As the global economy shifts decidedly toward technological innovation, the number of jobs in the technology sector grows. Even within existing sectors, the chance of landing a job if you have IT skills is much larger. Companies large and small need website developers, security specialists and networking specialists. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to gain IT skills without draining your bank account.
If you want an IT career that requires a college degree, there are a number of scholarships available. There are scholarships based on merit (or academic achievement); monetary need; religion; region; and everything else you might imagine. There are even scholarships for left-handed people!
Many IT jobs don’t require two- or four-year degrees. Instead, employers are interested in whether you have a certificate and/or working knowledge in the skill they’re seeking. Instead of paying for a full college education, you can go straight to learning the specific information you need. For example, codeschool.com lets you take courses and earn certifications based on what you want to learn. Best of all, you pay one low yearly fee for access to all their classes.
Ask Your Employer
If you’re looking for new opportunities but like working for your current employer, considering asking them if they would be willing to pay for you to learn new skills. Many companies have budgets set aside specifically for employee education. It’s often more cost effective for them to hire within the company instead of taking a risk on a new hire. If you have already shown that you’re a hard worker and they value your contributions, they may be willing to foot at least part of the bill for you to expand your skill set.
Hire an Expert
If you already have a working knowledge of the skills you want to learn, you can hire someone to give you private classes to take your knowledge to the next level. Although a much more informal arrangement, this approach can work well to hone skills and move from simply being familiar with a program to becoming an expert. This is particularly helpful if you need to know a specific way to apply the knowledge but but don’t need to know everything about the subject.
Although this route will not work for most people, it’s possible to trade with an expert in the field if you have IT skills they want to learn and vice versa. This is much more informal than a certification program. If you already have a working knowledge and are looking for ways to learn how to apply what you know to a specific scenario, learning directly from an expert is a faster, more streamlined option.
There are a number of ways to learn new IT skills without breaking the bank. All it takes is creativity, research and drive. By tapping into available resources, you can learn new skills,increasing both your career opportunities and your earning potential.