Hey all. So as many people probably know, I lost my IT job about 3 weeks ago. The job I thought I had in the bag to replace it doesn't appear as solid anymore so I've been applying for other stuff in town. Unfortunately, a lot of stuff I'm otherwise well qualified for requires experience in or at least knowledge of Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager. One of the many failings of the IT environment at my old job was that we had no solution like this in place. We looked at it once (and it was LANDesk, not SCCM), then all our budgets seized up. However, based on my job hunting, SCCM is extremely popular in Ottawa, to the point where it's say it's the standard. I know there are alternatives, including several good ones that don't run on Windows but I've got to go with what's popular in my job market.
Truth be told, I don't think I'd have that much problem picking it up but there's no easy way for me to setup a test environment for it at home. I've looked into a number of online and in-person courses offered for it, many of which claim to be able to teach you the core administrative tasks in 5-7 days. Problem is, they all cost about $2,500-$3,000, or the better part of half of what I have saved up to survive on while unemployed. I can't spend that kind of money on a course in the vague hope that having just taken a course in SCCM with no actual production experience with it will get me a job.
I'm wondering, does anyone in Goodjer IT land know of some good resources for learning SCCM? I'm not actually opposed to paying for it, I just can't spend that kind of money right now and obviously, free is best. I tend to learn best either visually or practically but given my current monetary limitations, even just reading material's probably better than nothing. I'm going to spend some more time digging around today but I thought I'd toss the question in here and see if anyone knew of something.