Many working professionals are looking for the best options to reskill to the rewarding tech industry. What are the best ways to become a job-ready tech professional? The data point to part-time, afternoon classes!
One incredible fact that many people are not aware of is that almost anyone can enter the exciting and rewarding tech industry! The tech industry is craving for talent, and many professionals from other industries are reading the signs and looking for ways to reskill in order to find a well-paying job in tech.
An aspiring reskilling candidate has multiple paths to choose from in order to obtain tech training. Factors such as the format and location of the training, concurrent family and work commitments, the investment required, and the increase in one’s salary following the reskilling play a key role when making a decision on the method of training.
However, employability is arguably the most important component to consider. The length and timing of the tech training method you choose can change your chances of reaching your target and landing a lucrative tech job at the end of the road.
Full-Time Academic Degree
The oldest way to learn tech is pursuing an academic degree in a college or university. While three to four year academic degrees are profound and desired, this path is no longer the only one to enter the world of technology!
Additionally, the material taught in academic institutions is sometimes outdated or focuses on theoretical concepts. As the industry advances in programming languages and software tools at an astounding pace, higher education institutions are not moving as fast in adapting their courses and matching them to industry needs. When transitioning into the tech world, fresh college graduates should make sure to get additional dedicated training in practical coding and readily usable technical skills.
Finally, having an academic degree is no longer required in today’s job market. Employers prefer hands-on experience over degrees. Nowadays, bachelor’s degrees or diplomas no longer guarantee employment.
The direct contrast to academic degrees are the speedy, full-time immersive bootcamps. Bootcamps have no time to waste, and try to cram all necessary knowledge in a short period, averaging 15 weeks (less than 4 months)! The short duration makes immersive bootcamps highly intensive and stressful, requiring students to spend very long hours in the classroom, way beyond one’s ability to focus and soak in information.
Learning technology and a new profession takes time. The bootcamp style may not be adequate for everyone. Bootcamps require weeks of full-time commitment, which only works if you are unemployed. This, combined with long sessions of sitting in front of your computer may not be the ideal environment to keep hold of your attention. Missing out on just one or two days may also make it more difficult to catch up due to the rapid pace of teaching.
Startups and large tech corporations want to hire professionals that can demonstrate actual experience and display a tangible portfolio of work that they have worked on.
The Ideal Training Format: Afternoon Classes
The best format for training to tech professions is offered by months-long, part-time programs, which usually take place in the afternoons or evenings. Afternoon programs typically run 2-3 sessions a week, 4 to 5 hours at a time, and are done later in the day, so that it does not interrupt people’s day jobs.
Decades of experience gathered in Israel, the Startup Nation, suggests that effective tech reskilling requires substantial time to learn, meaningful hands-on exercises, and accommodating the reskiller’s need to keep working and providing for his or her family. This option is convenient for reskilling candidates with families, jobs, and other obligations to attend to.
In addition, to be effective, reskilling programs should take months to complete. The longer duration allows students to take the time to gradually learn new topics and skills, to truly go in-depth, let the learning sink-in, and, most importantly, practice what they’ve learned, work on homework and exercises, and collaborate with other classmates (as teamwork is also a crucial skill for tech professionals).
The extended time and many exercises also allow students to accumulate a body of work to craft a compelling portfolio, which they can demonstrate to potential employers upon graduation. Afternoon classes also provide high flexibility. If you miss one or two class meetings, you have plenty of opportunities to catch up on the material.
Beyond knowledge, personal and professional skills are not taught in days or weeks. Think of planning, research, presentation etiquette, problem solving, or effective communication. The best way to learn important soft skills is through observing and practicing, repeatedly, over a long period of time, until the uncomfortable and unfamiliar become part of you and your professional skill set.
Brain scientists recommend that training programs should strive for “desired difficulty.” As Fast Company best puts it, “The reality is that to be effective, learning needs to be effortful. That’s not to say that anything that makes learning easier is counterproductive–or that all unpleasant learning is effective.
The key here is desirable difficulty. The same way you feel a muscle “burn” when it’s being strengthened, the brain needs to feel some discomfort when it’s learning. Your mind might hurt for a while–but that’s a good thing.”