5 tips for preparing for a career in IT

by Mar 23, 2022

Information technology is a booming industry offering a variety of jobs. It’s an excellent field for those looking for a chance to advance and earn a solid income. In January 2020, records indicated at least 3 million people held jobs in some part of IT in America.

If you’re looking for consistency and financial opportunity, this field could be for you.

The tech sector is eager to find professionals who want to work hard, understand their language and act as team players. How do you find your way in, though? Ready yourself now for an IT career by taking the following steps.


Learn the jargon

Before you interview for a position, make sure you understand the common language of IT. You must communicate with others and know the general rundown of operations before trying for a job. Take some time to read up on companies and learn about the tools they like to use.

You can find IT glossaries online. Many IT companies use them to guide their employees through tasks. While you don’t need to remember every word, spend some time reviewing terms and getting to know how they apply. For instance, do you know what a runbook is? Are you aware of terms such as cross-platform or adaptive technology? Get familiar now so you can answer. You don’t want to grow confused during the interview process.


Take classes

Some IT businesses like staff members to hold a degree in IT; however, a four-year diploma isn’t always necessary. Many entry-level positions look for essential awareness of the industry. You could gain this knowledge by taking courses with an online IT company, gaining certification for particular fields. Look for training locations that have good placement statistics and solid graduation rates. 

They may also have connections to local companies looking to hire. Be sure that the programs you select fit your interests and personal skills and work with programs that places currently want to see on a resume.


Practise your soft skills

Yes, you will be behind a screen, but you will likely be part of a team as well. You cannot hide or remain silent. Therefore, many places want to see a range of non-technical skills that show you can add to the group’s efforts and collaboration.

Focus on showing that you can hit the following attributes:

  • solid time management
  • strong listening skills
  • good connection to others
  • clear communication 
  • reliable team effort.

On your resume, note organisations you currently support and group projects you’ve completed. Be sure to emphasise your leadership skills and the various roles you played.


Network with IT professionals

IT people learn to work with others and build connections. This practice starts at uni and continues as you explore various positions. When you take classes, get to know your classmates. They could help you with different concepts and give you connections to find jobs down the road.

While you can use traditional job boards, you might find it easier to move up the ladder by having inside connections. A friend in quality assurance could learn about a coding spot. Someone interested in management could reach out to friends whose companies are growing and looking for people. It’s good to have an established reputation on your side.


Gain experience

Accept the entry-level job and work your way up. Internships are also a great place to start. Get your foot in the door and show what you can do.


Final thoughts

If it’s time for something new, consider the IT field. This industry needs people, and they offer an excellent salary and benefits. Find your way in by learning about the tech’s language and taking classes for certification. Then, rely on your connections and hard work to advance.


Featured image courtesy of Unsplash

Mikkie Mills

Mikkie Mills

Freelance Writer

Mikkie is a freelance writer from Chicago. She is also a mother of two who loves sharing her ideas on interior design, budgeting hacks and workplace tips. When she’s not writing, she’s chasing the little ones around or can be found rock climbing at the local climbing gym.