COLORADO -- I signed up with TechSkills for their medical coding associate course of study. I knew I was in trouble after I'd signed up and some of what my mentor was saying didn't seem to make sense with regard to the subject and the market / what I was hearing from those outside of TechSkills and finding online, vs what the mentor was suggesting. Each time I pressed for back-up to the info, it was suggested to me that maybe I wasn't really ready to study with them and perhaps I should talk to the director.
Of course if I'd cancelled I wouldn't have received a full refund and in the end I stayed. But while the mentor fussed that I did so much independently and seemed to not require the assistance others did, more often than not, when I did have questions, they were dismissed as to be addressed at a later time or not important to passing and getting a job in the field. Or I was asked to get with the mentor when they weren't busy with other students (and by my asking questions the mentor appeared to not know answers to, I seemed to make an enemy, and getting anything done became much more difficult).
I spent a lot of time backing up, verifying and using outside sources in the industry to get the expert input and direction I'd actually chosen to pay TechSkills for rather than just studying on my own.
In the end, what suggestions the mentor did offer, a simple search on the web proved contradictory to what the experts in the respective fields recommended. Also, the first and only industry contact I received from the mentor, didn't seem to have a clue who this mentor was or sound like they'd ever done anything with the mentor. This even though the mentor had presented the relationship with the contact as strong and long-standing with regular cooperation between them.
I'm pretty good at doing things on my own, but what really pushed me over, in so much as any faith in any weight that having completed a TechSkills program (with an A) might carry in a new career search, was getting emails and voice mails (many of which I've saved) asking me to re-send info misplaced or not recalled anymore, or to call to remind the mentor of something, or to make an appointment in order to set something up... and then when I'd follow up, it was implied that I was the one requesting the activity or even demanding the attention over the mentor's students.
In addition to defending my actions/follow-ups as at the mentor's request, I always wanted to remind the mentor that I was also one of the mentor's "students" and am in debt thousands for that very poor decision. Needless to say, on the occasions that calls or requests were initiated by me, the return email would simply overlook the subject matter questions, or I'd be asked to get back to the mentor when they had more time or returned from vacation time they were about to leave for etc (leading into another of the previously described scenario) etc.
I did complete the program, but am choosing to back it up with other courses and will not list TechSkills on my resume or use them in my job search for positions in this field, as the many miscommunications and confused responses of the mentor, while I was there, left me with a complete lack of faith that any verification calls that might be handled by this mentor would be handled well or knowledgeably or, that said, professionally.
I would not recommend TechSkills so long as things stay as they are. When you pay or go into debt thousands and commit months of your life to something, you expect to get more than a stack of books and written worksheets and tests (the equiv of which I've found for free on the web through different sources, free lists of nec. books for study, and the web-based lectures equiv in the form of seminars/recorded lectures on their own for the cost of just the lectures etc).
SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA -- This has to be one of the worst experiences I have had trying to enhance my education. I found the installation online and decided to see what it was all about. I was contacted by one of the admissions specialist on a Monday. I appreciated his fast response but told him I was out of town for business and would not be able to attend an orientation until NEXT Monday. He seemed to understand the situation and said he'll call me next week. The very next day (and every day after that) he called and tried to get me in for an orientation. Needless to say I was getting pretty frustrated.
Next Monday rolled around and I showed up for orientation. Not only was he half an hour late to his own meeting, he asked me to wait in the lobby for another 10 minutes while he set up. He finally called me in and sat me down. He handed me a package with information on how much money I can make if I get these certifications. First of all, I made more than what he was showing me and second, I felt it was a little unprofessional and insulting to throw numbers in my face. I came to his meeting to learn what their school has to offer. Gaining a certification from ANY school will help bring in more money, not just TechSkills.
It finally came down to the cost of the class. My goal was to gain a certification in two courses. The total cost of the two classes would be $7500. I was extremely shocked at the price. He was insisting that I sign up for a loan with a 12% interest rate. It was like I was buying a car! I dismissed myself and told him I wanted to think about it.
I went home and started researching other schools. I found an installation, a very reputable one, that offers the same courses for a total of $2800. The next morning he called and asked if I made up my mind. I told him that I found a school that offers the same courses for almost $5k less than what they are offering and I needed more time to actually research the school. After I mentioned that, he started pouting! He was whining how TechSkills was the best and I'm dumb for going with another school. He stated that I will get a horrible education and he hung up the phone!
