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The Importance of Hands-on IT Learning

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The Importance of Hands-on IT Learning


The competition for available IT jobs, combined with greater skills that are in demand from employers means that hands-on experience is vital for beginners. This necessary experience is what will help you land your first IT job.

So, if hands on experience is such a necessity, how do you gain experience without a job?

You can achieve practical IT experience by purchasing your own lab devices and practicing on them, but this is a costly exercise. There is another option, that is: online labs and simulations.

Here, we look at 4 options to help beginners gain valuable, practical networking experience. The options below work well with theoretical knowledge, concepts, and protocols beginners would have already learned in their courses.


Taking an internship with a reputable company while studying is a valuable opportunity. In fact, many colleges and universities require students complete an internship in order to complete their studies. Companies view internships as an opportunity to recruit future employees, and will test an intern’s skills, moulding them to fit in with the company’s culture.

Intern’s benefit greatly through internships by having access to networking devices, in real-world operational environments. They are made familiar with the culture of their industry and increase their knowledge by learning from established industry professionals.

Network Simulation Software

Internships are helpful, but may be difficult to find. With this in mind, networking simulation software is a cost-effective option to help you gain hands on experience.

Over the past few years, network simulators have advanced dramatically – and continue to advance. These simulations are not only affordable, they are incredibly realistic. Many simulation packages or courses use the same operating system images that run on the devices offered by major networking vendors.

Network simulators are not only used by beginners, professionals enhance their skills through these simulations, preparing for certification exams. A great advantage to using a networking simulator is that it offers you the freedom to build networking topologies, change an entire set-up, and configure features – this is something you will not be able to do as an intern.

Device Rentals

If you do not want to invest in simulation software, you can try the device rental route. A benefit of this is that you are to do your cable connections according to your requirements before you configure your device. This gives you the opportunity to work with real networking devices, that will help you walk into your future job with confidence and hands-on knowledge.

This is a pricey endeavour, but over the past decade the rental price for devices has dropped.

In Conclusion:

Experience with network devices is a necessity, most businesses are not willing to take a chance on someone who has no experience working with networks. You want to impress your possible employer with your skill and resume – and by expanding your skill through network simulation software, internships, and certification, you dramatically increase your chances of being hired.

Masterskill: Education through Innovation

Masterskill assists with improving your hands on experience through its Practice Lab offering.

Practice Labs is a real life environment lab setup for anyone seeking to develop their practical IT skills.

Whether it’s Cisco, Microsoft or VMware, Practice Labs unifies access to all of these vendors through a web browser interface. Pre-configured hardware layouts with accompanying lab guides for fast, convenient access to gain hands on experience. With step-by-step instructions covering thousands of practical tasks across Cisco, Microsoft, VMware and CompTIA exam titles, Practice Labs makes studying for an exam or learning new technologies an engaging experience.

Our Practice Lab library includes the following:

  • OS & Server Technologies
  • Database
  • Security
  • Networking
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