How To Prepare For and Advance Your IT Career: 5 Pro Tips

Inside: Advance your IT career with actionable tips in this guest post from Cody McBride.

Congratulations! You’ve figured out that a career in IT is the right fit for your passions and interests.

Now that you know where to focus your energies, it’s time to prepare for your position in the technology sector by cultivating your education and utilizing a variety of career resources to advance your prospects.

To help you get started on the right foot, check out the following tips to help you advance your IT career.

5 Tips to Advance Your IT Career

four women at a computer

1. Earn an Online Degree

According to NPR, it’s easier than ever to successfully participate in an online education program to earn a bachelor’s or master’s degree. The important thing is to understand how you learn best, schedule your time thoughtfully, avoid the many rabbit holes of the internet, and be sure to make some personal connections that support your educational pursuits.

As you explore schools and programs, consider which aspect of computer science and IT feels like the right fit for you. Some specialization options include cybersecurity, data analytics and IT management. The right specialization and school can boost your job prospects and equate to a more robust salary.

Whatever program you choose, investigate whether it fully prepares students to start their careers as soon as they graduate. Another benefit of learning online is you can earn your degree at your own pace, allowing you to work and go to school simultaneously if you desire.

2. Learn Essential Soft Skills

Per IT Business Edge, possessing the proper soft skills is essential for a successful career in computer science or IT. Some of the most essential soft skills for this industry include:

Look for opportunities to learn and refine these skills in your current role and volunteer opportunities.

Read: Transferable Skills from Parenthood that Boost Your Career

3. Look for Opportunities To Network

You may not like networking, but it can be a great way to make industry connections, meet new friends, and discover new opportunities.

The old-school networking method of going to cocktail hours or luncheons may suit you just fine, or you may prefer a less-traditional approach. If so, seek special online groups and networks for people in the computer science and IT industries. Local events, hackathons and alumni communities can become informal networking opportunities you find less stressful.

You can also effectively network 1 on 1. Check out the Complete Networking Toolkit to get started.

4. Work with a Career Coach to Develop Your Plan

While you may have several job prospects after earning your degree, only you can decide what a great career looks like. That’s why you need to sit down and create a career advancement plan.

For instance, what kind of experience do you need to have the career you desire? Rather than an office, maybe you like the sound of working as a remote tech worker. Do you want to manage a team or be an independent contributor?

That’s where working with a career coach can help set you up for success.

It’s not all about drafting a stellar resume, completing an eye-catching cover letter, networking, or sourcing the right job openings (though those are important pieces!) A career coach can help you figure out what you really want and then get a jumpstart on your ultimate career goals.

5. Volunteer for Work Projects

Within your current job or in a new IT role, look for chances to volunteer for different projects at work. By raising your hand to join taskforces or initiatives, you not only show yourself to be a team player and asset to the company, but you also gain a chance to learn new skills and knowledge.

Volunteering can also serve as a valuable networking opportunity. When deciding which projects to volunteer for, focus on not stretching yourself too thin or leaving your regular job duties unattended.

Go Build an IT Career You Love

Keep the above tips in mind to advance your IT career and stay tuned at With Love, Becca for more career advice and information handpicked to help you succeed.

Going into computer science or IT may be the best decision you ever made!

Read More Career Advice:

Networking Tips for Introverts

Take Your Resume from “Meh” to “We Need to Meet Her!”

How to Write a Stand Out Cover Letter

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