IT careers: 3 habits of continuous learners

Continuous learning is essential to career advancement, especially in IT. Consider these tips to develop lifelong learning habits
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IT Careers 2021

Increasingly, knowledge is the new currency in the IT industry. Given the rapid pace of change, knowledge management has become crucial for professionals to stay competitive and succeed. IT professionals who invest time in continuous learning (and leaders who facilitate this) will not only keep their skillset relevant, but also gain confidence in their own capabilities to embrace change.

Continuous learners can leverage their knowledge of new trends, tools, coding languages, etc. to boost their professional growth. Both IT professionals and leaders must cultivate continuous learning habits for their teams to stay on top of the latest information.

Here are three important habits of continuous learners and tips on how to develop them:

1. Looking for new avenues to upskill

In the IT industry, it is becoming less compulsory to have specific degrees or even formal education to pursue a career. Companies are moving toward skill-based hiring rather than pedigree hiring. However, it’s important to always be on the lookout for new avenues to upskill. The pandemic has led to more e-learning opportunities, including a plethora of content and courses relevant to IT, such as Coursera, the Odin project, Udemy, and even YouTube videos.

[ Want more advice on fostering a stronger culture? Read IT leadership: 3 ways to enable continuous improvement. ] 

You might start with courses that are not too time-consuming to keep a balance between professional and academic life. E-learning offers the flexibility to learn and upskill at your own pace, so once you are comfortable with time management, you can consider tackling the lengthier ones or even multiple courses.

2. Staying up to date with industry trends

Keeping up to date with the industry trends is vital to professional growth. Continuous learners make time to read about innovations within technology in general as well as their specific field.

To cultivate this habit, follow top tech publications and set alerts or notifications on various news apps to current on industry news. Reading books and blogs from top experts can also help you stay on top of trends and broaden your horizons.

3. Connecting with other professionals

Social learning is an important way to gain knowledge and skills. Most of us regularly work with teams, and you can learn a lot from your co-workers. Continuous learners always try to gain ideas and insights from their team members, whether it’s advice about a new way to execute tasks more efficiently or lessons relating to career growth.

Don’t forget to take advantage of online discussion groups and forums as a source of knowledge. These are not limited to Facebook and LinkedIn – platforms such as Reddit, GitHub, and StackOverflow are also great places to take part in meaningful discussions and share knowledge with individuals all over the world.

[ Get exercises and approaches that make disparate teams stronger. Read the digital transformation ebook: Transformation Takes Practice. ]

Sachin Gupta is the CEO and Co-Founder of HackerEarth. Sachin is a former software developer at Google and Microsoft, and now heads sales/marketing/operations at HackerEarth. A developer by trade, he is passionate about the developer community and ensuring every developer is connected with the right opportunity.