Navigate Your IT Career Path: A Guide for Students
The number of ITC specialists in the EU from 2012 to 2022, according to Eurostat, increased by 57.8 %, which suggests that the financial and economic crisis did not seem to affect the number of employed IT specialists. Thus, IT stands as one of the most sought-after fields among university applicants. At the same time, there is a significant shortage of skilled software engineers in Hungary compared to the market’s demand. Hence, an increasing number of higher education institutions are enhancing their technology-focused education to address this gap.
The ideal starting point for mastering IT is during school years. This allows students to gradually acquire the necessary skills. To pave the way to their dream job, students must first decide on a specific specialty. IT offers various paths, such as developers, business analysts, designers, managers, and data engineers. So, how does one become an IT professional? Let’s try to figure it out.
How to Start an IT career: The Journey Begins in School
Teenagers often choose their future professions based on their interests and strengths in school subjects. For instance, someone skilled in languages might consider becoming a translator, while an excellent essay writer may aspire to be a journalist. If they can create a basic chatbot, they might consider becoming a developer. This approach certainly has merit, but it only addresses what one can do, not necessarily what one truly wants to do. Remember, work is not merely an occupation; it becomes a lifestyle. Aligning your inner desires with your chosen career path will make the journey more enjoyable and rewarding.
Students can explore and discover their professional passion through extracurricular clubs and courses. These activities should complement their academic pursuits, as the practical application of knowledge is equally important. For example, supplementing math knowledge with robotics or coding classes for beginners can be highly beneficial.
Skills for IT professions
One crucial aspect to consider is the development of Soft Skills. These personal qualities enhance teamwork and make it pleasant to collaborate with others. Soft Skills include effective communication, persuasion, receptiveness to feedback, and adaptability to change.
Studies by the Wonderlic research company indicate that over 93% of employers value soft skills when making hiring decisions. The World Economic Forum predicts an increased demand for specific soft skills by 2025, such as critical thinking, problem-solving, self-control, active learning, stress resistance, and flexibility.
On the other hand, Hard Skills require dedicated efforts and around four years of university education. Nevertheless, improving soft skills requires continuous work and dedication. Ignoring the development of social competencies can lead to a degradation of skills over time. For instance, if you practice public speaking and then abandon it, your public speaking abilities are unlikely to remain the same.
In the field of IT, employers highly value teamwork, a thirst for learning, curiosity, and creativity. A LinkedIn study reveals that candidates who possess creative problem-solving abilities and think outside the box are often preferred by employers.
Staying on Track: Guiding Your Career Path in IT
To ensure you’re on the right track towards a successful IT career, online assistants can be valuable resources. Let’s explore a few platforms that can provide guidance based on your interests and skills.
For those specifically interested in IT, the ITs WAY service offers a targeted selection of IT majors. This platform provides a comprehensive view of the technology industry, explaining the specifics of different IT professions and how they collaborate in a team.
The service has a career guidance test based on the scientific methodology of renowned American psychology professor John Holland. Honest answers are crucial for accurate results. The test will highlight areas where you can thrive, taking into account your interests and abilities, and aligning with the needs of the IT industry. This information can guide you in developing the necessary skills to become a sought-after specialist in the future. Additionally, ITs WAY offers an interactive map of IT professions. Each specialty is accompanied by candidate requirements and relevant training.
CareerExplorer is also an excellent starting point for general career guidance. The platform introduces various popular professions, offering career advice and self-assessment tests. MyNextMove takes a guided approach to career selection. With features like keyword search and profession analysis, the platform helps you discover suitable career options.
The job offer is not the end of the route
Remember, your journey doesn’t end with obtaining a diploma. The IT industry is constantly evolving, demanding that professionals continuously update their knowledge and skills. This is a sprint in which specialists cannot lag behind. You can’t set a point in your professional development here – the industry itself requires you to always move on.
You can increase your expertise in your field or change it. Whether you choose to deepen your expertise in your current field or explore a different one, the possibilities are vast. A QA tester can become a Java developer, a copywriter can become a UI designer, and a project manager can become a business analyst. Regardless of your previous experience, educational background, or age, there’s always room for growth and success in the IT field. Embrace the opportunities, stay curious, and never stop striving for excellence.