IT Career Transition: 4 Tips for Choosing Your IT Field

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male-IT-professional-using-laptopAdecco Engineering & Technology’s “IT Career Transition” series examines how to transition into information technology after having already started a career in another field. We’ll be sharing real-life stories along the way about professionals who’ve already embarked upon their IT careers after having left an unrelated one. Read all the posts in this series to learn more about why and and how to transition into IT. 
Whether you’re considering a career transition into IT due to the high demand for technical skills, the higher wages, or even just because you think you’d genuinely enjoy it more than what you’re currently doing, you’ll need to invest time and most likely some money in training. Before doing so, make sure you’re pursuing the exact route you’re most apt to perform well in and one you’ll like doing each day.

Below are some tips to explore different IT skill sets, so you can make an informed career decision before you take the leap:

Explore your options for free.

Do some research to see what’s out there. Check out websites like Udacity and Udemy. Both have free introductory courses you can use to sample IT skill sets. You can also try watching YouTube tutorials and visiting forums on technology sites like C-Net to see the types of questions people ask and, in general, what people in a certain field are discussing. Do some fields seem to have more rigidity based on comments? Are some more creative, but changing more often? When you know these things, you’ll get a better feel for which direction may be the best fit for your personality.

Practice several types of skills.

Once you have a better idea of which direction(s) interest you, try them on for size. There are plenty of sites that are set up to allow people to learn and practice new skills for free. For instance, you can learn basic coding from sites like CodeAcademy, Kahn Academy,HTML5 Rocks, and more. Just search “free [skill] tutorials” on Google. It’s as simple as that! Isn’t it great that techies are generally good at helping each other out?

Ask yourself what’s most fun.

Have you tried out a couple IT routes? How do you decide? Of course you’ll want to weigh in all the logical factors of market demand for the skill set, what you’ll get paid and so on; but the most important factor is if you will like it. After all, if you’re reading this blog series, you’ve probably already experienced being stuck in a job or career you don’t enjoy. Why do that to yourself again? Did you originally think you’d want to be a programmer because it seemed pretty darn cool and pays well, but then you realized you actually enjoyed the structure of database administration? Go for it!

Pursue it!

You’ve chosen a field with IT, now do the research to find out which courses you should take, and even which certifications you’ll need to be qualified for your first job. You can’t land in a new career without doing some groundwork first. Luckily, because you’re now pursuing a career in technology, getting the training could be as simple as spending a few hours a week doing online training. It all depends on your lifestyle and how much free time you have to work with. Don’t miss the next blog post in this series. It’ll be packed with information on resources that offer the training you’ll need to not only get started in IT, but how to land your first job in the space.

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Anne Shaw is the Lead Generation & Attraction Sr. Marketing Manager for Adecco Staffing, USA. Her background includes public relations, brand development and event planning. When not having a blast at the office, Anne can be found initiating dance parties with her adorable children and dashing husband.

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