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Communications of the ACM

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How to Re-Skill Yourself For a Higher-Paying It Job

While IT professionals face challenges in switching to a different technical discipline to take advantage of increased demand for a hot skill, there are several ways to make the transition as easy as possible. The easiest path is to convince an employer to pay for online or classroom courses to hone or develop certain skills. However, given current cost constraints, most employers have fewer resources available than they once did to retrain IT workers in different technical fields. 

While employers may be willing to provide reimbursement for certain technical certifications, they may not be as willing to support more advanced training opportunities. From the perspective of employers, providing IT staffers with training opportunities can have mixed results. On one hand, a well-rounded technical staff with enhanced knowledge in various disciplines can provide better IT support. On the other hand, as IT workers become more knowledgeable, they also become more marketable, increasing the risk that they will leave for another employer or ask for higher compensation.

One application support supervisor in Michigan took advantage of his company’s training program to bolster his supervisory, project management and VMWare skills. In addition, he enrolled in MBA classes at a nearby college. However, after only receiving a 3% raise and being passed over for a promotion, the IT worker took advantage of social networking connections to explore senior systems analyst jobs. He has since accepted an offer for a position with a Detroit-area law firm, which included a 20% salary increase and better benefits.

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