Career Change to IT | A practical Guide
Moving to a career in IT is a challenging process! It takes a large degree of effort and determination to pull off a career change job with no industry experience. However, there are some tried and tested strategies you can use to build your experience and understanding which will help you succeed in a career change to IT.
In this article, we’ll break down some of the most useful action items you can start taking today to build your career in IT — to ensure you level up your tech career over time.
The first step in finding a job in IT is to choose an initial lane, and to stick with it for long enough to see rewards. This is often the first stumbling block for people when changing careers to IT.
Popular Career Paths in IT
The world of IT is broad and deep, and there are many different disciplines to choose from when asking the question of how to start a career in IT. Some popular career paths include Software Engineering, Data Scientist, Cloud Solutions Architect — just to name a few.
The challenge is that each discipline within a certain IT field requires a particular set of skills which take time to build. Developing these skills is crucial to successfully landing a job. Keep in mind that you need to start somewhere and just stick with a particular set of skills for long enough to get on the ladder of success. Whilst you can much more easily change your career once you have started it, flailing between different skill sets, career paths and learning objectives early on in your career is only going to delay your path of success — in particular when pulling off a career change with no prior industry experience.
First and foremost, take a closer look at your prior experience before pursuing a new career in IT. You might think that you lack the skills listed on job postings, but “soft skills” can be surprisingly valuable, and many skills can be transferred to IT jobs.
If you’re looking for an entry-level IT position, communication skills, customer service experience, familiarity with Microsoft Office, and other common skills can be highly beneficial in your job search. Closely examine your past roles through the lens of the new role may reveal a treasure trove of relevant experience.
Top 3 reasons why you should consider a career change to IT
Another question to ask yourself is the following: What do you really want to get out of a career in tech? People often have vague ideas of why they want to change their career to IT. To inspire you to succeed in your journey to IT, we have put together a list of reasons why you should consider a career change to IT.
You can expect a pay increase when changing to an IT career. In 2020, the average tech worker’s salary reached $104,566 in the U.S. which is more than double the pay for all US occupations! Clearly, the prospect of reskilling and joining the IT industry has never been more exciting. Although it is unlikely to start off with a high salary from day one — within a few years of experience anything is possible.
More scalable field of employment
A scalable and highly rewarding salary is to be found within a career in IT. You can reliably increase your take home pay as time goes on and you will likely have a career that is not just recession proof, but also highly lucrative.
Work life balance
Many people working in IT find that they have a much better work-life balance compared to those working in other industries. Many IT roles can be done remotely, and a non-specific number of hours in the day to get your task done.
Crucial steps to landing a job in IT
Now that you’ve made up your mind to change your career to IT, you may be wondering what the best ways are to land your first job in the IT industry. Let’s explore the various routes to take to get a job in IT.
If you’re considering a career in e.g. cloud computing, we’d highly recommend getting AWS certified. Our AWS training courses and live (remote) bootcamps have helped thousands of people with limited cloud experience to get certified and land their first cloud jobs. When changing careers, having the right certifications on your resume can make all the difference.
Whilst a certificate alone will not be enough to secure a cloud job, it is an important stepping stone in the right direction and will give you valuable insights into how cloud technology works and how to master a technical interview.
Identify your network on LinkedIn and pursue connections, tips and tricks and emulate the behavior of who you want to be like. You could also talk to family and friends about a career change. Reach out to people who have the job you want for an informational interview. Identifying how they got the job you desire will help you replicate the steps they took to succeed.
Effectively communicate transferable skills
When describing your skills and experiences that relate to the jobs you want, use the same language that is used in the job description. If you highlight all of your transferable skills on your resume, you’re more likely to get the attention of a hiring manager.
Gain practical experience
Keep in mind that it is not necessary to have a full-time, paid position to gain hands-on experience. Volunteering, apprenticeships, part-time jobs, and internships are great ways to gain practical experience. At Digital Cloud Training, we also offer challenge labs to help you build hands-on experience in a secure hosted environment. You can learn on the job by assisting companies or organizations. While not all IT jobs offer paid training at the beginning of your career — you may be fortunate to find employer-sponsored training in your desired field.
Get a mentor or coach
Mentors can assist you in successfully making the switch to your dream career by coaching you through the process. Mentors can also get you in touch with the right people and help you set realistic and ambitious goals for yourself.
Close skill gaps
When looking to change your career into IT, it is crucial to objectively assess your skills and knowledge and compare them to those listed in the job postings. Look for additional educational resources if you are lacking in any areas.
Do your best to achieve specific, actionable goals within a set timeframe. As you venture into the field of information technology, don’t give up even if you encounter obstacles. Changing careers into IT is possible with the right amount of effort and persistence, as is achieving every career goal you set for yourself in life.
Learn how to Master the Cloud
AWS Training — Our popular AWS training will maximize your chances of passing your AWS certification the first time.
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Challenge Labs — Build hands-on cloud skills in a secure sandbox environment. Learn, build, test and fail forward without risking unexpected cloud bills.