How to Get a Career in IT

Having a career in information technology (IT) allows you to use your skills to help people, problem solve, and work with computer software and technology. It’s a great field to get into if you’re looking for a hands-on, high paying career that is expected to grow in the next several years (by 21%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics). 

So, you want a career in this highly lucrative and in-demand field, but maybe you’re not sure where to start. Here are some tips to help you get into information technology.

  • Do the research

With any potential career, it’s important to know exactly what you’re getting into before making any big career decisions. Research certain aspects about IT that may be important to you, such as specializations (and their required level of education), career outlooks, salary information, work environment, etc. 

These factors vary from job to job, so you should always do your due diligence to find out if a job is the perfect fit for you.

  • Consider getting your degree

Many IT jobs require some sort of degree or certification. This is because IT professionals must have the proper skills and knowledge to be able to perform the duties of their job.

Thousands of colleges and universities offer degree programs in IT and related fields, including specializations like cybersecurity, data analytics, software development, network administration, etc. Having a degree in IT will make you qualified for any entry-level IT job and can give you new opportunities later in your career as well.

  • Build your experience

Having relevant experience is another way to make sure you’re qualified for any career in IT. There are a few different ways you can gain experience to show off on your resume:

  • Certifications: If you want to get a career in a specific area, consider getting a certification for it. Certifications, like a college degree, are a way to show that you have the necessary skills for a certain job. You can do this by taking coursework online and completing an exam to earn an official certificate. Some college programs will allow you to complete certifications as well.
  • Internships: Before fully jumping into your IT career, you may want to consider getting an internship. Internships are a great way you can gain practical experience that you can apply to your future job.
  • Freelancing: While job hunting and developing your resume, many people choose to do freelancing work. Freelancing can be a great way to get started in the field while completing your degree or looking for a full-time job.
  • Network

Networking can open up opportunities for you in your career. When completing an internship or earning your degree, try to build connections with your peers so that you can help each other in your future career. 

  • Brush up your resume and interview skills

A resume is the first thing an employer will see when you apply to a job. So, it’s important that you make a good impression with your resume alone. Here are some ways you can do that:

  • Keep it short: Remember to not put everything on your resume. Only put the most relevant experience for the job that you are applying for.
  • List out your skills and certifications: Make sure that you put any relevant skills and certifications you have on the first page of your resume.
  • Review other resumes in IT: It’s never a bad idea to look at other resumes as an example. You can even have a colleague help you develop your resume.
  • Proofread and edit: There’s nothing worse than having a typo on your resume, and you can probably expect an automatic rejection. Make sure to thoroughly proofread your resume and edit it as needed.

Interviews are another key aspect of a job search. This is your chance to stand out and market yourself to a potential employer. Keep these tips in mind for your next interview:

  • Research the company: An employer will appreciate your knowledge about their company and will remember that you took the time to research before your interview.
  • Practice: You can prepare yourself for an interview by practicing answering some common interview questions so you’ll have an idea of what to expect and what to say.
  • Be prepared to show examples of your work: You may want to have a slideshow or portfolio of your work ready for the employer. This is a common request for employers, so it’s not a bad idea to have it ready.
  • Be genuine and authentic: Although it’s important to practice answering questions, you don’t want to seem like you’re reading from a script. Make sure you’re being genuine with your answers to questions.

With these tips, you’ll be able to get a head start on your future career path in information technology. To find out how Operation Graduate can help you earn your degree, call a Graduation Specialist today!