How to Begin a Career in IT
11 May 2022 2 mins read By Andrea Amato

For any organisation to remain competitive in the jobs market, their operations must be supported by technology. IT jobs not only focus their efforts on internal functions, but also to improve customer experiences worldwide. With the influx of remote jobs, the demand for IT professionals is exacerbating—especially for those with the skills needed to stand out from other applicants.

With the above in mind, many individuals are looking to upskill in technical areas to improve their present skill sets. Others are deciding to forego their current jobs altogether, in favour of seeking an IT job that plays well to their career development. Whatever the reason for the move, the world is only going to evolve toward supporting technical solutions for everyday problems. Beginning a career in IT can be fruitful in terms of working in a dynamic world of work and earning a good salary.

If you have little or no experience in technology, this is not a reason to prevent you from getting a job in IT. Many individuals before you have made the same decision too. Whilst you would have to put some time and effort to transition your career, many opportunities await you. The following article will support such a career change and encourage you to make the move onto your next IT job in Malta or worldwide.

 

First Steps

 

Before making a career change, you should spend some time reflecting on what interests you about the IT industry and the impact you want to make in such work environments. To help you begin this journey, you can review current job occupations and learn the particular roles you are interested in pursuing. Then, you can collect these job titles and create a short list to later understand what qualifications you would need to engage in and begin working from there.

It's worth mentioning that there are numerous IT jobs with diverse requirements in terms of education and qualifications. Looking for a software developer job, for example, would differ in terms of requirements than a product designer—but these are both technical careers. For the sake of consistency within this article, we will use the example of a software developer to illustrate beginning a profession in IT.

To not overwhelm the preparations needed to begin a career in IT, below summarises a few things to consider that can point you in the right direction:

  • Learn to code,
  • Join tech communities and be involved in open-source projects,
  • Begin a course in an area of your interest,
  • Build a social network of tech professionals,
  • Take on freelance projects to expand your tech portfolio, and
  • Learn industry jargon to better communicate with hiring managers in tech.

Whilst there are several considerations, it can be an exciting journey to transition your career into something you are more interested in so that it would be worthwhile into the future. Consider this time as an opportunity to seek a career that is stable, that can be self-taught, and adaptable to meet future tech needs.

 

Advance your Education

 

Once you have gained insight into available tech roles and what is in demand, you will have some idea of career goals that will help gravitate you toward your desired IT job. Keep in mind that the research process is ongoing as you learn of new qualifications that are necessary for you to undergo for certain jobs. In keeping an open mind, you are able to focus your education and training on specific areas.

If you are able to dedicate time toward education, it’s worth exploring the options that are available to you. As IT is a competitive field, having some education background in tech will help solidify your chances in actualising an IT career. Using the example of a software developer, you may want to explore courses relevant to computer science and programming. To get a better idea of what employers are looking for, you can review job descriptions and look out for educational requirements.

For many IT jobs in Malta or elsewhere, learning how to code is a must. There are various programming languages with different levels of complexity, to which you can build your knowledge in over time. As a start, HTML is a common language beginner’s toy with because it is an easy one to learn and is still used among developers. Programming trends are continuously evolving, so it’s also worth exploring what kinds of languages other software developers are using. Nowadays, these usually include Java, Python, C++, and so forth.

Depending on your current experience, you may need to invest some time and resources into your education. There are many short courses or diplomas out there that can help you upskill in the above areas without being full-time. You need to be thoughtful of your choices and ensure that any course you embark on is relevant to the career you are interested in pursuing.

 

Gain Work Experience

 

When applying for on-site or remote IT jobs, hiring managers will want to see your skills put to the test. If you do not already have a portfolio which can demonstrate your experience, not to worry, you can look for projects and practice your skills in these. Find open-source projects in areas you are interested in, and engage with other IT professionals in expanding your knowledge in coding or similar skills. There are a variety of communities online, so it’s worth searching around and becoming familiar with these first.

Aside from contributing to an in-progress project, you can develop your own from scratch. This option is more suited for those individuals with some IT experience—so if you are a beginner, engaging in a new project altogether may not be the smartest choice for now. 

Once you have joined a few communities and have built a network with IT professionals, you can work on your experience through freelance gigs. You can offer your services and skills to these communities and break into the field. Freelance is also an opportunity to get paid for projects, and for many remote software developers, is a great career choice to expand your skills.

Finally, as you work on more projects and gain relevant work experience, you will build the confidence to apply for IT jobs. Prepare to respond to technical questions and take on assessments that demonstrate your skill sets. In your free time, you can practice solving technical problems and learning more about code to prepare yourself for any workplace challenge. 

At Castille, we specialise in technical roles and prepare professionals to meet with prospective employers. If you’re looking to learn more about IT jobs and your own career development, feel free to reach out to our consultants directly at support@castillians.com.

Tags
Software Developer
Coding
Remote Jobs
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