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6 Tips for Starting Your IT Career

Luther Riggs

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It’s no surprise that so many people are transitioning into the IT industry. There is an increasing demand for professionals in this field (and the trend is very likely to continue), the salary is decent (to say the least), it doesn’t take ages to get the grasp of the skills required for working in the IT industry and you can pretty much work from anywhere in the world, provided you have Internet access. So, if you’re one of those people looking for a career change, either because you’re stuck in the rut or feel that you can do much more career-wise, you should take a look at the following tips. They’ll help you get your foot in the door of the IT industry.

See what you already know

You may think that your work-related experience has nothing to do with IT, but chances are you’d be wrong to assume that. Namely, soft skills that you must have learned at work will also come in handy in your new career. Let’s say your plan is to start in a help desk position, which is probably the most common entry-level IT role. Your skills related to communication, dealing with customers, familiarity with Microsoft Office can really help you learn the ropes. That’s why you need to create a resume that reflects relevant experience when it comes to the role you’re applying for. 

Certificates do matter

Unlike tech degrees, which require years of studying, certifications can be studies for and earned in just a matter of weeks or months. There is another very good reason why you should get a diploma in information technology. Prospective employers will see that you’re a serious candidate, who has invested time, money and effort into learning something that is useful for the job they’re applying for. Finally, with certifications, you’ll have a much wider choice of jobs in the industry to compete for and you’ll most certainly stand out from all those candidates who don’t have any kind of proof of their knowledge and skills.

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Don’t underestimate a degree in another field

As we’ve already established, people from all walks of life are transitioning into the IT industry. They may have less experience in the field, but they also have something going their way. They’ve already achieved something because of the effort they invested. They might have adopted various different approaches that can come in handy when applied in the IT industry. Even a philosophy major can use something they’ve learned during their studies, such as a deep understanding of logic and original way of approaching challenges. So, use what you know and what you’ve done to help you make this transition more smoothly. Since IT is developing rapidly, it’s logical to expect that there is a great demand for individuals from various backgrounds and their unique perspectives.

Work your way up

You also need to be patient when it comes to advancing in your new career. Just like in any other business, regardless of what your position in another industry was, you can’t expect to make a major transition and start getting promoted immediately. Instead, you should be ready to start with a lower-level position at the bottom and if you roll up your sleeves, the promotion will come. The more experience you gain, the more you’ll earn and learn. And the more you learn, the more options you’ll have in the future when it comes to choosing your next position.

Knowing the right people

Most employers are looking for a prospective employee who comes with good recommendations. So, if you want someone to put in a good word for you, you need to make a positive impression on them. That way, your path to landing a job will be much shorter. However, for that to happen, you need to have a wide network of friends, colleagues and other people who believe you’d be the right candidate. Social media are a great tool that can help you achieve this. If you post that you’re trying to get into tech, one of your connections might be able to help. Even if they themselves are not in a position to help, they might know someone who is. 

Teach yourself

Most people using technology have never had any formal training, yet they use computers and other gadgets for hours every day. They have simply taught themselves how to use it. Just imagine how many people are using computers every day for work, yet they somehow manage to have all their work done. You should follow suit. Watch YouTube tutorials, take one of many free online courses or get a book that can help you learn something useful. You’ll be amazed to find out how much you can learn (almost) by yourself.

As you can see, even if you have no experience in IT whatsoever, you might start a career in it. However, you need to be ready to really work hard, learn and develop professionally. By working your way up gradually, you’ll notice how the number of options available rises. That will mean that your transition has been complete and successful.

Luther is a professional Software Engineer and passionate technology Blogger. His main area of research is Software and Business Development.

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