Southern Academy of Business and Technology(SABT)

10 Things International Students Should Know Before starting your career in Information Technology

So, you are thinking of starting your career in Information Technology but are not sure how to get started?  

Well, there are two broad fields you can consider i.e., developing products or providing services. Both of the areas typically require a different mindset and great workplace goals. 

Many people believe that the field of IT belongs to programmers or customer service agents. You’ll be relieved to learn that this is only the tip of the iceberg! Everyone has a place in IT. 

  • Do you get tired of staring at a computer all day? Do you enjoy being around people? As an account manager or sales representative, you may excel at dealing with clients face-to-face. 
  • Do you enjoy working on detailed projects but not programming? Think about becoming a project manager or a business analyst. 
  • If math isn’t your thing, how about art? You may make a good living as a designer or a UX (user experience) professional. 

A career in information technology is a fantastic choice not only because of the great job opportunities it provides, but also because it is an interesting and dynamic field. 

In today’s globalized world, where technology has become an essential part of our daily lives, there is an increasing demand for employees with information technology (IT) skills. To increase your chances of getting a job in IT, make sure you have the necessary skills to make an impression on potential employers. 

And to do so, you must first learn basic IT skills, which you may then build on and specialize in. 


What is Information Technology? 

Using computer systems or other electronic devices to retrieve information is known as information technology (IT). Information technology supports so many aspects of our everyday lives, including our workforce, company processes, and personal access to information. It has a significant impact on all aspects of our daily life, including information storage, retrieval, access, and manipulation. 

Everyone, from large corporations to small, one-person and local businesses, uses information technology. It’s used by multinational corporations to manage data and innovate their processes. Even flea market vendors use credit card readers on their smartphones to take payments, while street entertainers advertise their Venmo names to gather donations.

If you use a spreadsheet to keep track of the Christmas gifts you bought then you are using information technology. 


Different Information Technology Career Paths 

Depending on your area(s) of interest, you can pursue a wide range of information technology employment. And here are some examples of information technology careers that you can pursue include the following: 


  •  Mobile Application Developer 

Mobile app developers produce new products or modify current ones for use on tablets and phones. While mobile devices continue to influence many aspects of our lives, from commercial to personal, the demand for new and innovative applications is increasing. Mobile application developers offer services ranging from shopping to gaming, security to banking transactions, and health to music listening. 

This revolutionary medium has been embraced by video game companies, marketing and advertising businesses, corporate organizations, clients, and programmers making mobile application developers one of the fastest expanding and lucrative IT career fields. 


  • Database Administrator 

Database administration covers the work involved in the installation, setup, and security of database systems, as well as ensuring that corporate data is accurate, usable, and safe. DBAs can also be in charge of arranging and effectively storing a company’s information. They are qualified individuals who set up and manage network databases, as well as maintain and backup them on a regular basis. 

Database administrators can work in any company that has a data-intensive task as it has a wide range of work areas. Internet service providers, data processing corporations, health and insurance companies, e-commerce enterprises, banks, and government institutions are among them.

Furthermore, businesses that look after and serve the data business of many small businesses also require database administrators. In the upcoming days data security will become even more essential and complex, hence the increase in the demand for database managers exponentially. 


  • Web Developer 

Web developers are in charge of developing websites and web-based apps, and they employ programming languages to produce online software that fulfills client requirements. A developer may work with multiple programming languages and operating systems.

Web Development is the industry’s most in-demand field of software development. You can become a web developer if you are interested in programming languages and wish to study at least one of them. 


  • IT Manager 

In today’s world, technologies like computers and IT management play a vital role. IT managers plan, direct, and support information technology initiatives. These employees define a company’s short and long-term technology demands and goals.

They make certain that their team or department functions successfully, efficiently, and in accordance with organizational goals. IT managers are in charge of ensuring that organizational information technology policies, processes, and also best practices get the job done efficiently. 


  • Software Engineer 

With computers now in every aspect of our lives, software engineering, which deals with producing application and system software that will facilitate people’s work in life, such as code development, programming, and operating systems, has become one of the most significant professions of our day.

Software engineers understand programming languages, software development, and computer operating systems in depth. Software engineering is currently one of the most invested fields of industry due to increasing industries and the necessity for technological solutions. 


  • Cloud Engineer  

Cloud computing is a term that has been talked about a lot in recent years. Cloud computing refers to Internet-based server, storage, database, network, software, analytic, and other information processing services.

Cloud engineers will ensure that all digital data, apps, and services are securely stored and always ready for use on a virtual server. Thanks to the development of cloud computing technologies, it has enabled the storage and accessibility of large amounts of data on the Internet. This technique, which offers significant cost and labor savings to businesses, has come to be chosen by both small and large businesses. 


Things you should know before starting your Career in Information Technology 

Whether you are a student pursuing an information technology degree or a working professional, finding a career in information technology may be a top concern for you. And, here are ten tips to help you confidently begin your new IT profession. 


