Computer, Web, IT and Technical

The tech industry is moving and changing at a rapid rate, making it crucial that employers ensure they're working with the top talent available, which means cutting-edge computer training courses are possibly more important than ever. If you can't afford to make the investment of time and money it takes to get a thorough education at a traditional college or university, online computer and technical training courses could be an alternative option.

Online degree programs in computer and technical disciplines bring the latest knowledge and skills, with greater scheduling flexibility and typically less out-of-pocket cost then similar training at a brick-and-mortar institution. WorldWideLearn provides course listings in 24 training categories including:

Whatever segment of the profession you choose, computer and technical training courses online can help you develop a new set of skills or enhance your already valuable IT competencies. With myriad courses in design, development, programming, security, repair and administration to choose from, you can find multiple online computer training courses to suit just about any high-tech career ambition.

Why is IT training important?

Jobs in technical fields like software development, cybersecurity and network administration require dedicated and fully trained professionals. Not only are skilled workers needed for existing computer and technical jobs, but the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has forecast several careers in the IT field are likely to experience faster-than-average employment growth between 2012 and 2022:

IT Career

% growth
(BLS 2012-2022)

# new jobs
(BLS 2012-2022)

Information security analysts

37

27,400

Computer systems analysts

25

127,700

Software developers

22

222,600

Web developers

20

28,500

Computer and information systems managers

15

50,900

Here's some more info on some of the categories of technical and computer training courses available online:

  • Web design - Along with preparing you for one of the fastest-growing IT careers, Web design training can nourish creativity and help you better understand the technologies that run the Web. Learn HTML, CSS, PHP, JavaScript and other vital Web design languages while studying the trends and techniques of graphic and interactive experience design.
  • Internet marketing - Social media and internet marketing are producing higher and higher ROI, compared with methods like print, television and other old media placements. Internet marketing courses teach you how to effectively curate online content, strategically target email marketing campaigns, optimize Web properties for search engine hits and more.
  • Computer programming - Every piece of software you use owes its existence to computer programmers, and computer programming training can help you be a part of the next Web-based gaming or mobile app development project. Study programming languages like Ruby, C++, Java and Python while learning the fundamentals of network management, data security, software design and other big-picture IT concepts.

Taking these and other IT courses online can help you keep your skills up to date without placing undue demands on your existing responsibilities. Check out some of the pages in the sidebar and find out if online computer courses might be the right choice for you.

What are online IT courses like?

Online computer training has been around long enough to get most of the kinks worked out, and many of the characteristics that can help you succeed in online courses can also serve you well in many IT professions. Familiarizing yourself with videoconferencing software and in-depth email communications, for example, can give you advantages in the workforce that students of in-person training programs may lack at first.

Online computer training courses offer multiple channels through which students can interact with professors, administrators and each other. Online learning does require a certain amount of self-discipline and it's often up to the individual student to take the initiative and ask questions or reach out to others for help, but with the right approach you can come away better trained in more ways than one.

Here are a few of the technical features of online courses you should know about before enrolling:

  • Synchronous or asynchronous meeting times - While many online courses can be completed entirely on your own schedule, some lecture sections may include ways for students to plug into a live feed, listen along and ask questions in real time. It may be necessary to use a computer with a microphone and a wired broadband connection to get the most out of these courses.
  • Various testing platforms - Online courses have quizzes and tests just like their on-campus counterparts, and not all courses deliver their tests in the same way. Instructors should instruct you on the ins and outs of your testing platform in the first couple of weeks of class, but it doesn't hurt to try it out yourself and ask questions if you're unsure of something.
  • Discussion forums - Most online classes provide discussion forums through which students can interact with one another, and some instructors may make forum interaction mandatory. Make sure you understand the methods and expectations of discussion forum use soon after your class begins.

With the right approach, online computer and technical training courses can increase your earning potential and help you find a stable, secure and rewarding position. If online computer training sounds right for you, talking to an admissions counselor or registrar can help you take the next step.

Sources:

"Computer Systems Analysts," Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, December 12, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/computer-systems-analysts.htm

"Software Developers," Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, December 12, 2014, www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/software-developers.htm

"Web Developers," Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, December 12, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/web-developers.htm

"Computer and Information Systems Managers," Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, December 12, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/computer-and-information-systems-managers.htm

"Information Security Analysts," Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, December 12, 2014, www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/information-security-analysts.htm

"Online Courses Revealed: The Technology Features You Should Know About," Jamar Ramos, WorldWideLearn, December 12, 2014, http://www.worldwidelearn.com/education-articles/online-courses-revealed.html