Manchester is no London, but its proportions mean nothing when you consider the opportunities available for IT professionals. I mean, let's face it, we can find IT career opportunities across the UK and abroad, because of how relevant technical knowledge and skills are in today's world. But Manchester itself is just buzzing when it comes to the IT sector!

If you are already in the Information Technology sector, you will probably already have a wealth of skills under your belt, in addition to the fundamental computer skills required in most office-based jobs. But what do you do if you want to take a step further and learn about something out of your comfort zone to ensure that you are top of the list when it comes to job applications and promotions?

Alternatively, maybe you have gained all that you feel you can from your profession and now you want to work on your entrepreneurship game within the IT industry?

If, as an already highly skilled technician or manager in the service management industry, you aren't sure where to begin with your search for courses and qualifications, remember that there are far more opportunities to study than just towards an undergraduate degree or a postgraduate degree or PhD. Consider courses or programmes that offer you things like:

-blended learning
-practical skills
-online learning
-professional development
-home courses
-college courses

and more.

Learn IT in Edinburgh or get IT training in Belfast.

There is a vast range of courses on offer, each with different outcomes.
Depending on the style of course you opt for, you may be encouraged to learn as part of a group or to complete self-study. Photo on Visualhunt

Adding To Your CV With IT Training Courses

Even if you work as a manager in an IT Service Provider business, that doesn't mean to say that you are the most skilled worker on the premises. In fact, most of the new starters, who are often at school leaving age, are probably more knowledgeable than you on certain subject because of their college diploma and because they have grown up in an era where computers are second nature.

A first line engineer must have a wide range of knowledge to be on the receiving end of phone calls from disgruntled customers, so you would expect them to be quite advanced in terms of their knowledge in the field, even if they aren't able to apply the theories in real life.

Third line engineers, however, or those with a particular subject specialism, are usually highly trained and hold various qualifications in their chosen subject matter which could put you to shame as their manager. But, really, there is no shame in simply not knowing something, the only shame would be if you weren't to show enough interest and aptitude to want to fill in the gaps in your knowledge!

Find IT courses everywhere in the UK or check out these online computer courses.

So, here's how to be one step ahead of your peers and become an expert in your chosen area, just like they are masters of their own areas of study.

Find IT courses in Cardiff!

Computing Courses For Professionals

Whether organised internally by your boss to help improve the overall expertise of the team or something you've requested to work on outside of your usual working hours, your company may pay for you to complete a relevant training course. Some employers even go as far as to assign you a day a week during which you can attend a nearby course or study from home without deducting it from your pay, especially if it brings benefits to the business by upskilling its workforce.

Fast Lane 

Fast Lane is a training service which offers customized and onsite training to meet any business' needs.

The contractor offers coaches who can tailor courses and curricula to suit the company's goals and circumstances, as well as participants' prior knowledge and skills. If requested, classes can focus on special subjects that are critical to the company's development and marketing strategies.

Be it a standard course, specialised technology training, or a workshop designed especially for your company or group, the experts at Fast Lane will conduct any and every type of training session at your company's premises in Manchester.

Because it can be so hard to find the right IT training for ever-growing IT infrastructures, Fast Lane doesn't simply recycle years old classes. The company develops relevant courses covering key current technologies as well as future technologies.

Aside from on-site training for business purposes, it also offers courses for individuals and small groups. As part of its public schedule courses, it offers:

Title: Certified Information Specialist Security Professional (FL-CISSP)
Dates: 22/10/2018 - 26/10/2018
Location: Manchester, United Kingdom
Duration: 5 days

If you live in the capital, get some London IT Training.

Pitman Training

Among the list of IT courses that this nationally-recognised training company offers are

-IT Courses (incl. CompTIA A+)
-Networks & Security Courses - Cyber Security Courses
-Server Administration Courses

In addition, Pitman also holds training in Microsoft Office, Web development, and other office skills. Here's what they have to say about their training methods and outcomes:

"When you study with us, you’ll learn how to use the latest technology to a level most people don’t even realise exists.

That’s why our students are so sought after by employers – there are few people who have the depth of skill and the knowledge of how to apply it at work as Pitman Training students. That’s why from time to time, we even get unadvertised jobs passed through to us by employers eager to snap up highly skilled people before they enrol with employment agencies. Our training centre in Manchester is rated 4.7 out of 5 based on 3 Google reviews.

