Finding the Best Online
IT Courses in 2021

There are several benefits to working in the Information Technology (IT) sector these days. One of the best is the potential to earn an impressive salary. In this article, we take a look at the best online IT courses so that you can learn the skills you need to build a successful IT career.

People with IT skills are currently in high demand because technology has taken on an increasingly prominent role in society. Besides a high salary, another compelling benefit of working in IT is the potential job growth. Finding a company to work for once you’ve mastered IT skills shouldn’t be hard in 2021.

Luckily, there’s plenty of training programs to help hone your skills. While you won’t find any freebies in this article, the courses we analyze are more affordable and more convenient than enrolling at a university.

What Is IT?

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IT is the management and maintenance of technology and computer networks within a business or an organization. The three cardinal pillars of IT are governance, operations, and hardware infrastructure.

The Best Online IT Courses of 2021

The best online IT courses help expand your expertise in operating systems and computer science in general. The online classes featured in this list cover elements of cloud computing, web development, data science, data analysis, and artificial intelligence.

AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate by Udemy

Price: $11.99
Length: 25.5 hours on-demand video
Certificate: Yes

The AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate course is designed for people who want to work with AWS. It adequately prepares you to sit for the AWS Certified Solution Architect Associate exam by providing on-demand video and downloadable literature that should equip you with the skills that you need to competently navigate the Amazon cloud platform.

Ethical Hacking From Scratch by Udemy

Price: $16.99
Length: 15.5 hours on-demand video
Certificate: Yes

A compelling feature of Ethical Hacking From Scratch is that you can enroll in it as a complete novice and still be able to function at an intermediate level when it’s finished. The learning process is quick but the curriculum is comprehensive.

In addition, this course will help you develop the skillset necessary to protect networks from attacks by teaching you how to spot suspicious activity and nullify the threat.

AWS Certified Developer Associate by Udemy

Price: $11.99
Length: 32 hours on-demand video
Certificate: Yes

This is another course that will contribute towards preparation for your AWS Certified Developer Associate exam. The AWS platform is multifaceted and pursuing this credential can mean a big boost to your career. AWS Certified Developer Associate will equip you with Python and PHP coding skills you need to become a cloud architect.

AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate by Udemy

Price: $11.99
Length: 25.5 hours on-demand video
Certificate: Yes

Passing the AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate exam demonstrates that you are competent with Lambda, DynamoDB, Cognito, and API Gateway. The AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate course will also teach you some advanced cloud skills, which places increased emphasis on security. You will learn to navigate your way around the AWS platform more efficiently and effectively.

The Complete Cyber Security Course by Udemy

Price: $11.99
Length: 12 hours on-demand video
Certificate: Yes

The emphasis of The Complete Cyber Security Course is on equipping you with the skills you need to prevent or stop a hack in any given network.

This course provides you with the skills you need to adequately deal with trackers, malware, and even government intrusion (more commonly known as spying). You probably won’t eliminate or prevent all of these things but you will at least be equipped to mitigate them.

The Complete Networking Fundamentals Course by Udemy

Price: $11.99
Length: 80 hours on-demand video
Certificate: Yes

This is the first course on our list that will prepare you for a Cisco Systems certification. The Complete Networking Fundamentals Course will help you achieve a Cisco CCNA Certification (200-301 Certification).

Once you have completed the course you will be competent with LANs, DHCP, ACLs, hubs, switches, and routers. The course will teach you how to maintain and protect networks.

Amazon Web Services Certified by Udemy

Price: $15.99
Length: 44 hours on-demand video
Certificate: Yes

This course is suitable for people who are interested in building up their AWS skills.

Amazon Web Services Certified by Udemy prepares you to achieve four AWS certifications: Solutions Architect, Developer, SysOps Administrator, and Cloud Practitioner. The price point is very low considering you will be studying to pass four separate exams.

TOTAL: CompTIA Security and Certification by Udemy

Price: $11.99
Length: 19 hours on-demand video
Certificate: Yes

This course will prepare you to pass the CompTIA Security+ certification. Once you have completed the TOTAL: CompTIA Security and Certification course you should be competent with risk management, cryptography, authentication, and authorization, as well as with wireless, cloud, mobile, and environmental security. That will make you a complete information security analyst, a job that is in high demand at the moment.

AWS Certified SysOps Administrator Associate by Udemy

Price: $11.99
Length: 19 hours on-demand video
Certificate: Yes

AWS Certified SysOps Administrator Associate is a course relevant for people who want to work on the AWS platform and get certified in SysOps. While there are several other pathways to understanding AWS, this is an advanced course that will train you in CloudWatch, deployment and provisioning, data management, and OpsWork.

Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA) by Udemy

Price: $11.99
Length: 18 hours on-demand video
Certificate: Yes

Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA) by Udemy prepares you for CKA certification. You will learn how to construct Kubernetes Clusters, a construction that incorporates elements of design, configuration, storage, and security.

