Moving to a Career in IT: How to Get Started
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve likely heard that the global workforce has entered a period of massive change. This shift – often referred to as ‘The 4th Industrial Revolution’ – is being driven by rapid advancements in artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies that are projected to eliminate more than 75 million jobs by 2022.
The brunt of these emerging technologies include a transition away from the human-operated machines of the past to autonomous technology that’s able to collect data, learn, and improve on their own, in real time.
The net effect of this growth is expected to hit workers in the manufacturing sector particularly hard, but many would be surprised that it extends all the way up to the current IT workforce. In fact, experts predict that most of the simple code being written today will likely be driven by AI-based platforms in less than twenty years.
As scary as this may sound to some, it’s also rife with opportunities for those considering a career change to IT or even those already in the field who want to stay relevant. It means that the need for experts in machine learning, artificial intelligence, data science, IoT, etc.. are in huge demand right now and will likely stay that way for decades.
Not only do these IT fields come with high salaries and great benefits, but they are also ranked among the fastest growing segments and have the lowest unemployment rates. It is estimated that there are around 144,000 AI-related job openings in the United States but only about 26,000 specialists and developers seeking work.
With the massive shortage of talent in these fields, now is the time for you to acquire the requisite skills and certifications that will enable you to make a successful career shift to IT.
How to Get Started
Oftentimes, the best way to make a career change to tech is via a gradual transition. You should first identify an IT segment that appeals to you (one that has the best compensation and opportunity for growth) and check out the training and certification courses you need to acquire the requisite skills.
Gone are the days when you had to have a four-year degree before you could apply for an IT position. Attending a boot camp or going through online courses for a few months to get the required certification is all you need to make a career shift into IT.
You don’t even have to quit your job. Many online courses provide students with a flexible instruction structure that enables them to learn in their spare time while keeping their original jobs.
Scared of coding? You shouldn’t be. Being a successful technologist isn’t all about your programming skills, though it does certainly help. Several career tracks in IT require little or no coding expertise. Take your time to review the myriad of choices out there, you may be surprised that you already possess some of the skills to land at least a junior-level tech position.
Making a career shift within IT
If you’re already an IT technologist but thinking of changing your specialty, you may be surprised to find that it can be nearly as difficult as making a career change to another industry. While expertise in one IT segment may be applicable in others, the rapid evolution of emergent and disruptive technologies means that tech skills that were relevant five years ago have become obsolete today. As such, changing IT career tracks can be a hassle.
Techies with years of experience in technical support, software development, network administration, systems engineering, etc. often find that switching to a career in cybersecurity, AI, IoT or other emergent technologies isn’t a walk in the park. Though certain areas may overlap, they need totally different skillsets, mindset, approach to problem solving and technical knowhow to get into such segments.
Such individuals should also take the requisite training and certification courses in their spare time rather than quitting. Some companies are willing to help you switch careers internally and may even sponsor training and certification.
It’s never too late
One of the things that may hold you back from an IT career is the myth that technology is the playground of the young. Not only are you doing yourself a huge disservice, but companies also suffer a lack of age diversity as a result of this belief. Your maturity and wide range of perspective and experience can actually be an advantage — so don’t be intimidated into believing the stereotype surrounding the world of tech.
Initiating Your IT Career Change
To successfully switch careers within or into IT, you need to be open-minded, flexible and love learning. In truth, you must become a lifelong learner to keep up with the rapid changes and advancements in IT. Most importantly, you should have the right partner to help you take this leap of faith into the unknown.
While acclimatizing to new concepts and acquiring new skill sets in machine learning, artificial learning, data science, and other similar fields can seem daunting, SkillUp Online has got you covered.
To help prepare the next generation of technologists, SkillUp Online provides an ideal learning platform for professionals looking to make a career switch into IT. Using our online resources, you can acquire the knowledge and skills to become proficient in the most in-demand technology skills like Artificial Intelligence, Data Science, DevOps, Cloud & many more.
No matter your background, age or level of IT experience, all you need to remember is that it’s never too late to make a career change! Learn more about how SkillUp Online can help make your dream of an IT career come true.
CEO, SkillUp Group