If you’re looking for a way to get ahead in your career this year, it’s worth thinking about upgrading your technical skills. Personal development can lead to job satisfaction, so operate at the top of your game by the end of the year and reap the rewards. You don’t have to shell out for an advanced degree. There are a number of budget-friendly options to upgrade your IT and digital marketing skills, including the following.

Five Ways to Upgrade your Technical Skills this Year

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1.Sign up for a short course.

You don’t have to enrol in university for a four-year degree to learn basic computing or IT skills. There are a number of short courses, including online programs, which can top up your skills with the latest software and techniques. Look for online courses as well as courses from local colleges, community workshops, and even job centres. Short courses and diplomas are one way to upgrade your skills that you can also put on your resume upon completion. And if you find a topic you’re interested in, you could think about extending your studies to a longer degree.

2.Read tech blogs and forums.

Another way to brush up on your technical skills is by perusing the wealth of information online. Tech blogs, forums, and digital magazines are a great way to interact with other geeks and learn something new. If you have tech-related questions of any kind, you’re sure to find useful answers in tech forums. Keep up to date with new advances in technology by following blogs, and you’ll be ahead of the curve at work.

3.Create your own website.

If you’re clueless when it comes to web design or need to learn the ins and outs of blogging, try jumping in at the deep end by creating your own blog. Blogging platforms are easy to use, and allow you to play around with different templates. Practice using HTML, WordPress customization, and PHP programming on your own blog, and you’ll start learning which techniques work most effectively. You can also boost your marketing skills by promoting your own blog, and in the end you should have a link that you’ll be proud to show recruiters.

Create your own website

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4. Practice with online tutorials.

Do you want to lean new tricks and techniques in a specific program or format? Try looking for online tutorials. These give you a step-by-step breakdown of how to use a particular software program or feature, and most include helpful comments as well. There are online tutorial directories, or you can Google the program you’re working with to find out more tips.

5. Network with tech-minded people.

Academic courses and online forums are a great way to rub shoulders with other people interested in technology, but you could also try getting offline from time to time. Attend technology conferences, seminars, and workshops to pick up some new skills or even potentially acquire a mentor.

These are five relatively easy ways to achieve your tech career goals this year, whether you simply want to learn the ins and outs of a new software program or start blogging for money.