In a previous blog I wrote about the things I think IT pro’s should focus on and in this blog I will look at how you can keep your employees or yourself up to date with relevant knowledge. Let me start by saying that all the things written on this page are my own opinions.

Teaching and learning is not straight forward, if you look at learning then you know that this is different for everyone. There are many books on this subject and just as many theories. What are the options you have as an employer or as an employee?

From an employers point of view, first make a plan with your employee based on the knowledge he or she already has and what it is that the employee would like and what fits to the job. You can suggest trainings, but in my opininon the employee should have a big say in this. Of course needless to say that the goals you set are realistic and that there is commitment from the employee and the employer. To often I hear employers say that their IT pro’s should keep themselves up to date because this is part of their job. I think this is partially true and sounds a bit old fashioned. Keeping up to date is a two way direction, both sides benefit from up to date knowledge. Make knowledge your goal, it is something you should do together. And believe it or not … IT Pro’s have a life next to their jobs.How2learn

Let us look at the possibilities you have…. One of the options are the official trainings that vendors offer. Microsoft has an extensive library of so called MOC trainings, trainer led courses with theory and labs. Another option are customized trainings, tailored to your needs and wishes, this can be by using available books or alternative material. Then there is E-learning, give your employees access to e-learning sites. There are some really good ones available to choose from, Pluralsight, CBTNuggets and more. Next you can look at shorttracks, speedtracks, fasttracks… official trainings, but in less days and maybe spread out over a bit longer period of time, with extra’s you add to the track and with a lot of selfstudy involved. Be sure to set a target to learning tracks, work towards a certificate.

Then there are knowledge sharing events, in my opinion under estimated, but a very good way to keep your employees up to date. Btw this should not always be events in the free time of the employee. I like this type of knowledge sharing, because you are able to share what you like with minds alike and then something special can happen in a group. A positive side effect is, is that employees start to know and start to communicate to each other. Important is that there is a defined agenda for the event.

And what about you IT Pro’s? Study and certification is something to care about, for a big part it determines your position in the market. Do not make the mistake to think that the job you have lasts forever! You have to keep working on your future, not for your employer, but for yourself.

IT is changing rapidly and what you know today is old tomorrow, keep the drive to improve yourself and stay ahead of your competitors. They say knowledge is power, but I would rather say that it helps you to do the things you like and what you are passionate about.

What do I like and how do I keep up to date? As an MCT I have access to training material, so naturally I use this when I want to know or learn something. E-learning is a favourite of mine, you can watch a video when you have some time. Next to that I follow news on twitter, read blogs and talk to colleagues and friends in IT and of course I try out things :-).

I can go on and on, especially because I think training is important, but in the end you should choose a learning path. Hopefully I gave you something to think about and if you have ideas or disagree with me, please let me know.

Hope you enjoyed reading.