For most people, the big attractions of studying with us are:

-Nationally recognised courses prized by employers
-Start any time – no waiting for term to start
-Study at times to suit you during daytimes, evenings, Saturdays or a mixture
-On-site support from our expert training team
-Our training team is on hand at all times during our long opening hours to provide one-to-one support in addition to your training to ensure you pass your exams easily en route to your certificate or diploma."

With a reputed company like Pitman, you can be sure that others will be impressed by your achievements.

For the Brummies reading this, Superprof has put together a list of the best IT courses in Birmingham and the Glaswegians can have a look at our top IT classes in Glasgow.

If you have seen a course that you feel would be a great opportunity for you but also be advantageous for the company you work for, don't be afraid to put your suggestion to your seniors. The worst that can happen is they can say no, and then you have to think about how you could fund the course yourself.

Do you want to train hard to become more skilled than some of your workers?
Often school leavers or apprentices are more knowledgeable than some of their elder peers, because of their training but mainly because of their familiarity with computer systems as part of their lifestyle and community. Photo credit: UC Davis College of Engineering on Visual Hunt / CC BY

For those living in North East England, read about IT courses in Leeds.

ICT Courses For Mature Students

According to the University of Manchester, in less than five years' time, there will be 22,000 jobs in Computing & IT in Greater Manchester. If you want to be in with a chance of securing one of these jobs, or even better, to be the first picked for the best, then you should consider a course to help you gain the required skills.

You could be learning how to develop computer games and programme new apps, or be ethically hacking into computer networks to test their security.

The IT solutions offered by this education establishment can be used across a wide variety of industries for a number of different business applications. You'll have so many opportunities to choose from!

Below are some of the courses intended for those aged 19 and over:

Title: CISCO CCNA Semester 1 - Introduction to Networks
Qualification: Certificate
Location: Openshaw Campus
Duration: 14 weeks of evening lessons

Course overview:

"Whether you’re hoping to gain employment or just upgrading your skills in networking engineering, this Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) course will enhance your skills and understanding of Cisco Internetworking and give you a range of abilities that will be highly regarded.

This semester is stage one out of four in the series of networking courses. It will introduce the architecture, structure, functions, components and models of the internet and computer networks, giving you a general grounding in network knowledge. The principles of IP addressing and the fundamentals of Ethernet concepts, media and operations are also introduced to you, in order provide a foundation for the curriculum.

By the end of the course – which takes place over two evenings a week – you’ll be able to build simple LANs, perform basic configurations for routers and switches, as well as implement IP addressing schemes including VLSMs."

Learning to hack ethically can be a huge advantage for certain companies within the industry.
These days being able to hack computer systems is seen as a trait. Ethically, of course... Photo on VisualHunt

Title: Computer Network Security with Ethical Hacking (UCAS: G550)
Qualification: Foundation Degree
Level: 5

Course overview:

"Today's computers keep vast amounts of strategic data and keeping it secure is critical. Network security is vital for businesses of all sizes, government agencies, government services and religious organisations and individuals with personal data. With technology evolving almost daily, qualified security, network experts are in high demand, especially in small and medium sized enterprises.

Network security jobs cover a wide range of subjects. Database administrators are responsible for managing and protecting data. Computer systems analysts use the computer's technical abilities to meet the needs of a particular type of industry or company. Network administrators and computer system administrators oversee network security as part of their jobs. Computer security specialists focus exclusively on computer security for a company.

Students gain knowledge and understanding of public key infrastructures, access lists, firewalls, troubleshooting of individual logic devices and computer systems. In addition to the highly technical and specialist skills within the foundation degree, business awareness skills are also taught, at the request of employers involved in the design of the programme. This ensures that students are also aware of the importance of time management, teamwork, communication skills and how to be an effective member of staff within the organisation.

The course is delivered over two years full-time or four years part time.

Subjects covered include:
• Professional and Academic Development
• Networking and Security Concepts
• Linux Fundamentals with Administration
• Fundamentals of Programming
• Practice-based Research Project
• Ethical hacking and countermeasures
• Firewall Technologies with Pentesting
• Network Forensic Analysis and Investigation."

Whether you complete a course off your own back or you are sponsored by your business to complete it part-time, make sure you retain your certificate of completion and keep it in a safe place should you need it to be reimbursed for tuition fees.

Moreover, you want every document relating to your skills and qualifications on file for if and when you apply for new jobs.

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Laura is a Francophile with a passion for literature and linguistics. She also loves skiing, cooking and painting.