A degree or apprenticeship will get you started in information technology (IT), but gaining additional knowledge through postgraduate study, a short course, or online learning is a great way to keep up with recent technological developments.
This is especially important because Information Technology employers generally expect candidates to have professional certifications demonstrating their expertise in specific programming languages, software packages, or methodologies.
Consider getting industry certifications after you graduate, such as those from non-profit industry groups like CompTIA and (ISC), which show potential employers that you have technical skills.
Agile project management in IT
A master’s degree is not required to find work in IT project management, but gaining professional qualifications in the industry’s best practice methodologies is a good idea. Agile is the most well-known of these.
Agile training is available throughout the United Kingdom through BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT. The foundation-level certificate requires a one-hour multiple-choice test, while the practitioner-level certificate requires a three-hour written test based on a scenario.
BCS-accredited providers provide exam preparation. Foundation-level courses usually last three days, cost around £1,000, and have no specific entry requirements.
In the meantime, BCS offers Agile Scrum courses for project managers and others who want to use Agile practices throughout their organization.
PRINCE2 Agile courses are also available from online training providers for those who already use the PRINCE2 methodology to manage their projects.
Discover how to become a project manager and learn more about the role of a project manager.
Market-leading technology firm Cisco offers four different technology pathways depending on where you are in your career, providing the most popular certifications for network engineers.
Cisco certification is divide into four levels:
Cisco Certified Professional (CCT).
The CCT certification validates your ability to provide onsite support and maintenance for Cisco networking devices. The short modules will also help you prepare for higher-level qualifications requiring more experience. The exams are administer online.
The Cisco Learning Network has more information on Cisco certifications.
The CompTIA Network+ certification is a good choice if you’re a network engineer looking for a globally recognized certification that a specific IT company doesn’t offer for its products.
Cloud computing training
A postgraduate course is an option if you want to become an expert in cloud computing. But you must have a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field.
Full-time study for a master’s degree usually takes one year, and the costs for students in the UK range from £5,000 to £12,000. For example, the full-time MSc Cloud Computing at the University of East London consists of one year of study followed by a year of industrial placement. The course costs £10,320 plus a £3,500 placement fee.
Look for cloud computing classes.
Even though this will give you a solid background in the topic, recruiters prefer candidates who know about their company’s cloud platform. In addition, working towards professional qualifications is the best way to develop your skills, particularly if you are not interested in the research component of postgraduate study or are put off by the cost.
Online or one-to-three-day courses typically cost hundreds (rather than thousands) of pounds. To see what’s available, go to major cloud providers’ training websites.
- Amazon Web Services (AWS)
- Google Cloud Platform
- Azure by Microsoft
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