3 Practical Tips for Advancing Your Career in Technology
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Information technology jobs are expected to increase by 11 percent over the next decade, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is a significantly faster increase than the average growth of most other industries, with more than 531,000 new jobs projected in the technology field.

No doubt technology is a growing industry, but knowing how to break in or gain upward mobility in this field can be tricky. For those looking to dive into or advance in the tech industry, here are three tips to help propel your career forward.

1. Understand Industry Trends, New and Old

As with most things in life, the more knowledgeable you are, the more valuable you can become. In that sense, you should aim to become an expert in the tech sector by gaining a comprehensive knowledge of the history of the field, as well as identifying the newest industry trends as they emerge. In 2020, for example, the technology industry was focused on artificial intelligence, natural language processing, and information security.

To stay informed of such trends, it's up to you to seek out reliable sources. Listen to respected industry podcasts, like the Accidental Tech Podcast, and subscribe to the right sites and newsletters. In the technology field, sites like TechCrunch.com, TomsHardware.com and CNet.com should all be bookmarked as go-to sites for daily readings on all things tech. Being well-informed is a big part of IT advancement.

2. Become a Member of the Team

Just being well-informed likely won't be enough to propel your technology career forward, though - you also need the right mindset. Though computers and technology are often thought of as jobs that are solitary, most techs are part of a team, department, or business, and each member is expected to contribute to the success of that team.

Reading your company's (or potential employer's) websites, publications, and quarterly and annual reports will allow you to understand the mission, goals and business culture of your employer. Discussing these little nuggets of knowledge can help you impress management by demonstrating your grasp of the concepts behind IT projects and by showcasing your comprehension of the company's values and long-term goals. Go, team!

3. Specialize and Enhance Your Education

Though one person can be an expert in several industry sub-fields, most of us don't write in multiple code languages, create software, and specialize in computer science. Oftentimes, we might choose to specialize in one specific area of technology. Regardless of your area of focus, there are many ways you can expand your expertise, fine-tune your education, and enhance your resume. 

For instance, an online cyber security certificate program can be a great first step for those looking to begin or expand their potential career opportunities in the technology industry. Adding a certificate in a specialized area can help boost your knowledge as well as the potential value you are able to contribute to your organization.

Take Action to Advance in Your Career

With the number of jobs in the IT industry soaring, now can be the perfect time to break into or advance in the field. By researching and understanding popular trends in the industry, committing to being a true team member, and expanding your expertise through additional education and training, you can feel confident in taking the next step in the advancement of your career. 

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