You can often find classes listed in your local newspapers, as well as on college websites and even social networking sites.
As a recent CIO article pointed out, "certifications indicate to employers that you take your job seriously and that you are knowledgable on the respective technology." By selectively choosing certifications applicable to your area of expertise, you can remain up to date and continue to add to your list of qualifications.
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4. Online user communities
Online user communities have long been a useful tool for the IT professionals. Back when the Web was in its infancy, many technology professionals used them to learn about the latest techniques and tools for developing websites. Now they have morphed from simple Usenet groups to full-fledged online communities, with topics ranging from database development to cooking to consumer electronics.
Particularly useful for developers seeking advice from their peers, user communities are also an effective way to stay current with the latest trends and techniques for your particular area of IT expertise. Most communities have discussion forums, FAQs, knowledge bases and some even have job boards and resume posting services. With the variety of topics covered by the myriad of communities, they are a useful tool that will help you stay current in your field. Here's a few to check out:
5. Industry magazines
Fortunately for professionals, industry magazines are either cheap or free -- most simply require you to fill out a short qualification form. If you, qualify, you get the printed and/or digital magazines sent at no cost. Filling out the qualification form often allows you access to registration-only portions of online publications as well as white paper and ebook downloads. There are several publishers that offer hundreds of free subscriptions -- and they cover just about any segment of the IT industry. Here are a few to check out: