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5 Steps to a Career in Technology

5 Steps to a Career in Technology

June 4, 2018 in IT Career Program / by Hannah Gerstner

Are you considering a career in technology but aren’t sure where to start? Don’t worry— you’ve come to the right place!

We totally understand that working towards a new career path can be scary, but we also know that there are endless reasons why people decide that working in technology is a good fit for them. Not only is the IT industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the country, but it offers some of the most versatile job opportunities, high-paying salaries, and long-lasting job security.

So, if you think you want a career in technology, how do you start?

1) Identify what end-goals matter most to you

There’s nothing worse than leaving one dead-end job for a new job that proves to be just as “ehhhh” as the first. Understanding which career goals matter most to you provides a ton of insight into what career in technology would be the right fit.

Start by thinking about why you are unhappy with your current work situation. Are you not making enough money? Maybe you’re bored to tears by your work or you’re sick of breaking your back in a physically-intensive job. Other reasons people are unhappy at work are an unhealthy work-life balance (long hours and inconvenient shifts are a big component of this), no room for growth, or lack of benefits.

If any of these factors sound familiar, you’re on the right track by considering a career in technology! Tech companies are renowned for their over-the-top perks, super competitive salaries, and fabulous workspaces.

2) research the required commitment

Whether you’re a commitment-phobe or a long-term relationship kinda person, a budget-friendly shopper or treat yoself-er, there are options for everyone interested in IT training.

The most conventional way to receive a background in technology is a four-year degree in Computer Science or other related fields. But let’s be honest—who has an extra $80,000 laying around for a four-year degree, especially when the IT community has openly noted that a degree is not required for a successful career in IT? Further, why waste four years in college when you could be jumping into a new IT career much, much quicker? Ain’t nobody got time for that!

Next, there are online and coding boot camps that have popped up all over the digital landscape. They provide lower-cost programs for those interested in learning how to code. The downside? The online programs lack the personal mentoring component, and most boot camps require that their students already know a thing or two about coding. Some even require an online prep course prior to the boot camp. Plus, coding makes up for only one of the two main technology disciplines. 

Finally, there are IT training programs, like Centriq Training that provide an awesome middle-ground. They cost a fraction of the price of a four-year degree and cut out all the “old school” lectures and general education courses by focusing on what really matters: training the technology skills that you’ll need for a new career in IT. These programs are accelerated, too— many IT training schools get you the qualifications in just four months.

3) FIND THE RIGHT LEARNING ENVIRONMENT

Many people find comfort in the big lecture halls that traditional colleges offer, and that’s okay! If that’s not really your thing, though, finding the right learning environment is a big component of deciding where to receive your technology training.

Like we mentioned before, many coding boot camps are totally online. This method is super-convenient for people with a busy schedule, and it’s great for visual learners. However, it makes personal mentoring opportunities hard to obtain, and there’s no hands-on training for the kinesthetic learners (or doers) out there. Other boot camps trade off live instructor time for more self-study projects or interactive group exercises. If you’re the kind of person who needs a more structured learning environment, this option might not be a good fit… and hey, we get it. When there’s a fridge full of beer and a new Netflix special just five feet away, it’s easy to be distracted!

IT training schools provide a different approach to learning, like hands-on training in an intimate setting with a small student-to-teacher ratio. This setting supports everyone, whether you’re a visual, auditory or kinesthetic learner through interactive projects and exercises. In most cases, teachers explain and discuss the technology, demonstrate the lesson or skillset, then have students practice independently or with a group.  Once concepts are mastered, students are given challenges that simulate technology in real workplace experiences.

4) LEARN WHAT SUPPORT YOU’LL HAVE ALONG THE WAY

One of the scariest things about changing careers is wondering if you’ll have support along the way. If a career in technology seems like a foreign concept for you, knowing what resources you have access to is a huge deal!

One of the many benefits to an in-person training method— whether it’s a college program or IT training school— is that face-to-face interaction is a viable option! Most programs offer continuing support throughout your experience, including help with schedule issues, learning-styles, mentoring sessions and customized study tips.

5) Figure out how your newly obtained IT skills will get you that dream job

Snagging an awesome new job is the reason we’re all here, so it’s important that you’re confident the training you received prepared you for the next step in your professional career. Before you decide where to learn your skills, it’s crucial that you make sure you’ll be provided with the tools to excel in the workforce, not just in the program. Most IT training schools make sure that the technology they teach is modern and up-to-date so that you’re learning the skills that employers are looking for.

It’s also important that the college, boot camp or training school you decided on assists you in finding that perfect job. Oftentimes, universities and boot camps leave you hanging once you’ve completed their program. Not cool. However, IT training schools are known for their career placement success, because their job is to get you a job.

Pro tip: before enrolling, ask to see the program’s career placement rates and a list of the companies that have hired their students.

Are you ready for a new career in technology?

While there are tons and tons of programs to look into based on your location, Centriq Training is the most prominent IT training school in the Midwest! If you have any questions about a career in technology (or to check up on Centriq’s placement rates since you paied attention to our Pro-Tip), give Russ Mondry, Centriq’s Sr. Education Consultant, a call at (913) 322-7044. Or, just fill out the form below!