Written on: 6 September 2022
Written by: Megan Hussey
Share this post:
IT is constantly evolving. Whether your team are currently working on a software roll-out, hardware optimisation, data storage, or cloud connection, there’s always something new on the horizon and a rolling number of service desk tickets to resolve.
As an IT manager, this often leaves you looking for ways to keep your team up to speed on the latest industry developments while making the time to deal with everyday issues.
Investing in IT training and staff development is the key to building a motivated tech team with the skills they need to face new challenges
In this blog, we’ll take you through the most popular tech training options to upskill your IT team and help your people grow into specialist IT professionals within your organisation.
So, what are your options for professional development in IT?
There are lots of different routes to choose from, depending on what skills you’d like to develop, what your team training budget looks like, and how much time you can dedicate to professional development in your team.
Essentially, your choices boil down to commercial certifications for specific systems and software, or a more holistic approach covering tools, technologies, and soft skills.
Every organisation uses different systems, which often require specialist knowledge. Offering your team the opportunity to become an accredited user of specific software can not only enhance their skill set and build your institutional expertise, but also increase confidence for individual employees.
IT certifications such as AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner, CompTIA Network+ and Security+, Cisco Certified Network Professional, and Microsoft 365 Certified Teams Administrator are all great options for different team roles.
Certifications include a set syllabus, either delivered through self-study or a commercial training company, and are often assessed by an exam at the end.
The downsides of professional certifications are that qualifications are often highly specific, requiring multiple courses to build a wide range of expertise, which can also be expensive and time consuming. If you’re looking at multiple skill sets, a more holistic approach could be a better option for your team.
If you’re looking for more than an exam to train your IT team, a professional development apprenticeship could be the ideal solution.
Apprenticeships are a powerful tool to upskill your IT support staff, offering a complete package of technical knowledge, practical skills, and positive behaviours for long term success.
Depending on the programme and provider you choose, IT apprentices may also have the chance to complete professional certifications as part of their training plan.
At Baltic, we offer three IT apprenticeships in different career levels and specialist areas.
For staff just starting out in their IT career, this Level 3 training programme makes sure all bases are covered, including customer service, hardware, software, networks, and problem solving.
This established training route teaches people to configure devices, optimise systems, and provide an effective IT support service centred around customer care.
This programme is ideal for training a First Line Support Technician, Helpdesk Assistant, or IT Support Officer.
If you’re looking to start training a specialist in network installation and troubleshooting, a Network Technician apprenticeship is a great professional development route.
This course teaches people the basics of cloud and physical network administration, alongside practical troubleshooting techniques to keep your users connected and secure.
This programme is great for junior network roles, including Network Technicians, IT Field Technicians, or Data Centre Support Technicians.
If someone in your team already has a wealth of industry knowledge and they’re looking to step up their game and move into a network management role, a Level 4 apprenticeship could be the right way to prepare for promotion.
This programme builds understanding in advanced networking principles to develop essential skills in network installation, maintenance, and security within all kinds of IT networks.
Over 18-21 months, this complete professional development training plan transforms an IT Support Technician into an expert Network Engineer. And, as an added bonus, our programme offers the chance to go for a CompTIA Network+ or Security+ certification as part of the programme.
Besides the obvious advantages of training your team to support users with new systems and technologies, professional development is part and parcel of a great workplace culture.
Think about the best people on your team: do they coast along, responding to the same helpdesk queries in the same way – or do they ask questions, research solutions, and unpick wider issues from seemingly simple troubleshooting tasks? The best people never stop learning, and the best IT managers recognise this and provide opportunities for their team to grow and develop their skills.
Not only does planned professional development create high employee satisfaction and a dynamic working environment, but it can also increase staff retention and help you keep those essential skills within your organisation.
To wrap up, apprenticeships are an affordable and effective way to establish a culture of continuous learning and development in your IT team, and ensure your people can rise to face new challenges as technology evolves.