The learning curve is the earning curve in IT. But don't expect to obtain a high salary if you don't possess practical knowledge. Completing a college degree, certification, or training program without developing practical skills just doesn't cut it. The term knowledge worker refers to a job that involves handling or using information. And now more than ever data or information processing is what IT people "knowledge workers" do and utilize to get ahead. That's why it's so critical for the basics of your skillset to be established before you can really take advantage of advancements in the field and start making use of modern technologies and methods in your job.
Knowledge of the basics of your trade is an absolute necessity. The basics you learn in school may not be all you need and will certainly not be enough to get ahead, though on its own the schooling will help you get through most entry level positions in a company.
Critical thinking, problem solving, computer literacy and customer service represent four fundamental skills you should be working on. These can be developed through practice. Try installing a Linux server, setting up your own network lab, building a blog. Amazon Web Services free tier enables you to do this without spending money on servers and network equipment. All you need is some inspiration, drive, and dedication.
Learning how to learn is another crucial skill to acquire in IT. An IT career is not an easy one. You will be faced with new challenges and obstacles every day. IT is not a static field. It is constantly changing, and you will be expected to keep up with the changes if you want to advance your career beyond an entry level position. You need to develop the ability to learn quickly on your own, and from mentors or teachers.
The most valuable thing you can undertake to improve your skillset is to take responsibility for your skill development. Your employer will not always be able to help you progress, and you'll need to work hard on yourself to maintain a competitive edge in the IT field.
And there are many non-traditional methods that allow you to advance your skillset at a higher rate than traditional schools or training programs. YouTube and Twitch videos represent one example where people go online for free information about every topic imaginable.
If you develop self-discipline, motivation, and perseverance to work hard and continue learning throughout your career, there are plenty of opportunities for advancement in IT. There is inevitably someone who can teach you something novel about technology or a new way of doing business. And if you really want success in IT, then being an independent learner should be part of your daily routine.
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