Technology March 11, 2020 Last updated March 11th, 2020 630 Reads share

How to Get a Job in IT: Best Ways to Start a Career in Information Technology

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Knowing the average salaries for tech-based jobs, it is a rare person who would refrain from asking: how do you get a job in IT?

A 2015 Bureau of Labor Statistics report on industry employment and output projections for the next decade showed that the information technology sector is growing. At the time of the report, the IT industry had the eighth-largest increase in employment among all industries and was adding around 500,000 jobs a year. The demand for information technology workers is increasing and could reach 2M new jobs in 2024, providing a great opportunity for students and entry-level specialists to get into an IT career and eventually make their way up to a cutting-edge IT job.

At the same time, this creates an opportunity for people from crossover fields to get started in information technology too. Given that IT jobs, such as database administrators, network administrators, software developers, and systems analysts, grow by 30% each decade, one can easily change an industry by getting an industry certification or learning a programming language.

Furthermore, the computer industry is in dire need of crossover specialists as information technology is applied in virtually all industries. Got a degree in medicine? Did you learn statistics? Do you come from a military background? Have no college education but a lot of hands-on experience? You can use your transferable skills on your CV to get a career in the computer industry.

Is there a best way to get an IT job? Probably not. You can start from any point in your life and work your way into the industry. Whether you studied computer science or have a military background, you can get started in an IT career with the proper guidance we are about to provide.

Common Steps for Any Background

Before we dig into the details for each group of IT job-seekers, let’s take a look at common steps all candidates have to take before they land a job. During the early stages, a good job application and proper preparation for an interview are crucial.

Start by Honing Your Resume

Regardless of your background and education, before you sail into the IT job search, you need to prepare your application documents. When sitting down to write your resume and cover letter, you should re-examine your professional experience and see where you are lacking. See if you can boost your resume and cover letter by recollecting all instances of tech-related responsibilities performed at previous jobs. For example, for many entry-level IT positions, communication skills and experience in customer service are valuable.

If you feel unconfident in your ability to tailor your past experiences, solicit help from a professional writing service online. For example, Get Cover Letter service provides the best samples to fit the needs and requirements of any candidate. Additionally, there are many guides online for every step of the job-hunting process.

Always Work on Your Soft Skills

Strong soft skills are just as important for the job interview for dealing with daily job responsibilities. You need to learn to work with people from various backgrounds, professions, and abilities. You will come across many characters and types from tech professionals to average users to business-minded owners.

How to Get a Career in IT for Students

Academic knowledge and hands-on experience in the workplace can be worlds apart. That is why IT students are advised to get involved in projects and take on small IT jobs early on. This way, by graduation, they will know the full product development life cycle and how the business world functions. The Guardian advises IT students to understand the nature and role of IT not only by writing code and learning concepts from the computer industry but also by exploring “commercial realities of being a developer.” The main thing IT students have to realize is that IT exists to make the business successful. Making processes more efficient and solving business problems is the aim of IT departments in companies.  

Get Into IT-Related Projects 

Gain experience is the main piece of advice IT students get. Many graduates find themselves in a vicious circle where they can find a job only if they have related experience, but they can’t get any experience unless they find a job. Protect yourself from that fate by taking on projects simultaneously with your studies. You need to enter the industry equipped with required technical skills. Most of them you can develop if you take on side projects, such as building a website for a small NGO or helping to set up a small home network in a local church.

Approach Small-Scale Organizations

They say dream big. You could definitely try your hand at a Google office. However, it would probably be more realistic to approach a local church or shelter or any other organization that is unpretentious and is not too picky. Ask them about any IT-related work that needs to be done. Or pitch a new IT-related idea to them. You may even end up getting a buck or two for your efforts if the work is any good.  

Choose Real-World Projects During Your Coursework

Developing a smartphone application is another way to gain new skills and qualifications. Then, when you start putting up your resume to find an IT job, you can include references to actual technical work you have done and boost your competency for employers.

How to Get a Tech Job If You Have No Tech Education

IT has been developing at such a fast speed that there is room for individuals with non-IT degrees too. In fact, your degree in literature or philosophy can be an asset by showcasing your excellent written and verbal communication skills and creative approaches to problem-solving.  

Get the Right Tools

To work in IT, you definitely need to know a thing or two about the industry. You can’t just leap into the field without proper knowledge of coding languages or the basics of web page design. Although technically HTML and CSS are not programming languages, you will need to learn them, as they are fundamental in programming for designing and modifying web pages. You can find information online to get a basic idea of what they are. Or you can approach the topic in a more fundamental way by taking an introductory computer science course.

A Programming Language Is a Must

If you want to get started in information technology, you have to learn a programming language. JavaScript is the most popular programming language in the world. Python and C++ are also widely used. It is best to start learning all three. You can learn them online or by attending a programming course.

Get a Secondary Degree in Computer Science or Engineering

A more structured approach is to supplement your first degree with an IT-related diploma. An associate’s degree or certificate in computer science or engineering will make do. However, to get into software engineering, a degree in mathematics, computer engineering, or business management is typically expected.

How to Get a Job in Information Technology If You’re Entry Level

Knowing that the industry is booming, entry-level specialists may be disappointed at not being able to land a job quickly or by only receiving offers for low-paying positions. Eric P. Bloom, an Executive Director of the IT Management and Leadership Institute, points out that candidates with no tech-based experience should not aim too high at initial stages of their career.

Start at the Bottom

Starting at the bottom will help you to learn the necessary skills and will create a valuable experience. You will need to work your way up the career ladder. It can be a struggle at first, but it is worth it. For example, by starting as a $25k IT help desk analyst, you could gain the necessary skills and experience to land a Cyber Security Analyst position worth $70K in five years’ time, provided you get the required certification along the way.

Look for Easier Roles to Get In

It would be less difficult to find a job as an Administrator, Helpdesk and Support, Tester, or Junior Developer and Designer than more senior positions. These are all great starting points.

Look for Internships

At this stage, your main goal is to get your foot in the door. So don’t waste any internship or apprenticeship opportunities. If you are modest and willing to put in a lot of work at the early stage, it will pay off later.  

Start Blogging

Social media is a powerful tool. You can use it to lend yourself more credibility and boost your social capital. Start writing tech-related posts and articles to publish on your social media account and/or other technology-related platforms. Even if potential employers fail to notice your effort, you will deepen your technical expertise and get to know people in the industry.

Start Your Own It Business

Although it sounds extremely challenging, it can actually be a rather doable idea. Having technical expertise in a certain area, you can start creating websites, offering website design, developing applications, etc. The main thing is to get clients and some experience. Besides, better jobs are usually located in large cities. Whereas, owning your own IT business may not require you to move to a large city.  

Use Connections to Help Get Hired

Using connections to help get hired can be the easiest way to land an IT job, as many companies don’t mind candidates coming from professional or personal connections. Also, look for referral programs that some companies offer to nudge employees to create new job leads. And always work on your networking skills.

IT support – DepositPhotos

Mary Anthony

Mary Anthony

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