People choose to work in the IT field for various reasons. This industry gives an endless opportunity for professional growth, fulfilling career ambitions, and participating in exciting projects that change our world for the better. On top of this, working in IT is pretty well paid. Whether you choose IT from being a student or switch to a tech-related industry after getting experience in a different field, you need to know where to start to build a successful career and avoid disappointments.
Here are seven important steps to complete:
1. Research roles and positions in the modern IT industry.
The field of IT is a diverse one with many specialties. It evolves quite rapidly, and new roles at the intersection of already existing professions appear constantly. Even if you are a student at a tech university, you will not get the right idea about the state of things in modern IT companies without consulting with practicing experts. Researching the roles and positions available helps you understand which ones might be a good fit for your skills, interests, and goals.
2. Create a shortlist of professions.
After completing initial research, create a shortlist of potential specialties and shape your education path. Create a list of skills you need to master and knowledge to gain. Focus on education and training essential to prepare for your desired position.
3. Assess your prior experience and apply it to the IT industry.
This step is a must for so-called Switchers or people who decided to change their profession after working in another area. For them, it is important to re-examine their prior experience and apply it to the IT industry. It might seem that none of the skills are applicable for IT, but “soft skills” can be surprisingly important, and many skills are transferable into IT roles. Be prepared to start with a lower-level position and work your way up. The experience you get working at the bottom of the ladder will be valuable as you grow into a more challenging position.
4. Master the new skills required for your desired position.
Regardless of the profession you choose, you will need to master essential skills for your desired role. Nowadays, you don’t desperately need a degree in tech disciplines to start in IT (but it simplifies your further professional growth, though). There are various classes and tutorials available online, making it easier for anyone to access educational resources on IT specialties.
Check out free learning platforms such as Coursera, Udemy, EdX, LinkedIn Learning, Khan Academy for a start.
5. Work on an open-source project
Many people face a catch-22 “no experience – no job, no job – no experience”. Contributing to various open-source projects builds your skillset up and allows you to create something in your portfolio and on your CV. To find a suitable project for yourself, get familiar with open-source platforms first and learn about developers’ communities. You can create your projects or contribute to existing ones. Decide which is best for your skill level.
You can follow one of these resources to discover and contribute to new projects:
6. Network with IT professionals and try mentoring opportunities
Before you start your IT career, find opportunities to network with other IT professionals. You can attend online and offline networking events where you’re likely to meet them, and so you increase your chances of getting a job referral. Building relationships through these organizations is a good way to activate your career and find a mentor that will help advance your skills.
7. Freelance for experience
Once you have learned the basics and built your network, you can often gain experience by freelancing. Freelancing is a good way to break into the field because it allows you to gain experience while also getting paid for your work. Use platforms like freelancer, Upwork, Guru, SimplyHired, and others.
There are some IT career-building tips to help you moving forward:
• Consider an industry certification. Some popular certifications include Microsoft, Oracle, CompTIA, CEH (Certified Ethical Hacker), CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional), CISM (Certified Information Security Manager), and ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library).
• Update your social media pages to reflect your interest in technology and represent your new skills and achievements.
• For some advanced IT roles, you might need a relevant degree. You can further specialize by seeking a degree in computer information systems, computer engineering, information science, mathematics, statistics, applied science, and more.
Remember, it is always challenging to make the first step, but once you step into IT industry, you will discover an amazing world full of interesting professional opportunities.
If you feel ready to step into IT field and get a powerful start with Klik’s international team, check out our career opportunities and send us your CV.