The demand for qualified IT staff is rapidly growing in almost every job sector that you can think of. It’s no stretch of the imagination to say that technology is taking over our lives and pretty much every company now need a techy genius at hand to help with the day-to-day running of the company.
While there’s never been a better time to start a career in IT, there are many routes you can take… Do you go it alone and start a freelance business, work for a company or find an agency to help you get started? What’s the right choice for you?
Follow this helpful guide to find out!
Before you go any further with your education, you’ll need to decide which area you want to specialize in! Can’t decide if you’d make a better web developer or security technician? Take our career quiz to find out which IT career is right for you!
There’s nothing quite like being your own boss and calling the shots! Starting your own freelance IT business means you’ll have the flexibility to choose your own working days and times. It also means you’ll need to work extra hard, especially at the beginning of your freelance career to bring in enough clients to earn a living.
Let’s look at the pros and cons of going it alone:
- Choose the days and times you work to suit your lifestyle
- Be your own boss, you call the shots!
- You’ll be able to pursue a career based on your passions and interests
- You choose what to do with the profits of the business
- As the business grows you’ll be able to hire staff under you
- As long as you have your laptop and Wi-Fi connection, you’ll be able to work where ever you fancy!
- Having your own business can be lonely at times
- If you want to go on holiday or fall ill, it might mean you’ll have to take a loss in earnings
- It’s down to you to find new clients and keep business coming in
- Clients may need you for an urgent job or project, which means you may have to occasionally sacrifice your day off
- The admin pile – there can be quite a lot of paperwork to sort through when you have your own freelance business, including legal documents and tax forms
Think going freelance is the choice for you? There can certainly be many benefits to owning your own business! Take a look at these essential tips for building your IT business
to help you get started!
If you choose to work as an employee instead of going it alone, you’ll be able to choose the company you’d like to work for and (so long as you pass the interview) work your way up the job ladder. Sometimes being employed can mean a little more job security than going freelance – it’s likely there will be a steady supply of work and you’ll always have a salary at the end of the month.
Let’s look at the pros and cons of being an employee:
- Receive a regular salary that you can depend on
- Set working times and days that you can plan your free time around
- Receive employee benefits like bonuses and work perks
- Able to assess your hard work in annual reviews and earn promotions and pay rises
- Paid holiday time
- You know what’s expected of you from your job role
- The commute to work every day – it can often be expensive and time consuming
- You’ll have to answer to management above you
- You’re not in full control of your career path
If you’re not yet ready to start your own business or just simply prefer the security of working in a company, make sure you give yourself the best chances of having a successful career; find out the difference career support can make to your IT career.
You won’t need us to tell you that it’s tough in the job market right now. Finding work can be especially challenging if you’re just starting out in your career or if you’re moving into a new career path entirely. That’s why being certified is essential to your IT career
Sometimes it’s a catch-22: you need experience to get a job, but you can’t get a job without experience. That’s why many people choose to use a job agency to bridge the gap in the meantime.
Agency’s can arrange short term (also known as temp) job roles. Some companies like to use these as they don’t have to spend time and money placing a job vacancy ad, interviewing and possibly training a new employee. It also benefits you as you’ll be able to get work experience that will allow you to land the jobs that need that experience. And who knows, you could even impress the boss at the temp job and be kept on for a permanent role!
Here are some of the pros and cons to going down the job agency route:
- Able to gain working experience quickly, which allows you to apply for the roles that require on-the-job experience
- Working for any company, no-matter how short the timeframe, will allow you to make contacts - you never know where they’ll come in handy in the future!
- Once you’re on the job as a temp, it’s your chance to shine and impress the employer! Don’t be surprised if what started out as a 3-month assignment turns into a permanent job offer
- Working for different companies allows you to find a working environment that you like best. You may prefer the office to be quiet and fast paced, or you might find that you work best in a vibrant office with music that keeps your energy levels up!
- You can feel like ‘the new person’ all the time if you move around a lot
- Sometimes the work won’t flow consistently, and you might have a gap in earnings
- You probably won’t receive any employee benefits
- If you need to provide your proof of income for something like a mortgage, you’ll need to keep all your different payslips to hand
Whatever route you decide to take, you’ll still need to make sure you’ve got the right certifications – they’re essential to your career in IT, regardless of which route you pursue.
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