Thursday, June 19, 2014

RHT: Why Ongoing IT Training is Key to Career Success

by Clea Badion  Robert Half Technology
June 19, 2014

Ongoing tech education is key to promotions and boosts in salary.
Despite strong demand for IT pros in many areas of technology, it’s no time to be complacent when it comes to ongoing IT training.
If you want to continue to move up in an organization, increase your salary or just remain relevant in your field, regular education is key.

Robert Half Technology’s senior executive director John Reed discusses some great options for ongoing IT training, including pursuing certifications and asking for your employer to reimburse you for classes you take.

Check it out here or read on:

“Resting on your laurels after landing a job is not wise in the ever-changing field of IT. Ongoing tech training could mean the difference between idling in your current role and moving ahead —and earning a higher level of compensation.

If you’re in the job market, having the right credentials can qualify you for more senior roles and boost your starting salary. Ongoing professional development can positively impact your career beyond the hiring stage, too. A more diverse and expansive educational background can help you negotiate a wage increase and/or promotion during performance reviews, especially if you possess in-demand certifications. Some examples:
  • Microsoft Database Administration (MCDBA): designing, implementing and managing SQL Server 2000 databases
  • Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE): managing servers, data systems, storage, private clouds and networks
  • Microsoft Certified Solution Developer (MCSD): designing and creating applications
  • Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP):information assurance and business security
  • Certified Information System Auditor (CISA): managing vulnerabilities, ensuring compliance, proposing controls, and assessing a company’s IT or business systems
  • Certified Information Security Manager (CISM): competence in security strategy and risk management
  • Certified Risk Information Systems Control (CRISC): identifying and analyzing risks through information systems
  • Project Management Professional (PMP):all stages of project management (initiating, planning, executing, controlling, monitoring and closing)
  • Certified Scrum Master (CSM): team management for software development
  • Citrix certifications: solutions-based practices with Citrix products in virtualization, networking and mobility
  • Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH): finding vulnerabilities in network defenses
  • ITIL v3 Foundation:IT management
  • Cisco Certified Design Associate (CCDA): operating Cisco-based applications
Employer-paid tech training
Some employers will reimburse you for relevant classes and workshops you attend, advanced degrees you pursue, the cost of certification exams and even preparation courses. Ask your manager or the HR department whether tuition reimbursement and professional development are among your job benefits.

If you have your eye on a certain program, explain to your boss how the organization could benefit from your learning. Take, for example, the enterprise software applicationMicrosoft SharePoint, which is used by eight out of 10 Fortune 500 companies. Chances are your organization isn’t using this program to its full potential as a document manager and web-based business development tool because not enough workers have the proper tech training. Workshops and online courses are inexpensive, and can help you unlock a deeper understanding of this and other software. The knowledge you will gain and can later impart to your colleagues can help to increase productivity for the whole department.

Self-initiative for tech training
If your company doesn’t invest in tech training for its workers, or if you’re between jobs, there’s plenty you can do on your own — much of it for free or at a low cost. Programmers, for example, can check out several specialized websites offering PHP, SQL, ASP, JQuery and CSS tutorials; information about HTML5, CSS3 and Microsoft certification exams; and ways to brush up on Visual Basic and C# skills. Some specialized staffing agencies offer free online training, including courses for certifications, to registered members.

The U.S. government is another source of tech training. Check out CareerOneStop’sEducation + Training section for information on short-term education, credentialing, professional development and more. Also, one of the best ways to boost your employability and advance your IT career is to get a bachelor’s or master’s degree, especially if your goal is to move into a supervisory role.

What is the return on investment for all of this extra tech training? Plenty. If you take active steps to stay ahead of — not just keep up with — the myriad changes and advancements in your field, your rewards could be job offers or promotions, and higher compensation.“

— Clea Badion

Clea Badion is an editor for the RHT Blog. She’s been writing about the workplace, career trends and technology for the past decade. Clea has 15 years of professional writing and editing experience and a master’s degree in visual studies. She’s a little obsessed with cute animal videos and the show ”American Ninja Warrior.” Follow her on Twitter @cleabadion.

1 comment:

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