What type of professional does that?? Two weeks later he sends me an email that literally said, “So are you going to go with the other school or what? I need to know so I can leave you alone.” I just replied, “Yes. Thanks for your help.” I'm not sure if these guys get paid on commission or what, but my experience was ridiculous. I DO NOT recommend this school. There are many installations out there whose priority is getting you a good education, not emptying your pocket. I am glad I didn't sign up with TechSkills.
SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA -- I just finished the Medical Coding course with TechSkills in San Jose California. I would have to say they did not do a very good job in helping me understand the subject. They assigned a mentor to me who seemed to have little or no knowledge on Medical coding. Each time I asked her a question she would be elusive saying “it depends” or that it seems right to her. I handed in a lot of homework and she never even bothered checking it. She would put a 100% at the top and returned it to me.
They did provide me with the textbooks and material needed to understand coding, but it was pretty much up to me to figure out how to do it. And they really forced me to keep to their schedule. This normally should be an acceptable practice, except they did not include any breaks for any holidays. Not for Christmas, New Years, Thanksgiving, Labor Day, you name it and they ignored it. On the other hand, they were nice enough to close their offices on these holidays. So the 9 months they scheduled me to finish the course was literally 9 calendar months.
Finally, they are always pushing their NHA certificate. This certificate is obtained by a test TechSkills gives, typically onsite. There are several institutions that provide training and certification for medical coding. The largest one is AHIMA. While most employers are more interested in hiring someone one with experience, a handful are aware of the AHIMA certification and it does help to have it on your resume. Unfortunately, TechSkills tries very hard to hide this fact from their students.
You can learn how to do medical coding if you go through TechSkills. But you should be aware that you will be on your own and it would be about the same as if you took an online course that may cost thousands of dollars less.
DALLAS, TEXAS -- Unfortunately, I tried one of their courses that cost $6500, and it was horrible. First off, anything and just about everything your "Enrollment Specialist," tells you is pretty much a lie to get you in the door. They are going to tell you how special their program is because it integrates online learning, paired with mentor gurus to insure you learn the material. Whelp, the online course material is okay, but can be found much cheaper elsewhere for just the online content. You could go to O'Reiley's and come out far better.
If you are told the mentors are there for you, think again, they are underpaid, working on their own career path. They might stop for a moment to help you if you come to them at the right moment, but most of the time, they will go to great lengths to impress upon you that you must be the one who learns and finds the answer through the online help section of the software. In short, pretty much no nonsense when it comes to their time.
So once I got to going, I started to lag. I noticed other students were lagging. So much so, that when it came time to take test, students were rarely ready, negating that exam guarantee you will hear about from the enrollment specialist. They will put you on the borderline of 90%, and leave it up to you to go in on your own dime the promised five times if you mess up. They will say you make the grade, but nearly 30 percent is a subjective grade given by your mentor for class participation. So you can ace all the material, and still fall below the 90% range.
So once I saw how they did it, and got tired of the crap, I decided to quit. This is a total loss, regardless of what they tell you about refunds. They will give you nothing, because they put little clauses into the contract they make you sign on admission, that pretty much says they keep the lion share of your money, regardless of the circumstance.
My advice to anyone considering Techskills is to run. Stay away from those greedy people, as they are not there for you as much as they will try to sell you otherwise. If you are that eager to part with your money, just go to Vegas and lose it in style.
INDEPENDENCE, OHIO -- Beware of this school if they even still have the campus open in Independence, Ohio (was in existence as of 4-2011). I entered the MCSA program at the local Cleveland/ Independence campus and successfully completed my A+, Network+ and MCP 270 (XP) certifications but was booted out after 12 months for supposed slow progress which I appealed since I was 1/2 way through my 290 course and was told at my inception that I could get up to 18 months to complete all courses by the admissions advisor-who also resigned (a complete lie- get any extension promised at the inception of your agreement in writing not verbal.)
