14 courses for IT professionals: types and how to choose one

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 6 June 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Working as an IT professional can provide you with the opportunity to work in many different industries and pursue various technology-related careers. Some of these roles require advanced technical skills to work in certain areas, such as cybersecurity and machine learning. If you've recently graduated with a degree that relates to IT or computing, you can consider taking additional courses or completing certifications to advance your skills. In this article, we discuss why you may want to take an extra IT course, consider 14 different types of courses for IT professionals and outline how to choose a suitable one.

Why take an extra IT course?

If you've already completed a degree in IT or are reaching the end of your qualification, taking an additional course in IT can provide the specific knowledge and insight necessary for specialised IT jobs. While having a bachelor's degree in an IT-related subject typically covers the foundations for many IT roles, several positions in this field may require additional specific training to be eligible. For example, a prospective employer in AI development may ask candidates to have completed an additional course in machine learning, alongside their degree studies.

Related: IT skills: definitions and examples

14 different types of courses for IT professionals

Below are 14 different types of courses for IT professionals that can help to advance your skills:

1. App development

App development courses cover the creation and processes involved in making mobile applications and games. These specific courses usually provide training for IT professionals that are considering specialising in app development after they qualify. In an app development course, you can expect to learn how to use specific coding languages, gain an understanding of different development methodologies and work with others on an app development team.

2. Agile

Agile courses specifically cover the Agile methodology, which is a unique process that's used by developers to allow projects to adapt and evolve as needs change. A foundation-level course is a common choice for agile training, which typically involves an in-depth look at the practices and skills used when working in a small, agile team. Agile development training or experience may be an essential requirement for specific software and app development jobs.

3. Big data

Big data courses cover the specific practices and processes that IT professionals use when analysing large amounts of data. These courses are valuable for IT graduates that are looking for roles that involve handling a large amount of data as a core responsibility. Completing this type of training also gives IT professionals the option of moving into data management and administration roles, which are more common at large, multinational companies.

4. Blockchain training

Blockchain training is a relatively new type of IT course that trains IT professionals on how to use blockchains, which is a type of digital database, for a range of different projects. With many businesses investing in the metaverse, NFTs and cryptocurrency activities, roles with experience in using blockchains are becoming more common. Blockchain training typically covers how blockchains work and the processes used to develop and create blockchain transactions.

5. Cisco certifications

Cisco certifications are a specific type of training that's offered by the technology firm, Cisco. Their qualifications in routing and switching, network security and wireless networks are requirements for many employers, which makes them valuable additions to an IT professional's CV. Cisco certifications are particularly helpful for network engineer roles, as they provide a globally recognised qualification that can give you a competitive advantage when applying for these positions.

6. Cloud computing

Cloud computing courses provide training and insight into the use of the cloud for business applications. Postgraduate courses in cloud computing are one option for graduates to consider if they want to gain a master's degree in a specialist field. These courses can provide you with a thorough understanding of cloud computing and how to manage a business's IT infrastructure. Short courses on cloud computing are also available from organisations like Microsoft, which provide a brief overview of the use of cloud networks.

7. Cybersecurity training

Cybersecurity training discusses the various techniques, tools and software used to keep security systems and networks safe. This type of training is essential for many senior IT roles, including cybersecurity officers and risk advisors. Completing a master's degree that's accredited by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) is one option you can consider to gain the expertise and knowledge required for these specialised roles.

8. IT service management

IT service management is a specific area of expertise for IT professionals. This area focuses on the effective delivery of IT services to an organisation's customers. IT service management certifications provide the level of knowledge required for these support roles, with the International Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) offering multiple tiers of qualifications to suit different levels of expertise and knowledge.

9. IT training qualifications

IT training qualifications are additional courses that IT professionals may take to train others to use IT systems. For example, you may gain certifications or qualifications to deliver cybersecurity and IT skills training to different offices and workplaces across the country. This training provides the opportunity to teach IT skills that cover different software and technologies.

Related: What does the IT department do and what are IT roles?

10. Machine learning

Machine learning courses and artificial intelligence training allow IT graduates to specialise their knowledge and work on the development of machine learning and AI projects. Machine learning courses typically involve gaining specialist expertise at an advanced level, such as by completing a master's or doctorate-level qualification. These courses are often highly-technical and more suitable for those with prior experience.

11. Microsoft certifications

Microsoft courses specifically cover the use of Microsoft software and technology that's used in many different workplaces and offices worldwide. You can gain Microsoft certifications in a range of specialisations. For example, you may want to achieve certification in Microsoft Azure to be eligible for a particular developer or system administrator role.

12. Network training

Network training provides the knowledge and skills required for network engineer and administrator roles. Completing these types of courses can provide you with the opportunity to work in a range of specialist environments. Network courses may cover anything from network architecture and design to maintenance and security, depending on the course you choose.

13. Software testing

This type of training involves identifying and handling bugs and issues found through automated and manual testing environments. Software testers complete this training to understand how to find bugs and how to report on them effectively. IT graduates that are looking to work as QA testers or software developers can complete software testing training to further their knowledge and skills in this field.

14. Web development training

Web development courses provide candidates with the required skills to pursue a career in web development. Many of these courses can provide you with industry-recognised certifications that can demonstrate your knowledge of specific programming languages, techniques and processes used to develop websites. These courses can help you to pursue web developer roles, which may involve working in an agency or supporting an organisation's marketing team.

How to choose a suitable IT course

Below, you can find out how to choose a suitable IT course:

1. Consider the area of IT that interests you the most

To choose a suitable IT course, first, consider what areas of IT interest you the most. After you've done this, you can then find training courses that suit the role you want. For example, if you'd like to work as a web developer, you may choose to complete web development training in a specific programming language.

2. Research job listings for your chosen career

Once you've decided on the role you want, consider researching prospective employers' requirements for these roles. By looking at these roles, you can determine what the necessary qualifications are to work in them. For instance, from your research, you may discover that entry-level cybersecurity roles require a specific certificate to be eligible to apply.

Related: IT cover letter: tips and examples

3. Speak to industry professionals or career experts

If you have contacts or connections in your chosen field, you can also consider asking them about the training they expect for jobs in their company or area of expertise. Here, it can be particularly useful to speak to someone that's involved in hiring new recruits in your chosen field, as this can improve your understanding of what prospective employers expect from candidates. You can also consider speaking to a careers advisor to gain an insight into which course is the right fit for you.

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.


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