The many paths to IT Careers

IT Careers

If your mind is set on a career in the booming field of IT (information technology), there’s never been a better time to start the hunt. Hard-working people with the right kinds of skills and educational background can take their pick from hundreds of good-paying positions. Whether you hold a degree or not, there’s something for you in today’s fast-paced, exciting world of tech. What is true for law and business is also true for IT: there are multiple ways to enter the profession, and not all of them require experience or formal education.

In fact, many of today’s technology workers are self-taught programmers and coders who began by taking free online courses and attending webinars in their spare time. Whether you prefer the self-learning approach or a more formal, education-based strategy, there are opportunities that match your preferences, background, and skill level. If you wish to freelance as a consultant, earn a degree in the field, or gain on-the-job experience via an internship, the choice is yours. Here’s more about some of the most popular ways people are breaking into the profession.


If you’re a self-starter with the desire to put out a freelance shingle in the competitive information tech industry, there are all kinds of opportunities to pursue. Many freelancers work as independent consultants helping small companies outsource their website creation and cyber security functions. It’s up to you to decide how and where to acquire your specialized skills. However, a large number of indie pros take dozens of online classes from accredited education providers. Others attend boot camps or simply teach themselves various programming languages from textbooks.

Academic Degrees

If there’s a traditional aspect to the tech field, it’s the academic route. Careers often begin with an undergraduate degree in programming, development, or general computer science. But getting your degree and paying for it are two completely different challenges. Fortunately, if you have the intellectual skills but lack financial resources, you can take out a student loan from a private lender to cover all the expenses associated with your education. For so many up-and-coming tech professionals, student loans from private lenders represent the single most efficient and cost-effective way to acquire a four-year degree in this lucrative field.


Job Experience

Although your degree can help you land a well-paid job for computer science majors and other graduates holding tech focused degrees, experience also matters. In any area of business, experience speaks volumes. That’s why it’s so crucial to get as many real-world work assignments as possible. Interning while in school or during your slow weeks of freelancing are two good options. Consider entry-level jobs that offer on-the-job training at help desks, on troubleshooting teams, and in general service call positions.

Spend time researching companies before accepting a position. Some organizations are known to hire their temporary, part-time, and intern workers directly into full-time, permanent positions. Be sure to work diligently and take advantage of the chance to learn as many new skills as possible. Maintain an attitude that you’re being paid to learn, which isn’t far from the truth.

Certification Courses and Boot Camps

Fortunately, there are numerous online certification classes in areas like systems engineering, repair specialities, programming, development, cyber security, and more. Boot camps are online or in-person sessions that typically last several days and include 20 or more total hours of intensive training. Boot camps and certificate classes are a fast way to acquire high-level, specialized skills that will serve you for years to come. Remember to include a detailed list of all courses, training sessions, internships, and boot camps on your resume. And if you end up attending a four-year college, there’s a good chance of getting credit for whatever training you’ve already taken, whether in an online course or a boot camp setting.

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