In today’s rapidly evolving digital world, the majority of successful industries rely on technology to conduct their business operations, and this tells us one thing: the importance of the IT profession. Arguably all companies in the Philippines and the world need the expertise of an IT professional to some degree—which is why organizations hire project-based consultants or freelance professionals, while others have a dedicated IT department to support employees in their daily operations.
It doesn’t come as a surprise, then, that a job in Information Technology is among the most lucrative and most sought-after careers today. If you, too, are considering pivoting your career to IT or looking to level up in the field, you can improve your IT skills by starting with OEd Post Grad’s short courses and a few other tips.
IT Skills to Advance Your Career
The IT field has grown fast in the last few years, so there are now a lot of niches to explore. If you plan on taking our IT short course, you’ll go through a set curriculum that will teach you the most relevant skills in IT. Here are the most relevant skills you may start with in your learning journey:
- Cloud Computing
- Full-stack Web Development
- AI and Machine Learning
- Cloud Computing
It’s important to remember that IT skills are not confined to hard skills. Soft skills, such as communication and leadership skills, are also valuable in an IT professional’s career growth. So, if you want meaningful improvement in your IT skills, target both soft and hard skills.
How to Improve IT Skills and Knowledge
You need to be dedicated to continuous learning if you want to keep growing in IT. Here are practical ways to improve your knowledge and skills in Information Technology:
Watch Free Tutorial Videos
Along with the growth of technology, the IT community has also expanded. There are now so many IT experts sharing their knowledge through blogs, YouTube videos, and e-books, many of which are free. These tutorial videos provide foundational information about the skill you are targeting. This way, you’ll know what the skill entails and whether it is the right path for you.
However, it must be said that watching YouTube videos, in particular, are directed at beginners. So, regardless of your knowledge level about an IT niche, this is a great place to start—but not exactly the best place to ensure quality education. These videos also typically divide the topics into easily-digestible sub-topics so it’s easier for self-learners to understand.
You can set the pace for your learning and dig deeper into specific subtopics when you want. All in all, free tutorial videos are a great place to get the ball rolling.
Take Short Courses Online
When you’re sure of what skill to target and have sufficient knowledge of what it is, you may take it up a notch by enrolling in online short programs.
Programs like OEd Post Grad’s delve deeper into the topics and skills you need to learn over a short period. You will be guided by a certified expert through a curriculum, complete with projects to ensure that you understand the lessons fully.
Apart from the ensured quality of education, online courses are also ideal for those who want to advance their career in IT. Boost your credentials with certifications from respected educational institutions.
Enroll in a Postgraduate Program
If you’re ready to commit to expanding your knowledge, a postgraduate will give your résumé a major boost. A master’s or doctorate degree makes you qualified for leadership positions because they build on soft skills like management and leadership in addition to hard skills.
This is a major investment since postgraduate programs take at least two years to complete. That said, there are schools like OEd Post Grad that offer fully online classes, so while you still need to dedicate hours to learning, you can save more time by learning remotely.
Some individuals find this beneficial, as more often than not, most students who enroll in graduate courses have full-time jobs, families, and lives outside their classroom. Postgraduate programs provide a structure through which to learn and hone their skills on a higher level.
Furthermore, a postgraduate diploma alone gives you a leg up against others in the field. However, your diploma is also evidence of positive qualities a potential employer may be looking for, specifically dedication to growth and to IT.
Practice on Online Learning Platforms
If you ask any expert how to improve your IT knowledge, they will all probably tell you to practice. You can read all the books and watch as many tutorials as you can, but you cannot fully learn any IT skill without using them.
Malcolm Gladwell famously theorized that you need 10,000 hours of practice to become a master in any discipline. The same applies to IT. However, the amount of time you spend practicing a skill will not automatically turn you into an expert.
Quality matters, too. This means that you need to engage with the skill—to practice deliberately. Deliberate practice involves learning the fundamentals and all components of a skill and then applying your knowledge. It’s also important to get immediate feedback so you can correct mistakes.
If you join a short course, professors embed practice and feedback in the curriculum. However, you should practice outside of your classes, too. There are numerous online resources where you can practice and get feedback or discuss with others in the field. Examples of this are Codewars.com and Kaggle.com.
Build Your Portfolio of Projects
Following the concept of practicing deliberately, you should apply what you have learned on a project. Conceptualize a big project that you’re passionate about and work on that. Often, small projects spring out of major ones. You work on them on the sides and include them in your portfolio.
Working on personal projects helps you enhance your IT skills. More importantly, they can serve as proof of your abilities when you go on to apply for your target job. This also demonstrates your dedication to learning and the field. This is a crucial strength in an ever-evolving field like IT.
Study Other People’s Work
So many IT professionals are sharing their work for free on various platforms specifically to inspire and educate those who are interested. Github is one prominent platform where people share their projects.
You’ll surely learn a thing or two from other people’s work. Simultaneously, you may find inspiration from others for your own project. You may find solutions to similar issues or think of a way to enhance your ideas through others’ work. You may chance upon unexpected nuggets of wisdom that could improve IT skills.
This is also a great way to stay updated on the latest developments and issues in the field, which can help inform your professional path.
Expand Your Network
Learning doesn’t occur in a vacuum. You also need to expand your connections to help you grow as an IT professional. You can connect with other professionals through online communities.
IT communities regularly engage in discussions to help each other find solutions to various problems and come up with ways to drive the industry forward. It’s a good idea to be part of such communities to stay updated and keep your mind challenged.
You may also participate in hackathons—competition-style events where participants must complete a task over a short period. These types of events are a great opportunity to challenge your skills. You’ll surely learn new things as you take on unique tasks.
These types of events may also boost your résumé since they are proof that you are skilled enough to participate in the competitive IT world.
Take on Additional Projects at Work
Usually, discussions on how to improve skills in IT involve working outside one’s work. However, it is possible to also learn within the workplace, especially if you already work in the field.
Look for opportunities to lend a hand, preferably in areas you’re still practicing. Challenge yourself to accomplish that task, or if you get stumped on something, ask for help from someone more knowledgeable.
Additional projects are an opportunity to learn and expand your skills. However, don’t let additional projects get in the way of your core responsibilities at work.
How to Improve My IT Knowledge with OEd Post Grad
You don’t have to reach far and wide for the best way to grow in the IT field. Online Post Grad is the perfect platform for working professionals seeking to deepen their knowledge and skills in Information Technology.
Acquire the skills and credentials you need to advance your career in IT through OEd’s postgraduate program. Combine these tips on how to improve your IT skills with practical guidance from top IT educators and you’ll surely soar high.
Contact us today to learn more about our short programs.