In IT you are expected to always be up-to-date with your knowledge. After all, the technological world is changing rapidly, and so are the required skills, required knowledge and expectations of employers. However, everyone has different learning needs. Cornelis Stuurman of Solvinity explains how he has updated his knowledge.

What did you study?

At first I had completed an MBO education ICT Manager, after which I started working. But I soon found out that the position offered me too little challenge, so I decided to look for a new job and training. In 2019 I started the dual course ‘Cyber ​​Security & Cloud’ at Hogeschool Utrecht in combination with working at Solvinity. The first 2 years I went to school 2 days a week, in the 3rd and 4th year 1 day. I am currently graduating. In addition to my studies, I have also obtained a number of certificates for AWS and Microsoft Azure.

What is this training aimed at?

In the first 2 years you develop basic knowledge, after which you get a number of specialization semesters or you can follow a minor. With the Public Cloud specialization, you get to work building an environment in AWS. There was also a specialization semester on cyber security, where you mainly get a lot of background information and learn how a hacker works.

What shape did you use?

The training is classical, but due to corona I, unfortunately, had to follow a large part of the training through meetings.

The training options are endless, but how do you make a good choice when it comes to training – duration and offer?

For me it was a conscious choice to do a higher professional education, I really needed that challenge. I went to several open days and evenings to orientate myself. The choice for this program was mainly due to its dual character, in which school and work are more integrated than with a part-time program. And there are companies where you can start right away. I also considered doing a full-time course, but because I had already completed 3 years of secondary vocational education and 2 years of work experience, I thought that was too big a step back.

Did you already have some prior knowledge?

Yes, because of my MBO education and some work experience. But I soon noticed that the pace at HBO is a lot faster than at MBO. I also learned new material quite quickly, despite my background.

What learnings did you take with you?

I find that difficult. Personally, I notice that I like to be challenged, but this does not necessarily have to be from an education. There are plenty of certifications you can get in IT to educate yourself. So even though I’m almost done with my education, I’m still learning. I do think it is useful to make good agreements with your employer and to choose an employer who really thinks learning is important. Solvinity gave me a lot of time to study and also received a lot of support if I couldn’t figure something out, or if something didn’t go quite right at school or during a project.

What is your tip to other IT people for self-development?

Keep challenging yourself, but do find a good balance between what your employer considers important and what you enjoy doing yourself. You can get a certificate for the modern workplace, for example, but if you don’t find that interesting at all, it will be very difficult to learn for that certificate. It is also good to think about your position within your company. For example, I recently switched from a customer team to the Public Cloud team. This was an important step for me because in this team I can immerse myself much more in what I was trained for: Public Cloud.

An article recently appeared on AG Connect that 34% are considering leaving IT because of the pressure to keep up. How do you experience this?

I’m not considering that at all! I really enjoy learning new things and encountering unexpected situations that I can then find a solution for. IT is perfect for that. I also have a long list of certifications I want to get after I’m completely done with my education.