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The Top IT Skills & Courses For Your Career

  • Publish Date: Posted about 3 years ago

Working in IT can mean anything from resolving an employee’s wifi issues to programming an organization’s new cloud infrastructure. Because the work is so diverse, the skills you need to know to get a job in the IT field can vary widely depending on your role. Browse a few of our jobs you’re interested in to see which skills you should focus on acquiring >> click here 


Essential IT skills

1. Security

Security should be foundational to any IT team. Starting out in a help desk, networking, or system administration role can introduce you to concepts that are helpful to know for security purposes. The following skills can help you qualify for IT security positions—like information security analyst—at the entry-level and beyond.

  • Familiarity with physical, network, and software security

  • Installing firewalls and routers

  • Data encryption

  • Risk mitigation strategy and threat analysis

  • Knowledge of compliance regulations and standards like PCI-DSS, HIPAA, and CCPA

  • Ethical hacking and penetration testing


2. Programming

Being able to program will be a must for those who want to develop software, web applications, and websites. It’ll also be useful for IT workers who want to automate tasks. The languages below are commonly requested of programmers and can be asked of IT professionals as well.

  • Python

  • C#

  • JavaScript

  • Ruby

  • Java

3. Systems and networks

Making sure computer systems and networks are operating smoothly is central to the work of an IT team. Typical roles specializing in this skill set include system administrators and network administrators. System and network skills can also be useful for working in cloud administration or security as well. On a basic level, these skills include:

  • Administering diverse operating systems like Windows, Linux, or Mac

  • Installing and configuring computer hardware and software

  • Cloud administration and applications

  • Maintaining local area networks (LAN), wide area networks (WAN), storage area networks (SAN), and virtual private networks (VPNs)

  • Troubleshooting

  • Helping employees with technical issues

4. Data analysis

Being able to analyse data will be useful for various IT tasks. Monitoring performance data can help teams find security threats, or see where inefficiencies exist in their operations. Jobs that work with data in the IT realm include database administrators and data engineers.

  • SQL

  • Statistics

  • Python

5. DevOps

DevOps—a combination of “development” and “operations”—acts as a bridge between the software development and IT teams. Though a field unto itself, DevOps skills can help in both the IT and development aspects of running an organization. Working in DevOps can mean becoming a DevOps engineer. You might need the following skills:

  • Understanding of continuous delivery theory

  • Container technologies like Docker or Kubernetes

  • Scripting languages like Python, Ruby, and C

  • Familiarity with cloud operations

6. Cloud computing

Listed as one of the most in-demand skills of 2021 by Global Knowledge, cloud computing skills include anything from building cloud infrastructure to maintaining them. Working with cloud technology can open doors to positions like cloud developer, cloud administrator, and cloud architect. Knowledge of the following cloud platforms can be useful:

  • AWS

  • Google Cloud

  • Microsoft Azure

  • Oracle

7. Machine learning

A skill useful for programmers and data professionals, machine learning, a subset of artificial intelligence, has become one of the most prominent skills to learn in the technology sphere. You can start learning basic skills through online machine learning coursework. Specific skills associated with machine learning can include:

  • Parametric and nonparametric algorithms

  • Kernels

  • Clustering

  • Deep learning techniques


How to Gain IT Skills

Here are a few ways to learn the skills that can contribute to a successful career in IT:

  • Teach yourself: Many programming languages, data analysis techniques, and certain IT skills can be self-taught through online courses or home projects. You can find several courses through the sites we recommended, including introductory classes to Python or cybersecurity.

  • Certifications: Certifications can be a solid way to ensure your abilities meet professional standards. You’ll generally have to study for and pass an exam. See what entry-level certification fits your interests.

  • Bootcamps: Generally lasting several weeks or months, bootcamps are intensive courses that are designed to bring you specific skills in that time period. Though coding bootcamps are popular, bootcamps exist for topics like cybersecurity as well.

  • Degrees: Though perhaps more time-consuming than the other options, getting a degree in computer science or a related field can be a structured way to gain the technical skills needed to enter the computer world.

In order to acquire these skills, whether you are a complete beginner or looking to move into a new area of IT you may need to upskill by taking a certain course. We've listed our top IT courses that will help you on your way:

TOP 10 recommended IT courses 

For more we recommend online course websites such as Google Training Academy, Udemy, Treehouse, Coursera...etc

At VANRATH building career success stories is what we do. We are experts in helping you find your next step and reach your personal career goals, even when you have no idea what the next step should be. 

For us, it’s more than just finding you a job you are suitable for, it’s about building a sustainable career with the right roles and the right company to fit with your unique goals and experience. 

Want to read more articles like this? Be sure to visit VANRATH’s News, which features industry insights and career advice. We post regularly on our LinkedIn page too, follow us to keep up to date. If you’re seeking immediate career advice call 028 9033 0250 or e-mail