Future-Proofing Your Education: How to Choose the Right Type of IT Course

	IT CoursesAndCertificationsResearch shows that certified information technology professionals make about 22 percent more than their non-certified counterparts. Certifications also help you to stand out in crowded job markets and they can lead to career advancement. It is, therefore, no surprise that many people are looking into getting IT training.

However, the world of information technology education is vast. It is easy to get overwhelmed or confused when you are looking for an IT training course. There are different levels of training, multiple areas in which you can specialize and of course, varying prices. You also need to find the course which aligns with, your interests, competencies and career goals. So how do you know which one is right for you? Read on to find out some of the different types of IT courses and the questions you should ask yourself before you decide on one.

Degrees

An IT degree can prepare you for a long career in the field, even though it will take longer to complete the program than with some other courses. The degree programs at most universities will include some general education components along with the core subjects.

Certificates

Certificates courses require fewer classroom hours and will be more focused on the area you want to study.  Specific areas include information security, telecommunications, software development and business intelligence. Usually, you will have to take three or four courses to qualify for the certificate.  In many cases, you can apply course credits to a degree if you choose to one at a later date.

Online demand training

There is a growing number of online IT training programs, thanks to the increased popularity of online education. Some are self-paced while others offer real-time instruction a couple times a week. Some courses prepare students for industry certification. There are several on-demand IT courses to choose from.

Among the online offerings are nanodegrees. These are project-focused, self-paced programs which require about five to seven courses. They tend to be quite affordable and can take about six months to complete if you are also working full-time.

Your personal goals and needs

Now that you are aware of some of the options, you need to consider your personal situation. Do you want to make more money? Move up the career ladder? Just learn a new skill? If you’re thinking about your finances, you may want to choose a certificate in information security or ethical hacking since these are projected to be high-earning qualifications.

 If you want to progress in your career you may want to refresh your skills in cloud computing or the Internet of Things. Switching fields or gaining entry into the profession may require a degree. On the other hand, if you just want to learn something new, a short online course may be best.

Pick something that you know will interest you, so you’ll stay the course and make sure you have the necessary time to invest in the program.  Make sure the qualification in recognized in your industry. You don’t want to spend months or even years studying only to find out that employers don’t recognize your qualification.

There are many IT training courses out there and they are not all the same. Do the research to find out which one best suits you, your career goals and your interests.

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