Tips on How to Make an IT Career Change
Updated: Oct 11
When is it Time for a Career Change?
My husband and I are long-term veterans of working in IT. We have both morphed and reinvented our careers multiple times to keep up with changing technologies. I am now a career coach who assists IT folks in pivoting to new opportunities.
The need to ‘pivot to an IT career’ is determined by: 1) where you are in your career life and 2) your needs for work/life balance and career happiness. Workers in their early to mid-career phase have a more urgent need to manage their relevancy. A person late in their work journey may need to assess their time remaining in the workforce before considering a career pivot to IT careers. For example, I focused on gaining experience in SAAS implementations and Agile methodology when I was 5 years from retirement. Alternatively, my husband chose not to learn automated storage provisioning as he was only 1 year from retirement.
If you are an early to mid-career worker in IT, your best bet is to consider career reinvention as a regular annual exercise.
Educate Yourself on IT Career Job Trends
Follow career-thinkers and influencers (a great place to start is LinkedIn)
Read read read all the best publications (New York Times, Business Insider, Reuters)
Stay active in your professional associations and NETWORK
Know the 10-year projections for employment and salaries from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov)
Work with a mentor who has the career and IT vision to assist you.
Create Your IT Career Transition Plan
Create Your Tailored Learning Plan
Choose your target IT job
Research and compile a list of required skills
Compare your current skillsets with your target list
Identify your learning gaps and create a learning plan
Evaluate your learning resources. They can be mentorships, formal classwork, certifications, one-off classes, online learning, YouTube or video learning, company learning, and much more.
Be realistic with your timeline to execute your learning plan for your tech career pivot.
Execute Your Pivot to IT Career
Stay in your current company and move to a tangent job that has the skillsets you want to target.
Work with your manager to gain the specific experience needed for your career change.
Create a plan to leave your current company and perform a career pivot. You will need a learning plan for specific skills.
Volunteer for projects or experiences outside or inside your company to gain targeted experience.
Leave your current company and opt for a short but focused learning plan through a boot camp or specific education.
A few promising areas for an IT Career Pivot:
Any jobs related to AI (Artificial Intelligence)
Data science or data analytics – 36% projected growth 2021-2031
Cybersecurity/Information Security Analysts – 35% projected job growth 2021-2031
Computer and Info Research Scientists/Machine Learning – 21% projected job growth 2021-2031
Many people are already flocking to these areas and may oversaturate the job market in a year or two. These roles also have higher educational and experiential requirements. It may take additional time and patience to pivot completely into these technical roles. I would suggest pursuing RELATED jobs that have the skillsets that keep you relevant into the future.
A storage architect can volunteer to learn automated scripting.
A project manager can work on AI-based projects.
A business analyst can work with chatbots.
A network analyst can work with cybersecurity folks to elevate and improve security protocols against attack.
The opportunities are endless if you focus on trending needs and create a doable plan.
Are you looking to pivot to IT? Do you need a little help jump-starting your career? Follow me on LinkedIn and click the bell icon on my profile page to be notified of my career posts.
When you are ready, here’s how I can help you:
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