How to Start Your Career in IT
The industry proposes good pay, various perks, and tons of work opportunities above all. IT jobs are also highly in demand as of now. Sounds perspective, and it does.
IT field has something to offer for everyone. It isn’t limited to software engineers and testers only. Designer, business analyst, consultant, sales representative, support specialist, digital marketer are some of the roles that require less involvement with technology. Yet, you should have at least some interest in the tech world to build a career in the IT domain.
If you take time, in the beginning, to discover what you want to do in your work life and answer the questions: “Are you really interested in the topic? What do you know about it?”, you can then explore possibilities and move forward.
The following steps will provide you a glimpse of how & what to do when you are looking for an entirely new role in the IT industry.
Choose your pathway focusing on your interests
It’s all about weighing up your options with interests and making a decision about the direction you want to pursue. Don’t think about jobs yet, think about your talents and interests. Make a list of things you are good at and what you enjoy doing.
If you like to spend time playing computer or mobile games, it doesn’t always signify you should become a game software developer, though quite possibly. Let’s be honest, we all do play some mobile games, including our parents and sometimes even grandparents. And the category of games you prefer can tell a lot about you: strategy games or puzzles. So you could be great at teamwork & decision-making, or problem-solving, etc. Your training, experience, and volunteering also count, so list it all.
Apply your experience from the previous job to the IT industry
Take a close look at your existing skills and prior experience. You might consider that none of your skills fit, but don’t underrate the soft skills that can be surprisingly crucial just as well. Think thoroughly about your past roles and existing skills that can be conveyable into IT positions, and you may discover a treasure trove of relevant experience.
Now, focus on sectors that reflect what you love and what you are passionate about. Narrow down your choice of positions based on your personal skills as well. Do you prefer working on your own or in a team? Do you have the ability to organize people or like to experiment with ideas to find a solution to a problem?
Research the positions you are interested in
Make sure you are aware and understand the numerous specializations in IT and explore the potential options that might be a good fit for your list of existing skills. With your ideal jobs in mind, continue to learn the qualifications required to be hired for these positions. Learn all you can about your chosen new career on the web.
Get to know the right people
IT guys are one of the most amiable and easy-going people who love to help and advise others. Scan your LinkedIn and talk to friends to find someone who has a job you want and reach out to them. Ask questions related to their career, skills, the education they wish they had before, find the experience they gained, etc. This will help you figure out how they got the job you desire and how you can replicate the steps they took.
Alternatively, there are numerous forums, ask and answer platforms like Quora, Reddit, where people with corresponding knowledge and expertise can provide you with tons of tips and life experience examples.
The internet provides access to a myriad of videos, training courses, and tutorials, which are often free. Find a few entry-level courses on educational platforms like Udemy, Salesforce Trailhead platform, Microsoft Learn, or Learning section on LinkedIn. First, you will realize whether the particular field you chose is for you. If it is, you will get the necessary background knowledge on the topic. Nobody becomes an expert overnight and is able to compete with Bachelors’s Degree candidates. But a firm commitment and patience will help you to reach your goal.
Open-source project contribution
Depending on your desired career path, you may gain experience by experimenting with open-source software, be it design or coding, building a website or database. A good portion can be learned through trial and error using the technology you already have at home.
Gain IT qualifications
Once you are sure of your career path and have some experience, gain the skills and certifications. Even without a college degree, IT certifications will give you high credibility.
For each career, there are industry-standard certifications. The obtained industry qualifications will tell employers that you are safe and able to deliver the service. Find out the best certifications in your country and sphere. Some broadly applicable certifications you can get from ITIL, CompTIA, Microsoft, and Salesforce.
With the right certifications on your resume, it’s time to acquire hands-on experience that will likewise enhance your CV and give an advantage. There are several ways to achieve that:
- Freelance. This is one of the best ways to break into the field as you can get the necessary experience while also charging for your services.
- Internships. Reach out to companies that could use your assistance while allowing you to learn on the job. Use internships to test out your potential career.
Last steps in getting your first job in IT
Polish your CV
Pinpoint your relevant experience, skills, and experience, and don’t forget to highlight your accomplishments and enthusiasm for a chosen profession. Use the same language you see in job descriptions and show potential employers how your expertise can help companies achieve their goals.
Update your social media profiles
Tailor your professional social media profiles to your new interests and endeavors in the IT field. LinkedIn is the first place the employers will check, and you want to appear professional and competent to them.
Keep learning and honing your skills
Even the most seasoned IT pros will begin to fall behind if they aren’t keeping up to date with continually evolving technologies. So you would get an edge if you constantly educate yourself on your specialization and stay updated with certifications that emerge. Read tech blogs, articles, watch videos and attend online webinars to find out what’s new and keep up with the industry trends.
Believe in yourself and go for it!
You’re making a considerable change in your life, which is exciting but can be worrisome. Take it little by little and believe in yourself. Even if you encounter hurdles stepping into the IT world, don’t give up. You can do this!
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