Are you working from home or staying in and socially distancing due to the pandemic? Maybe you’ve got some extra time on your hands and you’re looking to learn a new skill or keep up with the latest tech trends. As technology continues to change, businesses are always searching for talent with the specialized skills and experience they need. Here are a few ways you can learn from home and the in-demand IT skills you’ll want to develop to make yourself a strong job candidate.
There are lots of options for online learning these days and most platforms offer at least some courses and material for free. Here are a few options to consider as you search for the tech courses and skills that would be best for your technology career.
MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) are university-level classes usually developed by schools and offered for free for students to audit. EdX is one of the best MOOCs providers with courses from a broad range of schools and programs, including prestigious universities like Harvard and MIT. Courses use videos, interactive learning exercises, and online textbooks, and they allow for interactions with other students and teaching assistants through online forums.
Want to go a step further and get an official certificate? EdX offers the option to enroll in courses and complete graded assignments throughout, earning a certificate upon successful completion.
An online platform offering courses and nanodegree certifications, Udacity offers the in-demand IT skills many employers are seeking. With courses in AI, coding, robotics, mobile programming, data science, and business, Udacity is a top choice for IT professionals and business leaders. While there are about 200 single courses offered for free, courses that are part of a nanodegree program are not and will cost extra. For some, the expense might be worth it – a nanodegree program will significantly increase your chances of landing a job thanks to the opportunities for hands-on learning.
Another popular online course platform, Udemy is great for professionals looking to gain new skills alongside a busy work/life schedule. Udemy is also a leader in course content with a library of over 130,000 courses to choose from. You can focus on building up your IT skills or expand to areas like business, finance and accounting, or even personal development. Some courses are available for free, but others have to be purchased individually. On the plus side, most are very affordable with courses starting around $9.
Still not sure what platform will work best for your course needs? Here are some other options to consider.
Now that you’ve picked a platform or two, it’s time to figure out what in-demand IT skills would benefit you most. Is there a new technology you’d like to learn? Are you interested in making a career change to work with an emerging technology? Or are you trying to brush up on your current IT skills and keep up with the latest trends in your area of expertise? Whatever the case, these are some of the most in-demand hard skills according to data compiled by LinkedIn.
Ever since its emergence in 2009 as the technology behind cryptocurrency, Blockchain has continued to grow in popularity. The decentralized, distributed ledger technology offers the ability to securely store and send any digital asset, making it a transformative business solution for many industries.
Interested in working with blockchain technology? You’ll need to know programming languages such as Python and C# for core blockchain development or Solidity for software development. Additionally, it’s important to understand data structures, flat and relational databases, and object-oriented programming. Build your blockchain skills now and get an edge on the competition as a job candidate with skills in one of the most important technologies of the coming decade.
Cloud computing was already on a path to becoming one of the biggest emerging technologies of the decade, but it has expanded rapidly since the start of the pandemic. Allowing data to be stored and managed on the internet, cloud computing quickly became a crucial technology as businesses shifted to remote work. Even Microsoft’s CEO acknowledged the dramatic increase in demand for cloud services earlier this year when he noted that the company had seen two years’ worth of digital transformation in two months.
Given the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic and the long-term shift to remote work, cloud computing will be an in-demand IT skill for years to come. Top cloud engineering skills necessary for tech professionals interested in cloud computing include Amazon Web Services, Azure, and Scripting. Cloud deployment, Python, and DevOps skills are also in high demand from employers.
AI is a broad branch of computer science focused on machine learning and building smart technology able to perform tasks that usually require humans. This growing field has received increasing attention in recent years and, despite the pandemic, investment in AI has continued to accelerate. According to McKinsey’s Global Survey on artificial intelligence, AI is being used in many organizations as a tool for generating value in spite of the technology’s security risks.
Ready to pursue a career in AI? You’ll need to have in demand technical skills such as APIs (application programing interfaces), DNNs (deep neural networks), programming languages like Python, C#, and R, advanced analytics, and data science skills. Knowledge of Unix tools, a solid foundation in math and algorithms, and an understanding of machine learning are also helpful.
There are, of course, many other in-demand technologies and skills worth adding to your resume, so choose the ones that are the best fit for your interests and long-term career goals.