6 ways to keep up with your field as an IT professional

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Developments in the world called IT follow each other at lightning speed. What's new today will be outdated tomorrow. As an IT professional, how do you ensure that you keep up? We give you six tips.

1.) Learn from colleagues

Whether you are a helpdesk employee or a developer, keeping up is a must. An easy way to learn is from your colleagues. Ask your colleagues what they see for new developments and what they may have already learned about them. Or ask that one colleague with more experience if you can join him or her for an afternoon.

2.) Attend knowledge sessions

A knowledge session is an informal meeting where you share knowledge. To keep up with your field, you can choose to organize a knowledge session yourself.

Determine a very concrete final goal in advance, otherwise you have the chance that your knowledge session will be nothing more than a pleasant gathering.

Tell the participants what the end goal is and what the session will look like. Make sure you follow your step-by-step plan during the session, record the most important things and feed them back to the participants.

3.) Be active in IT related communities

Online communities are hot, especially among IT professionals. Such a platform not only offers you the opportunity to participate in discussions about a particular topic and to communicate with colleagues, it also gives you the opportunity to exchange knowledge and learn.

Just make sure to visit communities that move with the times. A good community provides up-to-date information about the latest technologies.

Don't forget the LinkedIn groups. Almost all of us have a love-hate relationship with it, but really, it can help you a lot.

Look for niches that are represented in groups. There are never hundreds of people in such a niche group, so the news flow is easy to keep up with and, above all, very relevant to the topic you want to learn about.

community learning
But there too, the quality of the discussion and the level of knowledge sharing differs from group to group. Just try something out, you can always step out of such a group.

According to Frankwatching, learning processes are increasingly taking place in communities via Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCS) and social learning tools.

A MOOC is an excellent way to bring students, employees and other interested parties together and to learn something. There are xMOOCs: extended MOOCs and cMOOCs: connectivity MOOCs. xMOOCs focus on conveying information from an expert to – many – participants. cMOOCs are social MOOCs; here it is expected that the participants themselves contribute a lot to the MOOC.

It's really about networking, community thinking and social learning.

4.) Follow workouts

A good employer stimulates the growth and development of its people in a structured way. After all, it is the way to invest in the growth and development of your company. Neglecting knowledge development is not only a missed opportunity, it is even an assassin for your business.

So ask your employer for that education or training. There is a good chance that he wants to work on continuous learning, but has not got around to it yet.

It is useful to find out – preferably in advance – what your favorite learning style is. Do you prefer to read a book, do you like to do online training, do you want to follow classroom lessons or do you go for a combination? To find out, you can take an online learning style test, for example the Kolb learning style test.

5.) Create a learning mindset

Bill Gates, Henry Ford and John de Mol are living proof: the desire to keep developing and learning continuously brings you success. Their success has not been a matter of luck, it is the result of a mindset in which continuous knowledge development is central. Not everyone has such a continuously learning mindset, but something can be done about it! We will tell you in this blog.

6.) Don't forget practice

You can learn what you want, if you do not apply it in practice, the knowledge you have gained will quickly disappear. So make sure you get started with what you have learned.

Knowing more?

Are you curious about what a partner in knowledge development can do for your organization? Feel free to contact us on 026 – 205 1333 or info@mycademy.com. We like to think along with you!

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