Changing careers is quite common now, but acquiring the skills to make that switch is easier said than done. If you’re interested in a career in information technology, there are plenty of job opportunities available. You will need to have a strong set of skills on your resume to get noticed though. Here are three paths to consider.

 

Self-Study

Buy the books. Install the software and start studying. This is the most flexible option for people with time, personal or financial constraints. Self-discipline is mandatory, and you must honestly evaluate your progress on a regular basis. Can you recall the course material without a cheat sheet? Have you trained yourself in another area? If not, then a more structured learning environment might be more effective. If conventional methods don’t work for you, try something new. Some people learn better when they go to the library, listen to music or even workout at the gym. However you decide to learn, just make sure you do it in a way that will stick. It’s no use putting in the time if you aren’t learning!

 

Online Courses

The internet is overflowing with online training providers and boot camps. Research them carefully, especially before you pay them. Ask a headhunter which programs are worth the time and energy, then find the one that suits your learning style and goals. Try to find one that’s associated with a respected brick-and-mortar organization or school. Some universities have created “Extension” campuses for Continuing Education programs, and they frequently offer online and classroom IT courses. Online courses also offer a kind of flexibility that conventional classes usually don’t. You can work part time and learn part time, or take your classes whenever you have the time for it, even in the middle of the night.

 

Technical Colleges

Technical colleges like the Interactive College of Technology usually enroll a high percentage of working adults. They are usually serious students who are in the market to upgrade their skill sets quickly, so the programs are usually of good quality. They generally offer certificate programs, as well as associate and bachelor’s degrees. Depending on the school and your goals, you may need to carefully research its accreditation, its job placement policies, and its graduation rates. Consider the costs, and the time investment, too. Fortunately, most technical colleges have been around longer than internet training programs, so they’ve had time to establish solid reputations. If your work history and resume need a big boost, this may be the best path for you.

 

If you’re still not sure about the best way to add IT skills to your resume, ask a career counselor, or a professional recruiter, to review your current resume. Tell them what you’re currently studying, and explain your goals. If there are significant gaps between where you are and where you want to be, it’s time to adjust your course. It also takes some time to become proficient with new technology, so start as soon as possible. One last thing to consider, a current IT degree, or at least a program certificate, will shine on your resume.