Follow my journey as I advance my IT career through this online course. I will share my progress, struggles, and additional learning tools, and provide a course review.
I’ve recently become unemployed after years of working in Quality Assurance for the BIOS and Firmware of both Hewlett-Packard and AMD. Despite my strong professional experience, spanning over 8 years, with recognizable Tech companies, my very niche role makes it difficult to find new work. So I am now on a mission to expand my experience and skills.
After months of fumbling around with various courses, programs, and new career ideas, I’ve finally decided to enroll in the Google IT Automation with Python Professional Certificate program via Coursera. It describes itself as an excellent introduction to the intricacies of automating IT tasks using Python; designed for those with some IT experience looking to take the next steps. Why this program in particular? Two reasons:
- It makes multiple career paths available, including IT Administration, DevOps, and Automated Test Engineering. Given my experience in QA, the latter may be the quickest path to a new job.
- It is designed for learners with some coding experience. As someone who has dabbled in various tech and coding projects, I didn’t want to waste time on yet another beginner course. I’ve quit too many programs that way.
The latter reason is why I’m glad that the first course is titled, “Crash Course on Python”, and promises to move quickly through the essential knowledge needed for the rest of the certification program.
The entire program includes the following courses:
- Crash Course on Python
- Using Python to Interact with the Operating System
- Introduction to Git and GitHub
- Troubleshooting and Debugging Techniques
- Configuration Management and the Cloud
- Automating Real-World Tasks with Python
The Career Options Made Available By This Certification
As I mentioned earlier, there are three careers that I believe this certification could make me eligible for. I will describe each one, so you can determine if any of them appeal to you and thus decide if this certification is suitable for you too.
IT Administration is a broad field that involves managing the technology infrastructure of a company, ensuring that everything runs smoothly and efficiently. The job role entails using a wide range of tools and technology, from network monitoring software to programming languages such as Python, to automate tasks and improve workflows.
The career prospects in IT Administration are promising, with a high demand for skilled professionals in various industries. Moreover, the potential compensation for IT Administration roles is also significant, with competitive salaries ranging from 81k to 105k, making it an attractive career path with room to grow.
Those who incorporate automation and programming languages like Python into their skills portfolio may enjoy additional advantages, as they can streamline operations and deliver better results, or just overall make their own jobs easier for themselves.
DevOps has become an increasingly important role in the world of software development and IT. This job involves a combination of tech and interpersonal skills to effectively bridge the gap between software development and operations teams. Essentially, you develop systems and software that help other developers design and create software more quickly, efficiently, and effectively. Another way to think of it is as an IT Administrator who specifically supports developers, as opposed to a generic office environment.
DevOps professionals are responsible for automating processes, improving software delivery systems, and implementing cloud-based solutions. They work with a wide range of tools and technologies such as Docker, Jenkins, and Kubernetes, as well as programming languages like Python. The career prospects for DevOps professionals are extremely promising, with high demand and great earning potential. Salaries for DevOps can range from $119k to over $140k depending on the company and experience level.
Automated Test Engineer
As technology continues to advance, the role of the Automated Test Engineer has become essential in the software development process. The primary responsibility of an Automated Test Engineer is to ensure that software is functional, reliable, and meets the necessary quality standards.
This job role requires an excellent understanding of quality assurance (QA) principles, IT automation, and programming languages such as Python to create and execute automated testing scripts. The tools and technology involved include Selenium, Appium, JUnit, and TestNG, among others.
The career prospects for Automated Test Engineers are promising, with a growing demand for these professionals in various industries. Regarding compensation, salaries for Automated Test Engineers range from $88k to $107k annually, depending on the level of experience and skills. Overall, becoming an Automated Test Engineer is a lucrative career with many opportunities for growth and development in the IT industry.
Starting Down a New Path
I am nervous about finally committing to a path. I’ve always been filled with uncertainty about what I want to do with my life. Yet, I know that I enjoy learning new things, taking on new projects, and sharing helpful information about those experiences with others. I am not sure if this is the right path for me, but I am determined to figure it out by taking action and moving forward.
I hope that by sharing this experience you may be able to decide if this path is for you, with more knowledge and insight than what I’m starting with on my journey. Even if you don’t follow this same path I’m on, I hope this helps you find your own way. If you want to follow along, please subscribe/follow me to get regular updates. I plan to dedicate one blog post to each subsection of the courses as I go.
As an additional resource, check out Automate the Boring Stuff with Python with the affiliate link below: