The whole world relies heavily on computers and technology in the modern age, whether it’s connecting with people on social media, indulging in some online shopping, or even looking up interesting trivia when they’re bored or trying to resolve a debate at a dinner party.
Businesses also rely on information technology, with so much of their daily operations involving tech and computer programming for even the most basic of tasks. This is why pursuing a career in IT can be a smart one, as there is always a demand for IT professionals and great salaries on offer, too.
If you have decided that this is a career path you would like to take, below are some tips on how you can get ahead in your career if you have recently graduated and are now starting at the bottom of the ladder.
Stay Updated in Your Field
The IT industry is constantly evolving as consumer needs are, and if you want to stay ahead of the game in your career, you’ll need to make sure that you’re keeping your knowledge up to date as well.
There are many blogs, magazines, and other industry insight publications and resources that you can use to stay informed. Attending IT conferences are also worthwhile and can be a good networking opportunity as well.
While keeping informed is essential, if you want to stand out as an exceptional IT professional, pushing yourself to learn more skills and develop your expertise is worth the investment, too.
You might already have an undergraduate degree in IT but think about pursuing a master’s degree or even a doctorate. You might also want to think about focusing your studies in a particular area of IT if you are interested in following a specific career path.
For example, this course in cybersecurity management would be an excellent certification to have on your resume, particularly if you want to get into a role that is centered around this subject.
Your experience and educational credentials will be essential in helping you move up the career ladder, but as in any field, knowing the right people will put you in a better position for promotions or other career opportunities.
There is always going to be tough competition when it comes to applying for jobs or wanting to be considered for certain projects that you’re interested in, and if you want to be on the list of top candidates, you’ll need to make yourself known.
Look for networking events in your local area and attend, or reach out to other professionals on platforms like LinkedIn and ask if they would be happy to meet you for a coffee and share their words of wisdom with you on how you can improve your career prospects.
Remember, you shouldn’t hassle people as this will be off-putting, but politely asking someone if they have the time to talk with you can make a big difference and help you create stronger professional relationships with individuals in your industry.
Be a Team Player
Even if you are working as a freelancer, it’s important to make sure that you are proving yourself as a reliable professional who can work well as part of a team as well as alone.
For many who are starting in their IT careers, you will likely be working as part of a bigger team within a company. Bonding with your peers and proving that you are an asset to that team will be important.
If you need to stay late or start early to resolve an issue or work on a project, put in this time. Even asking to take on extra work if you can do so can be a good way to impress your management team and make you stand out as someone deserving of a promotion or pay rise when the opportunity for these comes around.
Ask for a Mentor
Another way you can get ahead in your IT career is by asking about any mentorship schemes that your company might offer in the IT department.
If this isn’t available in the company you work in, you might want to think about looking further afield to see if there are any relevant programs you can get involved in outside of the workplace.
This is a great idea for those who are just starting in IT as this is not only a chance to develop your skills and have some professional guidance but also a networking opportunity as well.
Practice! Practice! Practice!
IT skills do not come easily to everyone, this is why these kinds of jobs are in such high demand and offer good, even great, salaries.
Even if you are talented at what you do in IT, always keep practicing your skills and pushing yourself to learn new ones. This is how you still get ahead and stay as an essential asset to your team.
If you have recently begun your IT career after graduation or are even contemplating following a career in IT, use these tips to help you get ahead and enjoy a very fruitful career.