A career in computers and information technology is quickly becoming one of the most popular job choices in the tech industry.
However, applying to an IT job often brings up the problem of wanting the job but not having any experience and vice versa. Moreover, many people think that IT is reserved for tech support and computer programmers.
However, there is a role for anyone in IT. On top of that, there are a number of ways you can gain IT experience without having to get a college degree for it. That being said, let’s take a look at the ways you can land a job in IT.
Earning certifications is a sure-fire way to show experience and skill when it comes to finding an IT job. That is not to say that you need to go to college for a computer science degree. In reality, gaining the certifications for an IT job do not have to be hard or time-consuming.
If you have some work experience and some self-taught computer skills, you can easily qualify for an industry certificate. The CompTIA A+ certificate is a good place to start. This certificate builds foundational computer skills while also building your customer service skills.
After this certification, there are vendor specific certification programs that are valued in the IT world, such as Microsoft, Apple, and Linux. Opting for these types of certification programs ultimately has bigger returns because they tend to be more up to date than a regular college program.
Moreover, these industry exams and programs can help you identify your area of speciality in the tech industry.
Build Useful, Transferable Skills
Information technology is an industry of action, not of hypotheticals. Hiring managers are interested in what you can do. In other words, you have to be able to walk the walk by showing your experience.
You’re probably asking how you can do this without having a job in the first place. However, you do not need a job to build useful skills. Instead, make use of your skills and time by tinkering with computer systems and network servers.
With how quickly systems are upgraded, computer equipment is always put out of commission and donated. This is your opportunity to get your hands dirty and experiment.
Getting your hands dirty with at home experiments and projects allows you to improve your skills without having to make mistakes on company gear. Once you master skills here, you can move on to more IT issues for friends and family. In the end, the more tangible practice you get the better.
Moreover, work on gaining transferable skills, like problem solving, tracking progress, customer service, and other interpersonal skills. These skills aren’t necessarily IT skills, but they are skills that also help you stand out as a dynamic individual to hiring managers.
Keep a Professional Resume
Next, take time to refine your resume. There seems to be so many rules about how to make a professional resume that it can get overwhelming to know how to tailor it properly. For an IT job, it is best to go with keeping it simple.
IT is an industry that is all about getting the facts and making them clear and concise. Your resume should follow in kind. Any flowery text, colors and graphics, could distract from your skills. With an IT focused resume, it is best to let your words speak for you.
Intern & Volunteer
Along with doing your own self-taught IT projects at home, you should also try to intern and volunteer as much as possible.
Volunteering allows you to put your skills to practice. However, it also builds more collaborative, team-oriented skills. Small businesses and charities are good places to look for volunteer opportunities.
You could easily help them build a website or mobile app, and in return, you can ask for a letter of recommendation to share with hiring managers.
The very same can be done with internships. Like volunteering, interning can be a great opportunity to put your skills to the test. Moreover, with interning, you can get a better feel for the industry.
Lastly, another surefire way of landing an IT job or any job for that matter is to network. IT is a collaborative industry so the more you show that you have strong interpersonal skills, the better your chances of standing out.
This is your opportunity to update your professional social media accounts, especially LInkedIn. This is an easy way for people to find you and take a look at your accomplishments. Your online presence is as important as your face-to-face to presence.
Another option is to attend a local IT networking group in your area. This is ideal for connecting with other IT people, learning about their work and getting more tips and advice on the industry.
Moreover, it is a great place to meet professionals and hear about their projects. Better yet, it is a great time to ask to shadow someone in the industry or to find a mentor.
Believe it or not, professionals are looking to share their knowledge of the industry. So do not be afraid to reach out and ask for guidance. This could set you miles above your competition.
Landing an IT services and solutions job is about having the right balance of computer skills and transferable skills. When it comes to taking these tips to practice, do not worry about failing.
The great thing about training for IT jobs is that it does not require a lot of time and finances. It just requires your own effort and willingness to practice.
Moreover, you should focus on starting small. It is better to build up your experience with progressively more complicated jobs. This way you have a solid foundation to work off of when you get that bigger tech job.
Starting small also means you have the room to test out your interests. Who knows? You might find a tech niche that your passionate about but did not know about before.