If your degree lies in the technology field, then congratulations to you in picking a fantastic career path. However, like most career paths the IT field is highly competitive, and the fact that it is constantly evolving makes it tougher for you to find your place in the tech job market.
But fear not, with serious planning, in-depth research, and focus on skill development, you can dramatically increase your chances of snagging a great entry-level IT job. Whether you want to work at a large international corporation like IBM and Microsoft, or smaller consultancies and specialist software development firms, the IT career tips below will help you find your footing.
IT Career Paths
What many people do not realize is that the IT industry is wide-ranging, and therefore offers a myriad of career paths for graduate students. As an IT graduate you can follow IT career paths such as a web developer, business analyst, project manager, software tester, computer forensic, systems administrator, systems analyst, network engineer, technical consultant, technical sales, and technical support to name a few.
These career paths will take you everywhere; from financial services and law enforcement to telecommunications and the public sector, meaning that your opportunities are limitless.
So if you are an IT student who wants to avoid the long waits associated with IT job applications, here is some great proactive advise for you.
1. Get Work Experience Early
One mistake that IT students make is waiting to graduate before seeking out any form of experience. While I do acknowledge that your work schedule is probably full, it is imperative that you have extensive experience before you begin sending out graduate job applications.
Look for part-time work while you are still in school, as well as internships and placements during holidays- this can be in anything from tech support to the help desk. Your work experience should also help you develop your soft skills, such as communication, teamwork, and organization.
2. Start the Job Search Process A Year In Advance
Similar to the point above, you should start searching for your job at least a year in advance. The reason for this is that it gives you the chance to thoroughly research potential employers, potential jobs, required skills, and salary ranges.
When you are fully prepared, you can take better advantage of the IT job opportunities available.
Volunteering is a great way of entering into the IT job market. When you volunteer your IT skills to your school or an outside charity, you get the chance to gain priceless experience while contributing positively to your community.
4. Broaden your search
One mistake that IT students make is limiting the jobs that they apply for. Here is some great IT career advice for you; broaden your search. For example, if you are looking for an entry-level computer forensics job, you can consider applying for a systems penetration, systems administration, and information security position.
Once you get a foothold into the market, you can work on your forensics certifications so that you can secure yourself a great forensics job.
5. Talk to people already in the field
You should definitely talk to people in the IT field, as they can give you IT career tips that can help with your job search e.g. certifications that will make you more employable.
Additionally, by networking with IT professionals you can be put in touch with training schemes and graduate programs that can enhance your technical understanding, experience, sector knowledge, and professional skills.
6. Don’t Stop Studying
The IT field is one where you cannot afford to stop studying for even a moment. This fast changing field requires you to keep on top of your skills, so make sure that you are developing your skills in line with the changing demands of the industry.
7. Customize your resume
An important IT career tip is to always tailor your resume to the company that you are applying to. Focus on the skills and certifications that are relevant to the position you are seeking, and demonstrate your passion and interest in IT by outlining your experience.
8. Network yourself
Use social networking platforms like LinkedIn to seek out IT job opportunities. Make sure to highlight your skills, qualifications, project work, and real-life experience, so as to promote yourself to anyone who reads your profile.
Super IT career tip: Remember to take out all the inappropriate text and images from your profile!
9. Prepare for your interview
You need to extensively develop your interview skills, so that you are fully prepared when you go into the interview room. Also, list down you top 5 stories regarding your IT related work experiences e.g. programming an app, or an IT internship at an insurance company.
Use these stories to demonstrate your skills, and also give examples of any failures you experienced and how you overcame them
Super IT career tip: In IT failure is very common, don’t pretend to be perfect!
As you can see from the insightful IT career advise provided above, pursuing a career in this field is possible when you have a solid strategy to work with. Go ahead and implement the above IT career tips, and watch as success comes your way!