4 Ways to Learn IT Skills

Learn IT Skills

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Whether you are looking to broaden your horizons for a career change, or are just looking for add additional skills, there are ways to invest in yourself. There are four ways to learn the IT skills you need to build a successful career in the industry. Here are details about each one.

Self-Instruction: The Hard Way

We could all stand to be more tech-savvy and there are dozens of stories in the media about self-made IT gurus. It’s true that there are plenty of successful tech tycoons who taught themselves and dominated their chosen niche of the industry. However, they are the exception. The vast majority of skilled IT pros either gained their knowledge in school or on the job.

The cleverest of the bunch combine all three techniques to maximize their long-term success. Fortunately, there are many excellent online training academies and tutorials for those who prefer to acquire skills at their own pace and without having to attend college. Be careful to vet online options and check verified reviews before committing money or time to a program.

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College: The Smart Way

What many call the smart approach to acquiring tech skills is actually a two-part process. Part one consists of choosing a major field of study at the college of your choice. Part two deals with getting the money you need to cover expenses like tuition, room, board, fees, books, etc. Luckily, there are some excellent resources for finding scholarships, no matter what school you choose.

The trick to maximizing the amount of money you get from scholarships is to use a reputable search & apply tool to explore all the options. The best thing about an all-in-one platform is that you never have to duplicate your efforts. After spending a few minutes completing a standard demographic profile, the program then connects you with scholarship opportunities for which you meet the basic requirements.

Then, simply filter through the results as you want, selecting the scholarships you want to apply for, uploading essays, and supplying any other documents. Note that you can use the same essays for multiple applications and store the relevant documents right on the platform. That feature saves you hours of time and gives you the power to apply for numerous scholarships in a very short period of time.

On the Job: The Practical Way

On-the-job training is the second most common way to get ahead in your career in IT after the college degree approach. Keep in mind that most college students get jobs in the industry during summers in between academic years. Whether you’re in college or not, aim to land an entry-level position with a tech firm. Popular choices are help desk jobs and data management. The catch-22 is that you often need a degree to get anything other than an entry job.

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Combine First Three Methods: The Best Way

In the real world, most professional IT adults will tell you they used a combination of all three strategies. In other words, they took a few online courses to get a feel for what the industry is all about. After mastering one or more programming languages, they headed off to college, where they majored in one of the many tech-related subjects. During summers and immediately after graduating, they gained experience in paid or intern positions. Seldom does anyone choose just one path. A good way to begin is to speak with an academic or career counselor so you can explore all your options and get the best education.