IT skills training: Tips and tricks

Mortgage and banking jobsWith technology changing at an unprecedented pace, IT jobs are hot these days.

Yet for job seekers pursuing in-demand roles such as those highlighted in this infographic from K Alliance, the challenge is often acquiring the skills necessary to do the job, as well as keeping those skills up-to-date.

There’s been considerable focus on the IT skills gap in recent weeks, particularly in the wake of President Obama’s State of the Union speech during which he called for an across-the-board review of federal employment and training programs to help ensure people ready to work have the skills for high-demand jobs.

While the President laid out an ambitious agenda, the reality is that those seeking to develop and enhance marketable IT skills need to devise and execute their own training program. Here are three ways to make it happen:
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IT jobs and skills in demand

Laptop with WebcamThe IT job market has been on the rise and shows no sign of slowing down. Various industries are looking for skilled workers to fill a myriad of positions. From mobile developers to business analysts and database engineers, the opportunities are endless for job seekers with the right set of skills.

Here are some of the IT skills and jobs that are in high demand in the industry today.

User Experience Designers

According the Nielsen Norman Group, User Experience encompasses every aspects of the end-user’s interaction with a company, its services, and products.

User Experience Designer may be a broad job title, but more and more companies are realizing the importance of user-centered design and meeting the needs and requirements of their users.

Skills in high demand range from information architecture, visual design, content strategy, interaction design, user interface design, and usability as well as marketing and quality assurance.
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Using Pinterest to organize your work ideas & inspirations

iStock_000017419171MediumWhen you think of Pinterest, you most likely think of crafts, fashion and recipes. But the social network has numerous uses beyond homemaking and couture. Many professionals, especially those in the creative fields such as graphic design and marketing, use Pinterest to find inspiration and organize their ideas.

What is Pinterest?

Pinterest is a social media site that allows users to “pin” the images and videos they find online to a virtual pinboard and share them with others. Pinterest is designed to be quite visual and social. Users can create as many pinboards as they’d like, based on their interests, hobbies or other categories.”

Setting up your boards

Many people use Pinterest for both personal and professional purposes. In addition to having boards for home improvement projects and travel destinations, you can set up separate boards for your work inspiration and ideas. For example, if you are a graphic designer, you might utilize different pinboards to keep design software videos separate from design technique videos. This way you can easily find what you’re looking for and are less likely to forget about it. Pinterest allows you the option to set boards private so that only you can have access to your boards. One important tip is to make sure that your public boards contain only appropriate content, since your future employer may view your social media profiles during the hiring process.
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Digital Marketing Skills In Demand

Take your performance review seriously - your HR department would appreciate that Digital marketing jobs are hot for 2014, with plenty of employers seeking to strengthen their online and mobile sales, reputation and content.

In September 2013, there was a 19% jump in posted digital marketing jobs, compared to the previous September. Within the broad spectrum of digital marketing, some specific skills are in particular demand. Here are the most sought-after skills and how to attain them:

SEO: Organizations need to cut through the massive clutter of the online world and connect with customers and the public. The most effective and cost efficient way to do that is through search engine optimization, or SEO, which helps enhance the chances of targeted audiences seeing your content. Develop essential skills such as using optimal keywords, linking effectively, and smart Web writing. Check out these Top 15 SEO blogs to help you get started utilizing these crucial practices.

Analytics: Faced with so much data and information, companies often don’t know how to best target their dollars and resources. That’s where digital analytics come in. Digital pros well-versed in analytics can mine data to identify the best information available to inform decision-making. Google has developed Analytics Academy, a robust resource that provides plenty of free information to help you develop and hone analytics skills.
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Make A Career-Based Resolution for 2014

NYNY_party_hatsInstead of committing to the gym or jumping on a trendy diet again, make a new year’s resolution that will help further your career.

Whether it is learning a new skill, updating a resume or even landing a promotion, consider a resolution that you’ll be more likely to work towards.

Here are 10 career-based resolutions to help you ring in 2014:

1. Increase Organization

Start with a clean desk. Being organized can make you feel productive and work more efficiently. Before you leave the office, clean finished projects off the desk, create a to-do pile for the next day and find a place for ongoing projects. Invest in a desktop or online calendar for appointments, meetings and deadlines so that you never feel frazzled or lost for time. In addition to calendars and planners, there are a plethora of productivity apps to help you keep on task.
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Promising Job Sectors in 2014

h_webinars_lgWill the U.S. job market finally turn the corner in 2014? And, if so, what will be the hottest careers as the economy improves?

Many experts say employment will continue to improve in the coming year. Kiplinger’s Economic Outlook 2014 estimated that net job growth will see an uptick from about 180,000 a month this year to roughly 200,000 a month in 2014. That trend would push the unemployment rate near 7 percent — a vast improvement from the recession during which joblessness topped 10 percent.

The job market appears to be improving across the country. In November, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 42 states had unemployment rates decrease compared to a year before, while just 5 states showed no change.

And a recent Los Angeles Times article painted a downright rosy picture for job growth and the economy, noting that “The overall economic outlook for the U.S. has improved sharply in recent weeks amid a string of surprisingly robust economic data.” The article noted increases in hiring, factor orders and consumer spending.

Of course, job prospects will vary depending on industry, location and a range of other factors. Yet, certain sectors and industries are well positioned to experience a more significant surge in hiring. Here is a look at the sectors that hold the most promise in 2014.
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