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The economy of digital technology holds an approximately $11.5 trillion value on a global scale, making jobs in IT some of the most vital in the industry. Succeeding in an IT career means continuous improvement in order to keep your skills relevant as the industry grows. The following tips will help you take your IT career to the next level.
Assess Your Interests
The IT industry is your oyster and there is no shortage of jobs. Consider what you'd like to experience and what niches you want to work within. While one IT professional may want to start a private company, another may seek government defense contracts.
Cybersecurity, databases, machine learning, artificial intelligence and transaction processing are just a few of the specialties IT professionals lean toward. Start by figuring out what you like to do most and let it guide your career path.
Determine What Certifications You'll Need
Keeping your IT certifications up to date is essential to staying competitive in the job landscape, and there are countless certifications you can test for. Think about the job path you're moving toward and find the certifications that will get you there.
Certifications like AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner, Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) and Project Management Professional (PMP) are both helpful to the industry and lucrative to professionals in the field.
These types of certifications can open you up to jobs that pay in the $130,000–$150,000 range. A resume strong with certifications puts you in higher demand for many jobs.
Consider Different Geographical Areas
Raleigh, Denver, San Jose and many other U.S. cities are emerging hot spots in the tech world, making them prime areas to scope out if you're looking for an IT job that will improve your career.
When scoping out these cities, it’s important to consider the cost of living as well as the salary you'll earn by taking a position there. Also, think about whether you want to grow within a specific company for the long term or use the position to springboard you to a future job.
Continue Your Education Every Year
IT is constantly changing and won't slow down anytime soon. The current climate has more people than ever working remotely, which means IT professionals are needed more than ever, too.
Additionally, with the industry moving heavily toward artificial intelligence and machine learning, more companies are investing in these technologies, which means the demand for IT professionals experienced in them will increase as well.
Continuing your education every year keeps you up to date with current practices and norms, overall making you more valuable as a professional.
Subscribe to Job Databases
Bolstering your resume and credentials are critical, but you also need to make yourself visible on the job market. Subscribing to job databases that cater to IT companies and candidates is a great way to do so. Further, posting to paid databases can help cut out the competition and ensure that you're only applying to serious and vetted companies.
Keep your profile updated and active, and always refresh your resume whenever you accomplish something major in your career.
Brand Yourself and Build A Portfolio
Focus on establishing your brand as an individual, and the jobs will come.
Today, every professional should have their own website and social media profiles. Put out your own content related to your specialty and/or share content from reputable thought leaders in the industry (with permission/credit), and start building your following and personal portfolio. This can bring free networking opportunities and keep you in the loop with everything happening in the industry.
A professional who is visible and showcasing their portfolio will likely be chosen over a candidate who simply submits a resume alone.
Your content will show your love and proficiency for the work that you do, and will help you gain the traction you need to climb your career ladder.
Perform Well at Each Job You Take — Every Day
Never shortchange a single day on the job. Taking pride in the work you do will only help you improve as a professional.
What's more, quality work builds a strong reputation that can garner you several references and recommendations. Likewise, poor and inconsistent work can make the job trail run cold more than anything else. The technology world may be expansive, but people have connections all over the place — and word can travel fast (both positive and negative).
Think of every job you take as an interview for the next one. Prove yourself worthy and to be an asset to the company's culture and success in the work you do. Flexibility, adaptability and working well with others helps in landing job interviews and new positions.
Understand the Current State of the IT Industry
Make certain that you're always aware of what's happening in the IT field by subscribing to vetted, informative industry publications and attending IT functions that help you learn new trends and network with people across the world.
This industry provides job opportunities all over the planet, so start thinking of yourself as a global professional and stay up to date with the happenings of the entire IT field.
Take Ownership of Your IT Career
Going into IT can help you enjoy what you do while also earning a good salary. But quality training is foundational to your success in IT. ExitCertified offers over 9,500 online and in-person instructor-led training courses at all levels, with tailored training options available for individuals, groups, corporate teams and government institutions.
Learn more about the IT training opportunities available to professionals just like you who are climbing the career ladder.