Ways to Learn About Technology Without Taking a College Course
The information technology industry offers relatively high-paying work and is projected to expand considerably in the next decade - creating over 500,000 new jobs; even so, it can be a difficult field to break into without a college degree. But this doesn't mean that other options don't exist. In fact, a growing number of courses and businesses have been created in recent years with the goal of teaching a multitude of IT skills to technologically-curious individuals - without costing them as much money and time as a traditional university.
If you're interested in furthering your understanding of technology and adding valuable IT certifications to your resume - but don't want to go through years of college-level coursework to do so - here are a few options to consider:
LEARN CODING AND OTHER SKILLS
Need to learn basic or advanced coding? These sites are worth looking into:
- Codecademy: Another website that allows you to learn to code for free, Codecademy's expansive catalog includes introductory courses to a variety of programming languages, as well as classes designed to teach specific skills - such as creating websites.
- Skillcrush: This site offers intensive three-month courses designed to teach you valuable career skills. The majority of Skillcrush's programs will cost you a one-time fee of $500, while their "all-inclusive" nine-month package combines all of their other options into one comprehensive curriculum for $1500 (or slightly more depending on your payment method). Although if you're specifically seeking a career in IT, some of their courses - like digital marketing and WordPress development - may not be of interest to you.
- Udemy: Boasting a massive library that includes programming, server work, cybersecurity, and many other tech-related subjects, Udemy is an amazing tool for those looking to learn just about anything related to information technology. With most classes costing around $200 (considerably less during some sales), this is an affordable option for acquiring IT skills that will help you meet specific job requirements.
IT COMMUNITIES AND CERTIFICATION
Looking for a community of experts to exchange advice and discuss current events in the field with? Consider joining one of these online IT groups:
Codecademy's Forum: In addition to offering free educational courses, this site also has a forum created for programmers, at all levels of experience, to exchange useful information and help each other learn.
- CompTIA: Home to a wealth of IT communities, CompTIA allows anyone to register for free to learn and share information with other site members. Communities are focused on topics such as IT security, emerging technologies, and advancing women in technology, making it easy to find one that matches your interests. Each community also provides a number of resources and links to simplify the search for information. You can also register for various types of certification exams through this site.
- TechExams: The forums provided by TechExams are a useful resource for finding out more about careers in IT. You can also take a number of free practice exams to find out if you're ready to get certified.
Interested in deepening your understanding of the field and keeping up with current events in the world of technology? Anyone with an IT career in mind should give these a look:
Technopedia: The information technology dictionary available through Technopedia is a useful tool for anyone who wants to brush up on their tech terminology. If you're ever thrown off by something you read or need to make sure you're using the right term, Technopedia's dictionary is the resource to consult.
- ScienceDaily: This site compiles IT news on a daily basis, making it easy to stay informed about the latest developments in information technology.
- ACM TechNews: Similar to ScienceDaily, ACM TechNews provides readers with articles selected for an audience of IT industry professionals. You can also become a member of the Association for Computing Machinery which can help you gain career experience. This often comes in the form of volunteer opportunities which allow you to learn on-the-job skills and expand your resume while working for the betterment of the industry as a whole.
- TechStuff: This is an audio podcast that covers a wide variety of topics relating to technology. Although not as effective of a professional resource as ACM or Technopedia, TechStuff provides listeners with in-depth examinations of emerging technologies and tech industry news. This podcast is worth subscribing to if you want to be a part of the discussion and understand what sort of changes could be coming to the IT community in the near future.
Even if you are already confident and knowledgeable in a particular field of information technology, your education should be never-ending. Expanding and honing your skills should always be a priority! If you are ready to move forth in your career and broaden your horizons, sign up today for free and join our expanding community of top tech talent! Get matched with your next perfect IT opportunity!