FILE - The main Google campus in Mountain View, Calif., on Sept. 12, 2017. The Justice Department could broaden its scrutiny of tech companies, going beyond investigating potential antitrust violations to potentially challenge companies like Google and Facebook on multiple fronts, the Justice Department warned on Monday, Nov. 18, 2019.
Photo: Christie Hemm Klok/The New York Times
Photo: Christie Hemm Klok/The New York Times

3 cheap ways to learn high-tech skills, who's hiring at high wages

High-tech jobs are fast-growing and they command high salaries. However, the sector is also facing labor shortages in Georgia, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

And it’s not just tech whizzes who can tap these benefits. According to experts like insurance giant Northwestern Mutual, fairly ordinary employees can ramp up their technical skills without spending lots on tuition. "Add a massive skills gap in tech fields and scarcity of talent to the mix, and you can see why pioneering companies are redefining what it means to be qualified — they need to fill a ton of jobs," NWM explained. "If you're thinking about boosting your skillset (or paycheck) today is a great time to start."

» RELATED: Atlanta lands in top 10 for best cities for IT professionals

Here are three cheap ways to learn high-demand tech skills, according to NWM and other job and training experts:

Get Google I.T. certified for $49 per month.

You probably already feel like you could Google professionally, but this would make it official. According to Google itself, its "IT Support Professional Certificate, developed by Google and hosted on Coursera, can help you become ready for an entry-level job in IT support in under six months. No experience is necessary."

» RELATED: Atlanta rises one spot on IT job opportunities index

Learn in-demand skills from cloud computing Salesforce.

Computer science degrees from high-ranked schools are always going to be the mainstay for the highest-paying high-tech jobs. "But it's not the exclusionary domain of incredible talent," LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner said at the 2017 ASU GSV Summit."We're finding that people with very basic coding skills but [who] have graduated from a coding boot camp...we're looking for folks like that. We're looking for folks with a growth mindset. We're looking for people with the dedication, with the work ethic. We want to give them a shot. And what we're finding is, these people are...incredibly talented, and they need a chance."

And the need for high-tech workers will just keep growing. According to a 2017 IDC white paper sponsored by Salesforce, between now and 2022, the Salesforce cloud computing economy will create 3.3 million jobs total. It will have the most powerful impact on the finance industry. It predicted 585,000 new jobs in the finance sector, accompanied by a predicted $164 billion in new finance revenue. The Salesforce manufacturing economy will increase $159 billion in the same period, adding 638,000 in new jobs.

» RELATED: The 25 jobs with the brightest futures, according to Glassdoor

To give high-tech job seekers a free boost, Salesforce offers online classes via its Trailhead. "As you tackle bite-size modules tailored to career paths (that give you hands-on experience with the software) you earn badges and points on your way to legit Salesforce certifications," according to NWM. "While the modules are all free, you do need to pay to take certification exams, which start at $200 (the price is cut in half if you need to take it again)."

» RELATED: Where the jobs are: Top 5 industries in Georgia with lots of openings

Tap into Facebook Blueprint.

Corporate advertising budgets rely heavily on Facebook's reach, and the company has responded with Facebook Blueprint. This series of classes and tutorials is available to anyone with an active profile in exchange for receiving marketing-related promotional materials from Facebook. A few of the most helpful classes include a class on how Facebook, Instagram and Messenger can help businesses, and a Campaign Planner that helps users "create, compare and share media plans for reach and frequency ad campaigns across the Facebook family of apps and services." This leads to social media marketing job skills that can pay off big-time.

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