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Posted by David Brown, EVP, Veredus, a Hays company, on Friday, Oct 14, 2016
Continual learning and development can be important in any function, but IT is an especially fast-paced area and keeping up with new technology and developments is crucial. As a result, many employers are supporting on-going training, with 56 percent saying training and development is included in their benefits package and 80 percent saying they will pay for staff professional development in the next three to six months.
But don’t let that be the only determining factor in choosing your next employer. Many of your peers are investing in their own professional development to get ahead in the industry. Over half of IT professionals currently taking online or classroom learning are funding the course(s) themselves.
Investing in updating your skills, and acquiring new ones, is an investment in your future. Employers are willing to offer higher salaries for those that can demonstrate that they possess the latest technical skills and expertise in their area, as well as the right soft skills, in particular strong communication skills. In fact more than half of employers expect IT professionals to engage in professional development at least once a month and close to 90% say professionals should be engaging in independent professional development at least once a year.
If you’re unable to take any formal courses at a local college or university don’t let that stop your professional development. Try further developing your skills from home through trial and error, or join a forum that encourages discussions and mentoring on how to use programs, languages, etc. You have information at your fingertips, use it to your advantage.
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