How to Boost Your Technical Skills (During Trying Times)

by | Career Advice

During trying times, it can be difficult to see the good in a bad situation. Wondering how to boost your technical skills may be the furthest thing from your mind. Because right now, it’s hard to feel like your normal self–the person who gets things done and is on top of their game. Let’s be real, none of us have been that person in weeks. We’ve all been scrambling to adjust to our new “normal,” which, by the way, does not consist of more time in our day than before.

We all feel it: the desire to rework our daily lives into some version of what it once was, to go back to how things “used to be.” But is there really any going back? We can’t say for sure, but what we can say, is that things are different and it’s making us think differently about our lives, relationships, and especially our careers. It makes us question what’s next, what we really want for ourselves.

So, what’s next for you? Are you looking for a new job? Maybe you’re considering a career change amidst everything else going on.

If you’re feeling ready to take on a new job or change industries, you’re not alone. This feeling has been seen across a large number of working professionals.

A change of pace might just be what we all need right now. Learning some new professional skills (especially technical skills in growing industries) is the first step in the right direction to boosting your resume and preparing for a new career.

What’s the bright side for you in all of this? Many companies have shifted their learning platforms and options to an online basis. Even better, many companies are offering their certifications and training in technical skills at a discounted rate or entirely for free.

So, now is not the time for excuses, it’s time to take the next step and consider what technical skill-boosting options are right for you. To give you a head start, we came up with a few of the most in-demand technical skills, along with highly-rated certifications and courses available online.

Cloud Computing Certification

What seems like ages ago (but was only a few months back), Gartner released a report that foretold the top tech trends of 2020. On that list, and on just about every other list you can find, is cloud computing.

What exactly is cloud computing? In a nutshell, cloud computing is external data storage and management. So, instead of having a host of servers storing data on-site at any given company, the information is hosted outside of the establishment. With this comes edge cloud computing and multi-cloud computing, which are different methods companies take to manage the storage and distribution of data.

Why is cloud computing an important technical skill? Aside from the fact that the average salary of an AWS-certified IT professional is $129,868, cloud computing skills are highly desired by many companies, since the majority of businesses utilize cloud computing.

For the first time ever, AWS, a leader in cloud computing, is offering its AWS certification exam entirely online. While it doesn’t come at a discounted rate, the exam is more convenient to take than ever, since you don’t have to schedule a specific date and time with a testing center. All you’ll need is a webcam and a quiet room where you won’t be disturbed while taking your test.

If you’re interested in IT, cloud computing, or even just data management, getting certified in cloud computing is one skill that will boost your resume and make you stand out from other candidates.

Automation Development Courses

You’ve probably heard that automation is infiltrating different industries and displacing workers. As thrilling as the movies about robots taking over the world are, this couldn’t be farther from the reality of automation in the workplace.

Automation has been implemented across industries and businesses, but the truth of it is, automation exists to aid workers and complete mundane tasks in a more efficient manner.

Plus, automation takes a significant amount of monitoring, testing, and specialized management to ensure it works properly. This means that companies who implement automation will need to hire workers skilled in automation development to oversee the technology.

If you have an interest in business processes and automation software, now is the perfect time to take advantage of opportunities to learn automation development and management skills.

Right now, Automation Anywhere, a leader in robotic process automation, is offering RPA courses and bot development entirely online, through Automation Anywhere University. Not only are these offerings conveniently available, but many options are being offered for free or at a discounted rate.

With RPA becoming one of the most widely implemented automation solutions across industries, upskilling with RPA development is sure to make you valuable and a stand-out candidate for any company.

SEO Training Courses

You’ve probably heard of Search Engine Optimization before, but what is it really? SEO is all about organic search traffic and how easily that traffic finds a company’s website, then taking steps to get more organic traffic. When you type into Google “how to prepare for an interview” you expect the best results to pop up first. Well, companies want to be the best results, so they deploy SEO programs to make sure that their content is on the first page of Google’s results.

SEO is essential for most businesses that want to succeed in a virtual environment. This is why many companies look for candidates that have SEO experience. If you have the skills to help optimize a website or create stellar blog content, you could help steer any business toward online success.

Diving into SEO training courses is a good way to become versed in SEO, while also learning actionable steps for implementing appropriate strategies.

Websites like Moz offer online training courses that teach the basics of SEO all the way up through teaching you advanced implementation strategies. Right now, Moz is offering several SEO training courses for free, along with certifications at a discounted rate. Additionally, Moz has a weekly whiteboard Friday program, where the company keeps you up to date with trending SEO best practices.

SEO is a very new field of business that is predicted to continue growing at a massive rate over the next few years. Understanding best practices in this evolving field will add an extra layer of value to your application for any position.

Programming Courses

Coding, also known as computer programming, often gets a bad rap. A common misconception is that writing code is boring and difficult and more often, people think that you have to be a computer genius to understand coding. In reality, coding can be quite simple and is a great skill for anyone to learn.

If you’re interested in programming robots, having complete control of your computer, or just designing a website, learning to code is a great skill that several experts argue could soon be a basic life skill. Whatever the future holds for programming languages, for now, it’s certain that many companies favor candidates who can code.

When considering what coding language is right for you, think about the different use cases of coding languages and start with the one that aligns best with your current skills and goals. Often, people will begin with the easier languages to learn like HTML or JavaScript. After learning the basics, you can move on to more advanced and widely used languages like Python.

Whichever programming language you decide to learn, now is the time to get a head start. Online platforms like Unity Learn Premium and Codecademy are offering free coding classes to anyone who signs up for a course. Courses are offered in both a self-paced environment and in an instructor-led virtual classroom.

Adding this technical skill and building on it can set you apart from other applicants and job seekers. Even if you’re not interested in a technical field, learning to code can show your diverse abilities and make you even more valuable in a non-technical position.

Conclusion

During uncertain times, when things might seem completely out of your control, it’s good to focus on what you can do. It’s entirely in your control to learn new skills, build a great resume, and ace your interviews. If you’re looking to make a career change and what to be a standout candidate, now’s the time to consider how you can do it. There have never been more convenient, affordable learning opportunities available. Start upskilling with these online opportunities or find out what professional skills would be best for your career.