A career in Information Technology (IT) is encouraged today more than ever. Not only will it earn you a lot of money, but you don’t need to spend a lot of money for a degree. Even if you’re already established in an unrelated career, it’s easy to change because information technology requires little training.
One, no matter what type of business they run, all companies need an information technology department of some sort, whether it’s an organized team or one person.
Companies will need someone to build computer software, design websites, organize a help desk, and more. Another reason is that technology is always changing. If you’re easily bored, a career in technology is right for you. There’s always something new to learn and develop.
So you’ve decided that a career in technology is right for you. Now how do you get started? Here are some tips to keep in mind if you want to pursue a career in information technology.
1. Explore Different Career Fields
Even within the concentration of technology, there are many different directions you can go in. Would you be interested in computer engineering where you would design and develop hardware for personal computers, tablets, and more?
Are you a gamer? Maybe you would like a concentration in game design. What better way to get paid than for something you love? Or you may like computer science, where you would focus on software programming and coding. If you’re creative minded, you may like designing web pages. Your possibilities are endless.
2. You Can Start Learning for Free
Another benefit to a career in technology is that it’s easy to gain experiences. No matter what area interests you, you can start getting your feet wet on your own, at home, without spending a dime. Many open courseware sites like Coursera and EdX allow you to take a look at some introductory technology courses to begin learning about the field. In some cases, depending on your interest, you can earn a certificate from these sites for a small fee.
Networking may sound scary, but it’s proven to be the most successful way to secure a job. You’ll be happy to know that there are many different ways you can network. You don’t need to dress up and attend a formal event (although that helps too). You’ll learn than many who found their current jobs learned about them through friends and acquaintances.
Start by letting friends and family know you’re pursuing a career in information technology. They may have some suggestions of sources and internships that will help you get started.
Join associations devoted to your field in IT. Many offer discounted dues for students and recent graduates. The Balance suggests conducting informational interviews with companies you think may interest you.
Design some business cards and always have some on hand. You never know when you’ll run into someone who’s looking for someone with your expertise.
4. Look for a Worthwhile Internship
By polishing your networking skills, you may find an internship that gives you a chance to start practicing your dream job. An internship is the best way to get your feet wet in any industry, especially information technology. True, a lot of internships are unpaid, but the experience you gain will lead you to the paying job you want.
Collegeboard says that to start looking for an internship, you’ll need to write up a resume that showcases your skills. If you’re in school, your career center or counselors will help you. There are also many resources online to help you write the best resume to get you hired.
The right internship will get you experience, and teach you what to expect in the job you want.
5. Educate Yourself
Read everything you can that’s related to technology, including books, magazines, pamphlets and more. Take supplemental courses on top of whatever you’re taking towards your certification. Your success depends on you. Try to learn everything you can about your field of interest.
There’s no such thing as too much experience. Volunteer your time to non-profit organizations that need IT help. If there’s a cause that is meaningful to you, volunteer your services. Not only will you get job experience, but you’ll have a chance to give back.
Volunteering will also teach you new skills you may not have had an opportunity to learn otherwise.
7. Build A Website
If you’re considering a career in information technology, you need a website of your own. It makes you look even better if you design it yourself. If you keep it updated, you’ll feel confident in directing people to your website, which will speak for itself. It is a chance for you to introduce yourself and describe your services. If website design is one of your specialties, it can also act as a portfolio.
8. Stay Organized
It’s best to build organization skills as soon as possible. You’ll gain practice while you’re in school. Once you get internships and volunteer opportunities, make sure you keep a calendar so that you won’t miss any jobs. Not only will organization help you to look professional, but it will also prepare you for the working world. Whether you want to work for a company to go freelance, organization skills will help you improve in your field.
9. Be Patient
No matter where you want to work, understand that it will take time for you to develop your skills. Take the time to learn and gain experience through internships and volunteering. Utilize your instructors, career center, and other resources to help you learn. If a concept is difficult, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Be patient. Before you know it, you’ll gain success in your IT field of choice.