According to employment data, computer and information technology occupations are expected to grow by 13% in the next decade. These tips can help you get started with your computer science or information technology career.
1. Get an Education
Some computer professionals are self-taught or learned on the job. However, you may have an easier time finding entry-level jobs with a formal education in computer science or information technology. Most colleges and universities offer a variety of programs that can be completed in person or online. College programs typically include coursework in computer programming, network administration, databases, computer hardware, web design, and other related skills.
2. Consider Professional Development Courses
If you already have experience working as an IT professional, it may be helpful to complete a professional development course. For example, if you have worked as a project manager, you may want to boost your skills by taking a course on using Scrum to help teams communicate and collaborate on major projects.
You can learn about Scrum strategies and tactics by taking a class online. For instance, this Scrum Master online course is part of a certification program. You will get a chance to take an assessment to validate your skills at the end of the course. Other options for professional development include taking individual classes at local community colleges or online and reading computer-related blogs.
3. Identify Potential Jobs
There are many different jobs available for people who are interested in computer science and information technology. If you enjoy programming and statistics, a career in big data engineering may be a good fit. If you like making websites, you may enjoy a career as a web developer, website designer, or webmaster. If you want to work in a business environment, consider becoming a database administrator or business intelligence analyst. These are only a few of the many options that you can pursue.
4. Find a Job
Start by doing some research on what it is like to work in different IT environments. Make a list of jobs you are interested in. Read job descriptions for the jobs you want and shore up any of the skills you are missing. Consider getting a relevant certification.
If the job you want isn't an entry-level position, start building your resume by getting an internship, volunteering, freelancing, or working an entry-level job. Build your network by securing good relationships with employers, coworkers, and classmates. Draft a professional resume and work on your interview skills.
5. Start a Business
IT skills lend themselves well to starting a business. You can become a consultant, sell your programming, web design, technical support, or other skills as a freelancer, open a business that provides IT solutions or open some other computer-related business.
Consider organizing your business as a limited liability company. This business structure protects your personal assets. For example, if a customer were to slip and fall in your business and win a settlement against you, the plaintiff could only collect from your business and not you personally. LLCs can also have tax advantages, save you paperwork and provide more flexibility than other business structures.
Computer science and information technology jobs can be a good way to pursue a lucrative career in a growing industry. Taking steps, such as completing a professional development course, can increase your chances of succeeding on this career path.
Image via Pexels