What can I learn on Udemy that would pretty much guarantee me a job?
February 10, 2015 5:52 AM   Subscribe

I was looking at some of the Udemy courses and several popped out that are meant to prepare you to pass certain certification requirements. For example, there is a CCNA Security course for Cisco systems which can prepare one to receive accreditation. What are some courses and opportunities on Udemy and similar websites for individuals looking to break into new professions where the barrier to entry is largely passing basic certifications and exams?

Are there other IT related course that such websites offer that require mastery of the skills and the passing of certain tests to become licensed and employable? It need not be IT related, either. In theory, learning programming would be similar in its effect as well but what exam would one need to pass to demonstrate one's learning and mastery?
posted by RapcityinBlue to Education (7 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
If you're programming, certifications mean absolutely nothing. What you need to have these days is a portfolio of useful, well-written code on Github for people to look through, so that they can confirm that you know how to write code.

So, by all means, learn to code. Then, come up with a project that would be useful to you, and write it.

JavaScript and front-end development is in pretty high demand at the moment. But, these things shift over time, and learning the core concepts of programming is more important than learning any specific language or technology. Aim to be in a state where you're not uncomfortable with learning a brand new language or platform. Usually this happens after you've been writing code for a little while, and you've already done projects in two or three different languages.

Good luck!
posted by Citrus at 6:05 AM on February 10, 2015 [5 favorites]

Just to extend on what Citrus is saying - programming is absolutely not something that qualifies as "new professions where the barrier to entry is largely passing basic certifications and exams." It's a great skill to have, and it can open up a whole world of career opportunities - but it's all about skills and abilities, not certifications. To put it more succinctly: Programming skills are not an answer to your question.
posted by Tomorrowful at 6:25 AM on February 10, 2015

Have you looked at actual programming and IT jobs in your area? As a long time programmer and hirer of programmers I am eminently informed on this subject - and yet if you took just one hour to compile data from job search engines, you would get a far more accurate LOCAL picture than what I would tell you. Likewise, the IT world has changed a lot in the last several years (the cloud is eating IT, pretty much) so experts' opinions are of less value to you than actual job listings.

If I were you I would literally fire up a spreadsheet and go through several job sites, tallying up skills and averaging out salaries. Good luck.
posted by rada at 6:49 AM on February 10, 2015

the cloud is eating IT, pretty much

rada can you expand on what you mean by this? I'm really intrigued by the responses here so far, but maybe a bit more information on what this statement means might help point RapcityinBlue (and me) in a more appropriate direction.
posted by late afternoon dreaming hotel at 8:52 AM on February 10, 2015

What Rada means is that a lot of services which IT professionals handled in the past such as setting up and maintaining email servers, intranets, backups, are now being handled by cloud services. Google apps takes a few minutes to setup and no time to maintain, while Exchange requires much more knowledge and time to keep working properly.

This trend will continue to reduce the necessity of full time IT.
posted by meta87 at 9:31 AM on February 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

Expanding on request:

When I first started working 15+ years ago, programming and IT salaries were roughly equal but now, software people make about twice what IT people make (DOL stats from 2013). Anecdotally, a fresh college grad will start off at about $70-80k in software/web development and at about $35-40k in IT (naturally, this varies according to location, college, luck, and so on). The picture is even worse if you look at job availability: as a programmer, you'd be hard-pressed to go without a job for two weeks but as an IT person, you could go without for months! We could even look at certifications in the same light - IT job posts are long on requirements (including certifications) while programmer job posts are long on job perks (and no certification requirements). Sellers' market vs buyers' market, I guess.

There is a confluence of factors (more mature software, ubiquitous internet connectivity, and so on) but I think the cloud/SaaS solutions are the final nail in the coffin. If your business is not subject to military or medical regulations, there is just very little reason to roll your own IT solution anymore. As a long time web developer for example, I would see IT handle the data center function but now I see half of that function handled by devops (i.e. programmers) and the other half by the cloud (AWS etc.).

Personally, if I were in IT, I'd be doing everything I could to move over to devops/sysops. It's close enough but the salaries and the demand are so much better. More specifically, I'd be looking into a AWS or Azure certification. But of course I would still do lots of research to see what real jobs are out there.
posted by rada at 2:36 PM on February 10, 2015 [2 favorites]

Learn one language in depth vs 3 languages on breadth. In programming depth is more valuable. Get experience, using programming language to solve real problems. The only thing that matters when hiring is how you perform in the job interview which will most definitely include coding challenges that give them a sense of your real world experience.
posted by gadget_gal at 2:28 PM on February 11, 2015 [1 favorite]

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