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Should You Make a Career Change into Tech?

Even though there is someone who has made a fortune in almost any industry, not every line of work offers the same prospects for potential advancement, growth and prosperity. Because of this, at one point in their lives, most people come to regret not choosing a different career path. As of late, the IT industry is getting larger by the hour and seems like the promised land for people who have any training or experience in it. However, you may be wondering if it’s possible to make a career change into tech even if you don’t have any previous background in similar fields? Let’s find out!

Advantages of Shifting to IT

Before we even start discussing the idea of switching into tech, we first need to consider motives one might have for making this decision in the first place. For starters, there is a high demand for IT jobs, which means that you shouldn’t have any problems finding the work you’re looking for. In fact, the unemployment rates for top 10 jobs in IT are currently less than 3 percent. According to a U.S. News article the top 10 IT jobs are:

  1. Computer Systems Analyst
  2. Software Developer
  3. IT Manager
  4. Web Developer
  5. Computer Network Architect
  6. Database Administrator
  7. Information Security Analyst
  8. Computer Support Specialist
  9. Computer Systems Administrator
  10. Computer Programmer

The median salary of these jobs goes between $65,000 and $130,000, which makes it more than worth your while. Many of these positions are higher level (i.e. management level) positions so you probably won’t start at this level but the opportunity to progress is there.

One last thing, keep in mind that in the age of the Internet, any skill you learn this way might improve your proficiency at your current job, as well. In other words, you are facing a win-win scenario either way.

Gaining Technical Skills

The first thing you should do before setting out on this path is acquire some necessary technical skills. For instance, those wanting to dabble in web development might want to start by learning to create a WordPress site this is not that much different from using a simple word processor like Microsoft Word. WordPress is a “Content Management System” (CMS) that makes it very easy to create websites. According to a survey by W3Techs approximately 48% of all websites use a CMS to create their sites and of those that do use a CMS 59.2% use WordPress. The next highest usage is Joomla with only a 6.9% market share, so it certainly pays to know WordPress first.

Once you understand the basics you can move on to learning HTML, CSS, JavaScript and even jQuery. While this may seem as something that takes an incredible amount of time, it doesn’t have to be so. You see, there is always an option of freeing your schedule and embarking on an intensive course where you can learn the basics in no more than 12 weeks. Sure, three months are far from short time-span, but when compared to how long it would take you to acquire these skills through traditional methods of education, it is more than acceptable.

If you want to succeed in the IT field it isn’t even necessary to get a college education all that is necessary is to obtain a Microsoft (or other Manufacturer’s) Certification. IT employers don’t care if you took English Literature as long as you know your field of computers.  See: 45 Ways You Can Find Success Without a Degree for more info.

Learning The Ropes

Aside from just dedicating yourself to learning how to make a website, you should also learn a bit more about the secrets of the industry. We are talking about learning the best way to develop your portfolio and learning how the Internet works in general. Aside from this, you also want to get as informed as you can about things such as different forms of network, the cloud and similar concepts.

If you are interested in Web Design, mastering the basics of graphic design might be a good idea as well, especially if you’re interested in marketing. Working on promotional merchandise may be the first step, you can later get interested in frontend development and build your career from there.

The Drawbacks

Finally, not all is milk and honey here either and there are some drawbacks of working in IT as well. Most of them are related to long working hours. Even worse, seeing how most of the time you will be working in a virtual environment, which isn’t tied to a physical location, people will often disregard your need for personal time and contact you at strange hours.
Additionally, the work is mostly deadline driven, which means that those who have a hard time organizing their schedule might find it incredibly difficult to meet it. Finally, there is a great misconception about the responsibilities of an actual IT expert and even if your field of expertise is not computer hardware, friends and family may expect you to fix their computer or phone, or resolve their connection issues.

Conclusion

As you can see, switching your career to something more lucrative and tech-oriented isn’t nearly as impossible as you may have been led to believe. However, this type of work is not for everyone and you need to be aware of what you are getting yourself into. Still, provided that you are set and determined to pursue this dream, there is nothing that could stand in your way for long. One final thing, no matter how hard the initial training may seem, it will become easier in time, so don’t give up.

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