If there’s one career that’s always growing by leaps and bounds, its a career as an IT specialist. The fact of the matter is, ever since the Internet ushered in the digital age, infotech has been the industry to be in.
As all companies are now using advanced digital technology in at least some kind of way, they need IT specialists to keep the ship running. If you desire to pursue a career in this booming industry, then you’re in the right place.
In this article, we’ll give you a complete guide on how to become an IT specialist.
First Things First: A Bachelor’s Degree
The first step to a career as an IT specialist should be fairly obvious, but it is worth repeating: a bachelor’s degree. There are multiple different degrees that you can do to prepare yourself for such a career.
The majors that you could choose to go with are information systems, computer science, computer engineering, and the like. However, before you enroll in a CIS program it’s important to be cognizant of what you want to do.
If you want to work in hardware, then don’t pick something like software engineering.
Obviously, software engineering will be all about coding. It’s difficult to make a transition from software to hardware without an additional degree.
When you look into the different universities that offer your desired program of study, remember that prestige isn’t everything. Think about the quality of the program itself, and not of the school overall.
Another important factor to consider is the location of the program. The closer you are to a major technological hub, the easier it will be to get internships and network in the industry.
Living far away from a place where IT is thriving can make it almost impossible to get a job or an internship in the industry.
Demonstrate Your Interest
While you’re doing your degree, don’t sit around on your laurels! College is an extremely valuable period of your life where you can do a lot to demonstrate your interest in and passion for the industry.
The first thing that you can do is start a student organization. Pick an aspect of information technology that you are particularly passionate about. Then, look through your campus website to see if there is a relevant student organization. If there is, join it and be active in it. Make sure that you list it on your resume.
If no such student organization exists, that doesn’t need to be an impediment! Chances are, your university will provide you significant resources to create a student organization. And serving as the founding member and president of any student organization, especially an IT-related one, will be a massive boost to your resume.
You can also always do things outside of your structured organizational activities to demonstrate your interest as well.
For example, let’s say that you do want to go into the hardware arena.
Try taking apart a computer and putting it back together. Or if you’re into software, try programming some neat functions into a Raspberry Pi.
These will excellent talking points for you to bring up in interviews for any positions. They will demonstrate to the company that you truly are passionate about the industry.
Information technology is an industry where one can never have too many certifications. In order to ensure that you are successful in your career in information technology, you need to have various certifications.
Research what certifications are most relevant for whatever type of career in IT that you choose to pursue. Gaining certifications in specializations outside what you want to do will not be useful, so there’s no need to waste your time pursuing those.
Network in the Industry
In the modern day, it’s less about what you know than who you know. Thus, you should be making an effort to network in the industry right from day one. While in college, talk to your professors outside of class to get their perspective on the industry.
Who knows? They might just refer you to one of their friends working in industry for a job.
Hit up friends and family who you know work in the industry. Ask them for referrals for internships. Getting an internship on your resume is the best way to demonstrate your suitability for an IT specialist career.
After all, it’s one thing to sit in a lecture hall and take tests. It’s something else entirely to positively and practically impact a company’s technology department.
Apply to Positions and Interview
As you begin to apply to positions, it’s important to keep in mind how crucial your resume is to this process. In order to pass the first screening round of many online application portals, your resume will need to have certain keywords in it. Those keywords might be certifications, skills, or coding languages required for the position.
For each position you apply to, take a look at the job listing to see what keywords they’re looking for. Then, strategically insert the same into your resume.
Once you’ve landed an interview, it’s time to start preparing for it. Use guide’s like this one on IT interview tips to understand how to come across during the interview.
You want to be able to highlight your experience in the industry, but also demonstrate your passion with all of the side projects that you’ve worked on.
Ultimately, you need to be able to sell them with complete confidence in your ability to be a phenomenal information technology specialist.
An IT Specialist Career, Made Simple
There you have it! By following this simple guide, you’ll be well on your way towards earning yourself a career as an IT specialist. No, the journey will not be easy. But the destination will be rewarding — few careers have as much potential right now as one in information technology.
For more career advice, be sure to take some time to browse through the rest of the articles available to read on our website!