Steps to a Rewarding Tech Career – Are you aiming for a career in the technology field but don’t know where to start? If so, you’re like thousands of other recent high-school grads and mid-career adults who are looking to get into a fast-growing job market. Technology is the most lucrative of all the major career areas right now. Much of that popularity has to do with the age in which we live. Computers now play a central role in just about every conceivable niche of the world’s economy. What does it take to start out on the right foot? Here’s a five-step program that can bring good results.
Have a Plan
Having a plan is not the same as having a dream. Dreams are wonderful, but if you want to build a rewarding career in technology, it’s vital to have a written plan. Be as detailed as possible by listing your preferred courses, major area of study, possible summer jobs, special projects, your first post-graduation job target, salary goals, and more.
Get the Right Degree
Getting and paying for a college degree is the core component of a technology career. Most candidates like to get the financial situation taken care of before they begin their studies. That’s wise because it frees them up to focus on coursework and not worry about whether the next semester is paid for or not. The good news is that it’s easy to obtain a student loan from a private lender at competitive rates. The proceeds can cover all school-related expenses, like tuition, books, room, board, activity fees, labs, etc. Dealing with costs up front is the smartest way to continue education without financial worries, even if you want to pursue a master’s degree in your chosen field.
Even if you’re immersed in a degree program full-time, it’s a good idea to teach yourself some simple IT-related skills, like coding and basic programming. The beauty of this approach is that there are hundreds of online courses you can take at your own pace. An excellent way to build sharp IT skills is to work on a company’s help desk as a volunteer or paid employee. The jobs are relatively easy to come by, pay decent wages, and offer on-the-job training. Having the words help desk on your résumé can be a magic ingredient when it comes time to apply for jobs.
Take on an Internship
While any relevant experience can help open doors, but an internship does two things at once. First, it gives you related, field-relevant experience. Second, it puts you on the map of the company for which you intern. College placement officers will be happy to tell you that many summer internships turn into full-time, after-graduation jobs. This is an ideal way to short-circuit the interviewing process.
Find a Mentor
There’s a misconception about mentors. They’re not just for new hires and graduates. You should search for one as soon as you decide to proceed with a tech career. Ask counselors for recommendations. A competent mentor can advise you about course selection, job apps, and much more.
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