How To Make A Career Change Into IT
You might have read it only takes 21 days to form a new habit, but when you try it out for yourself, you have no problem reverting back to your old ways on Day 22. So what gives? As it turns out, the idea of developing a positive change in 21 days was a misinterpreted quote from Dr. Maxwell Maltz. Maltz actually states it takes a minimum of 21 days to make a permanent change, and it can take much longer depending on the change you are looking to make. Studies now show it takes anywhere from 18-254 days to make a change, with the average person taking about 66 days to establish a new habit.
These numbers might seem daunting, especially if the change you are trying to make is to entirely change career paths. However, with the right tools, you can create a positive change in your future with a new career in IT. Are you ready to make a positive change in your life and join the IT industry? Check out our tips to help set you up for success!
When the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released its ten-year job market projection in September 2021, it forecasted a strong future for IT positions as a result of a growing emphasis on technological advancements, including automation, IT security, e-commerce, and software development. The Bureau re-released its report in February 2021, this time taking the COVID-19 pandemic into consideration. The need for IT jobs jumped even more. Information Security Analysts are now projected to grow 43% through the end of the decade, while Database Administrators are projected to grow 16% and Network and Computer Systems Administrators are expected to grow 14%.
The IT industry offers not only a safe, but a growing market for professionals. But that’s not all IT jobs have to offer. IT job environments are safe, flexible, and often leave room for remote work options. Workers are re-evaluating not only their current work/life balance, but also their health, both mental and physical. In agricultural jobs, heat exposure is killing workers. Teachers are pursuing new opportunities due to low pay, high pressure, and health risks. Health-care workers are leaving their industry in droves due to stress and potential exposure. If you’re thinking about changing up your career path, consider IT, the safe, sustainable, and attainable solution with plenty of opportunities for upward mobility.
It’s Never Too Late to Change Your Career
Changing your career path, especially after you’ve been working for years, seems like an impossible hill to climb. Going back to college (or starting completely from scratch) isn’t always an option — the time and money commitment can be a huge burden. If you have other responsibilities (children, a mortgage, being a caretaker), then a traditional two-year or four-year college isn’t the best fit.
But our workforce is changing — you don’t need to go to college to get a job in IT. You don’t even need prior professional experience to break into this new role. With Centriq, you have the ability to train on essential IT topics. Our curriculum is designed for people with little to no IT experience. It only takes a few months to go from a networking novice to an IT professional ready to take on the IT workforce.
Steps to Transition into IT Career
1. Enroll in IT Training Program
This is the most important step — actually deciding to do it. Centriq not only provides the knowledge you need to start working in IT and committed Technical Instructors that make sure you understand those concepts, but also professional development workshops and job placement assistance with our IT Training Program. We know your goal at the end of our program is to get into a better job, so we are here to help you get that done.
2. Use Marketable Skills from Previous Jobs During Job Acquisition Process
Your previous job experience is a valuable asset during your job application and interview process. Use your prior work to explain why YOU are the best fit for the job (even if you have no professional IT experience). For example, if you worked in an automotive repair shop previously, you could highlight your time management, customer service, and critical thinking skills.
Our Career Services team is here to help make sure you are polished, marketable, and equipped for the job acquisition process. Learn how to decipher job descriptions to get your dream job with our Job Search Training process; make your resume shine with our Resume Strengthening workshop; and finally, knock your potential employer out of the park with our Interview Coaching exercises.
3. Take IT Certifications
IT certifications make you stand out as a go-getter and as an IT expert.
One example is the CompTIA+ certification series. The Network+ certification is one of the many important CompTIA+ certifications to prove you know the ins and outs of networking configuration and management, including designing and implementing functional networks, using devices such as routers to segment network traffic, identifying the pain points of a network, and troubleshooting any network-related issue. Many entry-level IT jobs are focused on networking and IT troubleshooting — completing this exam puts you ahead of the competition and makes you stand out as an IT job candidate.
4. Network on LinkedIn
Networking on LinkedIn is important for getting a job in our world. Make sure you beef up your LinkedIn presence with an attention-grabbing headline, a professional headshot, and by asking for recommendations from previous employers or coworkers. Centriq has plenty of LinkedIn resources and training so you’re not stuck figuring it out for yourself.
Tips for Transitioning to IT Career
In addition, to make a career change, you also need to make SMART goals, power through the rough patches, celebrate all victories, and continue aiming for success.
We know you’re intelligent, but are your goals SMART? Create a goal that is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. Maybe there is a new skill or program you have been meaning to learn that can help further you in your career. It could even be a goal of signing up for a training program to help get you started in a new career path. Following this format of goal setting will help keep you on track with your new path in the world of IT. Your accomplishments will feel that much greater when you can say exactly what it is you have achieved and when you achieved it!
Power Through the Rough Patches
Hardships happen, especially in the world of IT. When you are just starting out in your new career path, there may feel like a lot of roadblocks before you reach your end goal. Don’t let this scare you! Powering through these spots is what helps create a stronger IT professional. With every broken line of code or lost network driver, you are learning more skills that help shape you into the IT Pro you were meant to be. Recognize that this feeling of being stuck is only temporary and you can make it to the finish line, which brings us to…
Celebrate All Victories
Even if you are not yet at your end goal, there are plenty of milestones to celebrate along the way! All your smaller achievements add up to complete the big picture. With each completed link or security wall you enabled, you are putting your talents to work and enforcing your skillset in your new IT career. Recognize the hard work you have put into improving your career and keep pushing yourself to reach your end goal!
Continue Aiming for Success
You made it to the end, congratulations! Take time to celebrate your achievements and keep your positive momentum moving forward by setting your sights on your next goal. Keep striving to complete certifications, start a side hustle, or target a job title that you know you are qualified for. If you can make it to the end of this goal, there is no stopping you and what you can achieve!
Are you ready to make a positive change in your career? Start on the right foot and visit Centriq’s IT Career Program page. We can help you decide what area of IT best matches your skills and get you on the right track for your next career change in only 4 months!