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Adding to Your IT Skills and Knowledge Portfolio

If you want to work in IT, then you have to keep your skills and knowledge sharp and relevant. One way or another, you will be learning new stuff on the job all the time. Why not strategize about your priorities?

You can't rest on your laurels in IT.I’ve been doing some custom blogging lately for a variety of training and certification organizations. In undertaking that work, I can’t help but notice an interesting and recurring nexus of themes. In general, they add up to an exhortation to keep learning new and useful stuff if you want to keep going (and growing) in the field of IT.


To be a little more specific, I’ve isolated a handful of those themes that keep coming up for almost everybody who wants to encourage people to engage in what many call “lifelong learning.” Here they come!


Next-Door Fundamentals


It’s a good idea to keep an eye on the technology landscape and to tackle what I’ll call next-door fundamentals. Let me explain: If you work with LANs, then it makes sense to learn about other networking topics, such as WANs, carrier networking, and high-speed or backbone networking.


That’s because, in some sense, all of these technologies touch on, or interface with LANs. By taking a fundamentals course on one or more of these topics, you’ll understand better how to bring them together with your LANs. You may also learn some things that will help you improve LAN performance, connectivity, bandwidth optimization, and more.


Put Some Cloud on It!


Everybody, everywhere is using cloud-based services of some kind or another. (Heck, even my Office 365 subscription counts on that score, and that’s just one of many cloud services I use every day.) The notion of put some cloud on it is one that every IT professional should take seriously.


I’d recommend digging into the MOOC search engine and searching for cloud courses of all kinds. If you’re not already cloud savvy, take a hint from the previous item and learn some cloud fundamentals first. (CompTIA’s got a cert for that, and there are many other great fundamentals offerings worth exploring.)


But after that — wait for it (pun alert) — “the sky’s the limit” for the number and variety of providers, topics, specialties, and so forth that you can find in Cloud-land.