Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Don’t Want to Learn Anymore? You May as Well Retire.

When I left university 5 years ago I was under the impression, along with the majority of my peers, that my life in education was over for good. The next step in my life was going to be putting everything I had learnt in my 3 years into practice in the real world. Of course, anyone who has spent any time in the real world will know this is a complete fantasy, and anyone in IT will realise that they need to actively study for the rest of their working lives.

Never before has there been an industry that has moved along at such a fantastic pace; on a daily basis I receive newsletters and RSS feeds detailing the advancements in technologies which will be considered commonplace within the next few years. In my short working life I have seen operating systems develop from Windows 98 through to Vista, I have also seen the standard chip speeds quadruple and memory capacity increase tenfold. If you have the money you can now have a tetra byte of memory in a laptop!

Obviously the development of the technologies we use forces us to develop our skills in order to complete our jobs. The type of studying performed will depend on your area within the industry. A variety of up to date accredited courses are available through online vendors and in further education establishments, here are some of the main areas to concentrate on:

Microsoft Certified Networking Courses
These courses are aimed at getting the user up-to-date with Microsoft Windows 2003 platform and Windows Server system, allowing you to manage and develop networks and security.

Cisco Networking
These courses will enable you to configure and operate local and wide area networks, which national and global organisations heavily rely on.

Programming (Java, C#, Visual Basic, etc...)
These courses will give you the know-how to be able to create and design software solutions using the latest in development technologies.

Web Design (Adobe Macromedia, Flash, CIW, etc…)
Studying these courses will enable you to develop and maintain websites, create content and digital media, as well as enter into the lucrative world of e-commerce.

With the speed at which technologies are advancing getting faster by the year, the earlier you fit your personal learning into your everyday work, the less chance you have of getting left behind. It’s a sobering thought that the systems I used within my university degree just five years ago are already obsolete.