Starting a career in the Information Technology (IT) field is not as hard as it is made out to be. With the right education and approach, professionals from any field can start a career in IT. Additionally, as reported by The US Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in the IT sector is projected to grow by 13 percent between 2020 – 2030. As a result, there will be an increased demand for jobs such as computer programmers, web developers, computer support specialists, and more. In this article on DailyWebTalk, we’ll explore the steps one needs to follow to start a successful career in IT.
Learn About the Information Technology (IT) Industry
IT is an ever-evolving field where responsibilities can vary greatly based on current technology. While some roles may be best suited for generalists, others will require professionals to develop specialized skills.
Additionally, given the growing nature of the industry, it also provides new professionals to earn a good salary from the get-go. As reported by Indeed, the average yearly salary of an IT technician is $51,682. Salaries will differ based on the company and location, but you’ll find plenty of well-paying roles in the market.
Find the Roles Best Suited for You
IT is a vast field that entails disciplines such as cyber-security, data science, artificial intelligence, IoT (internet of things), and much more. Each of these options will require professionals to develop specific skills to break through and land a good job. Hence, take the time to learn about employer expectations of each and shortlist the ones which you want to pursue.
Develop Relevant Skills
Here are two main ways through which you can develop the skills and expertise needed to start a career in IT:
Pursue a Degree: Based on your education level, consider pursuing a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in data science, cybersecurity, computer programming, etc. You can also consider pursuing an MBA specializing in IT as it will help develop important soft skills such as good communication, emotional intelligence, and time management along with the necessary technical skills.
Complete a Certification: Certifications are a great way to develop specialized skills which you may need for a role. Various online platforms offer certifications in programming languages, big data, data science, software development, and more.
Create a Network
As a newcomer, one of the best ways to make a smooth transition in the IT industry is by developing a professional network. Speaking with experienced professionals will provide you with a strong idea of the best steps to take, skills to develop, and how to approach interviews. Additionally, someone from your network could serve as a mentor as well who can guide you through creating and maintaining a successful career in IT.
Apply for Jobs
Once you have completed the required education and developed a strong skill set, it’s time to test yourself in the job market.
Start Freelancing: More than ever before, IT companies are open to hiring freelancers for their businesses. Projects can range from a few days, or months to a year and can entail you working in a group or alone. Whether you’re a data scientist or website developer there are plenty of roles to choose from.
Apply for Full-time Roles: The best way to land these roles will be to receive a referral from your network. Ideally, opt to transition into a full-time role once you have developed a strong portfolio of freelance work.
One of the best ways to grow in the IT field will be to start your own business. This could include working as a consultant or selling an array of services to clients. But, instead of handling all aspects of the business yourself, you can find software developers for your project or hire them on a contract basis. But, remember to establish your business as an LLC as it will make it easier to find funding, pay lower taxes and protect personal assets from litigation.
Creating a good network and building a great portfolio of work through freelancing will serve as the building blocks for a successful IT career. When needed, complete the latest certification courses to learn in-demand skills and make yourself stand out from the rest.