Information technology is an exciting and rapidly growing field with plenty of opportunities for aspiring professionals. As someone just starting out on their IT journey, receiving gifts tailored to help build knowledge and skills can provide a big boost. Here are some of the top gift ideas for aspiring IT pros:
Books make fantastic gifts for aspiring IT pros looking to deepen their knowledge. Some great options include:
- CompTIA A+ Certification All-In-One For Dummies - Covers everything needed to pass the A+ exam, which is the typical entry-level cert for IT technicians.
- Networking All-in-One For Dummies - Provides a comprehensive introduction to networking technologies like routers, switches, TCP/IP, and cloud computing.
- Python Crash Course - A project-based guide to learning Python, one of the most popular and in-demand programming languages.
- Automate the Boring Stuff with Python - Uses Python to automate common tasks like manipulating files, sending emails, and web scraping.
- The Phoenix Project - A novel that teaches IT management and DevOps principles through an engaging story.
Courses and Certifications
Course subscriptions and certification exam vouchers make excellent gifts to help aspiring IT pros acquire new skills and credentials. Popular options include:
- CompTIA exam vouchers - Covers the cost of taking CompTIA exams like A+, Network+, and Security+.
- Pluralsight subscription - Access to thousands of online courses on IT topics from networking to coding.
- Udemy online courses - Choose from a huge catalog of affordable online classes in IT subjects.
- Linux Academy subscription - Hands-on Linux and cloud computing labs and courses.
- AWS certifications - Study materials and exam vouchers for Amazon Web Services certs.
Hardware and Tools
The right hardware and tools allow IT professionals to set up labs, build projects, and sharpen practical skills. Consider gifting:
- Raspberry Pi starter kits - Low cost computer for learning programming and electronics.
- Electronics component assortments - Useful for tinkering with circuits and IoT devices.
- USB drive toolbox - Portable suite of utilities for diagnostics and repairs.
- Toolkits - well-stocked toolkit with screwdrivers, wire cutters, crimpers, and more.
- Digital multimeter - Essential for electrical measurement and troubleshooting.
- WiFi hotspot - For connecting devices and practicing wireless networking skills anywhere.
Having access to the latest software allows IT professionals to remain on the cutting edge of the industry. Some top picks include:
- Microsoft Office 365 Personal subscription - Latest Office apps plus cloud access.
- Adobe Creative Cloud subscription - Suite of popular design and creative apps.
- Windows and Linux operating systems - Mainstream OS licenses to set up virtual machines.
- Cybersecurity software bundles - Collection of tools for penetration testing, forensics, and ethical hacking.
- DevOps tools - Source code editors, containers, CI/CD tools, and more.
Subscriptions and Memberships
Ongoing access to useful IT resources helps learners stay motivated. Subscriptions and memberships worth gifting include:
- O'Reilly Online Learning - Video courses and books on programming, AI, DevOps, and cutting-edge tech.
- A Cloud Guru - Cloud computing courses to earn certs from AWS, Google Cloud, Azure and more.
- LinkedIn Learning - Thousands of expert-led courses on business, creative, and technology topics.
- GitHub Student Developer Pack - Free access to developer tools and hosting for students.
- IEEE Computer Society membership - Grants access to publications, discounts on conferences, and more.
- ACM membership - Publications, webinars, and resources from the Association for Computing Machinery.
- Cybrary - Unlimited IT and cybersecurity training content.
And a few more gift recommendations to spark an aspiring IT pro's interests:
- IT-related magazines subscription
- External monitor to expand desktop workspace
- Cloud computing credits to get hands-on with services like Azure and AWS
- Electronics kits for Arduino, Raspberry Pi, robotics
- Ergonomic backpack, mouse, and accessories
- Coding clipboard for writing pseudocode and algorithms
- Tech company t-shirts and apparel
- Gift card for tech retailers
What are some good gifts for a complete beginner starting out in IT?
For a total beginner, some great starter gifts include books like "Computer Basics Absolute Beginner's Guide", online courses through Udemy or LinkedIn Learning, Raspberry Pi kits, electronics component assortments, tools like a digital multimeter and USB drive toolbox, and subscriptions to services like CodeAcademy Pro for hands-on coding tutorials.
What gifts help IT professionals in their careers long-term?
Ongoing learning is critical for any IT professional to stay relevant and advance their career. Subscriptions and memberships that provide continuous education like Pluralsight, A Cloud Guru, O'Reilly Online Learning, IEEE Computer Society, ACM, and more help build skills over the long run.
Should I just get IT pros the latest gadgets and hardware?
The latest and greatest gadgets or specs can be exciting in the moment, but may not provide lasting value. More meaningful gifts enable hands-on learning and skills application, like Raspberry Pis, Arduinos, electronics kits, software bundles tailored to their interests, and study materials for career-building certifications.
What gifts help aspiring programmers?
What are good gifts for someone wanting to get into cybersecurity?
For cybersecurity interests, consider hacking lab subscriptions, hardware like WiFi hotspots and digital multimeters for penetration testing and network analysis, books and courses on ethical hacking and cybersecurity concepts, lock picking and hardware hacking kits, cybersecurity conferences or training certificates, and an external monitor for managing multiple systems.
Choosing the right gift for someone interested in IT can be a thoughtful and rewarding process. Rather than focusing on the latest gadgets or hardware, consider gifts that enable hands-on learning and skills application, ongoing education, and career advancement. With so many resources available, from online courses to subscriptions and hardware kits, you're sure to find the perfect gift for any aspiring IT professional.