Technology rules the world so it makes sense that you’re thinking about a job in IT. Because IT requires high-level and very specific tech skills, though, we know it’s hard to break into the field. This blog will give you some pointers on your first job in IT. Whether you’re fresh out of college or switching careers, we have some tips that will get you started in the tech field.
Five Tips for Breaking Into IT
1. Know what kind of job you want.
IT is a vast field, so put some thought into the kind of job you want.
- Will you work with data or software?
- What languages should you learn?
- What about cybersecurity?
- Do you want to work on networks or specific programs?
- What about design?
- Are you looking for remote, on-site, or hybrid?
- Is there a specific type of company you want to work for?
Sometimes it’s helpful to peruse job ads to figure out what you want. Research and write down what you want. Since it’s an entry-level position, you’re looking for a professional home where you receive the mentorship you need to excel. Start to envision the kind of job you’re looking for, and then move on to tip two.
2. Keep honing your skills.
Learning to code is most certainly the first step toward finding a job in IT. But there are so many languages to choose from, how will you pick the right one? Go back to those job listings again. For the positions that seem interesting to you, what kind of skills are they looking for? Do you keep seeing Java language pop up, or are you going for data engineering where Python is a better fit? There are all kinds of online classes, bootcamps, and more, available to help you learn marketable skills. But understand this—the IT field requires that you always learn more. The technology is changing even as we write this, so it’s imperative to recognize that IT isn’t a job but really much more of a career where you’ll continue to evolve.
3. Consider freelancing projects to build your portfolio.
Whether it’s a part-time or temp job with a staffing agency like The Custom Group of Companies, a freelance side hustle, or even volunteer work, you need a portfolio of work. Employers looking for junior-level talent will want to see your code at work, so picking up short-term or smaller gig work will help build your resume and show off what you know. These “small jobs” are the perfect stepping stone to a “real job” in the IT field.
4. Network with other IT professionals.
Networking remains a great way to land your first job in IT. There are all kinds of networking Meetups in most cities, as well as conferences or even Chamber of Commerce events that you can attend. Building a social network in the IT field will help you land the job you’re looking for. You can certainly apply online to a job, but the reality is that is much harder than talking directly to someone who is already working at the company you’re targeting.
5. Work with a recruiter.
The Custom Group of Companies offers a free service to IT job seekers. We can connect you to top employers looking for fresh talent. Our team specializes in placing tech talent and knows a lot about the companies that are hiring right now. Check out our job board and contact us to find out how we can help you land your first IT job.
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