In our previous blog post on starting your career in IT we discussed answers to common questions facing those seeking a career in IT. In this part of the series, we wanted to add to the suggestions, and give you an even bigger leg up on the competition.
IT professionals are not known for being the social kings and queens of the world, and that’s okay. However, that doesn’t mean you are allowed to sit back and not talk to anyone. Even if you consider yourself to be very socially introverted, you should make a concerted effort to attend IT conferences, join IT groups and clubs, and mingle with other IT professionals. The larger your network, the better chance you have of hearing about job openings before anyone else. Likewise, your chances of being referred for an IT job improve drastically as more people get to know you and find out how much value you can add to their company.
Another benefit of networking is that you can continue learning. Constant learning is mandatory for any IT professional, and the more you mingle with your colleagues, the better chance you have to ask questions and learn from their expertise. They also have the chance to ask questions and learn from your expertise too.
Networking is as much an art as it is a science, so make sure you learn how to network in a genuine and authentic way. This blog post from CompTIA goes more in-depth on how to network with other IT professionals so that you provide value to them and get value in return.
Look for crossover opportunities
As you look for your next job in the IT field, don’t be afraid to look for crossover positions. A crossover position is a job opportunity that allows you to apply non-IT skills that you may have learned from previous work experience. For example, if your job experience is limited to restaurants, then maybe you could look for an IT job with a restaurant chain. Having knowledge of how a restaurant is managed can be extremely valuable to the owner as you build out their technology stack. As another example, if your previous job was in manufacturing, a machine shop manager might find your experience to be very helpful as they try to integrate multiple complex machines into one computer network system.
An added benefit of crossover positions is that they often pay more than an entry-level IT job at a large corporation. Anyone with the right Microsoft certifications could help set up a computer network for a whole department. It’s a one-size-fits-all solution for any corporation. However, if a company in a niche sector is looking for someone who has an intimate understanding of their industry-specific needs, you have more leverage to negotiate for a higher salary because there are fewer qualified candidates for the position.
Start learning with us!
Here at Ascend Education, our passion is to help IT professionals grow into the position of their dreams. We offer many IT certifications through our online learning platform where you can access IT courses from your own home.
We hate that many organizations force you to learn at THEIR pace. That’s why our industry-built curriculum can be taken at your own pace without the old textbooks and insanely high prices. Plus, our virtual labs allow you to actually apply the things you are learning before taking the certification exams, so you can go into the exam with all the confidence of an IT professional.
If you are ready to launch your career in IT, click the link below to check out our classes and get certified today.