Four Reasons Why Online Mentoring is Transforming the IT Sector

Four Reasons Why Online Mentoring is Transforming the IT Sector; man working his IT job

IT is an ever-changing field. While the principles might stay the same, the technology we use is always developing – solving old problems while creating new ones. In practice, what this means is that having a successful career in IT means being willing to embrace change and all the challenges that come with it.

In 2024 that change is more rapid and more widespread than ever before, only now it’s more than just technology that’s shaping new directions for the industry. With a growing shift towards remote and freelance work, many experienced professionals are discovering that there’s as much value in sharing their knowledge as there is in using it.

But why are so many people now interested in learning IT skills online? And what does online mentoring mean for your IT career?

1. Niche Learning

Four Reasons Why Online Mentoring is Transforming the IT Sector; someone working inside a computer

Most IT skills can be broken up into two broad categories: general principles, and niche learning.

General principles are your foundations and without them you can’t get very far. They represent the core of information that anyone working in IT should have and are a common reference point for those working across different disciplines.

Then you have your niche skills such as frameworks, languages, and operating systems. Almost anyone working in IT will be familiar with Windows but what about Mac or Linux?

Of course, so long as you have those general principles in place, these niche skills are easy enough to learn in context. All you need is someone with a little experience to show you the ropes.

In recent years, software has become increasingly niche meaning that the value of that little bit of experience has gone up a lot. Put simply, if you have a useful set of niche skills in IT then you’re the expert that people will want to go to.

As more and more IT specialists decide to teach their knowledge, it becomes increasingly apparent that, for many, mentoring is a seriously viable career path.

2. Industry Developments

As we’ve already mentioned, IT is a field that’s always changing and what better way to adapt to those changes than by teaching one another online.

It’s worth keeping in mind that there’s a large gap between early adopters (the people who will first embrace a new or experimental technology) and the average company. In essence, multiple generations of the same technology can still be in use simultaneously.

Imagine a person at company A spends three years working with a brand new app development framework. Meanwhile, company B is trying to keep their old app running while its outdated design becomes an increasing problem year on year. By the time company B decides to finally build a new app, that person working at company A has had time to become a real expert at what they’re doing.

Now, an employee from company B could spend months scratching their head, hitting the books, and doing all the work of figuring things out for themself. Alternatively, they could just reach out to the employee from company A and offer to pay them for a few online mentoring sessions to get them up to speed.

Through online mentoring, the employee from company B gets to save themself hours and hours of time and work while the employee from company A earns more money for the time they invested in learning a brand-new framework.

3. A Skills-Based Approach

In years gone by, IT and computing were the type of disciplines that required highly specialised qualifications and, while this is still true to an extent, attitudes are beginning to shift. In 2024, many companies are now far more interested in a proven track record than they are in specific qualifications.

It has to be said that mentoring is playing a huge role in this change. It’s now easier than ever to learn all the skills you need online and start applying them yourself, building a portfolio to prove what you can do.

The more people/companies who adopt this approach, the more demand there is for skilled and experienced people to devote their time to sharing the benefit of that experience online. It’s a win-win scenario for everyone involved!

4. The Global Marketplace

Last but certainly not least, it’s important to note just how much IT has shifted into the global freelance marketplace. IT skills are international, allowing companies to hire anyone from anywhere so long as they can do the role.

The same benefits apply to those looking to learn. No matter where you or your Mentor live, so long as you speak the same language, you can learn from them. Online mentoring is encouraging this global marketplace to grow and flourish by creating a space where anyone can learn or teach, helping to ultimately democratise IT knowledge.

Are you an IT professional who’s ready to embrace the remote world? If so, then why not start a second career as a Mentor today?

Mentoring is a fun and easy way to generate a whole new income stream off of the back of your existing skills. All you have to do is sign up with Career Navig8r and start sharing your knowledge with the people who are ready and eager to learn!

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