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The self-taught techie: Top tech skills that you can learn from home | The Ararat Advertiser

It’s actually possible to teach yourself some lucrative tech skills right from the comfort of your own home. Picture supplied

Although the technology industry may seem a little intimidating for professionals, graduates, or even students seeking to enter its folds, this vibrant and rapidly growing sector is actually far more accessible than you may think it to be.

As we delve further into the digital age, the technology sector actually continues to provide new employment opportunities for younger generations. In other words, you may find yourself with a career either in the technology industry, or adjacent to the sector, without even intending on it.

But what if you do have aspirations to work in tech, despite working or studying in another field? Thankfully, with the expansive array of learning resources available online nowadays, it’s actually quite possible to teach yourself some lucrative tech skills right from the comfort of your own home.

Here are just some examples of tech skills that you can learn independently.

Digital marketing

There are actually a variety of different disciplines that fall under the umbrella of digital marketing, which is exactly why many digital marketing courses online tend to cover a wealth of ground.

Whether you’re interested in learning about digital ads, creating multifaceted digital campaigns, content marketing, social media marketing, email marketing, or SEO, chances are that you’ll be able to find a selection of specialised learning resources for each and every single one of these disciplines, as well as a handful of ‘jack-of-all-trades’ courses for those looking to become full digital marketing whizzkids.

Alongside enrolling in a specialised digital marketing course, self-motivated digital marketing students can also learn by using software like SEO research tools and web analytics trackers. You’d be surprised by how much you can learn about digital marketing simply through setting up your very own web blog or eCommerce enterprise. Learning by doing is as potent in the tech industry as it is in any other sector.

Web design and development

Speaking of ‘learning through doing’, the best way to really learn about what goes into building a beautiful and user-friendly website, is simply by building one yourself. With the amount of website builders available to everyday web users out there today, you can really take your explorations into web design and development to any level that’s most comfortable for you.

If you’d prefer to be a no code developer, then you can play around with site builders like WordPress or Squarespace.

And if you’re interested in playing around with HTML & CSS, then there are countless resources available online that can help you engage with these coding languages in order to create your very own custom-made websites.

There are even coding apps that you can use to learn HTML & CSS and even JavaScript basics on the go. Simply find the resources that align best with your learning style in order to get the ball rolling on your lessons in web design and development.

Graphic design basics

With more modern businesses investing in their digital branding, graphic designers have been more in demand than ever before. For those seeking to learn the ins and outs of this highly lucrative discipline, enrolling in some short courses or even subscribing to select YouTube channels, can deliver a wealth of learning resources.

And as for graphic designers who’ve got a little academic experience under their belts and may want to flex their skills in professional contexts, there are an abundance of freelance opportunities available out there for graphic designers of varying abilities, skill sets, art styles, and experience.

If you’re eager to learn more about graphic design, simply getting to grips with popular graphic design software can also be a superb starting point. The tools you opt to engage with can also be dictated by what services you’d like to offer as a professional graphic designer.

For instance, any graphic design students interested in providing digital illustration services, should feel encouraged to get to grips with Procreate on iOS or Adobe Illustrator, amongst other apps within Adobe’s Creative Cloud.

Video and photo editing

Similar to graphic design, the art of video and photo editing can be learnt from the comfort of your own home with or even without enrolling in dedicated courses. The reason for this is primarily because video and photo editing software has been designed to be as user-friendly as possible, with minimal changes between software updates to support professional videographers and photographers who use these applications on a daily basis and seek consistency.

This means that although there is a bit of a learning curve for beginners, once you do get well-acquainted with the software, producing your own work and expanding on your capabilities becomes a piece of cake by comparison.

Not interested in video or photo editing? Then sound mixing or digital music production may also be a valuable tech skill for you to develop as a modern day creative. Like all the other design-based tech skills we’ve outlined today, engaging with music production software like Pro Tools or GarageBand can have you moving from a beginner to a proficient music production professional a lot quicker than you may even think possible.

And once you have those foundational software skills down, all that’s left to do is simply build upon your existing knowledge.

Data analytics

Finally, although we’ve explored lots of artistic tech skills here, there is still plenty of space for students and self-driven learners who are seeking to engage with more technical skill sets, such as data analytics.

Although data analytics courses tend to be incredibly popular for both undergraduate and postgraduate students, given how lucrative the field is poised to be as we delve deeper into the digital age, it is actually possible to learn the basics of these skills right from home.

How exactly can you study data analytics from home? There’s plenty of software that you can familiarise yourself with, including Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets. Developing new ways to present numerical data within these applications is a superb place to start, alongside of course, learning how best to gather data by using digital channels and different methodologies of data analytics.

Alongside using applications like Google Analytics to look up metrics for websites, data analytics students can also take full advantage of datasets across the internet that are totally free to use.

In fact, many data analytics courses in Australia also use archived datasets that are available for public use online in order to create student assessment tasks, allowing students to work with large enough datasets that they can emulate the kind of tasks they’d be expected to perform in professional contexts.

Although moving from a self-taught techie to a true tech professional may require some tertiary training, there is still plenty that you can learn from home to help hone your skills before you even enter a classroom, physical or virtual.

By following the self-study pathways we’ve explored above, chances are high that you’ll be able to equip yourself with a solid enough understanding of your selected discipline to perhaps even work in your field as you study! It’s all about finding the right opportunities to help your own personal and professional development.

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