Being A Tech Trainer
Information and communications technology (ICT) is a colossal universe filled with endless career opportunities for fresh graduates with the right qualifications and interests. One of the more interesting (and better paying) jobs is tech trainer, in which one becomes an expert in educating others on the proper operation, configuration and maintenance of new technology. After all, not even the best technology can be of use if no one knows how to use it!
Tech trainers are mainly responsible for designing and delivering training programmes to aid end users in emerging technology. In most cases, tech trainers – sometimes referred to as IT trainers, educators or teachers – are experts in either professional skills (technical training, process skills, firewalls, anti-virus software, etc) or user skills (desktop applications, internet browsers, content management systems, company-specific software, etc).
Some of the duties of a tech trainer include:
- assessing individual/group training needs
- planning, preparing and researching lessons
- organising and promoting courses
- developing and delivering programmes of learning activities
- preparing teaching materials
- spending contact time with students on an individual or group basis
- invigilating examinations
- checking and assessing students' work and giving feedback
- liaising with other organisations and employers
- maintaining and upgrading computer software and hardware
- making use of new technology such as distance learning or video conferencing
- keeping personal IT skills and knowledge up-to-date.
Places of work and key skills
Tech trainers can either be employed as in-house experts within dedicated IT teams attached to companies, or by a technology vendor. Some of the popular places of work for tech trainers are:
- as hardware and software vendors
- as specialist IT training providers
- in private, public or voluntary organisations
- in colleges and universities.
In all situations, tech trainers are required to exhibit several skills in their day-to-day functions. Some of these skills include:
- verbal and written communications skills
- administrative and management skills
- technical and analytical skills
- ability to learn within a reasonable period of time
- interest in teaching
- interest in emerging technologies.
Specialisations and certifications
The role and demand of tech trainers have grown proportionately with technology advancements. Today, tech trainers can find themselves in various areas within ICT, including but not limited to:
- aerospace technology
- biomedical technology
- computer applications
- computer architecture and design
- educational technology
- information technology.
As it stands right now, certifications are not a prerequisite for training positions, but can be considered advantageous. However, tech trainers are encouraged to keep up-to-date with the latest technology trends. To achieve this, many trainers undergo specific training programmes in vendor technologies or systems components to build on their existing skills and knowledge base.
Some employers may even prefer graduates with qualifications in other areas such as business or management.