How to get into the IT field
Choosing to work in IT is a fantastic career path that has many advantages compared to other professions while offering a wide range of varied roles.
Being an IT professional offers stable employment, as there is a large demand for IT skills in the modern workplace. As industries become more digitalized, most companies and organizations require IT professionals to run their affairs efficiently. IT also offers incredible flexibility in terms of how people work whether it’s full-time, part-time, or freelance and often with remote options.
An IT career can also offer a bustling and dynamic work environment where businesses can create new software or work at the cutting edge of technology. Starting an IT career is also easier for someone unable to complete a 4-year degree, as many companies place focus on someone’s experience and portfolio rather than formal degrees. This means that should an aspiring IT professional choose to learn how to code at home or through a bootcamp program, they can still get an IT position without the expense of higher education. Many businesses also offer training programs and apprenticeships.
To start a successful IT career, follow these steps:
1. Do some research
IT as a career offers many diverse paths to choose from. Whether it is a network engineer, system administrator, or front-end developer, having an end goal in mind is especially important when taking a first step towards becoming an IT professional. By reading online resources and asking people who work in IT about their job, an aspiring IT professional can learn more about their future career path. It is also worth thinking about which programming language(s ) are the most interesting.
2. Plan how to start a career in IT
After some research, the next step is deciding which area of IT to specialize in. Software development is an excellent choice for a flexible schedule. Alternatively, a network engineer role would suit someone who enjoys working in a collaborative team environment with other IT professionals.
3. Build vital IT skills
Building vital IT skills is the next important stage on the journey to becoming an IT professional. Key areas to cover should include hard skills, like programming and running operating systems, and soft skills such as teamwork and analytical ability.
It is especially important to tailor the learning process to the chosen IT specialty. An effective way to do this is to get advice from someone who already works in the same area.
Learning to code is one of the most important things an aspiring IT professional can do. The good thing about coding is that this skill can be learned through online tutorials and research. Mastering code can even be done without tuition costs.
4. Gain a degree
While obtaining a degree is not always necessary for an IT career, it can be useful depending on the exact field you choose. For those who have not yet decided which IT area they would like to pursue, choosing a standard computer science undergraduate degree is a great way to start. Successful completion of this degree will give a graduate greater understanding of IT in general so that they can choose a career path or further specialize with a master’s degree.
5. Build experience
Getting some useful experience early on is crucial to progressing in a career as an IT professional. Working on an open-source project is a fantastic way of contributing to online team projects and building a portfolio. Getting involved in open-source projects by joining developer’s communities builds experience and improves skills.
6. Network with other people in your industry
Developing a network of professional relationships with other IT professionals can expand skills, help get an introduction to the industry, and boost the odds of getting a job referral. This can be achieved by contacting local business publications and organizations, or by attending industry events.
7. Developing interview skills for IT roles
Being able to interview well is often an underappreciated skill in certain professions and IT is no different. Good practices for IT interview preparation are reviewing common IT questions and personal background questions. The key to a successful interview is being able to list important professional achievements while demonstrating value to the company.
8. Never quit learning
Being an IT professional requires ongoing education as it is a constantly developing sector where learning new skills is vital. Gaining new qualifications and learning about evolving technology trends is key to demonstrating value to an employer and developing a long-term career.
What does Church & Dwight offer?
An IT career is a fantastic step towards taking control of your future in an area that you enjoy. Church & Dwight offer a range of IT positions that offer great experience and a satisfying place to work. Check out some of our employee stories and how they enjoyed working with us.