The information technology industry has grown significantly in the last decade, thanks to rising digitalization trends and the general impact technology has on the way we live and work. Though the opportunities are numerous, beginners will need an adequate introduction to information technology to get a seamless start in this industry.
One way to familiarize yourself is by completing one of the best information technology courses for beginners. These courses will give IT newcomers an essential intro to information technology, and help them develop skills that are vital for success, such as resilience, patience, attention to detail, communication, and coding. This article shares the best courses to learn information technology for beginners.
What Is Information Technology?
Information technology is a field that utilizes computer operating systems and relational databases to create, store, and process various forms of data. It manages the exchange of computer operating systems, software applications, and wireless communications networks. The term first appeared in 1958 in an article published in the Harvard Business Review.
According to the authors of the article, Harold Leavitt and Thomas Whisler, information technology (IT) comprises information processing techniques, analytical and mathematical methods common in business information systems, and programming principles. In all, IT features career paths including software development, network architects, business operations analysts, and network administration.
How to Learn Information Technology for Beginners
- Online courses. There are several resources available online that can introduce tech enthusiasts to the science of modern computers. With these courses, you can learn about fundamental IT topics, like software development, data science, cloud computing, network administration, neural networks, and distribution technologies. Some of the courses provide certificates or ACE credit recommendations.
- Get a college degree. Information technology bachelor’s degrees are another way to get an intro to IT. An associate degree or a computer science degree will introduce students to various information technology subfields, as well as the mathematical theories on which they operate, such as relational algebra and arithmetical operations.
- Attend a bootcamp. Coding bootcamps are a great option for everyone wanting to learn, but especially those wanting to switch careers. You’ll learn specialized IT skills within a short time under the guidance of professionals. This training utilizes modern standards and employs a practical application of concepts.
- Apply for internships. Working as an intern in different kinds of organizations helps beginners learn modern standards and techniques, explore a wide array of tech job titles, and practice familiar concepts they’ve learned in the academic context. For example, computer science students may learn front-line network support, development environment software, and network monitoring while working as an intern.
- Become an apprentice. When it comes to learning disciplines of technology hardware, apprenticeship is an excellent non-traditional path to take. Apprentices will learn to couple electronic devices, and they’ll master the internal wiring of electronic computers and their components, like the motherboard, magnetic drum, and random-access digital storage device.
- Certification courses. These courses offer specialized training in various aspects of information technology. Such specializations could be in a broad field or more streamlined areas, like relational database management systems, electronic data storage, or design concepts. Upon successful completion, the candidate gets a certificate or certification from a relevant awarding body, which is great for professional development.
Best Information Technology Courses for Beginners
|Introduction to R: Basic R syntax||Coursera||$9||1 hour|
|Introduction to User Experience Design||Georgia Tech via Coursera||Free, premium upgrade option available||6 hours|
|Data Analysis with R Programming||Google via Coursera||$39||37 hours|
|Foundations: Data, Data, Everywhere||Google via Coursera||$39||20 hours|
|IT Support Professional Certificate||Google via Coursera||$39||6 months|
|CS50’s Introduction to Artificial Intelligence with Python||Harvard University via edX||Free, premium upgrade option available||7 weeks|
|CS50: Introduction to Computer Science||Harvard University via edX||Free, premium upgrade option available||12 weeks|
|Cybersecurity: Managing Risk in the Information Age||Harvard University via Getsmarter||$2,900||8 weeks|
|What is Data Science?||IBM via Coursera||Free, premium upgrade option available||9 hours|
|Introduction to Web Development||University of California – Davis via Coursera||Free, premium upgrade option available||22 hours|
The Best Intro to Information Technology Courses: Explained
Today, operating systems and software development are essential skills in our technological world. Learning information technology for beginners can be a challenge. However, there are several online courses that have made it easier for you. Below you’ll find details about some of the best information technology courses for beginners.
Introduction to R: Basic R Syntax | Coursera
This beginner-level course introduces learners to coding with the fundamental statistical language and software, R. You will get hands-on training in the RStudio environment, including its concepts, general syntax, and important tools. You’ll also develop vital skills in programming principles, arithmetical operations, vectors, objects, R programming, and base functions. This intro course is highly accessible, affordable, and only one hour long.
