Computer science is a field where emerging technologies continually replace existing ones. If you graduated from college more than a year ago, the chances are good that a significant portion of the information you learned in college is now obsolete. If you’re in school now, it’s a good bet that much of what you’re currently learning will be irrelevant within a few years. It’s clear that you’re going to have to figure out a way of keeping up with the latest technological innovations after your academic education is complete — but how do you approach that monstrosity of a task when you’ll be busy working full time after graduation? Here are some real-world suggestions for how computer science grads can keep up with the latest innovations after graduation.
Obtain Relevant IT Industry Certifications
Certifications can help keep you up to date on the latest IT innovations. Not only that, they can also help you make new connections, build your resume and earn a higher paycheck. The following are a few certifications that can make you a more attractive candidate to prospective employers:
- Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) — If you want to utilize your computer skills to keep your hiring organization’s information systems secure, this is an excellent certification to pursue.
- Citrix Mobility Certification — Need to brush up on your abilities to create, implement and manage Citrix XenMobile Enterprise solutions? If so, this is a good certification to consider.
- Cisco training and certifications — Cisco offers a range of different career training and certification programs for IT professionals.
Attend Industry Trade Shows, Conventions and Conferences
Trade shows, conventions and conferences offer you the opportunity to network with other computer industry professionals and learn about the latest product introductions in the marketplace. In the case of trade shows and conferences that are particularly relevant to your current job, your employer might even give you time off to attend. Here are some sources of information about computer-related events that may be of interest to you:
- Fosdem is a no-cost event in Brussels, Belgium. This event’s purpose: Bringing participants in the open source community of software developers together for networking, brainstorming, collaboration and the sharing of ideas. You’ll have the opportunity to attend talks and lectures given by a range of thought leaders in the open source community.
- Events calendar at the Linux Foundation Website — Find out about upcoming open source and other conventions all around the world.
Enroll in Continuing Education Classes and Training Courses
Continuing education courses offer you unlimited opportunities to learn new programming languages and gain new skills. If you’re working full time, and you find yourself needing programming or other skills you don’t already have, there are many organizations making convenient online courses available. Some online programming classes, business classes and other classes are even offered for free. Other classes are available for surprisingly affordable prices, including some low-cost options from prestigious Ivy-League schools. The following links will take you to high-quality resources for finding free and low-cost computer, business and other internet classes.
- Computer classes at Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- Free computer classes from Edx.org
- Princeton’s available online courses
- Harvard University’s available online courses
These are just a few of the ways that IT professionals can keep up with the latest innovations and maintain a relevant skill set long after having graduated from college. If you studied computer science and you’ve made IT your career, we hope you’ll be able to use these resources to sharpen your skills and remain up-to-date with emerging technologies.