Your Step-by-Step Guide to Recession-Proof Your IT Career
In times of uncertainty, everyone wants to feel prepared, but there's only so much in our control during a recession. One important element you can control is being proactive when it comes to your career to ensure your skills are always in demand, even during an economic crisis.
Unfortunately, no job itself is entirely recession-proof, but certain fields — such as IT — grow and evolve, allowing for easier adaptation and movement within the field. The growth of and reliance on technology means the IT job outlook is promising now and will continue to be long into the future.
Whether you're looking to join the IT industry or are already in the field, you can use this step-by-step guide to help recession-proof your IT career.
Step 1: Uncover Hidden Job Markets
To reiterate, no job or industry is completely recession-proof, but some industries will prove more resistant to recessions. For example, the healthcare industry is a necessity, as we will always need healthcare workers to treat patients. Another example is the finance industry, because managing finances is very important, especially during a recession. And IT plays an important role in both of these industries.
Keep these examples in mind (and consider others) as you begin or continue your IT training. Research industries that are likely to prove more resistant to economic effects, and look up IT jobs within those industries. Studying the required qualifications and role responsibilities on IT job postings can help you identify the skills those industries want. Focus on learning and developing these skills to improve your chances of landing a job in those industries.
Going back to healthcare, the industry has been slower to adapt to new technology than others, but there's been a boom in telehealth in 2020. Now, many healthcare companies and facilities need technicians who can help them build and expand telehealth network infrastructure. If healthcare isn't right for you, consider other job markets where hidden IT opportunities may exist.
Step 2: Develop Your Personal Brand and Build Your Network
Just like any other field, building your brand and extending your network are musts to nurture a healthy IT career. You can find a variety of advice online about building your brand and network, but it doesn't necessarily need to become a part-time “job” that takes up all your free time (unless you want it to, of course).
To start, set up a profile on LinkedIn and Twitter. Fill out all the profile information as best you can to make sure it reflects your skills and experience. Professionals in the IT field tend to spend the most time on these two platforms, but it wouldn't hurt to make a profile on other social media sites, like Reddit. This can help you stay in the know about big news and events in the industry.
Once you're set up, make an effort to post regularly, (at least once a week), and share interesting tech-related stories to show you're engaged in the space. Follow other IT professionals and leaders who do the same, and don't hesitate to reach out and converse with them. This will help you build your network. And when you land a job, make sure to connect with your new colleagues to continue growing your network. The larger your network and the richer the connections, the better your chances of landing a job through a peer or colleague who thinks highly of you.
As a general “rule” for using social media to build your brand and network, remain professional at all times. Stay positive, yet genuine and constructive, and try to avoid criticizing companies you may have an opportunity to work down the line. These simple steps can help you build your unique voice and expand your network in the industry.
Step 3: Invest in Yourself Through Skills Development
After researching industries and building a professional social media presence, the next best step to start or advance your career in IT is by taking online courses or getting certified. Demonstrating your dedication to and knowledge of the IT industry through training and certification can help you get your foot in the door for numerous job opportunities. You can start small, too, and build your IT career path over time.
When it comes to IT certifications, begin with a basic certification that builds a foundation of IT skills that every IT job needs. This way, you can learn best practices in hardware, security, mobile devices and more, and then specialize further from there.
If you already have a basic certification, then you can take additional certification courses to hone your skills in a certain area. For example, the cloud sector has seen incredible growth lately, so if you see opportunities in this area, consider cloud training — like an AWS Certification course — to gain expertise in the technology. Or, if you love the nuts and bolts of technology, then a course in networking, hardware or infrastructure configuration may be more up your alley.
Look for training options that best suit your needs — whether that means online or in person — and pick an IT area that interests you most. An investment in training is an investment in yourself, and it will help you adapt to changing economic climates.
Take a look at some of the most in-demand IT careers in the market today:
This list further illustrates the importance of building your skillset. Information security, for example, is growing more complex by the day, and the industry needs qualified professionals to manage it. Search for courses and certifications that will help you land high-demand job roles while also expanding your skills.
Evolve Your IT Career for Continued Success
By choosing training that propels you along your IT career path, you're investing in your future. You may start small, but continuing your learning can prove to be very fruitful opportunity-wise. Focus on improving and honing your skills, and don't be afraid to evolve — consider different job roles and industries, and challenge yourself to reach new heights. You can accomplish long-term success by applying yourself and staying proactive.
To continue your professional development and recession-proof your career, learn more about the IT training courses available from award-winning training provider, ExitCertified.