In as far as careers go, one in tech is bound to be a challenging and exciting one regardless of which area you specialize in.
But to reap the fruits, a lot of hard work and foresight goes into it.
What are some of the things that can build you a solid foundation before diving into this field?
Here are a few pointers.
1. Do Your Research
This field is broad and offers many options for specialization.
Aside from specializing, tech professionals are needed in almost all industries. This again provides you with the option to practice in a field and industry of interest.
Before committing yourself to any single field or course of study, be sure to assess your options and settle on the one you are most passionate about.
2. Find Like Minds
The internet has made it possible for people to find and meet people with similar interests.
There are numerous online communities and professional boards catering to people in IT.
Make a point of joining a few of these, with the aim of learning, networking and getting an idea of what the actual job and career entails on a day to day basis.
3. Keep Reinventing
As you probably already know, tech is a highly dynamic field.
This means that the information taught today is likely to become obsolete within a few years or months.
For this reason, it’s imperative to begin with sound training, after which you can take occasional courses to update your knowledge and keep up with industry trends.
In IT, CompTIA courses are an excellent starting point. The Computing Technology Industry Association is a world leader in IT certifications and qualifications.
Such qualifications grow your knowledge and communicate your tech know-how to prospective employers.
4. Build Industry Networks
Professional networking will be a common theme throughout your career.
Whether for collaborative working, partnerships, or when you are looking for better opportunities.
This is yet another aspect of your career that you should start as early on as possible.
The goal here will be to grow and nurture professional relationships with your peers, recruiters and if possible, industry leaders.
One way to do this is by attending industry events where you are assured to mingle with many other IT people in a closed setting.
5. Work on Communication
As a soft skill, communication is among the key attributes employers look for in their employees today, irrespective of their field of work.
While you possibly like the idea of being locked away in an office somewhere with your laptop and gadgets, there might be more to it.
Remember, the organizations you will work for will rely heavily on your expertise.
At times, you will need to talk to management and break down technical concepts or even make pitches for them to fund your department’s necessities.
Similarly, you will likely be at the fore-front of employee training on tech matters. In this regard, you will draw upon your communication skills to effectively get information across.
6. Polish Your Resume
Your resume helps get your foot through the door and should be the best representative of you and your skills.
Ensure to create a good resume that captures your skills, soft skills, as well as the experience you have in the tech field.
For a first job, use internships, industry events and mentorships you have had to beef up the experience section.
If you have recently switched careers, find and highlight parallels between your previous role and the role you are moving into.
Similarly, you can also showcase leadership, management and collaborative working skills that served you well in your previous role.
Keep at It
At times, the best-laid plans come apart. This should not deter you.
With a clear vision and measurable goals, each little step you will make is a big win towards your career.
Therefore, stick to the plan, continually assess its effectiveness and make changes along the way when you need to.
In a few short years, you just might be a well-sought after IT professional.