Interested in boosting your tech career? Education is key. Whether or not you’ve earned a degree, the tech industry’s rapid innovation means you need to keep learning if you want to keep your skills up-to-date and relevant to employers.
As described in Dice’s massively updated Ultimate Guide to a Successful Tech Career, whatever your chosen specialty and educational path, you should use that education to inform your short- to medium-term career goals. What do you need to know to succeed in your job right now? What could prove useful if you want to take on a bigger job, such as management? Evaluate your needs and train accordingly. In today's rapidly-evolving landscape, staying up to date on the latest tools of your trade will help you nail the next interview — and ensure success in your new role.
Those with cutting-edge skills may find themselves climbing the salary ladder quickly — and potentially avoiding potential layoffs in the future due to their specialized knowledge. Even in times of economic uncertainty, companies want to hold onto their specialists and skilled technologists.
Fortunately, a good employer is as interested in your education as you are, since that ultimately makes you a more valuable employee. Even if your manager seems disinclined to negotiate over increased compensation (more on that later), they may prove willing to pay for classes and other educational opportunities that boost your current skillset. Online learning courses, for instance, can offer flexible scheduling that allows you to juggle work and education.
Popular Organizations and Courses:
- Udacity: Covers a variety of tech subjects, with both free and paid classes.
- Coursera: Offers degrees and certifications from many institutions, including tech giants such as Google and IBM.
- Udemy: A massive online learning portal with classes at a variety of price points.
- Codecademy: Offers all kinds of coding courses (with two tiers for individuals, one free and one paid).
- Leetcode: Features practice questions for technical interviews. Widely viewed as an invaluable resource for job candidates.
- Exponent: Includes interview prep for everything from data science and software engineering to product management and system design.
The options outlined above are in addition to all the websites that offer deep dives into specific areas, such as Python.org’s introductory materials for Python development. Before beginning any training regimen, make sure you have the time and resources to fully pursue it—and see if your manager is potentially willing to foot all (or part) of any bills.