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Skill stacking: How short courses can alter your career path

As workplace requirements have changed, so further education options have expanded to meet these needs. Candidates with specific information technology-related skillsets are in high demand, and fortunately, an education expert says many of these skillsets can be developed in a relatively short period of time, even without a previous IT background.
Image source: Andor Bujdoso –
Image source: Andor Bujdoso – 123RF.com

“Many people are currently evaluating their careers, realising that they need to invest in the development of their skills to ensure their continued employability,” says Elbie Liebenberg, MD at MindSharp, a brand of one of SA’s largest private education providers, ADvTech.

Liebenberg says those who seek to build on their existing skillset in the new year, do not need to make radical changes in their life to be able to do so, as there are great new options available to those who want to learn new skills - or a new combination of skills - in a relatively short period of time while continuing in their current career.

“Regardless of the current field in which you find yourself, there are a host of new programmes in which you can enrol to build on and expand your professional portfolio, which will increase your desirability in the job marketplace and ensure you can move up the proverbial career ladder,” says Liebenberg.

She says it is no surprise that the best bet for professional development now is to expand one’s skills in an IT-related field, and that combining courses from various fields within IT will dramatically improve a candidate’s employability in future.

“So whether you are in education, business, the media, finance, or any other field, one or more IT short courses will vastly increase your ability to fulfil a diverse number of roles or enable you to start a whole new career entirely, and will therefore increase your future options and ability to diversify or move to a more sustainable role within your organisation,” Liebenberg says.

You don't need a degree to have a career in tech
You don't need a degree to have a career in tech

Drone pilot, UX designer, cloud infrastructure engineer, AI specialist ... all of these are job titles that have come into existence in the last decade...

By Bontle Ramatsetse 24 Nov 2021


She says IT-related fields of study which will fortify your CV include:

Web developer


In 2020, more businesses and companies went online and remote than any time in human history. Brick-and-mortar stores became online shops; boardroom meetings became online syncs; and even things as simple as buying groceries increasingly moved online. Behind all of this digital activity are full stack web developers. These tech professionals keep us connected and working in a world that relies on information communication technologies to run, and will remain in high demand long into the future.

Courses to consider: HTML and CSS, JavaScript, HTML5 Application Development

Data security specialist


As data becomes the world’s most valuable resource, the demand for data security is ever increasing. Qualifying as a data security specialist will enable you to understand the tools, techniques and knowledge required to also start thinking like a data scientist, a skill every modern-day working professional should have. Within companies, Chief Information Officers are crucial to help guide the direction of a company, based on insight into the meaning of available data.

Courses to consider: Python, Data Security Management, Databases

Software engineer


Software engineering is a creative career that allows you to work with software, hardware, and other computer systems in a wide variety of industries and jobs. This career places you at the heart of the digital economy, with endless scope for growth. Each industry requires its software engineers to translate their insight of the industry into the software engineering space of that industry, so this is a great field in which you can apply prior knowledge to a new role.

Courses to consider: Java, Python, HTML5 Application Development

Web designer


A web designer is an IT professional who uses various computer software applications and programming languages to create and maintain web content. This usually involves designing the layout, visual appearance and usability of a website to ensure the user has a pleasant browsing experience. Becoming a web designer will allow you to apply your existing knowledge of your field and market in a creative and stimulating new way.

Courses to consider: HTML and CSS, JavaScript, Adobe Illustrator CC 2020

Graphic designer


Graphic designers use their creativity to create visual concepts that communicate certain ideas and messages. These visual concepts are created by hand or by using computer software, and include a variety of media. This takes the form of both physical and virtual art forms, and includes elements such as words, graphics, and images.

Courses to consider: Adobe Photoshop CC 2020, Adobe InDesign CC 2020, Adobe Illustrator CC 2020
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