October 1, 2022

Coastal Bend College

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Six Steps You Can Take to Get Started in IT

If you’re looking for a career with a lot of potential for growth in the future, information technology (IT) is a great choice. Contrary to popular belief, IT isn’t just for programmers. People with different skill sets and personality types can find something can find an entry level IT job that builds off previous experience. If you’re considering the move to IT, ask yourself:

  • Do you like details? You could take up programming or even manage IT projects.
  • Do you like art? Graphic or user experience design could be a great choice for you.
  • Do you love working with people face-to-face? You might enjoy a working as a technology sales rep or account manager.

These are just a few examples. There are thousands of possible paths you can take in IT, but how do you get started in one that interests you?

While some begin working in an IT career just out of school, there are opportunities for people of all ages and experience levels. Often, combining previous experience with online training can help you hone in on the right position for you. Here are six steps you can take to get started in IT:

1. Explore various tech roles

You wouldn’t decide to purchase after looking at just one house, and you should treat your career the same way. Often, entry level IT jobs can range from a support specialist to systems technician – all of which start building your work experience.

Most industry veterans recommend that you research various jobs to determine the demand, potential salary, room for advancement, and the typical daily activities. Ultimately, a great entry level role will offer growth — look for positions where you can use non-technical skills, but also gain new ones.

2. Educate yourself

Wherever you find yourself, it’s a great idea to take advantage of learning opportunities including online courses, professional groups, and even self-education. These are good ways to test out new skills and help you find the things you love to do.

Online courses can be inexpensive and effective ways to gain knowledge in subjects such as: programmingdatabase developmentbloggingweb design, and more. Professional groups can also help you gain insight and allow you to learn from experts in the field.

3. Learn html

If you have your sights set on programming, learning HTML is often the first step in your career journey. HTML, short for HyperText Markup Language, is the building block for web applications.

Many people other than just web designers are expected to understand HTML code. Programmers, information architects, technical writers, app developers, security analysts, and many others can benefit from understanding the language of HTML.

4. Build a website

We’re not talking about using a pre-fab, automated building tool. Use your technical knowledge (current expertise and work-in-progress) to create a site and practice the skills you’re gaining. Building a website is a great way to experiment with various technologies and learn more about the tools available to you online including SQLresponsive designJavaScript, and more.

Even if your knowledge is limited and website building is not directly related to your chosen path, knowing how a website functions will prove helpful.

5. Install the Linux operating system

Installing and running the Linux operating system will help you in a few ways. First, you’ll learn about open-source software which will be extremely valuable in almost any tech environment.

Second, you’ll get a crash course in an operating system other than Windows which will help you understand the benefits and drawbacks to both systems and increase your technical know-how. You may even decide to take things one step further and prepare for the Linux Professional Institute.

6. Volunteer to help

You might be new to the tech world, but you aren’t going to stay that way. Offer to help someone with even less knowledge than you with their technology issues. Moreover, setting up computer systems or linking online accounts is a great way to practice the skills you’ve gained.

It will also help you learn to communicate technical concepts to non-tech savvy people — an essential skill for any IT professional. In fact, some entry level IT support roles do just that.

The possibilities for a tech career vary widely, and they are growing every day. It will take some work to learn a new skill and potentially even start down a new career path. But, with the right training, we’re confident that you can find an entry level IT position that uses your strengths.