The Silicon Review
“Increasing our Team Tech (corporate IT training) enrollments with organizations and companies is an important goal, but expanding the reach remains our primary objective so that more IT training students can access our Lifetime Library program.”
By Amanda Rosenblatt
Carrie Cameron sits in her sunny office in Dunedin, Florida. Though she is mere minutes from the famous Clearwater Beach, her mind is not on the sun and the sand—it is focused on hundreds of thousands of online IT training students.
Today on her agenda is coordinating production for new training courses, going over daily items with the office manager, and meeting with the marketing team to bring in new students. With the 10th anniversary of ITU Online Training around the corner, the motto in the office is that there is always something new to learn to grow.
“We strive to be the best online IT training provider,” Carrie says. “So that means giving people superlative prices within the training marketplace while not skimping on quality.”
The eLearning company is both a provider of IT courses for individual students on an independent study path and a corporate training provider, with various licensing options for companies and organizations. Accessibility and flexibility is the goal, whether an entire department needs basic data security training or a student only has free time to do their Cloud deployment courses after midnight.
ITU Online Training provides an on-demand LMS for IT certification exam preparation and job skills training aimed at the IT career field. Such courses include entry-level training for tech support, Cloud platform classes focusing on AWS or Azure, ethical hacking for cybersecurity professionals, and web development to build websites are just some of the many areas of focus.
“Students always seem to be looking for free training shortcuts or exam dumps just so they can pass their certification tests as quickly as possible,” Carrie shares. “For us, we must get the message across that you can get great IT training at an affordable price, plus you can prepare to pass any IT exam while also learning abilities you can use in your IT career.”
The company recently won two Cybersecurity Excellence Awards for its LMS and its training solutions for both companies and individual students. While Carrie thrives in managing multiple projects at once, she believes in a work-life balance for her employees.
“Holidays and weekends are so valuable to prevent employee burnout, and we do detailed skills assessment processes to utilize everyone's talents best,” Carrie reflects. “We have shifted some employees from making ads to SEO, or we have hired people to do customer service and found that they are also great at helping with quality assurance on our courses.”
The company provides paid time off, bonuses, benefits, and on-the-job training for employees to improve their skills. Thinking outside of the box to attract more IT students is encouraged. Management has had an employee-first attitude even before the COVID-19 pandemic, knowing employees work best when they are healthy, have a realistic workload, and feel safe.
“We make sure employees are not overloaded so that everyone, especially decision-makers like the Sales managers or the Head of Affiliate Marketing, can come up with the best options for our continued success,” Carrie declares. “Everything is also a learning opportunity. For example, the pandemic gave us a cost-effective idea for students to help combat a shaken-up economy.”
In 2020, ITU Online released the Lifetime Library program. Having a way for students to pay one price at one time for IT training forever was the goal. Ultimately, the aim was to provide all current courses and any future uploads of on-demand IT courses for these Lifetime Library members at a very affordable price threshold.
“Having to worry about costly IT subscriptions on your credit card or debit account when you just lost your job due to COVID was an issue some students told our advisors about,” Carrie reflects. “We also like to provide discounts for front-line workers and the military, to thank them for all they do to keep society going.”
The best employees at ITU Online Training are ones who are inquisitive, creative, and aim to help others. While employees are expected to show up in-person for work, there is no micromanaging, the dress code is casual, and there are no time clocks to punch in and out of. Employees often meet in mini brainstorming sessions to collaborate to improve their methods or discuss new tools to try.
Increasing their Team Tech (corporate IT training) enrollments with organizations and companies is an important goal, but expanding the reach remains the primary objective so that more IT training students can access the Lifetime Library program. Their affiliate program has also gained steam early in 2021, which will allow peers to recommend this training to others.
“Students do not have to pay thousands of dollars or step foot in a classroom to learn what they need to pass these IT certification exams,” Carrie says. “Some students like to listen to their favorite IT podcasts or buy books to supplement their learning, but more often than not, the video courses along with practice exams we provide are enough for students to achieve their training goals.”
As the future looms and technology changes, ITU Online will continue to transform as a company. Recently growing the staff, embracing new social media ideas, and a rigorous production schedule to keep up with changing IT industry certifications are always daily concerns.
“Would it be incredible to hit one Million students on our LMS this year? Of course,” Carrie says with a chuckle. “We will get there, but for now, we will continue to grow steadily and present people with the best IT training they can access online.”
Carrie Cameron: An Inspirational Leader
Carrie Cameron, the president and CEO of ITU Online Training, is one of the original pioneers of eLearning. After attending St. Petersburg College, she began her career in the industry in 1996. She is the majority shareholder in ITU Online Training, making the company a woman-owned and operated business. With a Computer Science background and a passion for education, Carrie has successfully started several IT training companies. Her first acquisition was The Riverside Company, a private equity fund, in 2007.
Carrie has a knack for understanding clients' training requirements, developing high quality courses, producing customized curriculum solutions, and leading the market through creative solutions. Before her involvement in the IT training industry, Carrie was an International Sales and Marketing Manager for eight years for Sophisticated Systems. This experience has allowed Carrie to convert competitors to clients and to develop lasting reseller channels worldwide.
Co-founding ITU has been her largest success, with over 200 courses, resellers in 30 different countries, and hundreds of thousands of students acquired through organic, internal growth. Carrie has a tireless work ethic, energetic management style, and hands-on approach. She recognizes that effective, experienced employees are critical to an organization’s success and is proud that ITU is an employee-owned and operated company.
Carrie currently holds majority positions in many online training companies, including Vision Training Systems, The Academy of Film, Fashion & Design, the Mixology Training Company, and the Health Institute Online. She still lives in Florida and is an avid real estate investor. When she is not working, she enjoys traveling all over the world, rollerblading, ballroom dancing, cooking, as well as spending time with friends and family.