Thursday Apr 17, 2014
Expanding Your IT Skills
Written by Frank Johnson   
Monday, 11 February 2013 07:14

Today, the IT job market is looking for professionals with expertise in new IT skills to meet the growing demands for skilled professionals in the industry. Knowing just the basic IT skills such as how to use MS office, or open an Internet browser to find information will no longer help you get a job, or grow in your career. The IT skills that make you successful today are continuously at risks of being outdated. Because of this, you need to improve and expand your IT skills by learning the use of new applications to survive and grow in your career.

Best ways to expand your IT skills:

Stay updated on IT issues: Subscribe to technical magazines to know about latest technologies and skills that are currently in great demand in the IT industry. Print magazines can be a bit costly, but you can get the online version of many IT magazines on the net absolutely free. The articles are written by experienced IT professionals and provide lots of information about current innovations in IT technologies and skills.  
    
Read online tutorials: You can download a new software application to your PC and explore it with the help of online tutorials provided on the product’s website. You will soon be able to understand all the new features of the software and how to use them for your benefits. Online tutorials are often free and are easily available on the Internet. There are hundreds of websites offering free or paid online tutorials related to information technology. One of the finest examples of free online tutorials is W3Schools online web tutorials, which are very popular among web developers all over the world. You can easily find a large number of free online tutorials related to different areas of information technology by searching in Google and other search engines.

Read IT books:  Books on informational technology are easily available online or in the market. These IT books are written by experts with vast knowledge in the associated field.  A well written technical book can help you in learning new IT skills and expanding your knowledge to the next level. Technical books are normally expensive, so you should buy a book only after a thorough research. Today, you can buy a computer book online that will be delivered to your place in no time.  You can find your favorite computer book at a discount on amazons.com and other similar online book selling websites.  What’s more, you can read summaries and reviews of books online that can help you choose the right book meeting your requirements. Even if you decide to buy books from a local vendor, the online reviews will be helpful in choosing the best ones to serve your purpose.

Use new software products:  Using new software products on your system to perform a variety of challenging tasks can be the best way to improve and expand your IT skills.  With some practice, you will be able to use a number of new software, even without reading their manuals or online tutorials.  

Attend IT workshops: Attending IT related workshops and classes provided by your organization can be beneficial in expanding your current IT skills. Today, large of organizations are organizing technology workshops to improve the performance of their employees.

Join an IT club: One of the best ways to expand your IT skills is to join a local computer club or users group. You will learn a number of new skills once you start working with experienced technical people in your group network. You can use Association of Personal Computer User Groups or Windows Users Group Network to easily find a user group in your vicinity. Just contact them and volunteer for IT-related projects. Even if your technical skills are weak, they are most likely to consider your request.

Join regular classes: To expand your IT skills, you can even consider joining regular classes offered by technical institutes in your locality. In this way, you will be able to interact with teachers who have advanced knowledge and expertise in the field that you won’t find in books or online tutorials. They will teach you how to use new IT applications through practical classes.

Learn related skills: Sometimes learning related skills can help in expanding your current skills. For example, learning internet marketing and social media skills can help you in expanding your IT skills. Be it creating a template for your Facebook and Twitter accounts, or uploading a business video on Youtube, all these new social media marketing tactics will help you in learning new IT skills.   

Create your own web site: One of the best ways to improve and learn new IT skills is to create your website. In this way, you will be able to learn various technologies associated with building and hosting of a website. While building your website, you will be able to learn the use of HTML, CSS, Java scripts, and Cpanel in a practical way. In the beginning, you may require consulting online tutorials like W3Schools online tutorials to learn the basis HTML and CSS tags, but after sometime you will become an HTML expert.

Building your own PC: Building your own PC from scratch can help you in expanding your hardware IT skills in a big way. In this way, you will not only be able to learn how to assemble different hardware into your PC, but you will also learn how they function. With some efforts, you will also learn how to install an operating system (OS) like Windows or Linux and other software in your PC.

About the Author:Frank Johnson is a regular editorial contributor on technology products and services and business operation tips that help small to mid size enterprises.  To know more about "how to expand your IT skills?”

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