I was at a friend's office last week. Roger (my friend) has a computer training facility, and training rooms for hire in Perth, Australia (where I live). They have all kinds of courses there all the time, and in the course of conversation I asked if they do much Linux training there, because that would be something I would be interested in doing with my staff.
I thought it was a fairly valid question—Linux is taking over the computing world (or so we could begin to think if we read the free software news). Wave after wave of adoptions, conversions, governments... change is in the air. But in the world of business, big and small, how are the individual workers being educated by default?
The answer was, quite simply, by Microsoft. And if you want to have your people trained in a program that isn't Microsoft, you're going to have to either provide your own trainer, or you're going to have to do a lot of leg work.
I don't blame my friend at all—it's the age old rule of supply and demand. Employers want their employees trained in Microsoft products because that's what they've always had, that's what everybody knows how to use, and that's that. A change may be as good as a holiday, but lots of people don't seem to see the value in heading to the Linux destination—even though it's a damn sight cheaper and just as easy to use.
I'm running my small business on Linux. But that's because I know what I'm doing. And hey, it looks like I'll be training my own staff, which is okay too. But if I ever get the option for a career change, I think I might try setting up a training centre... that specialises in free software courses for business. Wouldn't that be something?