How to launch your career in IT

Wondering how to take your first steps in IT? Here’s a handy guide from our experts, perfect for both technical and business roles in the exciting tech industry. Explore your options and prepare a strategy for your first job in IT!
How to launch your career in IT

So, you decided to launch a brand-new career in the IT industry. Great! You’re in the right place. The tech industry offers a wide range of exciting career options for both technical and non-technical people.

But to succeed in IT, it’s good to gain an in-depth understanding of the sector first – and that includes knowing your way around different technologies, as well as learning how to code.

Whether you’d like to become a software developer or business analyst in an IT company, this guide includes all of the steps you need to take to make that happen. Keep reading for more.

Here’s how you launch a career in IT

1. Learn how to code

The first step is learning how to communicate with computers, which are at the center of the IT industry. Knowing how to write code will enable you to understand the work of software developers, which is essential in the tech sector – whether you would like to become a software developer yourself or not. Project managers, marketing experts, and HR people can all benefit from getting a better grasp of some low-level programming tasks.

So, how can you learn how to code?

  • First of all, you need to pick the right technology. Start with this article: The hottest programming languages and frameworks to learn in 2020. Take a look at our list, and you will surely find a technology that matches your career goals and capabilities. 
  • Next, use the available resources. You will find plenty of free tutorials and manuals on the web that outlines how to solve various problems step-by-step. 
  • Consider a programming course. The best type of learning happens with teachers and mentors who can answer your questions and help you in understanding the subject matter. That’s why an online course is a great option for beginners. For example, participants in TechCollege courses can benefit from an individual mentor with whom they meet three times a week to discuss their progress and answer questions. They also get one session a week with a coach to help keep their spirits up and glide through the learning process.

Let’s not forget about this: if you have no experience in coding, learning programming languages is usually quite challenging, at least at first. That’s why you should take advantage of all the resources you can to jumpstart your career, start coding, and implement best practices right away.

2. Choose your direction

The IT industry is huge and varied. Since computer systems and software permeate every single part of our lives, the potential career choices for IT professionals are practically endless. 

For example, if you’re interested in security, cybersecurity is an excellent field for you. The vast majority of companies are now experiencing threats and breaches – and their number is constantly growing. As a cybersecurity expert, you will be responsible for keeping the data and other assets safe and secure. 

If you’re interested in a more creative line of work, you can become a web designer. That way, you will flex your creative muscles, all the while pursuing an exciting career in IT. And if you’d like to create something new, becoming a software developer is the best career choice. 

Are you great at solving problems and would like to develop a career around that? Become a Quality Assurance (QA) engineer or tester!

It all boils down to this:

To make the right choice about your career in IT right from the start, you need to learn more about it.

Entering the tech industry will bring you the best results if you do it with some knowledge about the current technological landscape. So do your homework: 

  • Get to know the tech industry and its different branches.
  • Trace the career paths of people you find inspiring. 
  • Subscribe to newsletters on tech topics that interest you.
  • Keep a close eye on platforms such as Hacker News, TechCrunch, and others (depending on your interests). 

The idea is to learn as much as you can about this industry. This will enable you to match your talents and capabilities with the demands of different tech jobs.

3. Consider a certification

Once you enter the field and gain more experience, it’s time to deepen your knowledge with extra training. However, many IT professions require some sort of professional certification that allows you to pursue a career, get a promotion, and become really good at what you do. 

Most of them are usually preceded by short classes and aren’t that expensive. Sometimes you might even have your employer pay for these classes and certifications. After all, it’s in their interest that you become an expert. 

If you have pay for the certificate out of your pocket, don’t forget that it’s an investment in your future career in IT – and it will surely bring a significant return.

4. Start networking

Many people have this image of the tech industry: a bunch of geeks with eyes glued to the screens of their many devices. This couldn’t be further from the truth. 

Once you know which direction you’d like to pursue in IT, search for meetups or groups that explore this topic and start going to the meetings. That way, you will get to know the people in your field and build some connections that will jumpstart your career once you start to actively look for a job in the sector. 

Getting to know people in your IT niche will give you a glimpse into how it really works – but also opportunities to gain some experience. For example, you can offer to volunteer your skills or help someone on a freelance basis. This is how you get your foot behind the door in the tech industry. 

But to do that, you need to get to know people first. So, get out there and interact with people in the industry. You can do that both offline and online – for example, on blogs and discussion boards. The more people you meet, the better you will understand your target role or tech area. 

5. Polish your resume

If you don’t have experience in IT, you can make up for it by revamping your resume in a smart way. Start by taking a careful look at the job description for the position in which you’re interested. Note the phrases and words the recruiters are using. You’ll need to prove that you’re the right match for the job, so display the skills recruiters are looking for on your resume – for example, through your own projects or contributions to open source.

There’s no need to be intimidated by job descriptions that ask for a specialized degree in computer science or several years of experience in IT. Sometimes you can make yourself attractive enough on paper to land an interview. 

Conclusion

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a college graduate looking to launch your career or transitioning from another line of work. The tech industry is full of opportunities and welcomes people with all kinds of talents. 

However, each role requires different skills – and some might be more difficult to get than others. That’s why you need to take a careful look at your current capabilities and check how many things you’d need to learn to be considered for a position. 

If you approach the problem of launching a career in IT strategically, you’re only going to succeed!

For more insights, check other articles on our blog written by insiders from the tech industry.

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