IT Career Transition: IT Certifications and Training Programs

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finger-touching-tablet-screenAdecco Engineering & Technology’s “IT Career Transition” series examines how to transition into information technology after having already started a career in another field. We’ll be sharing real-life stories along the way about professionals who’ve already embarked upon their IT careers after having left an unrelated one. Read all the posts in this series to learn more about why and and how to transition into IT. 

Once you’ve done a bit of homework to determine which direction you’d like to take in your IT career transition, you’ll want to get the right skills training. This is beneficial not only in terms of building necessary skill sets, but also when it comes to hunting for your first IT job.

Luckily we’re living in an increasingly mobile world, making virtual and remote learning fairly easy and available. An added bonus is that you’re now planning to go into technology, and employers looking for technical skills understand that qualified professionals may have taken an untraditional route to get where they are. Most won’t require, or even be looking for, formal education as long as the necessary skill set is there.

Below are some top-notch IT training resources. Once you’ve completed courses, or perhaps a full certification, don’t be shy about including it on your resume or your LinkedIn profile.

4 Ways to earn IT certifications and learn IT skills

1. Udacity – Development training, data analysis training, programming training

This training site offers a new concept of certifications called “nanodegrees.” The creators of Udacity did this by partnering with well-known tech companies like Google, Facebook, MongoDB, Cloudera, AT&T, SalesForce and AutoDesk. The site offers individual courses for all sorts of specific and general IT skills, and full nanodegree programs to churn out the following skill sets:

  • Front-end web developers
  • Full stack web developers
  • Data analysts
  • iOS developers
  • Android developers
  • Programmers

These nanodegree programs are flexible and short, taking from six to 12 months to complete. Prior to signing up for a course, you’ll need to complete a readiness assessment to ensure you’re at a good starting point. Didn’t pass? No sweat, just take some of the free courses on Udacity as a sort of prerequisite.

Once you’re in a program, you can take advantage of the assigned online courses and student forums. You’ll also be completing hands-on projects that build a portfolio you can use upon graduation. This site is great in that it provides concrete proof of your skill set, and because the courses and curriculums are built by current top tech companies, you can be certain the skill set you’re coming out with will be relevant to today’s market.

2. Udemy – General IT training, software training, development training

This site doesn’t solely focus on technology. In fact, it’s mission is “to help anyone learn anything,” including yoga! That’s not to say its tech offerings are watered down, though. It offers numerous courses and certifications in IT and software and in development.

Udemy offers more than 30,000 on-demand courses, each taught by an expert instructor. The site boasts 7 million+ students, and with full certification programs in tech starting at $99, it’s a pretty safe bet that you’ll be receiving quality training without a hefty financial investment.

Another bonus is that many individual courses are free, making this a great destination to try out new skills and find out what path you might enjoy.

3. Pragmatic Works – data management training, big data training, cloud training, business intelligence training

Pragmatic Works’ mission is “to help Microsoft SQL Server developers and DBAs operate more efficiently with innovative products that support the entire data platform.” They offer free training in the form of webinars and a robust resource center that includes articles, white papers, cheat sheets and product help documents.

Virtual courses are offered in the following fields: analysis, big data (for beginners), business analytics, data integration, data visualization and data administration.

If you like what you see there and want to delve further, consider Pragmatic Works’ in-person training options, including:

  • 2-day, in-person workshops: analysis, business analysis, data integration, data visualization and data administration
  • Weeklong, in-person boot camps: business intelligence, data science and SQL performance tuning

You can check out their event calendar to learn when the next trainings will be available.

4. University of Chicago Masters in Computer Science

While the above options will work for most, you may be the type of person who prefers a more traditional route and truly wants to understand all the ins and outs of computer science. There’s still hope for you – even without going back to school full-time for a bachelor’s degree.

The University of Chicago’s Masters Degree in Computer Science is one of the few programs that doesn’t require a bachelor’s degree in a related field. In fact, they have created special math and programming prerequisite courses just for students without that background in order to get them up to speed on fundamental skills they’ll need. The masters program doesn’t take long, either. If you’re able to attend full-time, you’ll complete the program in a short nine months. A part-time student will finish in just 15 months.

All four are great options to learn new skills and build your IT skill set. Which training avenue appeals to you most?

Don’t forget – if you’re an Adecco associate looking to brush up on skills you already have, you can take advantage of Adecco Engineering & Technology’s SkillBuilder with has training modules designed to hone your skills and improve your performance.

Browse our engineering and technology jobs today!


Anne Shaw is the Lead Generation & Attraction Sr. Marketing Manager for Adecco Staffing, USA. Her background includes public relations, brand development and event planning. When not having a blast at the office, Anne can be found initiating dance parties with her adorable children and dashing husband.

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