As an IT Recruiter, I've spoken with high school graduates who have this same question. I've listed 5 main ways to dive into the Information Technology industry.
- First, look into colleges that offer programs in Computer Science, Management Information Systems, Computer Engineering, Computer Programming, etc. From there, you'll take various classes that touch all aspects of the field, like coding/programming, databases, process mapping, network application development, systems analysis and design, etc. You'll learn whether you enjoy certain coding languages more than others. You might like database development. By majoring in one of these, you'll be able to better figure out how you want to make your love of computers into a career.
- There are many online coding bootcamps available to anyone these days. Coding bootcamps are intensive programs to learn skills like software development , machine learning, data science, product management, etc. The length of courses typically ranges anywhere from 3 months to a year. There is tuition involved, and some are selective and require certain skills to get into. **Many companies like to see some college experience because some bootcamps skip the basic fundamental skills of coding.
- Look on LinkedIn for people in the IT field and see if you can set up a phone call or Skype with them. Pick their brain. Ask them about the good and the bad of their role in the company. See how they got their and what their experience has been.
- If you can network and find people in the IT field, ask if you can shadow them at their job for a day. See the ins and outs of their role to better understand what part of the industry you might like to do someday!
- If you want to be a programmer, work on personal projects. Take courses online and store your projects on Github. Build your skills here, and you'll be able to show off your code to future employers! There are also other courses for different kinds of roles in IT. Search online and see what you like.
Buckley recommends the following next steps:
- Research colleges with computer/IT related majors and apply
- Research coding bootcamps and apply
- Create a LinkedIn account and network through it
- Find IT people to shadow at their jobs
- Create a Github and store personal coding projects there