If you are involved in the IT industry, you already know the most common, global issue in the sector – the severe lack of skills. And there’s not only not enough skilled employees. There’s also not enough people who can teach those skills.
If you like to learn new stuff, communicate with people and explore technology in depth, then a career as an IT trainer might be quite fulfilling for you. There are definitely a lot of opportunities for trainers and you can be quite busy.
Being an IT instructor can be a very dynamic and interesting job with a lot of travel, interesting meetings and much more. But it’s also challenging as you have to stay on top of all new trainings and technologies in your specialty. And you also have to keep working on building new contacts and opportunities.
All of this may seem a bit overwhelming at first. In order to help you out, Coursedot is starting a new series of articles which will explore how to become a freelance IT trainer and make the most of it. The series will include the following:
- Basics – experience, interests, niche (you are reading this step now)
- Training and certifications
- Setting things up
- First training tips
- Building partnerships
So, we start with Part 1 – the Basics
Here we will explore the first steps in becoming an IT trainer. They may seem a little far away at first, as it doesn’t involve any actual training or teaching. For now.
The first thing you need to consider is what are your particular interests in technology. We assume you already like teaching or at least the idea of teaching people and have decided to become an IT trainer.
But now you need to zone in on the exact area in IT which is appealing to you. Some like networks, others prefer coding or the cloud and so on. In order to be a good trainer, you must be genuinely interested and passionate about what you will teach.
But you also need to make sure it’s an area where there’s enough demand for trainings and trainers. You may like blockchain for example, but at the moment this is not that big of a market. So, you may be very passionate about it, but there might not be enough opportunities. If you want to teach it on the side, that might be a good thing, but you will still need something more.
So, keeping in touch with what’s hot on the market will be important. A simple Google Trends search, along with following specialized media and the Coursedot Instructor Hub will help you out. This way you can monitor what’s in demand, what’s cooling down and what is coming up.
Choosing your area might come down to a particular niche. For example, the cloud is a very hot topic and it will be one for a while. But it’s also very, very broad. So, you may want to specialize in a particular niche like hybrid cloud or a particular vendor, like Amazon Web Services. Or, you may feel like you can handle several different niches in this area. It’s up to you and your abilities.
Things to also remember
But also don’t forget the experience. The more experience you have in a particular niche, the easier it will be for you to stay on top of all the new developments. And it will be easier for you to actually teach it to others. Plus, having experience helps build trust in clients and students as you know what you’re talking about. And you can use that experience to give real-world examples as you deliver the course.
These things seems simple and obvious but many people do forget them or neglect them just to get into a niche which is hot and thus could bring them more cash. In fact, if you are an experienced expert trainer in a niche which isn’t that hot, you might even be getting more cash all thanks to your reputation. If cash is what’s driving you, of course.
For many IT trainers the first passion and reason to become an instructor is the thirst for knowledge and the desire to expand their horizon. Being an experienced specialist in your niche will also help with that.
So, that’s the easy part out of the way. And while it’s easy, take your time and make sure you are choosing the right area to specialize in. As next up, things start to become a bit more serious and challenging.