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Professional Development For IT Pros

Professional Development For IT Pros
By , Mary Kyle

Ongoing professional development can bring immense benefits to both IT pros and the organizations that hire them. Here's how you can approach professional development, from the employee and employer point of views.

Credit: Gstockstudios/ShutterstockCredit: Gstockstudios/ShutterstockSkills learned today may be obsolete or on the way out the door two years from now. To stay competitive and retain marketplace dominance, businesses look for service providers and suppliers who can provide (as well as maintain and support) the latest in innovation and advances. To a large extent, this means you.

To meet the changing needs of clients, suppliers are faced with a dilemma. How do you maintain a well-trained and highly skilled pool of IT professionals? This is especially difficult when employers are faced with the reality that we live in a transitory, mobile society. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), people born between 1957 and 1964 (those at the later end of the baby boom) held about 12 jobs from ages 18 to 48. All this mobility within the workforce makes it increasingly difficult for employers to retain highly motivated and skilled professionals.

One solution is ongoing professional development. Individuals have been seeking certifications, picking up second degrees or looking at other training options for years. What is perhaps newer to this game is an understanding of just who benefits from such training. Professional development is a win-win scenario for everyone — customers, employees and employers — enabling businesses (and the IT professionals who make it all happen behind the scenes) to more quickly meet the needs of customers and provide improved services and products.

Benefits of Professional Development

Professional development enables employees to hone or update existing skills, develop new skills and gain expertise, keeping them one step above the competition. Because top IT skills are always in demand, those possessing these skills are often recognized as leaders in the industry by peers, and may reap substantial financial rewards in the form of increased salaries, bonuses, stock options, promotions and so forth.

Ongoing professional development, particularly as it relates to soft skills, may improve the ability to work and collaborate with others more effectively, transfer positively in our personal lives and improve overall job satisfaction.

MORE: Technical vs Management: Which Career Track Is Right for You?