How to Become an IT Specialist
In this digital age of rapidly evolving technology, a career in Information Technology (IT) presents a world of opportunities. IT specialists are in growing demand, making them some of the most sought-after professionals in the field. Becoming an IT specialist requires dedication, perseverance and a combination of the right skill, education and experiences. Below is a detailed breakdown of what aspiring IT specialists need to do in order to obtain success in this competitive field.
Step 1: Earn a Degree
Most employers require a degree for entry-level positions in IT. It is essential that aspiring IT specialists pursuing an IT-related career have an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in either IT, computer science or information systems. The range of degree options available means potential IT specialists have the opportunity to specialize in any area that interests them, such as computer systems engineering, programming and software development and computer security. Though a degree is usually essential for entry level IT positions, employers often accept certifications and industry-related experience as alternatives. It is important to research the qualifications for each position of interest as employers may vary.
Step 2: Acquire and Master Skills
Though education is important, the best way to stay competitive in the ever-shifting tech landscape is by acquiring and mastering relevant skills. Knowing and understanding popular software programs like HTML, Java or Python is a must. Likewise, IT specialists should have an understanding of computer networks, coding systems and the ability to troubleshoot both hardware and software issues. Having problem-solving skills is beneficial as most of the job involves working through technical problems.
Step 3: Get Industry Certifications
A combination of certifications, degrees and experience all have their place on the resume of an IT specialist. Active certifications from organizations like CompTIA or Microsoft demonstrate a high level of proficiency and appreciation for the latest technologies. Other organizations, such as the Linux Professional Institute, can help IT specialists specialize in a particular field, giving them a leg up in the job market. As the world of technology is continuously changing and updating, IT specialists must be ready to keep their certifications regularly updated.
Step 4: Obtain Experience
Schooling and certifications can only take an aspiring IT specialist so far. Having real-world, relevant experience is essential and the best way to gain experience is to actually have a job in the IT field. Working with a company in this field will not only help potential IT specialists gain invaluable experience but also provides a deep understanding of the latest innovations as well as other important connections.
Step 5: Utilize Resources
The largest challenge for most IT specialists is finding and securing gainful employment. The main resource for many IT specialists are recruitment agencies, which are useful for securing entry-level and mid-level employment. Industry websites, like Dice.com, are also helpful in connecting those in the field with potential employers. IT specialists should also take advantage of professional networks in order to widen their reach. Attending industry events, such as conferences or meet-ups, is a great way to make connections and show employers that they are knowledgeable in the latest technologies and trends.
Step 6: Keep up with Trends
Staying current with the latest trends in the field of IT is the best way to stay competitive and land well-paying jobs. IT specialists should read industry journals and magazines, take online courses, participate in seminars, and constantly update their certifications. Keeping up with the ever-changing landscape of technology is key in this exciting and diverse industry.
Those aspiring to become an IT specialist must remember that success is not a given. It requires dedication, hard work and a combination of the right skills, education and experience. With the right combination of perseverance and determination, nevertheless, an IT specialist’s career path can present a world of opportunities.