Why you don’t need a college degree to be an IT professional
With the new normal and Industry 4.0, IT skills are still in high demand. There is also growing interest in areas like machine learning, cybersecurity, AI capabilities, and other areas. These trends may not indicate a rising demand to earn a college degree, even though the workforce is becoming more IT-savvy.
IT professionals can now find relevant and certified training anywhere they are. A growing number of online platforms offer hassle-free learning and newfound applications.
The challenge is in choosing a learning platform that has industry-certified trainers to deliver quality courses. IT is constantly changing and evolving rapidly. Organizations should choose classes that reflect the latest developments.
Perhaps most importantly,professional learning platforms may offer practical skills in response to real-world problems through useful toolkits and solutions against modern complexities.
A college degree does not guarantee success
College degrees are well-known for their high tuition costs, which can lead to a large student loan. However, these fees do not guarantee a job. Federal Reserve Bank of New York released an analysis that showed a rise in unemployment among recent graduates. It also highlighted underemployment trends, where workers are forced to take jobs that are less than their academic and experience levels.
The hiring process is different across industries. Trends are important. Employers today are looking for hands-on experience and soft skills like problem-solving and critical thinking when it comes to the IT-sphere.
A problem with college degrees could be their inability to align with complex real-time developments. The lack of relevant occupational experience and dynamic data may hinder the ability of academic course developers to guide students through volatile job markets.
Professional life is not neatly packaged, can be retrieved and applied quickly, and degree holders might experience a rude awakening once they start working.
The idea was echoed in a survey entitled Freelancing in America, where 93 percent of freelancers who have four-year degrees said that skills training is more valuable than their degree.
The new normal, which is a uncertain economy, could make the unemployment situation worse in 2021. According to the OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development), the COVID pandemic triggered the worst job crisis since Great Depression. The unemployment rate will remain high through 2021.
Modern learners require a training approach that gives them a competitive edge through job-readiness and practical skills in these difficult circumstances. The right learning platform can promote lifelong learning in the IT workforce, regardless of their career experience. It can tailor curriculum to individual abilities and in-demand skills.
Although a college education can provide a broad learning experience, it may not be structured in the way that is required to master specific subjects (i.e. IT specializations). IT encompasses a wide range of practices that are influenced by organizational trends and user behavior. Each practice is best communicated with industry experts.
Employers may not jump at the chance to hire college graduates without the right skills or prefer to offer internships before offering full-time positions. These sentiments are evident at top organizations like Google, Apple, or Facebook, which place a high value on industry-related training and hands-on experience.
The Federal government has also emphasized the importance of hiring people with the necessary skills (i.e. IT) based on talent and not arbitrary academic requirements.
Career-focused IT learning programs are not about acquiring a general academic degree. Instead, they help learners to develop a clear career outlook and set achievable goals by focusing on key IT areas.
However, if you still believe that going back to college is the only option, reconsider. If you’re young and inexperienced and your parents insist that college is the only option for you to succeed in the IT industry, you might want to reconsider and look into other options. Network engineering and cybersecurity are two fields you should consider specializing in. These are more skill-focused roles that are expected to be in high demand in 2021.
Cybersecurity is a major IT concern as more companies migrate to remote digital infrastructures to address the new normal. IT specialists who specialize in cybersecurity should be familiar with the latest industry regulations, such as the GDPR or California Data privacy laws. They also need to keep up-to-date their skills to prevent and deter sophisticated online threats.
Malicious actors have exploited the pandemic crisis to prey on users’ vulnerabilities using elaborate phishing scams, malware attacks, and other ploys. IT specialists in cybersecurity are urgently needed to protect the most valuable enterprise and personal data in a connected world.
With the advent of IoT and cloud data storage, digital network security is increasingly vulnerable to malicious attacks. Modern network engineers should use cutting-edge AI capabilities and automated tools to monitor user activity round-the-clock, while still enabling legacy on-premise systems.
IAM (identity Access Management) and network engineering skills are in high demand as malicious parties use privilege vulnerabilities and remote devices to gain access to the cloud via unknown locations and applications.
Alternative to College Degrees
NexGenT, a veteran-founded platform that specializes in IT career-focused trad, is the right place to start if you’re looking for the right path.