How to get into the IT industry?
IT, or tech, is a vibrant industry with booming investments, innovative projects and maddening growth opportunities. Tech is well-known for its free-spirited working ethics, rock’n’roll success stories, and big salaries. However, what if you’re not a tech prodigy with crazy ideas? What if you are just a hard worker with limited skills who wants to get into IT and have a decent job and working environment? Let’s see what the options are.
There are two ways to get into tech: you are either a tech-savvy professional or you have no clue about engineering but still want to be a club member.
A tech job: a hard but rewarding way
If you want to take a shot at the tech job and get deep into programming and development, let’s not exclude the potential of using free education instruments. Fortunately, we’ve got plenty of education platforms for aspiring programmers, including CodeAcademy and W3Schools. With enough patience and dedication, you will be surprised how quickly you can proceed.
If you’re a sociable person and you simply cannot work and study alone, you should consider engaging in tech conferences, social media communities, and, most importantly, find yourself a mentor. If you are able to connect with a professional who is already a few steps ahead of you and sincerely ask him or her to guide you, that would make your growth a lot faster. For the mentors, it is always handy to have a professional whom you can trust and cooperate with in the future.
Finally, if you’ve already managed to make these hardest first steps and are now scoring new levels every day, it may be a good time to think about your specialization. Tech skills are incredibly diverse (and they keep getting more diverse each year) so it’s a good idea to plan ahead your career and further professional career trajectory.
Once your mentor/online education platform/inner feeling tells you that you’re ready for a job in the industry, start knocking on doors. IT is a very meritocratic field, meaning that it does not judge your formal education or socio-economic background as important as other industries, instead of putting most weight on your actual skills and applicable experience. Therefore, be ready to take on internships or squeeze yourself in various projects — it might be a key factor that would get you a dream job one day.
No code, no problem: what to do in IT if you’re not tech-savvy?
There is a common misconception that only people who code can work in the tech industry. This couldn’t have been further from the truth. In each company, technical core teams of coders are complemented by teams of HR, Marketing, Business & Management, Design, Support, and other fields. If you already work in one of the fields that can be applied to tech, the transition is not that hard. You should probably develop a habit of reading Wired, TechCrunch, and know who is who on CrunchBase. Attend IT conferences and add more people in the business on LinkedIn. These are basic steps but they might bring you a crucial advantage during a job interview.
Finally, if you are a complete tech outsider and not familiar with any of the tangent fields, don’t lose hope just yet. As mentioned, IT is a very dynamic and meritocratic field. In this industry, new skills emerged and old skills transform within years, not decades. If you start digging into one of the industry’s niches, you’ll be able to quickly catch the pace and, if you’re lucky, you might get onto something promising and even be ahead of your peers sooner than you can imagine.
The “Three” S rule
Each industry has its own specific characteristics. In tech, creativity, productivity, and self-development are crucial (which might be a challenge for newcomers), but formal education, background and prestige institution’s involvement do not matter much (which is good news for newcomers). Summarizing the previous points, it’s safe to say that for getting into tech there’s a “Three S Rule”:
Self-development. In such a dynamic industry, you need to be ready to constantly master your skills and learn new things as you move forward.
Seeking a new experience. Even if it’s a small startup with limited promises or a small project for a friend, take it and do your best. Experience and actual results of your work do matter in IT.
Socialization. Tech is about turbulent ideas and inspired teams. If you get to know people in the industry, chances are you will be a few handshakes away from your breakthrough.
Last but not least, you can check out P1K’s careers page and look if there’s an open job matching your skills. We enjoy mentoring new people and investing in the professional growth of our colleagues. So, whether you are an aspiring tech expert or a nerdy copywriter, good luck with fulfilling your goals in the IT industry!