A career in IT is something every student desires. It opens up immense vistas for career and personal development while assuring a professional of steady growth in profession and finances.
In almost every country, IT professionals are well respected in society. Additionally, there are unlimited jobs in this industry.
IT professionals are required by travel and tourism firms, banks, airlines, manufacturers of all types, call centers, government departments, hospitals, schools and colleges, transport services and e-commerce businesses, to name just a few.
Facts and Figures
With IT jobs in such high demand, almost everyone is rushing to make a career in this sector. Consequently, tens of thousands of students graduate in various IT related courses every year.
However, this number is largely considered inadequate for India. According to the National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM), the IT industry will create 2.5 million to three million new jobs by 2025.
During the financial year 2017-2018, the IT industry added 170,000 new jobs. NASSCOM reports that India’s IT industry currently employs some 3.9 million workers.
Here’s the Problem
Indian IT experts are in demand worldwide and moreover in the US. Indeed, several major American IT companies owe their success and fame to IT experts from India. While companies in India are offering salaries that are almost at par with American counterparts, the brain drain of IT experts from India has not been stanched.
IT professionals migrate because of the charm of working and becoming a citizen of the US at a later date. American IT companies also provide resources required by IT professionals to fine-tune and advance their skills. Indian IT companies currently serve two-thirds of the fortune 500 companies and have created four million direct jobs in India – says the NASSCOM report released in June 2017.
Hence, companies in India are disadvantaged when it comes to hiring IT professionals. To do so, they offer extremely high salaries and perks. Rather than benefiting an IT professional, such demand tends to lull them into complacency, pushes them into self-created comfort zones and can stunt career prospects.
To avoid falling into this trap, you need to advance your IT career in the right manner.
Advancing IT Career
Anyone who wishes to advance her or his career in IT will find it surprisingly easy.
Here are 11 ways we recommend to anyone who wishes to advance their IT career.
1) Upgrade Skills Daily
A stable job can make you inadvertently slip into complacency. It may lead you to falsely believe that you are exerting extra efforts to satisfy the company’s requirements in IT and there is no scope for further improvement. This is indeed dangerous.
IT is a field that undergoes innovations almost by the hour. Unless you keep your IT skills in shape by keeping abreast with the latest developments and technologies, you are headed for stagnation and possible redundancy.
2) Out of Box Thinking
A lot of us are accustomed to copy-book solutions when it comes to working in the IT industry. Consequently, there are few who will take risks and try something new, when working with a company that specializes in IT or any other field.
An in-depth study into the IT industry and its movers and shakers will reveal, only out-of-the-box thinkers have made any real mark in this profession and the world. While working, look for unconventional solutions that can help your employer and your own progress in IT career.
3) Acquire New Skills
Acquiring new skills is a prerequisite to advancing your IT career. This is because technologies get upgraded daily while some become outdated and are phased out. As a result, your skills and qualifications may prove inadequate after a few years.
Hence, it is advisable to acquire new skills that can augment your existing ones. A diverse set of skills puts you in a better position to seek newer avenues for career growth and opens more job prospects.
4) Network with Peers
Thanks to the Internet and websites like Facebook and LinkedIn, it is very easy nowadays to develop and maintain a network of IT professionals around the world.
Get connected to such networks since they provide an ideal learning platform to know about the latest trends and technologies as well as job opportunities within India and abroad.
There are also several associations of IT experts where you can seek membership to network with peers and seniors in your profession.
5) Independent Projects
This is an excellent way to advance your IT career. Take independent projects that can be executed during your spare time. This can be easily done by signing up on any reliable IT crowd-sourcing platform as well as websites that offer freelance projects. Through such independent projects, you can fine-tune existing skills while learning newer ones.
Mentioning these projects on your CV creates a great impression when looking for new jobs. Additionally, you make more money.
6) Money OR Designation
Sometimes, you may be confronted with a situation where a large company is paying well but your career is stagnant. Working for a smaller company means lesser pay. However, if the smaller company is paying lower salaries, yet offering a senior, managerial position, it is better to take the job.
As a manager or supervisor, you will lead a team of other but junior IT experts. Working with them helps learn leadership skills and teamwork.
The higher designation prepares you for bigger roles in larger companies with bigger pay. Hence, your monetary losses arising from leaving a high paid job for a better designation will pay dividends.
This is a sphere most IT experts will be surprisingly blank about. In all fairness, blogging is not an easy task. You may possess all the required academic qualifications and work experience in IT. Yet, presenting your experiences through well-written articles is a rather arduous and daunting task for anyone.
However, with some practice and excellent, expert-level fluency in the English language, you can open a blog. Write and post articles and pictures about your personal experiences and projects completed as an IT professional.
These give an excellent fillip to your career since peers and seniors will be able to recognize you for your works.
8) Alarm Signs
Doing the same job repeatedly leads to mental fatigue and eventually, you may find losing interest in your employment. Be alert to look for warning signs that you have outgrown your employer.
Hefty pay packet and perks may tempt you to prolong stay with an employer. Remaining in that job once such warning signs appear can be fatal to your career.
Immediately seek newer openings that offer you an opportunity to grow and expand your career.
9) Get Unstressed
A career in IT can be rather stressful, regardless of your qualifications and expertise. There are new problems and fresh projects to handle as part of the daily routine.
Medical science and psychology prove that stress often manifests in hidden forms and can lead to physical ailments or at worse, psychiatric disorders.
Many signs of stress are not evident until they become full-blown and manifest in undesirable forms like uncontrollable anger, fatigue or even substance addiction and lack of interest in daily activities. Once you are over-stressed, the brain’s ability to work at full steam gets impaired.
It prevents you from learning new skills and utilizing those you possess to the fullest. Remaining unstressed is an excellent way to advance your IT career. This can be achieved by following a healthy and balanced lifestyle.
10) Foreign Projects
Wherever possible, look for short-term projects in foreign countries. Often, companies abroad look for IT experts who can be employed for short term projects of six months to two years duration.
Register yourself at foreign employment websites and post your latest CV. Additionally, update your CV regularly to attract the attention of companies abroad looking for experts in your IT specialization. Taking a few short-term IT projects abroad works miracles for your career.
You learn new skills, earn a very lucrative salary and get exposure to working in multi-cultural environments. Additionally, mention of these foreign projects on your CV makes your job application hard to reject.
11) More Tweaks
Additionally, you can also advance your IT career by obtaining several certifications that are accepted as standard everywhere in the world.
Further, give a shot at entrepreneurship if possible by opening a consultancy or startup where your skills can be useful and utilized by several clients.
Such a business can be run part-time and from home. A venture of this sort does not involve much capital and hence, can be started without disrupting your income or digging into savings.
While NASSCOM projects that need for IT professionals in India will increase. The number of fresher candidates graduating out of colleges will also rise exponentially.
Hence, it is imperative to advance your career in IT.
Using these 11 ideas, you can rise to managerial positions and lead a team of IT fresher. Indian IT sector employment prospects, both in the near and long-term are expected to be broadly positive and encouraging for the future.
This means you can look forward to increased competition as well as better prospects in your profession provided you continually advance your IT career.