How To Jumpstart Your IT Career In 2016

It’s been said a thousand times before, but it’s worth saying again – there’s never been a better time to pursue a career in information technology. As the world’s reliance on web-based services increases, so too does the world’s need for people to build and maintain every aspect of those services and our connections to them.

Think of the Internet as a vast, sprawling metropolis. The city needs people to build buildings, of course, but it also needs people to maintain the roads, the electrical grids and the transportation systems. It needs people to create and manufacture innovative new technologies to improve the lives of its citizens, and it needs heroes to protect the populace from those with malicious intent.

The best part? The city is paying all of these workers extremely well to do the jobs that it needs them to do. Add to that a huge demand that allows them to work in virtually any industry and any geographic region they choose, and you’ve got what some might call a utopia.

How To Jumpstart Your IT Career In 2016

So, how do you get there?

Relevant Degree is Your Ticket to IT

Many people have spent their entire lives toying with technology, but even if you’ve grown up with a keyboard in your hands, employers are still looking for credentials that back up your experience. No matter how extensive your experience, training for some sort of IT certification or a degree can impart the sorts of specialized knowledge that will make you stand out from the crowd.

You need a two- or four-year degree in computer science to earn these credentials. A computer science degree will demonstrate a solid knowledge of computing foundations.

How To Obtain Your Degree?

Degrees come in various types and flavors. Some are more generalized and demonstrate your knowledge of things like networks and database servers.

For example, obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology shows employers that you have a solid grasp of computing fundamentals. It’s a solid degree to have on your resume, especially when it’s combined with brand-specific designations like certificates offered by Cisco, Microsoft and many others.

Where degrees and certifications show that you have a solid foundation in the field, vendor-specific certifications show that you’re well versed in the installation and maintenance of the unique equipment and software used by a potential employer.

Movin’ on Up

While there are some very popular and potentially lucrative standalone certifications that, while they may have prerequisites, are not a part of a larger certification system, many certifications lie on paths leading to specializations. As you work your way up the ladder, the knowledge and experience requirements become more difficult, but the salaries they can command increase as well.

Learning is Key

Certifications and more importantly college degrees are earned by passing extremely difficult examinations. These examinations include the types of written test questions that you took in school, but they also often include simulations of real-world situations. They require weeks – even months – of study and practice, and while they’re decidedly worthwhile investments, they can cost a bit of money as well.

While it’s possible to study for these exams on your own – there are many online college forums that now offer help in studying for their exams, but there’s simply no replacement for the training that’s provided by experienced educators whose job it is to keep up with the latest information about the tests you’re about to take on.

Better still, the colleges even offer career services to their students upon completion of their studies. Not only can they help you pass your exams with flying colors, but they can also offer invaluable resources and connections that can turn your degrees into full-fledged careers.

With the world of IT expanding at such a rapid pace, jobs are guaranteed to remain plentiful through the 2020s and beyond. Whether you want to help maintain the database records in your local hospital or help to develop the next generation of computer gaming, there’s no limit to the things you can do in the world of information technology.

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