How to Get a Job in IT: 2024 Insider Strategies That Work

how to get a job in IT

Do you want to switch to a career in IT but do not know where to start or get a job? I’ve got your back!

Working in IT is ideal for computer-knowledgeable and natural problem solvers. It is also a growing professional path with good earnings and prospects for promotion. Now, having said that finding a job in IT without prior experience can be quite difficult. In this post, I will explain what an IT job is and how to overcome the issue of getting an IT job without experience.

What Does It Mean to Have an IT Job?

After getting asked this question quite a number of times, I realized that many people do not know what it means to work in IT. Working in information technology, also known as an IT job, can refer to various computer-related tasks such as computer software, hardware, data storage and management, and technical support. You can install, maintain, and repair computers, or you can build new programs or applications to satisfy the demands of an organization. IT experts, which you’ll become soon enough with my help, also guarantee the safety and security of a company’s data by identifying potential risks, resolving issues, and suggesting appropriate software. Some IT personnel supervise an organization’s daily technical activities, while others may work in computer science research.

From my experience, because the knowledge necessary for these positions can be extremely extensive, some education will almost certainly be required. However, education and experience requirements will differ depending on the organization and position.  For example, entry-level positions may not necessitate formal schooling, whereas research and management positions may necessitate a master’s degree. Some examples of IT jobs are:

  • Web developers
  • Computer programmers
  • Security
  • Computer system analyst
  • Network Engineer
  • Software engineer
  • Chief information officer (CIO)

If you still have doubts about going into tech, you should know that according to the Bureau of Labour Statistics, computer and information technology jobs will expand by 11% between 2019 and 2029, substantially faster than the overall job growth rate!

The BLS attributes this trend to greater cloud computing, big data, and technological security usage. The typical annual salary for computer and information technology jobs is $88,240. I know this fact alone will definitely get you interested in IT, so let’s dive into it.

Read More: Is Tech a Good Career Path in 2024? (Detailed Guide)

Key Takeaways

  • Do your research and familiarize yourself with the field to know what aspect of IT suits you best, what that career entails, and its terminologies.
  • Consider getting a degree in information technology, improving your relevant IT skills, and working on projects independently to increase your chances of getting that job.
  • Certifications are your proof of knowledge; acquire as many as possible even while working, e.g., CompTIA A+, CEH, etc.
  • Volunteer your services, intern, and create a network to increase your exposure.
  • Entry-level jobs exist for you, like IT associate, web developer, cloud engineer, and more.

How to Get a Job in IT if You Don’t Have Any Experience

To break into a skilled industry, I discovered that I had to first establish myself. This is the first piece of advice I’ll give you. However, the important question here is: how do you establish yourself when you don’t have any formal experience? This was a question I struggled with a bit when I was starting my journey into tech. Not to worry, you won’t have to face the same struggle. I will share my experience and research with you for an easier transition into tech.

Here are what you need to do to find an IT job with no experience:

1. Understand the Space

If you’re interested in working in IT, it’s a good idea to understand what it entails and what kinds of careers are available. An initial step I took was to conduct research on IT in general. This will help you to familiarize yourself with the field of IT.  Numerous YouTube channels like Christian Lempa and Boyd Clewis, podcasts like The WAN show, discussion websites (such as Reddit or Quora), and blogs are dedicated to teaching you about IT employment and which IT jobs might be a good fit for you.

Make a list of jobs that you’re interested in. Are you interested in assisting an organization’s computer networks in running efficiently or building websites? What types of organizations interest you? What positions seem appealing to you?

This will assist you in narrowing down your job search. It will also familiarize you with some terminology you will encounter throughout the process. If unsure where to begin, read about common entry-level IT careers or research IT career options.

2. Get a Degree

In my research and time spent guiding new IT students, I always get one question: “Do I have to go back to college and study information technology before I can be a tech expert?” So, I did some research, and frankly, many information technology careers demand at least an associate’s degree in information technology. A bachelor’s degree in information technology or a similar discipline may be required for some employment. I suggest you consider taking the standard full-time school to earn a degree. Many programs provide part-time options if you need to work while attending classes.

However, to answer the previous question directly, certifications are much more valuable in IT than college degrees. It’s what has worked for me and many tech experts out there.

3. Improve Your Relevant IT Skills

Employers’ preferences for specific skills in IT workers can differ by role. This can make getting a job a bit hard, but here’s a smart way around it that always works for me. Examine the job postings that attract you and identify what precise skills you should hone to get those particular jobs.

