How to Start an IT Career

Information technology offers career opportunities for every industry, personality type, and experience level

Is IT for me and how do I get started?

Many think of IT as a field for programmers or tech support representatives. You’ll be thrilled to know that’s just the tip of the iceberg! There’s a role for everyone in IT.

  • Can’t stand sitting in front of a computer all day? Love being with people? You might be great working face-to-face with clients as an account manager or sales representative.
  • Enjoy working on detailed projects – just not in programming? Consider a role as a project manager or business analyst.
  • Math isn’t your thing, but art is? You may be successful as a designer or a UX (user experience) specialist.

Intrigued? So, how does one get into the IT field?

Getting started

While it’s best to start learning about technology early, you can pursue an IT career at any age. Your past education and experience can be extremely valuable in your new role. There are many learning opportunities you can take advantage of – from groups, online courses, internships, and self-education.

To get started, discover the opportunities and resources available in your area and online. You’ll find a helpful list of ideas below.

  • Make a list of the type of IT work you believe you’d be interested in.
  • Update your professional social media profiles. For students in middle school through college, Tallo is a must! This network was designed to help you show off your accomplishments and skills and help you connect with potential universities and employers.
  • For older students and adult professionals, be sure to update your LinkedIn profile.
  • Visit SC Codes and learn coding skills for free (including Javascript, Ruby and more).
  • Attend a local IT networking group in your area, like Tech After Five. You’ll network with others in the field – employers, students, and other job seekers.
  • Contact an educational provider to enhance your skills. You’ll find a list of options here. For those of you in South Carolina, IT-oLogy offers IT certification training for key entry level certifications: CompTIA ITF, A+, Network+ and Security+, plus ITIL.
  • Learn how to craft your resume to appeal to IT hiring managers. Here’s an example of an IT resume.
  • Reach out to an IT recruiting firm and/or job board to discover additional job opportunities. Start with these recruiters.
  • Visit valuable resources offered by the state of South Carolina and its workforce development partners.
  • If you graduated from a college or university, contact the Career Services office for resources and hiring organizations specific to your school.

Once you’ve developed some basic skills and have an area of IT you’d like to pursue, you can start to pursue educational opportunities like certifications and formal degrees.

Activities by Age

Consider taking advantage of some of these, based on your stage of life:

Grades 3-8

  • Competitions
  • Logic puzzles
  • Setting up home networks
  • Game design
  • Fixing computers
  • Hackathons
  • Technology camps

Grades 9-12

  • Courses and exercises (online or in-class)
    • Information support & services
    • Programming & software development
    • Web & digital communications
    • Networking systems
  • Certification test preparation
  • Presentations
  • Public speaking
  • Seminars

College (majors/minors)

  • Computer science
  • Computer engineering
  • Computer information systems
  • Integrated information technology
  • Information science
  • Management information systems
  • Mathematics – applied math
  • Applied statistics
  • Applied science
  • Systems engineering

Career (professional certifications – dependent on your chosen area of IT)

  • Microsoft
  • Oracle
  • CompTIA
  • Project management
  • CBAP (Certified Business Analysis Professional)
  • Six Sigma
  • CEH (Certified Ethical Hacker)
  • CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional)
  • CISM (Certified Information Security Manager)
  • ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library)
  • VMware
  • and many others

IT Resources

How To Start An IT Career

Questions? Contact Us!