IT careers are in demand – if they are in the right niches. And if you want a career in the IT field, then there are several things you need to do while you are still in college. These things will guarantee that you are marketable after college.
Do Your Research
IT is a vast field and rising rapidly. And demand for the particular field within IT is really varied. You want to do research the projections for demand for web designers, web developers, data science, etc., and choose an area of specialization that will be in demand. You will discover that you have lots of career options within the field. Choose one that you have a special interest in.
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Depending on what field you select, choose your career development course carefully. If you cannot get a course on campus, get online and enroll in it there. You want a broad spectrum of coursework that will fit with the specialty career you have chosen. It means adding courses from wherever you can find them. Some you may find through MOOCs, and they are free.
Get those Certifications
The coursework is excellent, but make sure that you can get certifications in as many languages as possible. Again, online certification courses are a great option. Even if you don’t get a position with an existing company in your early life after college, you will have lots of marketable skills to freelance.
As you become proficient in areas of IT, market yourself as a freelancer. Pick up gigs on some of the freelance websites and start a portfolio with your work. It can be something that arranges you apart from the competition when you present application materials for an opening.
Open Source Contributions
There is a plenty of open source software out there. Join a couple of communities, start discussions, get yourself known, participate in some projects, and establish your reputation. It is great stuff to add to your resume.
Take Some English Composition Courses
While you may not realize it now, most IT career positions out there will require solid writing skills. You have to be ready to communicate in writing with others, and you need to be able to do it well. If you know your writing skills are not what they should be, then get some help from an essay writing service. You can acquire a lot from the good writing of others.
Create Your Own Projects
Develop an app; create a piece of cool software. Even if you don’t make any money, you will have these as part of your own portfolio when you do go after that IT career.
Think About Your Options for What to Do After College
Do you need to work for an established employer? Do you want to start your own IT consulting company? Do you just want to freelance? If you choose to become an entrepreneur, you can actually start in college, just to try it out. If you decide entrepreneurship is not for you, at least you know that before you graduate.
Attend Job Fairs/Join LinkedIn
Even if you are not ready to get your paperwork out there yet, there are good group sessions at most on-campus job fairs. Go and listen to IT recruiters and pick up useful information about what they are looking for and what companies are expanding and will be good employment prospects.
LinkedIn is still a great place to network. Join discussion groups of fellow IT pros. Write a few blog posts for publication on the site. Get yourself known.
Start Your Resume Early
Start researching typical IT career resumes. See how they are constructed. Begin to develop your own by the time you are a junior. Keep adding to it and refining it as you complete coursework and add more projects to your portfolio. Your portfolio should become a part of your website. You can link to that website in your resume and give potential employers a larger “picture” of who you are. It’s called personal branding, and it’s important.
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