Top 5 ways to upgrade your IT skills

Top 5 ways to upgrade your IT skills

IT solutions in businesses today use many types of computers and storage and networking equipment. As technology continues to develop, IT continues to come up with brand-new means by which businesses collect, maintain, and retrieve information. In this context, information can mean written content, databases, spreadsheets, email, and completed online forms, and much more.

With so much going on in the IT landscape — the cloud, the internet of things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning — employers seek out the best IT specialists to keep up with the changing trends. If you’re an IT specialist, the only way to stay ahead of your competition is by constantly learning and refining your skills.

Here are five ways to keep your IT skills sharp:

#1. Read technical books and take part in online tutorials

Though you might have textbook IT knowledge, you still might need to address your weak points. For example, if coding is not your strongest skill, you can find online tutorials or get extra mentoring. Reading technical books is hugely beneficial too since they contain helpful information and step-by-step how-to guides that can help you grow as an IT specialist. You can always use them for future reference.

Consider joining tech forums as well. It’s a good venue to raise questions, seek comments and reactions, and share your opinions. To widen your scope of knowledge, check out this list for some of the most well-known and established tech websites.

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#2. Don’t be intimidated by automation

If you're thinking that you shouldn't bother learning new IT skills because AI and automation will take your job, then think again. In fact, a source revealed that IT workers were not worried about the impact of robotic process automation (RPA) and AI on their job security. This is because these new technologies automate many menial IT tasks, affording you more time to accomplish high-value tasks, such as creating innovative solutions, providing cybersecurity training to non-IT personnel, and indeed, undergoing skills upgrades yourself.

By embracing these new technological shifts, you’d be able to spend your free time during the workday innovating around solutions, modernizing existing technology, and even undergoing training and development.

#3. Consider high-demand certifications

They say that certainty is the enemy of growth. This couldn’t be more true when it comes to self-improvement. While you may have a resume filled with qualifications, these can quickly become outdated and irrelevant in the IT sector. As of this writing, certain certifications such as CAP (Certified Analytics Professional) and MCSE (Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert) are very valuable and can definitely give you a competitive edge. You can check out CBT Nuggets for some of the most sought-out courses in IT and get the professional training that you need.

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Taking extension courses will also allow you to work in a group environment where you can interact and network with peers and subject matter expert educators. All of these people can teach you things you won’t find online, like practical tips and real-life experiences.

#4. Practice through personal tech projects

The best way to measure progress is by applying what you learn. Take on tech projects as a hobby to refine your skills hands on. For example, create your own website to apply practical skills like CSS, HTML, RSS, MySQL, and PHP.

If you’re more interested in hardware, build your dream PC from scratch so you can learn how to come up with a build strategy, run diagnostics, and troubleshoot problems that you may face along the way. Remember, when you have a reason to learn and focus on a practical application, you’ll be able to accelerate your learning.

#5. Keep up to date with IT and cybersecurity news

Subscribe to reputable sites and newsletters, follow tech leaders and experts on social media, and attend industry events. By surrounding and immersing yourself in the tech and cybersecurity world, you can gain varying perspectives on emerging trends and threats.

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Stay abreast with the cybersecurity landscape to understand the different kinds of security and privacy risks out there and how these develop over time to defeat complex IT systems.

IT professionals live in exciting times. The reality today is that IT doesn’t just support businesses, but powers them to make dramatic leaps in productivity service quality. Behind these state-of-the-art IT systems are top-notch IT personnel who work hard to stay on top of their game. At Charles IT, our tech experts have a great passion for learning and innovating. Because of them, our IT solutions — managed services, tech support, and consulting — are guaranteed to drive your business to success. Give us a call today to learn more.

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