There are so many interesting and varied opportunities within the IT industry; it's probably what sparked your interest! The IT sector is great for those who love to learn, develop their problem-solving skills and expand on their creativity. There’s a career path for all kinds of personalities and interests, but you may be wondering…
How can I get started with a career in IT?
Take a look at our 5 tips to securing your career in IT now!
1. Decide what you want to do
The IT industry is huge. There are different roles available depending on your interests, skills, experience and career aspirations. Before you do anything, you’ll need to decide what you want to do.
2. Expand your knowledge and skills
If you're logical and good with number digital marketing could be right up your street. Like learning new languages, web development could be the one. Enjoy puzzles and logical thinking? Software development is a fantastic way to develop that even further! For those who are more hands-on as well as conscious about security. Something like an infrastructure technician, network specialist or a security technologist position may be best option for you. In these careers you can have the hands-on contact with hardware alongside helping companies and individuals secure networks and systems. In the end it's up to you which area you want to pursue, so it’s a good idea to look at the skills you’ve already got or what you find most interesting to help steer your decision.
IT as an industry is always changing, growing and developing so you’ll need to keep your skills up to date and relevant! Innovation is always around the corner and new systems, protocols and techniques are constantly being updated. This means to work in IT it's vital that you keep yourself up to date with the latest changes. Often this means re-training, learning new skills and building up a large body of knowledge. To stay competitive, it isn't about the degree alone any more. With people coming from all walks of life and educational backgrounds you need to get yourself certified.
CompTIA certifications are incredibly important if you choose to work in infrastructure, networking and security. Having CompTIA on your CV is not only important to any role, but it will also help you stand out. It also makes you very competitive both locally and internationally. Security is an especially sought-after skill in IT since all companies are heavily investing in their digital security.
The IT industry is passionate about having professionals who are willing to expand their knowledge and combine different areas of IT. The more knowledge you have the better!
3. Don't neglect your “Soft Skills”
“Soft skills” is a phrase often used to describe people skills. This area tends to get overlooked, which is unfortunate because it's incredibly important. Most IT companies have a need for professionals with good people skills, this means teamwork, presentation skills and communication skills are an essential part of many roles.
Companies are actively searching for people who can communicate their ideas and thoughts effectively. Don’t neglect your “soft skills” when you’re preparing for your new career in IT!
4. Cater your CV to the IT industry
We all know it's all too easy to have a single version of your CV and send it in bulk; STOP! This tactic may be holding you back! A lot of job applications for IT have very specific requirements and expectations – in this case, one size does not fit all! You need to cater your CV to the companies you want to work with and to the specific areas of IT you've chosen.
Things to look out for when applying for a position are: what specific skills, certifications and qualifications the role is looking for, role requirements like team management and project management, and personal attributes like friendliness, team work and approachability. Picking up on these key words will help form the content of your CV and cover letter too. It will catch the eye of your prospective employer and make you look like a great fit, all before even interviewing!
Don't give up! There are plenty of jobs within IT in the UK and all around the world! There is bound to be something out there for you, but like all job searches, you have to be diligent and determined. Send out as many CVs and cover letters as you possibly can – the more you apply, the greater your chances of securing that great role!
Writing a good CV isn't the only way to get yourself into an IT career though. It can be useful to network with people in the industry both on social media and face-to-face. Go to tech events near you and strike up conversations. Create business cards with your top three skills, phone number, email and social media printed to catch people’s attention. This is a great way to give prospective employers a quick idea of who you are. A website can often be very useful to show off what you can do and it can be useful to develop a small but impressive body of work which you can take to interviews or showcase online. You need to be hands-on in your approach and do plenty of research to make sure your skills are always up to date!
IT is a fantastic choice of career especially with how quickly technology is developing. New jobs are being created every day! Keep an eye out for opportunities, keep your skills sharp and keep your CV fresh.
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