Posted March 24, 2015 by

How to Plan a Career in Information Technology

Concept of IT

Concept of IT. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

So you’ve recently graduated with a degree in information technology. Your options for a degree are endless, regardless of whether you’re interested in web design, IT security, networking or programming. While many graduates attempt to jump head first into an entry level job, a little career planning will go a long way and will help you excel later in life.

The following tips will help guide you down the path to a successful information technology career, regardless of which path you choose to take:

Obtain Specialized Training and Certification

While an IT degree is a major accomplishment that is often a requirement for high paying jobs, certification will put you over the top and give you a leg up on the competition.

There are a variety of certification options to choose from. Each one of the following specialty areas correlate directly with a different IT career path:

  • CompTIA – This is the very basic technical support certification. You’ll learn how to build a computer from scratch, repair hardware components, install software and install basic equipment.
  • CCNA – Also known as the Cisco Certified Network Associate, this is a must-have certification for anyone looking to get into networking. After completing your CompTIA, preparation for this exam. You’ll learn the ins and outs of installing and troubleshooting Cisco networking equipment.
  • MCSA Solutions Associate – The Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate is geared towards professionals who plan on working with a broad range of Microsoft programs. From MySQL database software to servers, network equipment, developing software and more, this is a must-have certification for system specialists.
  • CISSP – This is known as the Certified Information Systems Security Professional certificate, and is a the best stepping stone for anyone looking to get into the IT security field. This course will teach you how to design, develop and maintain an overall systems security plan for an organization. You’ll also learn how to identify threats by using a variety of penetration testing techniques.

Web designers and developers should be very familiar with a variety of ftp programs and obtain certification in every Adobe product.

Skills Needed to Advance in the IT Field

While many people don’t obtain a degree to advance in the information technology field, finishing one will definitely help you learn and practice the skills that many employers look for.

In general, potential IT professionals should have the following skills to succeed in this field:

  • Problem solving – Being able to solve a complex IT problem using critical thinking skills.
  • Familiarity with computers – Potential IT professionals should have extensive experience with using a computer.
  • Dedication – The IT field requires a significant amount of dedication to work. IT professionals often spend hours trying to fix one complex problem, especially when it involves IT security and penetration testing.
  • Attention to detail – This is especially important for programmers who are debugging systems and security specialists who are looking for flaws within a system.

What Type of Companies are Looking for IT Professionals?

The IT field is expected to grow by more than 25 percent over the next decade. A variety of organizations both in the corporate and public sectors are always in need of qualified IT professionals.

Information technology security specialists are often sought out by government agencies and corporations that have extensive networks and systems that need to be protected. Programmers and developers are used to create desktop applications, websites and mobile applications, and provide support as part of a team of IT professionals.

This post comes courtesy of Sense of Security, a leading independent provider of IT security and risk management solutions in Australia.

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