How do I get into the IT industry? Do I have what it takes? Where should I start? These are just some of the questions you might be asking yourself if you’re considering a career in IT.
To help you answer these questions, we’ve made a list of five things you need to do:
1 – Make a list of IT job roles that interest you:
IT stands for information technology. Information technology is a broad field that includes everything from computer networking and technical IT support to graphic design and information security. So if you want to go into a career in IT, the first thing you need to do is decide which area of IT you would like to focus on.
If you’re a creative person, you might consider roles such as:
- Graphic Designer
- Multimedia Artist
- Video Game Designer
- Web Designer
If you’re a technically inclined, hands-on type of person, you might be interested in a role as a:
- Network Engineer
- Hardware Technician
- IT Support Technician
- Computer Engineer
Or if you’re good at maths, able to think logically, and enjoy spending hours in front of a computer, you might want to become a:
- Computer Programmer
- IT Security Specialist
- Software Developer
- Systems Analyst
Once you have a general idea of where your interests lie, and what you’d like to do, you can move on to the next step.
2 – Research the job roles you are interested in:
You can do this by visiting your local library, reading our blog posts on IT, searching the internet, and speaking to people who work in the industry.
Doing thorough research on the job roles you are interested in will help you figure out not only how to prepare yourself for one of these roles, but also how to set yourself apart from other candidates.
3 – Study a course:
While there are many ways to learn the skills you need for a career in IT, studying a course is often still the best way to go. Even though skills and experience are often more important, many employers still look at qualifications when hiring IT employees.
If you don’t want to attend classes, or if you want to be able to work while you study, you can consider options such as:
- Studying a distance learning course from home with Oxbridge Academy
- Studying a course online
- Completing an internship that combines theoretical and practical training
- Studying on your own and writing professional certification exams
4 – Gain experience by working as a volunteer, doing freelance projects, or applying for an internship:
Once you have completed your studies, or even while you are still busy studying, you need to gain some practical experience to increase your employability. Your options include:
- Offering to provide IT assistance to a small business or non-profit organisation in your community on a freelance basis – either for free or for a small fee.
- Building a portfolio to showcase your skills. (This is a particularly good option if you want to work as a Graphic Designer, Programmer, Software Developer, Video Game Designer, or similar.)
- Applying for an internship or part-time job.
Before they hire you, prospective employers want to know you can do the things you say you can do. And by doing one or more of the above, you will be demonstrating to prospective employers that you not only have theoretical knowledge, but that you also have practical skills that you are able to apply in real-world situations.
5 – Showcase your skills online:
This is closely related to the previous point. To show prospective employers what you are capable of, it is a good idea to make use of all the tools available to you. Some of these tools include online platforms, such as social media accounts and personal websites.
Here are some examples of how you can use online platforms to showcase your skills:
- Create a portfolio website, where you provide physical examples of work you have done.
- Create a LinkedIn account, and use it to host an online CV/portfolio, network with people in the industry, search for job opportunities, and possibly even establish a good reputation for yourself as a professional in your chosen field.