Do you remember internet cafés? If you’re particularly young – young enough to only now be taking an interest in online information technology training consultancy – you may have no conscious memory of having seen one. In the United States, internet cafés have already become a short-lived memory of a bygone era. It was largely an era before smartphones existed, before personal computers were virtually ubiquitous, and before the country’s information technology infrastructure was capable of accommodating demand for data at all times, in every populated area.
If you remember internet cafés as a sort of ancient relic, you may be surprised to learn that they are still alive and well in other places. An article in the Philippine Star, for instance, recently discussed how the ongoing popularity and social role of internet cafés in the Southeast Asian country are leading to their being repurposed as remote classrooms for online information technology training.
In Philippine cities, there are expansive and successful chains of internet cafés, as well as local Internet Café Associations. The article specifies that the businesses provide connectivity to a range of Filipinos whose demand for internet services outstrips their own personal access, whether it be for gaming, global information, or specific educational projects.
What the article does not specify is that from a Western perspective, the persistent popularity of these gathering places may constitute a significant opportunity for training and development specialists with an interest in serving foreign markets. Despite limitations on connectivity, the importance of information technology training and placements is growing in far-flung foreign markets at roughly the same pace as it is in California and the rest of the United States. And the comparative strength of our online information technology training consultancy programs means that those foreign markets may very well jump at the opportunity to expose large temporary classrooms to California-based instruction.
Certainly, in some cases those foreign markets are already reachable by Western training and development specialists via dedicated distance-learning classrooms. But the unique case of internet cafés may represent an entry into such foreign markets for an online information technology training consultancy that would otherwise be forced to compete with the dedicated staffs and contractors linked to classroom-based training programs.
The less formal setting of an internet café may allow for both sides of such an exchange to play the field, so to speak. A burgeoning California training and development specialist can gain valuable remote-classroom experience by connecting with Philippine or other remote providers of informal and short-term instruction, and then teaching to the assembled crowd at an internet café. That crowd, in its turn, can benefit from short-term, low-cost instruction on a range of isolated topics, even if it lacks the means to access a dedicated online information technology training consultancy.
If you’re interested in this sort of work, either to test your own information technology training and build up your resume or to provide a needed service to less fortunate markets, Filipino internet café associations are only one set of places where you might look for relevant opportunities.