Six Tips on getting started in the IT industry.

on Sunday, September 19, 2010

For anyone who has just graduated from high school or college or who wants to change careers, here are six tips on how to get a foot in the door.
   These tips apply to every aspect of the IT industry.


Just graduated from college and looking for that first full-time job? Fresh out of high school and uncertain about what direction to take: college or technical school? Making a career change to a completely unrelated field of interest?
It can be difficult to find a job in a field of interest without prior work experience; however, it can be even more difficult to get the work experience necessary without landing a job. For all those first-time job seekers, workers returning to the job market after a long absence or anyone hoping to change careers, here are six tips on how to gain the right work experience.

Talk to Someone Working in the Field or Industry

The people who know how to do the job or get into the field or industry that job seekers want to enter are the best people to provide advice. By talking to friends, family members, neighbors, school mates or others that they know who are currently doing the job they want to do, job seekers can gain helpful information about how to get started. And they can do all this through an informational interview.

Be Willing to Take an Entry-Level Position

All those old movies where the head of the company started in the mail room have a ring of truth to them. Starting at the bottom and learning a business from the ground floor up is a great way to understand the day-to-day operations and inner workings of a company. It’s just a matter of taking time to watch, listen and learn. That means asking questions, networking with people both inside and outside the firm, reading things like the company’s annual report and industry news, and volunteering for assignments. And speaking of volunteering…

Start a Career by Learning to Do it for Free

Not only can volunteering provide valuable work experience in a previously untapped field or industry, it can give job seekers a feeling of pride and accomplishment. Taking on a new challenge, especially in a non-profit or philanthropic organization, provides job seekers with the chance to learn without the risk. Yes, it is important to be reliable and provide quality services; however, volunteering offers job seekers a chance to try on a new career first before making a career commitment.

Take Time to Learn a New Career on Campus

For job seekers who are preparing to graduate from school in the next six to 18 months or those who want to work and attend school simultaneously, working at school can offer a number of rewards. First, students who work on campus often get discounts on the courses they take. Second, it limits travel time since school and work are at the same location. Finally, depending on the student’s major, it is often possible to find an employment opportunity that matches with their career choice. Colleges and universities routinely offer jobs on campus for students in administrative, peer counseling, and other areas.

Check out Temporary or Seasonal Work
Another method for getting work experience with no risk of making a career commitment is to do temporary or seasonal work. Seasonal work can be found in retail, at amusement parks, and in hospitality. Or check in with a temporary employment service and find out what they have to offer. Many are career specific such as administrative, creative, and scientific, so it can be a great way to learn on the job.

Join a Professional Association

This is a really great way for job seekers who are making a career change to make much needed contacts and fine-tune business skills by actively participating in association meetings and events. For instance, if you want to transition from accounting into a full-time writing career, join an accounting association and take on the responsibility of editing the monthly newsletter.
The whole idea is to get out there and find ways to learn new skills while putting current talents to good use and to eventually find a great new job.


Souf said...

very nice read. I'm actually looking into the IT department.

JustJen said...

I worked in the IT department of the college I was attending for my associates degree in computer networking. I was able to take what I was learning in a classroom environment and use it in a working environment. It was an invaluable experience! APPLY for those jobs on campus! Talk to your Dean, Campus President, Admission Counselors and make yourself known! You have nothing to lose and everything to gain!

DJDurp said...

Good info to have ^_^ bookmarked.

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