Into the Future: Building Your Creative Tech Skills

By Kristen Harris

Marketing has been going more technical and digital for quite some time, and the events of 2020 ramped up that change.

We’ve talked about skills and roles that translate to creative tech and where you might find those jobs. Maybe you want to learn more of these skills yourself to build your skillset or bring that knowledge to your company. 

Creative tech is a hot and growing area, and there are plenty of learning resources available, from free or low-cost up to in-depth courses with a more significant investment of both time and money. 

We do recommend thoroughly researching and vetting any resource you’re considering by asking a few questions:

  • Why is this person, company, or organization considered an expert? Are they a self-proclaimed expert, or do they have solid training and experience to back it up?

  • Where or how did they gain this knowledge? Do they have credentials, certifications, or specialized training? Have they gained this knowledge on their own? Self-trained is entirely valid, especially in a growing and quickly evolving area. Still, they should show a level of experience and time committed to building their knowledge. 

  • What is their expertise or area of specialization? It’s better to learn a specific skill from a true expert in that area rather than a broad generalist who knows a little about many things.

  • How is the information delivered, and what is the cost? It’s important to select an option that matches your available time and budget. Are you doing your own research by reading articles, watching videos, or listening to podcasts? Most of those resources are free or very low cost. Are you considering a self-paced asynchronous online course (pre-recorded, learn at your own pace)? Or a real-time instructor-led course, either online or in-person? A pre-recorded course delivered to many learners should be much less expensive than a live course where you are getting complete attention and interaction with an expert. We believe that experts commit a lot of time to build their knowledge and deserve to be paid fairly for their expertise. Just make sure the cost is in line with what and how you’ll learn. 

Learning on your own, at your own pace, can be a great way to explore different principles and ideas under the creative tech umbrella. See what is interesting, resonates with you, and aligns with the skills you already have. That might be all you need! Add some skills and knowledge to your toolbox and start applying them to your current work or the new role you’re seeking.

As you learn more, you might become interested in a specific area that requires more committed study. Perhaps you need to spend time going deep on a subject, or the new role you want requires a particular certification. At that point, you can consider more extended certification programs or courses. We recommend getting your toes wet before diving in, but once you know the deep end is where you want to be, it might be time for a swim class. 

To get started with self-paced learning, here are a few resources we recommend. You’ll find plenty more with quick online research, and new information is published daily. 

  • Youtube has tutorials on literally anything!

  • MOOC platforms like Edx or Coursera provide access to courses from top-ranked universities; many are free unless you want certification.

  • Online learning platforms like LinkedIn Learning, Skillshare, and Udemy have various courses; generally, you pay a monthly fee for unlimited access.

  • Sites like Adobe, Hubspot, Google Skillshop provide online training courses and certifications; some are about their products, and other courses are industry-focused. 

  • Organizations like AAF, AMA, AIGA, WITI, Together Digital often have speakers focused on these topics, and many are hosting online events providing access to speakers in other cities as well as your own.

  • There are ~850,000 podcasts being published right now. Find one or two that appeal to you and learn while driving or taking your morning walk!

  • If there’s a topic you want to go deep on, you might find a few relevant books on the subject. A word of caution…check the publication date; this information is changing so quickly that a book can quickly be out of date.

One of my mottos is “Always Be Learning.” Find a topic you’re interested in that can boost your business or career, then set aside a little time to learn more. You might want to learn a little about many creative tech topics or dig deep and build yourself into the next expert on a specific area. And, as always, if you’re looking for creative tech talent or new opportunities, let us know. We’re here to help!