Is a career in IT right for you?

Starting a Career in IT

Are you a tech-savvy, innovative individual with a love for learning? Perhaps you’re burnt out in your current career and looking to make an exciting change to an industry that’s continuously growing. Or maybe you’re ready to create your own schedule and work from home. Either way, you’re in luck- it’s never too late to join the tech industry, and IT jobs are currently high in demand. 


Information technology, or IT, is a field so broad that it offers a wide range of job roles that can fit those with even the most unconventional work history. So how can you be sure that a career in IT is the right move for you? Here are a few reasons why IT may be the way to go:


Job growth

Just as technology is continually developing and evolving, so is the job outlook and demand for IT professionals. With roles in a variety of diverse fields and specializations, there’s a sector of IT that works for nearly anybody at any stage of life. Innovations in cloud computing, cybersecurity, healthcare IT, and system design offer many paths for prospective IT professionals to pursue. 


Opportunities for advancement;

Hard work pays off- and IT professionals are commonly among the most well-paid employees within a business. Careers in IT can bring a salary upwards of $110k, with starting salaries of around $40k. While you most likely won’t begin your career with a six-figure salary, there’s plenty of opportunities for advancement as you gain skills, work experience, and certifications relevant to your IT field of choice.


Alternative education;

A career in IT doesn’t always require a four-year degree that most jobs look for when hiring new employees. Completing technical schools, professional certifications, and internships can go just as far in the IT field and save you time and money while learning the specialized skills needed for your role. 


Work Environment; Do you prefer working collaboratively or independently? IT jobs offer environments and options that fit both the introverted and extroverted workers, with a flexible schedule and remote work. From virtual collaboration to independent programming, there’s a spot for all personality types to succeed. 



Working in IT means that you’re basically helping people for a living, and the satisfaction from that alone is reason enough to consider making the jump. Whether you find your niche in technical support or as a developer, IT jobs revolve around making others’ lives easier and more productive in all areas. 



Starting a career in IT


So after careful consideration, you’ve decided that a career in IT may be beneficial to you and your goals in the long run. Now the most challenging part is where to start. Although information technology is such a diverse field, the barriers to starting an IT career are lower than most people expect! Continue reading for a few steps on how to get your foot in the door with IT:



Step 1: Determine your role

The range of job roles within IT that you can choose from almost seems never-ending. To narrow your focus, you should first review each of the significant IT areas and find which one best matches your passions, interests, strengths, and weaknesses. It would be best if you spent some time on this, weighing your options and considering how your interests can influence the level of success you achieve in your new career. 


Are you creative and love to express yourself? Digital marketer or user experience (UX) design may be the right choice for you. On the other hand, if you’re more analytical and technical, becoming a programmer or software analyst could better suit you. 



Step 2: Learn relevant skills 

Once you’ve landed on a specific role you’d like to pursue, you then need to obtain the skills and qualifications relevant to that role. While most IT employers are looking for some higher education, the traditional university degree isn’t your only route to success. Industry certifications teach you what you need to know about the role of your choosing and show employers you have the skills they need to deliver a service. 


Along with becoming certified, there are many online resources to strengthen your skills and take your career to the next level. Enrolling in a course or workshop can be a fast and inexpensive way to gain the knowledge needed in your field, focusing on areas such as coding, web development, and programming language.  


If you’re interested in IT, chances are you already have some of the baseline skills that employers look for in potential candidates. These include problem-solving, customer service, communication skills, and organizational skills. Combining your soft skills with the skills and knowledge gained through certifications and online resources will make you stand out as an asset to any employer. 



Step 3: Sell yourself

The key to building a strong resume lies in exemplifying your skills and relevant experience related to the job you want, not the job you have. Your resume is your time to show all of your certifications, courses, and work experience while highlighting those transferable skills that can set you apart from other candidates. 


Employers are likely to check out your professional social media profiles, like LinkedIn, when considering hiring you. Optimizing these accounts and keeping them synced with your resume gives you a better chance of gaining and keeping hiring managers’ attention. 


When your resume lands you an interview, be sure to research the company and study its goals and missions beforehand. Learning these will allow you to be fully prepared in an interview, bringing background knowledge along with your experience and skill set to score your dream IT job. 



Step 4: Network

Just as in most areas of life, knowing the right people can present opportunities you otherwise would miss out on. Making connections through networking, whether personal or professional, will benefit you immensely in your new career. 


While gaining the certifications and experience needed for your field, you’re likely to make tons of new relationships that can help when it comes to both educational and job opportunities down the road. You can also network at local IT meetups and events, putting it out there what position you’re looking for and getting advice from others in the field. 


Besides the formal events, gatherings, and conferences, reaching out to friends and family who may have connections in the tech world can do wonders. Employers would rather hire someone based on a recommendation than a resume, so networking through mutual contacts can put you on the path towards achieving your IT goals. 




Working with IT staffing agencies

As the field of information technology grows, so does the demand for those with IT skills. Sometimes it can be overwhelming with the number of job listings available, and you may not be entirely sure where to begin. IT staffing agencies can take your experience, skills, and education and match you with companies who are currently looking to fill positions in the role you’re seeking. 


Staffing agencies can help find a position that best fits your goals and needs- whether it’s temporary, temp to hire, or direct-hire. Once you find your ideal match, you’re hired as an employee of the staffing agency unless it is a direct-hire position. Working with an IT staffing agency is flexible, fast, and reliable, ensuring a stable job in your choice’s IT career. 


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