The Rural

Five effortless and effective ways to build up your tech skills

Tech skills are becoming highly sought after in a myriad of industries. Here are five highly effective solutions that'll help you bolster your tech skills. Picture Shutterstock
Tech skills are becoming highly sought after in a myriad of industries. Here are five highly effective solutions that'll help you bolster your tech skills. Picture Shutterstock

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It's no secret that tech skills are becoming highly sought after in a myriad of industries.

With digital transformation trends not looking to slow down any time soon, it's in the best interests of all business owners to start investing in technological proficiency, which naturally includes considering the tech-savviness of job candidates during their organisation's onboarding process.

Not all of us may have the time to invest in our own upskilling, however.

So how can you go about building up your tech skill sets with a minimal commitment of both time and resources?

We'll be exploring five highly effective (and near-effortless!) solutions that'll help you bolster your tech skills in time for your next round of job interviews.

1. Take some short courses

If you know what tech disciplines you'd like to dabble with, then we highly recommend looking into relevant short or long courses that can help provide you with a strong foundation in that field.

For instance, if you're interested in social media, a social media marketing course can provide some great insights into the wider ecosystem of social media and all of its many inhabitants, ranging from corporations and small businesses, to social media influencers, artists, and everyday consumers.

Short courses are also available for more technical disciplines like computer programming, data analytics, and even UX or UI design.

Contrary to popular belief, you don't necessarily need a postgraduate degree in these disciplines in order to find work.

As the tech sector is prone to experiencing rapid changes or developments, taking on some short courses can provide just as much enrichment as long courses.

After all, the mark of capability in virtually all tech professionals is a dedication to continuous learning.

In an industry that's so predisposed to experiencing rapid changes, keeping your tech skills up-to-date can be just as important as developing those skills in the first place.

2. Play around with tech tools

Virtually all disciplines within the tech industry come with their own selection of specialty software and hardware.

For networking specialists, physically building or designing office computer networks is key. So you naturally want to invest in your own store of ethernet switches and fibre optic networking cables.

See types of fibre optic networking cables here.

For graphic designers, there's Adobe's Creative Cloud.

For data analysts, experimenting with analytical tools like Microsoft Power BI or Google Analytics will undoubtedly prove to be a highly valuable experience.

So why not take some time during your upskilling journey to play around with all the tech tools that are relevant to the skills you're hoping to develop?

It's also important to note that there are a number of ways that you can engage with these tools.

For example, a budding business analyst could find some free sample data sets online to help them learn the ins and outs of spreadsheet or graphing software that they can expect to use in their current or future professional roles.

You may even have opportunities to fiddle with industry software through your coursework.

Or if your courses are more focused on theory, then why not seek out some freelance or volunteer opportunities in order to gain a deeper, working understanding of the tech tools that you're hoping to use?

Don't be afraid to get really creative and resourceful here either.

You'll be surprised by just how many opportunities there are to develop your tech skills in real-world contexts.

3. Revamp your digital presence

If you're struggling to land any internships or freelance opportunities that'll help you develop your skills even further following graduation day, then why not just make your own project?

Start putting together your own digital portfolio that'll help showcase your skills to prospective employers.

This digital portfolio should ideally be designed to complement the professional role or wider industry that you're hoping to enter.

For example, if you're interested in securing work in graphic design, then build yourself a website for the purpose of presenting your work in the most compelling and visually appealing ways.

Contrastingly, if you're interested in taking on UX or UI designer roles, then you could build your website entirely from scratch and with your own unique, signature design elements.

Building your own website can be a fantastic way of showing off your proficiency with web coding languages like HTML & CSS and JavaScript.

4. Expand your tech network

The best way of landing yourself a tech job fresh out of graduation is simply by leaning on your network.

Having a strong industry network can naturally help you gain access to a wealth of opportunities that your peers may not have access to.

Be sure to keep a look out for internal opportunities, these being vacant positions that aren't being advertised online.

As far as upskilling goes, having a strong industry network can also help you develop and maintain your tech skills in a number of ways alongside providing employment and work placement opportunities.

Maintaining access to other industry workers and perhaps even some industry leaders, can help guide you through not only the preliminary stages of establishing your tech career, but also over the length of your professional life.

Staying in touch with professionals in your network can involve you attending industry events like seminars or conventions, as well as celebrating one another's professional milestones, building yourself up as a valued member of a community rather than as a lone tech worker.

5. Experiment by building your own digital offerings

Finally, working in tech can often require so much more than just developing technical skills.

As digital technologies are used to enhance everyday organisational and consumer processes, there is a growing need for digital offerings like websites and mobile apps to be user-centric.

As a result, the most competent tech professionals are those who are able to combine their left-brained skill sets with their right-brained thinking, combining technical proficiency with empathy.

Of course, nobody is born a multidisciplinary thinker.

We all exist within our own niches when it comes to personal and professional skills.

So the only way to develop the dynamic skills that all tech professionals require in order to perform at their best, is simply by experimenting.

Build your own websites, apps, YouTube videos, social media posts, and other digital offerings in order to develop your flair for both technological construction and human-centred design.

Understanding how best to use the digital tools at your disposal in order to create innately human experiences can help ensure that all your end products as a tech professional are as intuitive in their design and presentation as possible.

As you can see, there is so much more to establishing yourself as a tech-savvy professional than simply learning how to use the tech in and around your industry.

Maintaining technological proficiency in any modern workplace requires consistent curiosity and discipline, as well as an innate passion for finding out how best to seamlessly integrate tech into your everyday personal and professional life.

So long as you're dedicated to learning as much as you can and exploring all the tech tools available to you, there's no reason why you can't position yourself as a tech-savvy professional when applying for your next professional role, be it within the tech sector or in tech-adjacent industries.