Here are a few skills that may be stated in an IT job description:

Operating systems: Having knowledge of Mac, Linux, and Microsoft operating systems can place you in a good position to work with various devices and widen the companies you are suited to.

Security: You will benefit from basic computer and internet security awareness as an IT professional for security jobs. Encryption and firewalls are examples of such notions.

Networks: Understanding the fundamentals of networking issues such as network access and IP and what services may provide you an advantage in your job search.

Communication: Communicating with others will almost certainly be a vital part of your job in IT. IT workers are frequently asked to assist other members of an organization with technical issues or to collaborate with team members to launch new projects. Improving your communication abilities will be beneficial to your professional life. 

4. Work on Your Personal Projects

Alongside certifications, personal projects are very valuable when it comes to bagging a job in IT. I once carried out an experiment where I applied for two jobs in IT. For the first job, I submitted a CV with no certifications or proof that I had actually done this job, just my willingness to learn and critical thinking abilities. For the second, however, I submitted a CV filled with my certifications in various tech aspects and projects I had worked on personally and with others. In no time, I got an interview date for the second job but never got a callback from the first.

I hope you see my point here. Make your own opportunities to demonstrate your abilities by working on projects on your own time. Choose a design that corresponds to your career objectives. Create a computer software that automates a task, for example, if you’re interested in programming. These personal projects can demonstrate your industry knowledge, creativity, and hard work to companies and, in turn, boost your resume.

5. Acquire Certifications

As I mentioned, certifications are very important and valuable in the IT field. Certification is an excellent approach to obtaining a credential while learning essential IT principles. The certifications I have acquired over the years are why I am this informed today. If you’re new to the profession, you can learn a wide range of fundamental IT topics by obtaining a generic entry-level certification, such as the CompTIA A+ certification. 

Certifications in specialist areas of IT, such as cybersecurity, my specialization, or networks, are also available. These will be useful if you’re looking to get started in a specific area of IT.

Passing an exam is frequently required for certification, not to worry though, coursework for certification exams can be found online like Udemy or Coursera or in person at places like community colleges. I personally suggest using the Udemy Academy platform.

An IT certification will help you learn new skills and boost your resume. Many courses now provide online programs. Consider the following certifications:

  • Certified data professional (CDP)
  • Certified information system security professional (CISSP)
  • CompTIA
  • Project management professional
  • Certified ethical hacker (CEH)
  • Global information assurance certification (GIAC)

Certifications for certain programming languages and operating systems are also available.

Bear in mind: Certifications might cost hundreds of dollars. However, if you are certain that you want to work in IT and need some experience and certifications, it will be a smart investment. If you are currently working and believe an IT certification would help you and your company, I suggest you approach your employer to see if they will cover the exam costs.

6. Volunteer

Offer IT services to small enterprises and start-ups. These volunteer opportunities will provide you significant experience applying your skills and working in a professional setting. These companies will also have a relationship with you and may contact you if they seek an IT professional.

7. Intern

One advice I will always give to those new to the IT field is to apply for an internship. I’ve discovered that it is a quick way to get fully employed, especially if you do your best. Depending on the organization, internships can be paid or unpaid but can provide valuable professional experience. In addition to strengthening your IT skills, you can improve your communication, time management, and interpersonal skills.

8. Consult a Career Center

If you’re a student, make use of your privileges! Make an appointment with your school’s career center. The center can help you write a cover letter and CV; they usually have leads for internships or positions. Career centers can also help you prepare for interviews and communicate with possible companies.

Expand your search to include more companies and job openings. For example, you can seek all jobs at IT firms, even if the post does not directly involve technology. You could also look into administrative positions in technological departments. These occupations will help you start your career and eventually lead to transfers into IT roles.

10. Network

Networking can help you learn more about a job or organization, connect you to opportunities you might not have known otherwise, or get a leg up in the hiring process. Your network may include former coworkers, friends, relatives, alma mater alumni, or people you interact with through professional sites such as LinkedIn.

Remember that effective networking does not always have to result in a new job. You can also network to learn more about what it’s like to work in IT or to receive help with your job search.

11. Look For Entry-Level Jobs

An entry-level job in almost any profession requires minimal relevant work experience. However, considering the wide range of tasks available as an IT worker, an entry-level position in IT may have a variety of titles. Here are some entry-level job titles I advise you to look for in your job search:

#1. IT Associate

  • Average annual US salary: $48,594
  • Job outlook: 6% annual growth
  • Requirements: Knowledge of computer systems and troubleshooting is required. Certifications, associate degrees, and bachelor’s degrees may be wanted.

