The field of information technology has been a popular career choice for recent graduates and career changers alike. However, most entry-level IT jobs require previous experience or training. Consider one of these four methods of training for an IT career.
1. Get a Certification
A popular method of entry into the IT world is taking a course or series of courses that lead to one or more IT certifications. For instance, a person who is interested in working as a data center professional might take a data center design course. Popular IT certifications include Certified Data Center Professional, Cisco Certified Network Profesional, CompTIA A+ and Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate. Courses that lead to these certifications are available in person and online and if you have an IT related job, your employer may offer a tuition reimbursement program for some classes.
2. Go To a Traditional College
Attending a two or four-year college program is one of the more time-consuming and expensive ways to break into the IT field, but it also opens the most doors. A solid college program will provide you with a strong foundation in the skills you will need to succeed in the field. Some employers may not consider candidates who do not possess a degree. Be sure to do your research, particularly if you are considering a for-profit school. You will want to choose a school with good job placement rates and a positive reputation among potential employers.
Many successful IT professionals are self-taught. There are resources available on the internet, some of which are free to use and others that require payment. Additionally, there are numerous books on the subject. Some enterprising professionals even manage to learn by simply jumping right in and writing code or fiddling around with hardware. This method is most effective for fields where employers do not have rules against considering employees without credentials and where you can demonstrate your aptitude by showing off projects you have completed.
4. Attend a Tech School
If traditional college is not for you, consider a school that focuses exclusively on teaching technology subjects. Some of these schools provide graduates with valuable skills, but tuition can be pricey and not all employers value degrees from these types of schools, so do your research.
There is more than one path to a successful IT career. The best path for you depends on the experience and skills you already have and the job you hope to get.