How To Decide Which Tech Skills To Learn Next

Posted by Develop Admin
May 14, 2021

You know you need to learn tech skills – that’s why you’re here! But there are hundreds of thousands of options out there – how do you decide which tech skills to learn?

For most folks, learning new skills is important for two reasons – professional development and improving your resume. Both of these reasons are great, and provide us with some ways you can narrow the list down. Our goal is to help you answer the question “What tech skills should I learn?”

Skills for Professional Development

There are few questions you can ask yourself to help you decide which skills to focus on to develop yourself professionally. We recommend focusing on courses that:

  • Can be used in your current job: improving the skills needed to do your job will not only make your current job easier, but it also shows that you’re an employee who actively seeks to learn and grow. This is a great way to increase your likelihood of a raise/promotion. 
  • Expand your current skillset: adding new skills that might be related to your job, but not something you currently do is a great way to grow. It can also lead to a raise or promotion in the future, as it enables you to take on new tasks and responsibilities at work.

Here are some real examples to give you an idea:

  • If you work with spreadsheets or analyze data, you might take courses in data science if you want to upgrade your skills to be a business intelligence manager.
  • If you have proven analytical skills to review data and identify trends, you may want to focus on cross-functional skills in change management and project management. Taking classes in Project Management can help you easily shift easily between strategy and task execution.

By taking the right online training, you can build on your existing skills to better position yourself for a raise or promotion (or both)! 

Skills to Build Your Resume

If your focus is more heavily weighted on improving your resume to find a new job, then you would want to factor in other considerations when choosing skills to learn. We recommend focusing on courses that:

  • Make you to stand out: learning to use specific tools or niche skills can differentiate you from all the other job seekers
  • Add specific keywords: if you notice that many job listings have the same keyword(s), gaining skills in that area makes it easier for hiring managers to match you up with their job listings
  • Fill a career gap: if you have some time between jobs, being able to show that you used that time to learn and gain new skills shows that you’re a motivated self-starter

So, where should you list your newfound online skills on your resume? Most experts would suggest that you list your online certifications and skills specific sections. You could title these either “Professional Development” or “Certifications”, and include the following information:

  • The course title and provider
  • 1-2 bullet points summarizing what you learned in the course

Do not list your online courses and certifications under “Education”, as you want to emphasize your degree(s) under this category.

Where to Learn New Tech Skills

Of course, whether you’re focused on building your current career or starting a new one, Develop is here to help. Our subscriptions are built to make it easy for you to try different things to find the skills that best fit your needs. We do this by providing unlimited access to our hundreds of online classes, hands-on exercises, and instructor-led demonstrations. All of our classes also include course completion certificates so you can easily document your progress.

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