There aren’t many industries that move quite as fast as the tech space – this could explain why 59% of IT professionals are concerned their skills might become obsolete. With every new day comes a new innovation and, with it, a new process, system, or language that technologists must learn. This poses a unique challenge for tech professionals who are ready to find a new position – especially if they’ve been in their current role for quite some time. So, what about the people who aren’t stressing about the relevancy of their skills? They’re actively working to grow them! As a tech professional, it’s on you to keep up to speed with the latest and greatest innovations in technology. Here’s how to grow your tech skills – even if you’re already working full time:

Subscribe, read, and listen to the experts

We’re not one for clichés, but the old adage “you don’t know what you don’t know” fits perfectly here. If your tech knowledge relies solely on the hands-on experience you get within your current role, it’s likely only a matter of time before your skill sets become stagnant or non-transferable. You need to learn outside of work – point blank.

But before you enroll in every free online course, find out what technologies are emerging and what the experts are saying about them. Reading tech blogs or simply listening to a podcast on your commute should become part of your everyday ritual.

So, where do you even start when Google is a rabbit hole of tech blogs and podcasts? Here are a few of our favorites:

·      Tech blogs:

o   TechCrunch: News on up-and-coming tech innovations and startups.

o   Engadget: The latest and greatest on tech gadgets.

o   Wired: A look at how technology and pop culture intersect.

·      Tech podcasts:

o   Exponet: Discussions around how technology impacts society.

o   Accidental Tech: Musings on the latest in technology and industry news.

o   IT Visionaries: Insight from today’s tech leaders.

Dedicate Time to Online Learning

While staying up to date on the latest technology trends is important and will give you a lot to talk about during your next dinner party (whether or not your friends want to hear about it is another story), you need something else to get started: commitment. Even the most passionate technologists can flinch at the thought of leaving work only to open up their computer and learn a new skill – but they do it anyway.

Carve out a few hours every week solely dedicated to learning the new skill you set your sights on. Udemy, Treehouse , and CodeAcademy are all trusted online learning platforms for IT professionals that provide courses on virtually any new technology. And if you ever caught yourself wishing that you could have earned the same world-class education like the lucky ones at MIT – stop wishing. Through their OpenCourseWare program, about 2,400 MIT courses are available online for the low, low price of absolutely free.

We challenge you to pick one new skill to learn by the end of next month. Sacrifice just a little of your free time to make it happen – you’ll be happy you did.

Take initiative within your current role

While open-source platforms, such as GitHub and CodePen, enable developers to put their skills to the test, we urge you to take it a step further. No matter what your specialty is, there are countless opportunities to enhance your skill sets within your current role.

Itamar Turner-Traurin, software engineer and author of Code Without Rules, urges IT professionals to consider inefficiencies within their organization’s current processes and to offer up solutions for optimizing them. Not only will this grow your skill set and impress your manager, but you and your team won’t need to suffer through arduous processes because, hey, you fixed them!

Expand Your Horizons to IT Consulting Work

Just as IT professionals must keep up with the break-neck advancements in the tech space, so too must companies across every industry as they work to optimize their processes by bringing new levels of technology into their organization. This has created a rise in demand for IT consultants to help launch these initiatives.

While there are many benefits to IT consulting work, one of the most common ones that we hear from our teams is the diversity of projects that they’re able to sink their teeth into. With every new contract, they have the potential to gain experience with multiple new technologies while growing their skill sets – talk about a well-rounded resume.

Here at TriCom, we help IT professionals like you find rewarding positions that work for them. Nothing less. So, tell us – what technologies are you ready to dig in to? We’re ready to find you the perfect match – click here to explore our current opportunities!

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