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How To Start a Successful Career in IT: Guidance and Tips

Date: Tuesday 16 April 2024
How To Start a Successful Career in IT: Guidance and Tips

The global IT industry is one of the fastest growing in the world and the demand for specialized IT professionals remains consistently high, offering great opportunities for those with the right skills. In addition, IT careers can offer attractive incomes, flexible working hours and the possibility to work from any place in the world.

Considering there are so many people looking to start their tech careers, the IT market has become highly competitive. There are hundreds of different IT sectors to choose from, but there are also hundreds of thousands of applicants doing their best to find that perfect tech job.

If you are thinking of starting your career in Technology, this is the guideline for finding your first IT job:


1. Research and identify areas of interest

Begin by thoroughly researching job specifications for positions that align with your interests or where you can leverage your soft skills and previous experiences. For example, if you have strong communication, critical thinking, and leadership skills, seek out IT roles that value these competencies, such as a Business Analyst. A career in IT offers numerous paths, here are some potential areas you can consider to start your career in Technology:

  • Computer support: This type of work involves providing users support with troubleshooting issues, installing and configuring software and hardware, etc. Usually, this area offers entry-level roles and a great opportunity for those who are starting a career in IT.
  • Cybersecurity: This is a highly in-demand field within the tech industry and can offer very attractive rates. In a cybersecurity career, you will be working on developing strategies and tools to protect data and prevent security attacks.
  • App and software development: Working with development you may write code and perform tests to design, implement and update software.
  • Web development: With the growth of online business in the last years, companies are looking for web developers to create functional and attractive websites. In this area, you can find a lot of opportunities for freelance work.
  • Networks and systems: An IT career in networks and systems may allow you to work in the infrastructural design of the network and analyse the performance of these systems to best improve it.

A woman working on her laptop.

2. Getting qualifications

Once you have decided on your area of interest, you should understand what the job requires and research the qualifications for the roles you have chosen. By doing this, you can focus on your education and certifications to better prepare you for your desired jobs. For example, if you have an interest in IT development roles, you can use online resources to learn about HTML. This is often the first coding language people learn because it applies to various areas of IT. When you're comfortable using HTML, you should consider learning other languages such as JavaScript, Java, C++, Python, etc. You must consider completing formal education to refine your skills after you have chosen your IT area.

Depending on the role you are looking for or how soon you want to start working with IT, you can choose a technical course or a degree in technology. For example, a website developer may take online courses or earn a certification to prove their proficiency. In contrast, for a systems administrator role, many employers may require a bachelor's degree in computer science or a related field.

Some popular certifications in the IT industry include:

  • CompTIA A+: This certification is ideal for people new to the IT industry. It can help you learn foundational skills for your future career.
  • Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH): This certification focuses on how to enhance security systems to prevent data breaches or hacks.
  • Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP): Through this certification, you can learn how to develop and implement effective cybersecurity programs.
  • Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL): This certification can help you learn about the best practices for managing IT services and improving IT support and service levels.

The type of certifications you need depends on the kind of technology job you’re after.

In the dynamic world of Information Technology, it's essential to go beyond certifications. Engage actively in webinars, connect with the IT community through networking, and seek opportunities for volunteer work or internships to gain practical IT experience. Networking within the IT sector not only broadens your professional circle but also enhances your prospects of securing a technology role, even when practical experience is limited. Referrals can significantly boost your chances of finding a job.


3- Prepare yourself for the job interviews

Once you start to be invited to get job interviews, you should anticipate technical queries and familiarise yourself with potential IT assessments. Review the job specifications in detail and invest time in understanding technologies that are new to you. It's very important not to lie about your lack of experience and build a positive impression on hiring managers showing you are eager to learn.


4- Final tips

There’s not a single way to start a career in IT. Everyone takes different paths to get to the position they feel comfortable or happy to work. Some people get a college degree in an IT field and others are entirely self-taught. Some get a company job without any experience; others turn to freelance or volunteer work. There is no right or wrong way to start your IT career, the most important is you are open to learning and prepared when an opportunity comes across. Even though it will take a bit of time and effort, working with Technology could bring great career opportunities. Don't forget this is a fast-paced industry th at will require you to keep up with the latest breakthroughs and update your knowledge with new technologies. Working hard, getting qualifications in the field, and showing great enthusiasm to learn will have you reaching your dream job in no time.If you are ready to take the next step in your IT career, take a look at all the available opportunities available for the IT industry. 

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