The Early Years
In 1991, after working as a market analyst for Novell's education and certification department, Noel Vallejo started a marketing consulting company focused on helping computer training companies better market and sell IT certification training programs. In early 1992, the company changed its name to United Education Centers (UEC) and began sponsoring national and international industry conferences. UEC also began offering customized direct marketing and advertising services to training companies throughout North and South America.
Video Training Leads the Way
In the early 1990's, the IT certification training market began growing at an incredible rate. However, many networking professionals did not have the means to attend expensive training centers. To better help IT professionals access quality, economical training, United Education Centers developed and released the industry's first video training series dedicated to helping professionals prepare for Novell's Certified Novell Engineer (CNE) exams. The video training series, So You Wanna Be A CNE?!, was released in 1994 and was an instant hit. Packaged with training manuals and test preparation software, the video series propelled UEC to the top of the IT distance training industry.
Lab Simulations Build Experience
With an expert team of instructional designers, software engineers, technical writers, and graphic artists, UEC continued to deliver quality IT training products in the most cost effective ways. In 1996, UEC developed a computer-based version of its popular video training to be delivered on CD-ROM. As this team incorporated video lessons, text lessons, and exam preparation into one tool, it became apparent that IT students needed hands-on training to truly understand the material. So, UEC integrated simulation technology and hands-on labs into its CBT products.
To better align itself with its most successful product line, in 1998 the company changed its name to TestOut Corporation. TestOut also began breaking away from its Novell training focus with the release of its first training for Microsoft certification programs–-the Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE). Between 1999 and 2000, TestOut further expanded its product line to better serve the networking professional by adding training for CompTIA's A+ and Network+ and Cisco's Certified Network Administrator (CCNA) certifications. Also in 1999, TestOut began releasing its simulations as a separate hands-on training product named LabSim. LabSim is a very robust simulation product that gives users a very real experience using current technologies.
Focus and The Future
Since 2001, TestOut has focused on the continued development of high quality training products and technologies that help networking professionals prepare for the most popular industry certification exams. TestOut's mission "to make a difference in a person's life, through education using breakthrough technology" will continue to guide the company in the future.