Technology courses are excellent ways to expand both your industry knowledge and your technical skills. Since IT infrastructures such as software and hardware evolve at a rapid paces, it literally pays to have expertise in the latest and greatest tech, which can be acquired through these trainings. Let's dive into five key benefits that IT workers can get from taking such classes:
1. Knowledge of cloud platforms such as Microsoft Azure
The rapid rise of cloud computing is a good example of how an obscure sector can gradually become so popular that IT personnel are then expected to be conversant in it. In 2006, "cloud" as we know it barely existed; Amazon Web Services had just launched, while Microsoft Office was still a productivity suite modeled on licenses rather than subscriptions.
More than ten years later, revenues from cloud services are growing by leaps and bounds. Microsoft netted $490 million in its "Intelligent Cloud" segment for the fiscal quarter that ended Sept. 30, 2016 - that was up 8 percent year-over-year, according to GeekWire. Unsurprisingly, the worldwide surge in cloud adoption has spurred heightened interest in related skills.
"A job requiring cloud security expertise takes an average of 96 days to fill."
A survey by Burning Glass found that a job requiring cloud security expertise took an average of 96 days to fill, or 19 days longer than any other position. Cloud computing and cybersecurity are ahead of the pack when it comes to in-demand technical skills in early 2017.
2. Insight into best practices for cybersecurity
Cybersecurity has become an inescapable topic in recent months, due in part to the increasingly prominent role of email security in political campaigns. However, protecting sensitive data from prying eyes, as well as defending mission-critical systems from intrusion, has been essential for decades.
The stakes are currently very high for protecting IT infrastructures from harm. The AT&T Cybersecurity Insights Report for late 2015 revealed that there were more than 117,000 cyberattacks on businesses each day and that over half of organizations did not adequately reevaluate their security positions after a data breach.
IT personnel can prepare themselves by obtaining certifications such as CompTIA Security+ that cover the cybersecurity basics. From there, more advanced courses can nurture vital skills such as how to perform effective penetration testing.
3. Familiarity with modern networking
Networking has evolved significantly to accommodate the ongoing uptick in IP traffic this decade. Cisco has projected that annual cloud traffic was 3.9 zettabytes in 2015 but could jump to 14.1 zettabytes by 2020.
Software-defined networking and new routers and switches have been important for responding to the growing demand for cloud and data center services. For example, Cisco routers have been key components in the delivery of such services across multiple regions.
Cisco certifications such as Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician and Cisco Certified Network Associate Level are ideal for building the knowledge and skills needed for navigating today's complex networking landscape.
4. Increased comfort with customer relationship management software
Customer relationship management tools, most notably Salesforce, are now central to how business is conducted at many organizations. IT research firm Gartner has predicted that CRM would become a $36 billion market in 2017, surpassing enterprise resource planning to become the largest enterprise software segment.
Salesforce is a powerful app, but one that requires the right training before you can understand its complex feature set and numerous integrations. A course in Salesforce is an ideal way to ensure that you are familiar with its capabilities as well as with how it interacts with other business applications.
5. More training in Microsoft Office 365
Microsoft Office 365 is not a static set of applications, but a suite that is constantly being updated and expanded with new programs. The addition of Microsoft Teams as a team chat client is a prime example of how Microsoft continues to refine one of its most famous products.
Even age-old applications such as Word and Access are being constantly retooled, especially now that updates can be pushed so easily via Office 365. New Horizons has the certifications you need for Office 365 and everything else we have talked about here, from Azure to Salesforce - learn more today about finding a New Horizons Computer Center near you or taking a course online.