10 Tips for Faster and More Effective IT Learning to Get Hired
What will we talk about today? Here is a short list of tips for faster and more effective IT learning to get hired:
- Define Your Learning Goals
- Research the IT Landscape
- Choose the Right Learning Resources
- Practice Hands On
- Join IT Communities
- Seek Mentorship
- Embrace Continuous Learning
- Build a Portfolio
- Practice Problem-Solving
- Network and Gain Experience
Now in more detail. Today I want to share with you my list of tips that helped me to always quickly adapt to the changing conditions of the labor market in the IT field and always find a place for myself in different areas of the industry, quickly learning new skills and gaining new knowledge. Today, I will share my experience with you.
Define Your Learning Goals
Before you start doing something, first think about why you need to start it at all. Just like any business starts with a business plan, training should also start with a clear goal - why do you need to learn this particular skill, and why get this particular skill and no other?
If you have only one goal - to get a sought-after skill and find a high-paying job, then this is a bad goal that will lead you nowhere - you will not learn anything, and you will not get any job. There must be at least one non-commercial reason behind any goal. For example, when I decided to get into web development, one of my goals was to create a website for a non-profit charitable organization that I volunteered for. The goals may be different, but make sure that at least one of them is non-profit and not related to money.
Research the IT Landscape
When you decide on your goals, analyze the labor market, for example, through Linkedin, and see if anyone needs such specialists at all if the skill you planned to get is outdated, and if there are enough offers on the labor market not to waste your training time.
When I needed backend knowledge for web development, I rushed to learn PHP, a functional programming language, but now no one works on it and everyone has switched to Node. So, I wasted several weeks of my life studying what no one uses anymore, what should be kept in the museum of antiquities along with dinosaur bones. Don't repeat my mistakes.
Choose the Right Learning Resources
This is my favorite point and the most important thing you should remember here - if you start, learn something and learn something from scratch, never pay for it. Learning from scratch should always start with free resources and tutorials, bootcamps, and courses.
This site is a great collection of free and useful resources to help you start your IT career or change your profile painlessly and without paying a dime. For this, there is a whole search engine of such useful resources. I highly recommend using it - very fast and convenient. The right resources are the key to ensuring that you don't quit a course or a book after two nights, but continue your studies and get the skill that you will be proud of and with which you will find a job without problems.
Practice Hands On
We already have a detailed article on our website about why practice is the key to your success. You can read the article at the link if you haven't read it. The article is long, but I think you will be interested. Here we will focus only on the main points. Firstly, leave theoretical knowledge at the university, now no one needs it, and no one asks you for theory at interviews, it is assumed that you already know it. Now it is a default, knowledge, the presence of which is not discussed.
Secondly, the new material is best understood on a practical level. You can't learn a foreign language just by reading books, just as you can't learn Python by reading a manual or tutorial for beginners without writing a single line of code. In addition, practice is what you will do at your place of work, and you should be ready for this practice.
Join IT Communities
The easiest way to learn a foreign language is to move to the country of the language being studied. The same logic works with professional communities. Personally, I use Reddit for such purposes. Here you can find any community of any IT niche, where you can immerse yourself more in the terminology used by more experienced experts, as well as absorb the work or employment experience they already have.
Communities also help to keep up with reality and always update your knowledge, keeping up with industry trends. This is especially important when the industry is so volatile that what works today may not work tomorrow, as is often the case in IT.
Subreddits Search - Reddit (source)
Just as every padawan has a Jedi mentor, you should also have a Jedi mentor, a person who will guide and tell you if your learning process is going in the wrong direction. You don't have to hire someone with a lightsaber, just find someone who is good in your field of study and leads a more or less public life.
A specialist from the professional community (Reddit or, for example, Kaggle) or just a YouTube blogger is quite suitable. Only in this case, choose more carefully, because very often the bloggers themselves do not understand what they are talking about, but only read the text with a funny face. In my case, the Kaggle community helped me a lot, they have a very responsive audience, which will always prompt and guide me in case of an error or difficulties.
Embrace Continuous Learning
If you have chosen the IT industry for yourself, then be prepared for the fact that you will learn forever, literally forever. If you have learned one programming language and think that you have a career as Bill Gates until retirement, then, alas, no. In this case, you are unlikely to even find a job.
Continuous training in the IT field is the key to a successful career. When I studied at the university, I understood that the education that professors give me was not enough so took additional courses and read technical literature. It's been 5 years since my graduation and there hasn't been a single week without additional self-study.
Build a Portfolio
A portfolio is what sets you apart from other competitors. The fact is that a resume is something ordinary, something from the past, and HR specialists and employers need a more weighty argument to hire you, and for this, you must show what you can do and what you have worked on.
A portfolio is exactly what will confirm your knowledge and skills like nothing else. When I got into web development, my first project was a web designer portfolio site, which I made for myself and a job search and published on GitHub. Not many IT professionals have such a portfolio, which is actually not right because this is a great way to stand out and the probability of getting into the second stage of candidate selection is higher right away.
Free Portfolio Generators - Canva (source)
Every IT specialist solves problems in one way or another. Technical problems. Therefore, it would be a good idea for you to learn this in advance. Since it’s difficult to talk about solving problems in isolation, because for each area it’s something different, but here I meant to solve your own problems as you learn, whether it’s code debugging or searching for additional learning material if you don’t understand something.
Here, very often, the communities on Reddit and Stack Overflow helped me personally. There you can always find people who will prompt and guide you. Also in this paragraph, I want to include reading and studying the documentation. In any case, you will have to face it at work sooner or later. It is better to do this in advance and study all the official documentation in your niche, whether web development or project management tools.
Network and Gain Experience
In this case, I mean maintaining communication with experienced professionals in your field. Personally, streams from various online educational platforms and companies that they conduct to find new students or clients really help me. Very often on these streams, they encourage people to use their product, but in addition to this, you can hear a lot of useful advice on career and employment.
Also, here I would like to talk about the possibilities. Do not miss the opportunity to work on any project, even for free. For example, a group competition on Kaggle is a great opportunity to prove yourself as a data analyst or Data Science specialist. Don't forget to mention this experience in your portfolio, even if it's a minor experience because the most important thing here is to show your interaction with the team and not a great result.
Kaggle Competitions Page (source)
Today I gave you some advice on how to be more productive in IT and how to use the acquired skills for successful employment. I really hope that my experience and my little stories from my professional life have guided or motivated you to study. Learning is always necessary - we say it all the time and will not get tired of saying it again. Good luck with your education and job search!