#2. Help Desk Specialist:

  • Median annual US salary: $57,910 
  • Job outlook: 6% annual growth 
  • Requirements: Knowledge of computer systems and troubleshooting is required. Certifications, associate degrees, and bachelor’s degrees may be requested.

#3. Web Developer

  • Median annual US salary: $78,300 
  • Job outlook: 23% annual growth 
  • Requirements: Ability to program. Degrees of associate, bachelor’s, or master’s level may be sought.

#4. System Analyst

  • Median annual US salary: $99,270
  • Job outlook: 9% annual growth (faster than average)
  • Requirements: Certifications, an associate’s degree, a bachelor’s degree, or comparable experience may be requested. 

#5. System Administrator

  • Median annual US salary: $80,600
  • Job outlook: 3% annual growth (slower than average) 
  • Requirement: Knowledge of computer systems. Certifications, an associate degree, a bachelor’s degree, or comparable experience may be required.

#6. Database Administrator

  • Median annual US salary: $101,000
  • Job outlook: 9% annual growth (much faster than average) 
  • Requirements: Certifications, associate degrees, and bachelor’s degrees may be required.

#7. Site Reliability Engineer

  • Average base US salary: $111,146
  • Job outlook: 34% annual growth (much faster than average)
  • Requirements: Site reliability or DevOps experience and related abilities are required. A bachelor’s degree or comparable experience may be required.

#8. Software Developer

  • Median annual US salary: $109,020
  • Job outlook: 25% annual growth (much faster than average)
  • Requirements: Programming language experience. Bachelor’s and master’s degrees may be required.

#9. Cloud Engineer

  • Average base US salary: $104,659
  • Requirements: Experience in cloud platforms. Typically, a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, or equivalent experience is required.

#10. Information Security Analyst

  • Median annual US salary: $102,600
  • Job outlook: 35% annual growth (much faster than average)
  • Requirements: Certifications and associate and bachelor’s degrees may be sought.

See Also: Information Security Analyst Career Path (6 Roles To Know)

See below for more on Entry-level jobs.

Top 5+ Entry-Level Technology Jobs 2024 (Updated)

12. Improve your interview skills. 

In an interview for an IT job, you will most likely be asked behavioral and technical questions. 

I advise you to practice answering popular IT interview questions to help you prepare for an interview. Read the job description to get an idea of what you should know. Prepare some anecdotes about your prior experiences, including times when things went well and occasions when they didn’t—and what you did about it. 

Here are a few examples of possible questions:

  • What are the primary computer hardware components?
  • What exactly is RAM?
  • What are some effective security measures you might employ to safeguard a computer?
  • How would you approach a situation that you are unsure how to solve?
  • Can you tell us about a moment when you worked as part of a team to accomplish a task?

Read More: 19+ Technology Interview Questions 2024 & All You Need

Extra Tips That Could Help

Make a Professional Profile.

This sounds unimportant, but it is a trick that has pulled up my image with potential employers multiple times. Create professional social networking and job hunt profiles. Make use of a professional photograph and include your education and experience. You can also choose which industries, professions, and companies interest you.

Create a Personal Website.

Consider developing your own website to demonstrate your IT and design abilities. It can function as a digital portfolio and one of your projects. You can include your professional goal, education, and experience.

Contact the Companies Where You Want to Work.

Even if a company has no open position published, consider contacting hiring managers or recruiters to express your interest. You can request informational interviews or send your CV to them for their records.

Maintain consistency and persistence.

With everything happening worldwide, I know finding a job might be difficult, but consistently searching allows you to locate the appropriate opportunity. Make time every day to hunt for and apply for employment. Remember to follow up after a few days if you apply.

See Also: The Top 21+ Career in Tech Picks for 2024 (Updated)

FAQs

Which Course Is Best in the IT Field?

Here is a selection of the best IT certification courses for 2024 that will help you advance in those fields:

  1. Data Science 
  2. Big Data
  3. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
  4. Cloud Computing
  5. Project Management
  6. Business Intelligence
  7. Networking
  8. Software Development
  9. DevOps
  10. Cyber Security
  11. Digital Marketing
  12. CISSP
  13. ITIL

What Job Is Best for IT?

The top Ten best jobs for IT are listed below:

  1. Software Engineer manager
  2. Mobile Applications Developer
  3. Information system security manager
  4. Database Manager
  5. Data Security Analyst
  6. Product Manager
  7. Artificial Intelligence (AI) Engineer
  8. Front-End Developer
  9. Full-Stack Developer
  10. Cloud Architect

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