The appeal was denied for no valid reason. This campus has very high turnover. All staff and instructors with the exception of the admin/receptionist left in a 9 month period from the time I enrolled AND as the previous poster wrote there is no valid externship program through this campus. Run and keep running. I was promised the world and was left with crappy instructors who did not qualify explanations of any questions I had during the assigned labs. There was one extremely helpful, competent instructor in this group of incompetent clowns but he of course left midway thorough my schooling.
If you can do labs independently with no instructor intervention then go for it. If you get tied up with technical questions related to the I. T. labs (especially the 290-291 server courses) then forget it. You will not receive adequate help. I have heard other Techskills campuses are o. k. (told this by a Techskills employee). But the Cleveland one is the epitome of a joke and they lost the Pearson Vue accreditation as a test center for CompTIA and Microsoft exams.
I am now left to complete my 290-291 courses independently but still have not been able to negotiate the balance of the student loan to Techskills down to reflect responsibility only for the 3.5 out of 5 courses I was able to complete. Techskills will promise the world and deliver the bare minimum- and I write that using the term loosely. Good luck!
For anyone thinking about signing up with Techskills at the Raleigh NC campus, please reconsider. The health services instructor is extremely inadequate. So many times when a question arose I was either handed the answer or told to move on to something else that may be the answer will come up later. This instructor has NO medical experience whatsoever and on many occasions admitted she didn't have an answer other than the guide given to grade exercises.
The director said they were looking for a replacement with actual experience but that isn't going to happen because they would have to pay that person more money. I could find answers on the internet but many times the test questions were wrong as well and you are at their mercy. DO NOT waste your money, please.
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS -- Tech Skills fees are high, and they will not refund the money. I joined for a CCNA class for each class tuition fees cost are more than $2500 +. I happen to take the same course/class in a community collage near me for $350. The time fame for CCNA is very limited at Tech Skills, and only if you were a self-educator would that collage be of any help. Moreover, beware of their cancellation policies you have only 3-day window and if not you are lose $800 +. I lost my $ 800 to TechSkills, even though I did not even begin my class for another two weeks. TechSkill blames on some State Law, which allow them to rip-off from the canceling students.
My advice to the students is to think twice of going to TechSkills, and look out for the same programs offered in your community colleges next to you. If not look for the Alliance program in your neighboring community colleges that would save you lots of money. Schools like TechSkill just have one or two servers and routers whereas most community colleges have 8 to 10 servers and devices. TechSkills are always understaffed and help comes at cost of the students.
My personal experience tells me TechSkills is a rip-off college. Please read the reviews of others with regards to the TechSkills; my experience says they are unbiased reviews and true to heart. Now you decide to be loser. Good luck and join the TechSkills anywhere in U.S.
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE -- On 1/07/2005, I enrolled at Techskills in Nashville, Tn. to take a medical billing/coding course, total amount was $6995. I decided 17 days later that I did not care or need the type of teaching in which they operated. I needed a more classroom teaching and less online learning. Under the contract, according to the time frame in which I was enrolled, Techskills is to refund me 75% of the total tuition ($4050), minus $100 administrative fee. The difference amount of $6995 (which is for purchasing their software) and the tuition amount of $4050 is "ate up" immediately upon signing of the contract and cannot ever be recovered.
That amount comes to $2945, but since they already received $5100 from SLM 3 days after signing on with them, the amount they owe me is $1042.50. On 5/13/2005, Techskills sent a refund of $605.08 to Sallie Mae, but did not send the whole amount and still owe a refund of $437.42. I filed a complaint with the BBB last March, but the $437.42 has yet to be refunded, and it's now been 10 months. Techskills has falsely stated to the BBB that they sent a refund of $2937.50 to Sallie Mae (which is not even the right amount) and Sallie Mae shows no record of receiving any refund of that amount. Techskills also cannot supply a date in which this refund was sent.
I just wish that I had researched this school better before I enrolled and am having to pay a little over $4000 back to SLM for the loan. They also are not accredited with the Schools of Higher Education, which is important. Please check out these schools carefully before enrolling, and hopefully you will not have to go through the emotional and financial distress that I have had to endure with Techskills.
DO NOT enroll in Techskills, for if you decide to withdraw from them, and you have paid to them any money, they WILL NOT send your refund to you if you're owed any at all. Techskills is a RIPOFF! Since the BBB cannot recoup my money, I am going to have to seek legal advice and hire an attorney to get back $437.42.