The following is a guest post by Kyle Smithson of DNSstuff. Founded in 2002, DNSstuff helps businesses succeed by properly designing and managing their company domain, network, email servers, and more.
The IT industry has experienced a steady yet notable growth in both revenue and job availability over the past two decades. A study from the Pew Research Center highlights that this growth isn’t simply the result of more individuals interested in traditional IT jobs, but it’s also due to the fact that substantial advances in modern technology have opened the doors of opportunity for dozens of new IT branches to develop within the industry.
In 1997 roughly two million worked in various, limited IT sectors. Today, more than four million workers fill “core” tech positions across the country, with specialties ranging anywhere from software and application development and computer network architecture to web development and computer information research science.
Though it may be difficult to pinpoint precisely what to expect for the future IT industry, experts across the board agree that even more monumental growth and historic advances are sure to come. With a future this bright, you’re probably wondering how you can get an IT job and succeed in a cutting-edge industry. Here are five expert tips to help you land a job as an IT professional.
1. Being Over Prepared Is Never A Bad Thing
First, prior to starting your job search, ensure you have both an up-to-date one-page resume and a two-page curriculum vitae (CV) as different companies prefer one or both. Remember that this will be the first impression employers get of you, so how you portray yourself, your experiences, and your knowledge is critical. Ensure that you include positive information about yourself while also detailing your achievements. Lastly, before sending your application, look over your resume and tailor it to each job, making sure to stick to relevant, positive information you could back up in an interview.
Secondly, brush up on your interview skills. Dress code, eye contact, body language, assertiveness, and ability to stay on topic while answering questions is critical. Experts agree, too, that researching the company prior to the interview will help you understand their values, history, and mission, letting you better align yourself and your responses with these goals.
Finally, there is no such thing as too much networking. Get involved in different networking groups, attend meetings, ask questions, and show interest in what others are doing. This will help build rapport and trust with others in the industry who can help you succeed.
2. Build Your Background
The IT industry is all about experience, so having a strong background is important. While having real life experience shows you’ve gotten your hands dirty in the IT world, a college degree holds the most weight. There are quite a few reputable colleges specializing in IT across the country as well as online courses from accredited schools like Penn State World Campus, UMass Online, Drexel University Online and the University of Denver.
3. Use Online Resources
Making full use of online resources is one of the best ways to get an IT job. Consider the following:
- Social media networking: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter
- Job search engines: Monster, Indeed
Many IT companies are also introducing jobs they’ve typically outsourced back to in-house positions, so stay open to non-traditional job titles like Programming and Application Development, Help Desk and Tech Support, Networking, Mobile App and Device Management, Project Management, etc.
4. Be Certifiably The Best
Certifications, conferences, and training courses can all give you a leg-up in the IT industry. While conferences can help you learn more about broad-based trends or specific areas in the field, certifications and training courses are designed to help you succeed based off of what a specific IT position requires. Certifications, conferences, and training courses also indicate on paper that you’re eager to advance your knowledge and skills and are willing to go above and beyond to be fit for the job.
5. Know Where To Look
If you’re searching for an IT job in a location that’s not known for technology-based businesses, chances are you’ll struggle. Thankfully, IT hubs other than the crowded (and pricey) Silicon Valley are popping up all across the nation, giving you a plethora of options where you can find success. Here are the top 10 hottest places for IT professionals based on annual salary, according to the 2016 Dice Tech Salary Survey:
- Silicon Valley: $118,243
- Los Angeles: $105,091
- Boston: $103, 675
- Seattle: $103, 309
- Washington D.C.: $102, 873
- Minneapolis: $100,379
- San Diego: $98,934
- Austin: $98,672
- Denver: $97,882
- Atlanta: $97,238
With these helpful tips and valuable resources, you should be confident in your ability to build a noteworthy resume, have strong interview skills, know how to work the networking scene, utilize every resource at your disposal, and search for jobs in the location of your dreams.