college district seems to offer Web Design and Cisco training on the weekends.  (The rest of the weekend schedule look interesting, but not work related.  :-) )
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Paul WagnerFriend To Robots and RocksAuthor Commented:
Great suggestions everyone! I have enough to chew on for now.

@Andrew - Yes, my VCP is current. I got it earlier this year.
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