Whether you are tired of your current career or simply want to do something different, there are lots of different reasons to consider a career change into IT and technology. Perhaps tech and IT has been something that you’ve been passionate about for a long time, or maybe the high demand for professionals and generous starting salaries on offer have caught your eye. Maybe you are simply looking for a new challenge and believe that working in this role will provide you with just that.
There’s no denying that the tech and IT field is a great career option right now, with lots of different avenues to explore from data science and cyber security to SaaS and IoT. Right now, there’s also a huge shortage of professionals working in tech and IT, meaning that there has never been a better time to consider getting into this industry if you want to be able to find work right off the bat and work in a career with excellent job security and professional prospects. So, how do you get started with working in this rapidly growing field?
Get a Relevant Degree
In most cases, you will need to gain a relevant degree to find work in the IT and tech industry. Whether you’re considering a career change or are recently graduating high school, choosing the right college degree will help you find work in this field. Computer science is a common choice of major for people who want to get into this field, or you could consider a degree majoring in programming, IT and technology, data analytics, design, computer engineering, software engineering, data science or even math.
If you already have a bachelor’s degree in a non-relevant subject, the good news is that you can still get into the industry with many employers willing to provide training to employees with any bachelor’s degree along with online computer science masters programs from Baylor University that you can take to gain the knowledge that you need.
Apply Your Soft Skills
No matter where you have worked or the roles that you have taken on in the past, chances are that you will have developed a wide range of soft skills that will stand you in good stead when working in the tech and IT industry. Communication, customer service, organization, time management, and skills with common computer programs like Microsoft Office are some of the most highly-sought after skills in IT roles, especially if you are starting out in an entry-level role such as working an IT helpdesk. Look at the past work that you have done from the perspective of software development and other IT roles and consider the experience that you’ve gained that may actually be more important than you first imagined in these roles.
Industry Certification Options
While you can sometimes get onto master’s degree programs in this field with any bachelor’s degree, some colleges will expect you to have some relevant qualifications. The good news is that this does not always have to be a bachelor’s degree so you don’t have to go back to college to study all over again if you’ve already been there and done that. Industry certifications offer some of the fastest ways to break into the IT field and many colleges will consider your application for a master’s degree if you have a non-relevant bachelor’s qualification but have earned certifications such as Network+, Security+, CompTIAA+ or ITIL.
Invest Time in Learning Coding Languages
Another way to improve your credibility as an entry-level developer and be in with a chance of finding more work is to learn various programming languages. Most programmers will have one language that they prefer and are most fluent in, but will also be experienced with some of the other main ones. The programming languages that you may choose to learn include:
- Java: This is one of the most popular programming languages today. It can be run easily across multiple platforms and is often used for building mobile apps, video games, and various different applications.
- Python: This is one of the easiest programming languages to learn as its syntax is simple and straightforward, making it a great starting option for beginners. And, with a Python framework for everything, learning this programming language can lead to lots of work opportunities.
- Ruby: Also known as Ruby on Rails, this programming language is mainly used when developing web apps. It is another language that is one of the most straightforward to learn, and has lots of different applications.
- C: This is often the first programming language that students will learn. Apps written using this coding language are versatile and can be run almost anywhere, and the programming language is one of the easiest to learn.
- PHP: This is often used in dynamic-heavy websites and app development. PHP is the programming language behind huge social networking sites that we use every day, like Facebook. Since it is an open-source language, it allows for lots of creativity with plenty of pre-built modules you can modify for free.
- C#: A programming language that is syntactically almost identical to Java, it is mainly used to develop Microsoft apps.
- SQL: This programming language allows programmers to siphon data easily from huge databases. Since it is mainly used for big data rather than software development, it is an ideal language to learn for computer science professionals who are interested in getting into the data analysis side of things.
- Objective-C: This is the programming language that is used to develop iOS apps.
With careers in IT and tech now more in-demand than ever before, getting into this industry can be a very wise decision. Even if you’re trained in another field and looking to change your career, there are industry qualifications to pursue and your past experience may be more useful than you think.