Ever since the internet revolution, the tech industry has been growing by leaps and bounds. There's a lot of money in this sector, and workers are doing everything they can to get their hands on some. Of course, this rush to the top has created quite a lot of competition.
According to a study from staffing firm Brilliant, the number of companies with available IT jobs decreased from 58 percent in Q2 2016 to 33 percent in Q4. These positions are being very quickly filled, those currently in the job market are starting to feel the pressure.
Staying relevant in this field is all about keeping your current knowledge base up to speed with the latest trends, and doing so is going to take some effort on your part. Let's take a look at some simple actions you can take in order to remain competitive in IT.
Stay current with industry publications
"IT publications are an invaluable resource."
One of the easiest ways to stay on top of evolving trends in technology is to simply read what experts have to say about it. IT publications are an invaluable resource for those currently looking for a job, as they can point you toward the most common issues plaguing your field of expertise. What's more, they can give you suggestions on how to overcome these obstacles.
Exactly what you read is going to depend on what IT specialty you work in. Solid general publications include Wired, MIT Technology Review and Ars Technica. While these sites won't generally go into a lot of detail when covering a technological subject, they're quick to jump on emerging trends, and they're a great source for basic news. We here at New Horizons also work hard to ensure you have access to important stories and tech developments through our own newsroom.
If you want to drill down deeper into specific topics, you'll have to go to sites dedicated to each piece of tech. Data Center Knowledge is a great resource for all things data center, while CloudTech follows developments in cloud-based technologies. You'll have to search around to find a publication that's right for your industry, but the point is that staying up-to-date on emerging topics is a great way to seem well-informed during an interview.
Attend conventions/trade shows when possible
If you have the money and the free time, another great idea is to go to trade shows or conventions that are showcasing a technology you work with or are interested in. The importance of these conferences is twofold:
First, you actually get to learn about what some of the big players in your field are currently working on. Larger companies very often wait for these conventions to reveal some new development, and being able to see it first hand is extremely helpful in being able to understand it down the road.
Second, and perhaps most importantly, you'll be able to network. When you go to a cybersecurity conference such as DEF CON – which is being held July 27-30, 2017 – you'll be surrounded by some of the smartest hackers in the entire world. If you know how to work a room properly, you could come away with some incredibly important contacts.
Again, which conferences you decide to attend is going to entirely depend on your field of study. On top of that, many of these require you to pay your way in, and you'll also often have to rent a room near the convention. However, there are few better ways to stay on top of current trends.
Of course, when you're looking to learn more about a subject, one of your best options is going to take a class. Going back to school isn't an option for many professionals as it's extremely expensive and time consuming, which is why so many IT workers have decided to get a certification in their specific fields.
The greatest aspect of IT certification training is that you don't have to attend classes in topics that aren't directly related to what you want to learn. What's more, your options of what kind of knowledge you want to acquire is nearly limitless.
New Horizons Computer Learning Centers has an incredibly wide array of topics for you to choose from, ranging from cybersecurity to specific Microsoft Office 365 training. Check out the certifications we have and start your journey toward being more competitive in the IT job market.