Technologies that dictate success in the IT industry are constantly changing. As a professional searching for a new job or gunning for a promotion at work, this could mean that the skills you learned a few short years ago are no longer relevant to the field. To stay ahead of the game, you’ll need to continuously learn new programs and skills throughout your career.
Although it can be exciting to learn a new skill, finding the time to do this when working full-time is often easier said than done. Fortunately, there are several ways to update your skillset while working full-time hours.
Below are 5 ways to learn a new technical skill while working full-time:
Attend IT Focused Events
Attending local IT events can be a great way to fully immerse yourself in the new skill you plan to learn. Not only will you be able to expand your skillset, but you’ll also be able to discuss the topic with other IT professionals interested in the subject matter. Check out websites such as Meetup or Eventbrite to find tech related events in your area.
Take An Online Class
Online classes are a great way to learn a new subject from the convenience of your own home. Organizations such as Lynda, Udemy and Skillshare offer a wide range of affordable classes that can help you keep your skills up-to-date with the latest trends. If you’re looking for a more traditional form of learning, you can also take classes from the top universities and educational institutions through websites such as MIT Open Courseware, Coursera, and EdX.
Follow Tech Blogs And Sign Up For Industry Newsletters
You’ll need to optimize your time if you plan to learn a new skill, which is why reading up on the top tech blogs can help. Follow IT focused publications such as Computer Weekly, TechCrunch, and Wired and subscribe to their newsletters so you’ll always have the latest news and trends in your inbox. If you don’t have the time to sit down and read these articles, tune in to an industry-specific podcast on your commute to work.
Join A Professional Network
If you need support while you learn a new skill, joining a professional organization can become a great resource. Many organizations provide training workshops that also offer plenty of networking opportunities where you can connect with your peers and meet possible mentors. A few popular IT focused organizations include IEEE Computer Society, The Association Of Information Technology Professionals, and the Computer Technology Industry Association.
Provide Your New Skill To Your Community
The best way to learn a new skill is through implementation. If you can apply your knowledge to an actual project, you’ll become more efficient in your new skillset. Volunteering your skill to a local organization, for example, can be a great way to get started. Reach out to your community’s local businesses and nonprofit organizations to see if they have any projects aligned with your new skill.