Switching to IT might be the best career step to take in 2022. Being able to work whenever you want and from any part of the world is only a few of the multiple benefits that IT companies provide. The ability to earn more money and be sure that your skills will always be in high demand are among other common reasons WHY people decide to change their careers. Now, let’s see HOW you can get your first junior position in an IT company.
Step 1. Pick a position you like more
The IT industry requires experts in various fields. Whatever the IT company creates – simple mobile applications or complex innovative software programs, it requires an entire ecosystem of specialists.
In addition to developers and QA engineers, IT companies usually need:
- designers to create user-friendly interfaces,
- marketing specialists to bring the product to the market,
- business analysts to analyze the market and the business needs,
- technical writers to create manuals and guidelines for complex software,
- human resources and recruiting department to select new developers and ensure that the company complies with labor legislation requirements,
- project managers to control the workflow, communicate with the client, and ensure a reasonable workload for the team,
- support department to help clients with the product,
- system administrators to create in-house infrastructure for the team,
and many other positions and departments depending on the company’s sphere of expertise.
If you are a non-technical specialist with vast experience, you may want to consider switching to IT without changing your profession. Such a decision will give you the benefits of working in an IT company with no need to completely change your career.
In addition, working as a non-technical specialist in an IT company opens up broader horizons for you to move further into a technical field.
For example, when you get a job in the software support department, you can plan your future as a tech specialist within the company with your employer. In many IT companies, the technical support department is a starting point, from where, after six to twelve months, people move to higher-paid, highly qualified technical positions.
Step 2. Choose the training you need
If you want to get a junior position as a technical specialist, for example, a QA engineer, front-end, or back-end developer, identify the skills you need to develop to get your dream job.
If you have friends who already work in outsourced product development, product companies, or freelancing platforms, ask them about the pros and cons of various positions and working schemes.
Depending on the area you would like to work with (game dev, blockchain, artificial intelligence, IoT), certain languages may be preferred.
To get started, read about the top 10 most popular and commonly used programming languages in 2022 (according to Stack Overflow):
Step 3. Create your network
Make sure that all your friends know that you’re about to switch to IT. Add your new professional skills and links to your projects to all your profiles. LinkedIn, Glassdoor, Indeed, and Jobcase are the top places where IT recruiters find their new talents and specialists can share their expertise. Become a member of programming and IT societies in all your social media – you never know where the perfect offer might come from.
Also, try to find a mentor. Building a tribe of mentors is the best thing you can do to transform your theoretical knowledge into hands-on experience.
Step 4. Get to apprenticeship or internship
Of course, working for free is not what you wanted. However, it is one of the best ways to get started, especially if you have no experience in IT. An internship in software development companies can help you get a dedicated mentor, hands-on experience, and a network of tech specialists that might help you with your career in the future.
Step 5. Keep trying and don’t give up
As a newbie with no relevant work experience, you will get rejections. Don’t let them define your self-esteem.
Your transition might take time. Stay realistic and don’t put too harsh deadlines. The practice of many shows that it takes four to twelve months to get a job in IT without previous relevant experience.
Pay attention to your CV and make it as relevant to the positions you’re applying to, as possible. Add your certificates, links to the projects you took part in, and your internships. A cover letter is yet another way to demonstrate your motivation and soft skills if at the moment you lack some hard skills.
To keep your search for a new job stress-free, make a plan B for the scenario when you don’t get the job of your dream as fast as you want it. And remember what Churchill said: “Never, never, never give up!”