  • Understand the Different Job Categories

The field of information technology is huge. There are so many opportunities in corporate network administration, healthcare information technology, government, and other fields.

The problem is, computers now run practically everything in industry and the social network, and companies need qualified humans to manage the machines. 

This implies that you can specialize in a similar kind of field. You can choose not just the arena in which you work, but also the type of position you have within that area.

For example, you could administer a hospital billing system or deal with patient electronic health data in healthcare. Because of different job requirements, knowing where and how you want to work is essential for preparing for your career and for finding work. 


  • Find out what interests you the most

Consider your hobbies and whether they connect with your intended IT job. Do you want to use your computer for more than just work or web browsing, for example? If computer gaming is your primary interest, you could pursue a job in game testing, game development, or gaming customer service. 


  • Does it suit you?

Finding a good fit involves more than just matching your hobbies to the job. Because a profession shift is a life-changing event, it is important to thoroughly consider it.

Find out what your new IT job includes and whether your history, abilities, and interests are a good fit. Learn everything you can about IT employment possibilities, pay estimations, required skills, work-life balance, and so on. 

Have a conversation with others in the field, gather information on the advantages and negatives, but keep in mind that you must then weigh the information against your specific professional goals and needs.

Essentially, you need to determine whether this potential employment will complement or provide you with the lifestyle you desire. 


  • Ensure that you have the necessary training

If you are still in school then start taking classes in the field of information technology where you wish to work. For example, if you want to work in healthcare information technology, you need to be familiar with the language and systems utilized in that industry.  

If you are currently employed, you can take online or on-campus courses while working. Attending various meetings of information technology organizations to gain a sense of how corporate systems are set up and to network with people currently working in the industry. 


  • Career and Business Goals

Explore the industry as well. This includes knowing the main decision makers and firms in the field. Decide the companies you want to work with. Find out which problems or challenges are most pressing for these industries or companies, then determine whether you have the necessary knowledge, abilities, and expertise to address these problems or give potential solutions. 

Before starting a new job, it’s important to understand your prospective employer’s goals and whether they correspond with your own (both long- and short-term). 


  • Connect with the right people

Many IT professionals enjoy advising, assisting, or mentoring others. If you have someone in your personal or professional network who knows such people, ask for an introduction or reach out to them.

Don’t be afraid to ask them questions about their schooling, employment, talents they wish they had before, and so on. 

Even if you don’t know such mentors, try browsing LinkedIn profiles for IT experts with jobs you admire and send them connection requests. Find out what kind of education they have, how much experience they have, and what qualities they emphasize about themselves.

Take notes on what you learn and how you may apply it to help you achieve or develop your own job. 


  • Education

Research several training programs and educational courses that meet your needs. Choose the appropriate curriculum for you based on your previous educational and professional experiences, intended career path, and time available for study. This will assist you in developing an educational strategy. 

Start take notes of the admission standards for the courses or training programs as part of your research. Be willing to learn on your own since this will provide you with many more possibilities.

There are several manuals, publications, and free information available online, as well as operating systems, that you can utilize to supplement your study. Make the most of free IT resources to learn on your own while you plan your education. 


  • Get Certified

Getting Certified is another major thing that you should do before starting yur IT career. You may know that attending technical institutions can be extremely expensive.

However, seeking Cisco, Microsoft, or other vendor certifications such as Network+ and CompTIA A+ can help you secure amazing jobs ranging from entry level to six figures pay. Certifications are necessary at any level you are interested in. With the correct qualification, you can earn up to 16% more than uncertified candidates.

As a result, you should carefully consider your options and assess the worth of technical schools and vendor certifications. 

After you’ve finished the evaluation, select the most in-demand, relevant, and valuable training for your job. Community universities, online IT companies, and even prestigious schools like Stanford and Michigan offer free training. 


  • Find the Right Internship

Having job experience on your CV will let you apply for internships at various companies, large, small, and in-between. While some internships are generously compensated, others are underpaid or even free.

When trying to start a new IT profession, doing some free work for a non-profit or a large corporation will provide you with knowledge that can be shown as “work experience.” You can also think of it as a “try before you buy” opportunity. Internships are a great way to put your possible career to the test. 


  • Create an Effective Resume

In your resume, use simple, easy-to-understand language and don’t be afraid to portray yourself positively. Include relevant accomplishments and experiences, as well as you’re schooling and qualifications. The aim is to show prospective employers how you used your skills and experience to assist them in meeting their goals and objectives. 

When applying for several positions, make sure your resume fits each job post. Once your resume is prepared, submit it to relevant job sites such as LinkedIn. 


Bonus Point: Become a “Techie.” 

Begin to learn HTML. This is the foundation for all information technology development. Since Java Script is one of the Internet’s core languages, learn it as well. You might install Linux on your computer to become familiar with an operating system other than Windows.

Study computer books and immerse yourself in the language and the Internet’s universe. Create a program and a website. Put it together and publish it using your skills and knowledge, not a template. Then, in applications and interviews, present your website as an example of your work.