Knowing how to build Kubernetes Clusters means you know how to troubleshoot problems that emerge during the product’s use.

What Do IT Courses Cover?

The best IT courses equip you with the skills you need to function adequately across all cloud computing platforms. Among the more prominent platforms are AWS, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, and Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.

While understanding cloud platforms provides an outstanding foundation to build your IT career, it should not end there. The best IT courses will also equip you with quality programming language skills. Among the most popular programming languages are Python, JavaScript, C#, C, C++, GO, R, Swift, and PHP.

The most compelling IT courses also teach you how to handle mobile software development kits like Android, iPhone, and Windows Phone. IT courses also cover animation, graphics, and design. In addition, you will learn how to use IT systems like SAS and Cisco.

How to Choose the Best IT Course

If you are reading this article, it means that you are probably ready to get started in the field of IT. Depending on who you are, there are a few things that you will need to think about before pursuing this path. You need to think about the best roles for a career in IT and what skills you need to develop to make yourself employable.

The following are some factors to consider when deciding on an IT course.

Your Age

If you are still young, it will be easier for you to start with beginner courses that cover the basics. You will have ample opportunity to develop your knowledge in the long run. IT is constantly evolving and you need to be evolving with it. We recommend completing shorter courses that are constantly being upgraded and updated with the times.

If you are older and have worked in a different field before considering IT, making the transition can be a little more difficult but not impossible. If this is the case, you may want to focus on courses that are more tailored to specific skills so that you can join the workforce faster.

Your Choice of Certification

When you are working in IT, there will be countless opportunities for promotion. Having a certification can be the difference between earning that promotion or not.

Sitting for certification exams costs a fee, which means you need to prepare for the exam; that’s why there are so many courses to get you ready for IT certifications.

Before choosing a particular course, it is wise to decide what certification you are going for.

Flexibility and Affordability

The cost of an IT course will likely determine whether you can enroll in it or not. Some programs have a hefty price tag, while others are free or cost very little.

In addition, courses come in all formats and lengths. Short, self-paced courses can be a great choice for busy professionals looking to upskill, while longer, synchronous classes will be better for those with a lot of time in their hands.

IT Certifications

IT certifications are normally for people who already have some meaningful background in the industry. You want a certification to either expand your skillset or enhance your prospects of promotion in the IT field.

Azure Solutions Architect Expert

The Azure Solutions Architect Expert certification is sanctioned by Microsoft. You will be required to take two examinations. The first is the Microsoft Azure Architect Technologies certification. The second exam is the Microsoft Azure Architect Design certification. Each cost $165.

By completing this certification, you demonstrate competence with Azure infrastructure, security solutions, app solutions, data platforms, data storage, and multiple elements of Azure design. It is the most complete IT certification package offered by Microsoft.

CCIE Enterprise Infrastructure Certification

The CCIE Enterprise Infrastructure certification is designed and sanctioned by Cisco Systems, which means it carries a tremendous amount of clout. As is the case with the Microsoft certification mentioned above, you have to sit for two examinations.

The first qualifying exam (which will cost you $400 to take) is titled Implementing and Operating Cisco Enterprise Network Core Technologies. The second one is a hands-on lab exam that covers Cisco’s Enterprise Infrastructure. This certification is only valid for three years, so you will need to renew it accordingly.

CCIE Enterprise Wireless Certification

Also sanctioned by Cisco Systems, the CCIE Enterprise Wireless certification requires that you pass two exams. The first is the standard Implementing and Operating Cisco Enterprise Network Core Technologies exam, which will cost you $400.

The second is the eight-hour-long CCIE Enterprise Wireless lab exam, which is the distinguishing feature of this certification. If you pass both exams, you would have demonstrated competence in planning, designing, implementing, and operating wireless networks.

Next Steps After Finishing Your Course

Every time you complete a single course, try to get your hands dirty by practicing what you have learned. In IT, there is nothing more valuable than practical experience.

In keeping with that theme, employers want demonstrable skills. You should focus on building up your portfolio. If mobile app development is the path you want to pursue, for example, it is in your best interests to get as many of your apps published in a store as possible before seeking employment.

There is some debate on whether you need to complete a degree program in this field. While a university degree can fast-track your career, there is very little in those degree programs that cannot be learned in a standard online course.

Some universities have outstanding reputations among employers. Some of them have great relationships and programs with big tech companies that can kickstart your career. More often than not a university education is an investment, as opposed to just being a skills factory. You need to think about what’s best for you.

The Bottomline

The future of the IT sector is bright. There is a lot of money to be made in this industry and a myriad of fulfilling careers to pursue. The good news is that for many IT careers you don’t need a degree from a fancy university. You can get started by taking one of the courses listed above. In a matter of weeks, you may be ready to start working on your own projects; soon after, you could start applying for jobs.

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