If you’re an IT professional, then you’re probably already familiar with the perks of the field: the opportunities for innovation, the job security, the vibrant network of IT professionals and the ample room for growth, to name just a few.
If any of your friends or family members are unhappy in their current jobs in other fields, you may find yourself recommending them to join you in the IT world. The technology sector is definitely still hiring and can use all of the top talent it can get. Still, career changers in your circle may have doubts about whether IT is the right choice for them, or they may be worried that switching to a tech job will be too difficult. Here are five essential things you should make sure they know to help them realize that IT is a great option and is a possibility for them.
- Grit Pays Off More Than Smarts in the Long-Run
You may know people who you think would be a great fit for IT who are hesitant to explore options in technology because of a lack of math skills or the self-perception that they aren’t smart enough. You probably also know that what’s paid off for you in IT the most isn’t necessarily how well you did in calculus, but rather your perseverance and hard work.
The more hours you log tinkering around with technology or coding, the better you get at your job. It’s all about putting the work into your career. You might want to refer your friends to our article about how some IT pros got their feet in the door. As Angular Architect and Google Developer Bonnie Brennan noted, hard work and tenacity are the keys to success in IT.
- Soft Skills Matter
All the soft skills your friends have picked up in other fields could give them an edge in the technology sector. The communication, project management and leadership skills your career-changing friends have fine-tuned in their current industries will make them more desirable to hiring managers. Most IT jobs require soft skills like these to move up the ladder. In fact, we’d argue that soft skills are more important than technical skills when it comes to long-term success in technology.
- Training and Certification Options Are Flexible
Your friends may be under the impression that a four-year degree in computer science is a requirement for an entry-level job in IT. But, as you may know, this simply isn’t the case for many roles. Technology employers are looking for candidates with the right skills and a can-do attitude.
And many of the skills required of IT professionals can be picked up through tinkering around with technology at home, open courseware and flexible training/certification programs designed for professionals with busy schedules. The how-to of a career change into IT in terms of picking up the necessary technical skills is a lot simpler than many people believe.
- Networking Makes a Difference
As is the case in any field, networking is essential to finding a job in IT. If you’re helping a friend navigate the ropes of getting a technology job, it’s a good idea to emphasize the importance of networking. You may find that you’re able to help a qualified friend get an interview by reaching out to your network or a hiring manager at your company. If you think your friend could help a company address their skills gap or advance their innovation, it certainly wouldn’t hurt to recommend someone you know and trust.
- Passion Goes a Long Way
Passion is what sets the innovators apart from the imitators in the technology realm. And your own passion for your job is probably the reason you’re trying to get your talented friends into IT.
Make sure the career changers you know are ready to feel passionate about their careers. People who prefer mundane jobs that require the same tasks from them day-in, day-out need not apply. IT needs more people who care about the work they do and who arrive on the job ready to create, innovate and make their company and the world a better place.
Do you know someone who would be great in IT? Direct them to our new career change website where they can plan their career change, learn about IT careers and make the switch. With quizzes and articles galore, your friends will no longer wonder how to get into IT.