IT or informational technologies is a term that describes using computation through various components such as hardware, software, and services in order to develop, evaluate, manage, store and share information.
Although IT professionals are currently in high demand, landing a job is not as simple as you’d think. High demand results in high competition and not every aspiring IT professional can work for Apple and Google. That said, even entry-level work can lead to becoming a high-paying professional, so let’s go over the basics and requirements for successfully landing a job in IT.
Having Clear Goals and The Means of Achieving Them
Clearly, the demand for expert workforce in the IT business is on the rise. With so many talented individuals, meeting that demand can at times seem difficult, to say the least.
However, there are two questions that, once you are able to answer with absolute confidence and without any hesitation will certainly help you build a successful career in IT: what do you want out of your career and how do you plan on getting it?
The first question often provides radically different answers; some want to help in the world fight against various diseases such as AIDS and malaria while others like the buzz they get from building a successful transnational business in a very competitive market.
There are IT directors who try to manage some of the biggest governments more efficiently wishing to contribute more to society and those who simply love working in specialized industries and marketplaces such as film, music or television. As you can see, IT professionals show completely different attitudes regarding what they want to achieve with their work.
The second question, on the other hand, provides strikingly similar answers. This is due to the fact that successful IT experts and professionals build their careers in ways that are similar to one another.
There are things which set up-and-coming IT leaders apart from the rest of prospects and you might think that it all boils down to technical skills, but you’d be wrong.
Some of the most successful IT professionals possess skills that are hardly enough of a reason to be deemed the first rank. Nonetheless, they spend a great deal of their time considering the goals their company is focused on achieving and how can their work help the organization achieve them. This leads us to the next thing every IT prospect should know.
Formidable IT professionals are always focused on finding ways to help the organization accomplish its core strategies effectively. By doing so, they increase their chances of getting noticed by those in power and receive an additional boost in their careers.
However, this should never be done at the expense of your colleagues. In fact, the most successful professionals are instinctive leaders and actually motivate their teams in order to increase their performance. Building and maintaining teamwork is crucial for delivering projects on time without blowing through the entire budget.
It’s not about the individual, but rather the entire team and the collective effort to move forward and accomplish the company’s goals.
Another way of becoming an accomplished IT professional is to show initiative in delivering projects that make an actual and often profitable difference in the way a company works. The initiative can also be used when looking for financing.
The best in the business can easily explain to their directors how and what can IT contribute to the realization of company goals and secure crucial financing for a project or even better, secure a promotion. Articulating ideas is important as you have to not only convince powerful individuals but also make them understand exactly how will their businesses benefit from the IT services you provide.
Types of Careers in IT
Most careers in IT focus on designing, creating, managing and maintaining various IT components such as software, hardware, multimedia, networks, and various system integrations. Generally, the entire IT sector can be divided into four main career pathways:
- IT services and support— deployment and management of computer systems, management of information systems and technical IT support.
- Network systems — design, analysis, development, and implementation of network systems.
- Software development and programming — design, development, management, programming, and update of computer software on different systems.
- Digital and web communication — creation, as well as the production of various interactive digital and multimedia content and products.
Tech industry employment in the U.S. was estimated at around 6 million workers in 2016. This number consists of both technical and non-technical positions, including human resources, marketing, and sales.
The biggest employers in the industry are software services with 2.6 million employees, telecommunications with 1.6 million and manufacturing with around 1.1 million employees. Although there are many possibilities, try to focus on a couple of key areas that can help you advance professionally.
All that is left now is to prepare for the interview. Be calm, relaxed and have your goals, the means of achieving them and focus on explaining how can the potential employer benefit from your services.
Identify your strengths and analyze your weaknesses because you will be questioned about them. Once you know what are your weaknesses, you can actually do something to turn them into strengths that can be used to bring the company advantage over its competitors.
Lastly, make sure to build your credentials and try to keep them diverse, which will show that you’re willing to leave your comfort zone and challenge yourself for the sake of the company.