The Role of Informal Learning in IT Skills Development




Learning doesn’t always have to be formally done in organized sessions, like sitting in a classroom and listening to a lecture. Nowadays, instructors encourage people to use informal learning skills and develop knowledge organically. Some of the most common informal learning actions are: asking questions, reading/research, observing someone, or even responding to situations by solving problems.

None of these natural actions involve taking part in a class that follows a curriculum. Though this learning strategy is natural, it can play a vital role in the development of IT skills in today’s world.

Benefits of Informal Learning in IT Skills

The following are a few benefits of informal learning that can help almost anyone become an IT expert.

Triggers an Intrinsic Motivation to Learn

The satisfaction of organic learning is above all and the knowledge that you develop naturally stays with you for longer. On the other hand, human beings like to act independently. When you are not forced to learn, it triggers an intrinsic motivation factor, and the process becomes more natural. You develop a personal interest in the topic that you may not have developed otherwise.

Knowledge retention is also greater in informal learning. When you take classes, you are forced to learn specific topics within a short period. On the other hand, natural learning is repetitive and done within your comfort zone, which in turn, allows you to master it. If you wish to develop IT skills in your free time, you can always watch video tutorials on websites like YouTube and Dailymotion. You’ll come across many IT professionals at Expert Connect, who have acquired most of their knowledge through informal learning.

“I maintained my edge by always being a student; you will always have something new to learn.” – Jackie Joyner Kersee

Applies to All Skill Levels

Whether you are a newbie or an IT specialist, you have the ability to make observations, ask questions, and develop organic learning methods just like any other person. Considering the fact that informal learning doesn’t require any past learning experience, everyone can start by following the same learning objectives and develop skills at their own pace.

From the day you are born, you develop new skills and acquire knowledge naturally by simply observing and listening. This learning phase takes a big turn when you start school. However, after you finish your studies, and enter the professional environment, it’s back to using your observational and listening skills to develop professional skills. 

“The education of a man is never completed until he dies.” – Robert E. Lee

Can Take Place at Any Location

One great benefit of informal learning is that it doesn’t require a specific setting or location to take place. You can start learning just about anywhere. Many people have the habit of watching videos and reading articles while they lie on their bed before sleeping. These daily sessions can help you develop many skills without putting in too much effort.

Additionally, you don’t necessarily have to be alone to make use of informal learning. It can be a collaborative effort with a group of friends or colleagues. You can start a discussion over a cup of coffee, and learn from one another through speaking about different projects each of you may be working on. Every word you listen to can be considered a source of knowledge.

“You learn something every day if you pay attention.” – Ray LeBlond

Creates a Culture of Continues Discovery

When people are forced to learn something, they don’t acquire the knowledge willingly. However, if you allow the person to sit in the driver’s seat and choose their own path, they will become curious and put their heart and soul into learning something new. This procedure is considered a lifelong learning tactic and will help develop skills that can be used in various situations.

If you develop the habit of learning without a significant plan, you’ll have more topics to choose from. People who are working in the IT industry can use the Internet to access that knowledge and develop skills that take them to new heights. Expert Connect is one such platform that can help you take your skill to the next level.

“The difference between school and life? In school, you’re taught a lesson and then given a test. In life, you’re given a test that teaches you a lesson.” – Tom Bodett

Though informal learning may sound a bit complicated, it’s just something we do on a daily basis. Most of the time we don’t even notice that we are learning something new. However, informal learning helps normal people like you and I think outside of the box. Many IT leaders around the world have established companies just by developing skills through informal learning. You can find a lot of content on numerous topics available on the internet or in the form of books – use it wisely!

We can definitely use these resources in our spare time and learn new things. Furthermore, getting involved in group discussions and informal social events can also boost your knowledge. You never know how much more the person standing in front of you knows, regardless of their level of expertise or designation.

Conclusion

To sum it up, we can conclude that informal learning, and learning from your peers, plays a major role in developing new skills in your life, and especially in the IT industry.

About The Author
Jasper
Account Manager (SMB) at QuickStart

Jasper Zubairi

Jasper is a passionate performer in the IT training space. With over 5 years of experience in sales, customer support and business development, he has helped a number of businesses meet their IT training needs through e-learning. When he is not working or studying, he likes to spend his time at the gym. You can find more of his blog posts here at QuickStart.