Introduction to User Experience Design | Georgia Tech, Coursera
This beginner-level course teaches various design concepts that improve the usability of software products in mobile devices and modern electronic computers. It teaches requirement gathering, designing alternatives, prototyping, and evaluation. The program requires about six hours of college-level credit hours to complete, and will adequately prepare you to become a future UX designer.
81% of participants stated they felt more confident about their tech job prospects after attending a bootcamp. Get matched to a bootcamp today.
The average bootcamp grad spent less than six months in career transition, from starting a bootcamp to finding their first job.
Data Analysis with R Programming | Google, Coursera
In this R programming course, you’ll learn one of the most necessary skills required for entry-level data analyst jobs. This course dives into the R programming markup language, as well as the concepts and processes that connect with R. This self-study paced class offers five different courses and takes 37 college-level credit hours to complete.
Foundations: Data, Data, Everywhere | Google, Coursera
This Google course is for IT beginners interested in data analytics. Students will learn to use database management software for extracting, storing, and classifying data.
The course explores basic concepts and techniques for processing data, generating insights from unstructured data, and interpreting a relational database model. Students will also develop interpersonal skills from this course, like analytical thinking and problem-solving.
IT Support Professional Certificate | Google, Coursera
The IT Support Professional Certificate course is one of Google’s commitments to expanding tech learning for everyone. Learners gain skills in topics like Linux, debugging, encryption algorithms, processing techniques, building relational storage models, and decision support systems. The certificate is offered after completion of five different courses and should be completed within six months or less.
CS50: Introduction to Computer Science | Harvard U, edX
The Introduction to Computer Science course is a free course offered as part of Harvard University’s professional certificate in Computer Science for Web Programming. The beginner course teaches fundamental topics, like abstraction, algorithmic thinking, web-oriented protocols, and programming.
CS50’s Introduction to Programming with Python | Harvard U, edX
This self-paced, online beginner IT course introduces artificial intelligence (AI) programming with Python. You’ll learn all about AI and its application software, natural language processing, machine learning, algorithms, and reinforcement learning. You’ll also get robust implementation opportunities and exercises inspired by real-life programming problems.
Cybersecurity: Managing Risk in the Information Age | Harvard U, Getsmarter
This Harvard course explores the basics of cybersecurity and how to identify and manage operational, litigation, and reputational risk. Learners will gain critical skills to protect company networks and the relational database management system from threats, email hackers, and malicious software.
You’ll learn about the various vulnerabilities of networks and the concepts of security and security policies that can help cover these vulnerabilities. After completing the course, you’ll be equipped to provide front-line network support, and network monitoring services alongside a network administrator.
What Is Data Science? | IBM, Coursera
This course offered by IBM is a self-paced introductory level class on data science. It features three different courses focusing on data science, data concepts, and applying data science in business systems.
The course will introduce learners to software products, presentation software, and data processing technologies. Enrollment is free to access course materials. However, if you’d like to receive a certificate after completion, there will be a premium fee.
Introduction to Web Development | University of California, Coursera
Is Learning Information Technology Worth It?
Yes, learning information technology is worth it, and having IT skills offers you plenty of career opportunities with competitive salaries, flexibility, and job security. As remote work becomes more and more popular, the need for upskilling becomes clearer among young professionals and graduates. You can start building your career in tech with the foundational courses discussed in this article.
Introduction to Information Technology FAQ
Yes, there are many online degree programs in information technology available, from associate degrees to master’s degrees. The best way to get an online degree in information technology is to research and find an online degree program from an accredited and reputable institution.
Yes, you can get an IT job without a bachelor’s degree or associate degree, but it is fairly uncommon. There are occasional jobs in IT that hire candidates based on experience and training rather than educational degree qualifications. However, a bachelor’s degree is typically required for most IT positions and often provides better jobs and salary compensations.
In general, ethical technology means that we must consider the impact of our IT work on individuals, organizations, and society as a whole in a technological world. In a modern sense, information ethics professionals review questions regarding personal privacy and data security in online activities.
Information technology is a good career because it offers great job growth, competitive salaries, the flexibility to work remotely from home, and many training programs to help professional development. Being able to properly use each new generation of computers is becoming an essential skill for many job fields as the world becomes more and more digitized.
About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.
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