Information technology is the rave of the moment and provides diverse career opportunities for students. To this end, it is advisable that IT students engage in extracurricular activities that can help them develop relevant skills while studying. Here are 7 ways students can develop IT skills with extracurricular activities.

1. Online tutorials and short Courses

There are so many online courses that can help you learn technical skills in Information Technology (IT). Most of these online videos are free and help you acquire knowledge at your fingertips with the use of cell phones or computers.

2. Competitions

To become an IT expert, you need to be innovative and a problem solver. Take advantage of competitions with team-based activities and practical skill demonstrations such as the Cisco SwitchUp Challenge. There are also quizzes, written pieces and project works you can be part of. Some of these competitions are hosted by corporate or business organisations, universities, academic societies, government departments, charities and industry bodies. Therefore, learn all you can.

3. Join a Tech Community

In tech communities, you get to meet other people interested in technology, online or in-person. Here, you share knowledge in software development, and can also attend hackathons. Note that joining a tech community gives you new knowledge and skills. It helps you brush up your ability to network and makes you confident at communicating and sharing your ideas.

4. Learn new programming Languages

If you want to stand out before potential employers, it is important to learn one or more programming languages. Find out which languages your potential employers are interested in and learn them. After mastering a new programming language, demonstrate your skills by finding a project to apply it to.

5. Volunteer 

Volunteering can be a great way to practise and explain technical things to people with little or no technical knowledge. You can volunteer with a tech initiative or teach children to code in schools. You can also volunteer independently and help others achieve simple IT goals like sending emails, accessing spreadsheets, using new smartphones, etc.

6. Skills Transfer

Having acquired IT skills, you want to be able to apply them to everyday life and existing hobbies for mastery and building experience. You can start with the clubs and societies you belong to. Do they have processes, databases or websites you can improve or revamp to improve user experience? That’s your chance to build experiences which will come in handy when you go job hunting.

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