What You Need to Have a Successful IT Career

by Lewis Carvel. 0 Comments

Information technology is one of the fastest growing job markets around the globe. But just because the positions are available doesn't mean it's easy to break into the field. To get the dream IT career you're looking for, you'll need hard work, determination, and a little bit of luck. As you begin working towards a successful career in IT, keep these helpful tips in mind.

The Right Skills

Unlike other professional fields, information technology is a surprisingly open arena when it comes to formal training. Because technology changes so quickly, there's a certain acceptance among industry professionals that it's simply impossible to create a lasting course of education that fully encompasses all the skills necessary to succeed in IT.

Although it is possible to be successful in IT even if you're self taught, some professional credentials can help increase your earnings potential. The most common of these is, of course, a college degree, however it's certainly not the only one. Community Colleges often offer job-oriented training certificate programs. You can also get certified for many software programs directly through the company - Adobe is a great example of this kind of certification.

A Great Resume

Because of the unique nature of the IT profession, an excellent resume is absolutely key in landing the perfect job. Unlike many other types of resumes, a resume for information technology should be primarily skills based. Certainly list any education you've had, but include it towards the bottom. IT is an outcomes-based industry, so the bulk of your resume should focus on skills you have, programs and languages you're proficient in, and any relevant samples you can provide.

Before you start writing your resume, it's a good idea to look through a few sample resumes to get a better understanding of how an IT-specific resume should look. Websites like ITResume.org and Dice.com offer plenty of high quality samples to peruse.

Interview Expertise

Professionals in information technology are regarded among insiders as infamously difficult to interview. The stereotypical analytical, inward-facing personality of most computer specialists can make interviewing a challenge.

Especially if your qualifications are average - or if you're just emerging from a training program - nailing the interview is critical to getting the IT job you want. Remember basic etiquette in mind - make eye contact, smile, dress appropriately, etc. It's also a good idea to practice your answers to common interview questions you're likely to be asked. Be prepared to articulate your work goals, successes, accomplishments, interests, and skills. And above all else, it's important to be honest. If you're not particularly strong in Ruby on Rails, say so if asked.

A Narrow Focus

Remember that information technology is a wide umbrella that encompasses a large number of possible career choices. Although you might not have a specific career goal in mind from the start, it's a good idea to begin defining your interests and abilities as quickly as possible.

The skills you'll need to be successful as an IT manager are very different from those you'll need as a consultant. Developers, engineers, systems analysts, and programmers all have unique roles to play, and require different abilities and expertise. The sooner you begin defining exactly what your dream career is, the better you'll be able to build experience in the areas that matter most to your chosen position.

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