As technology expands, so do the job opportunities in the field of Information Technology. Despite the field’s growth, however, the job market remains competitive. If you’re on the hunt for an IT job, consider the following stepping stones to help you get started. 

1. Learn programming basics. 

Even though many IT jobs do not directly involve programming work, knowing the basics is handy. Many IT consultants need programming knowledge, and others stand out for having it. This knowledge can help job candidates not only meet the qualification requirements but also exceed them.

For some, it may be wise to take a course at a local college or university. For others, online training may be a more affordable and efficient option. It all comes down to the specific job you want. A basic understanding of software programming will help show that your knowledge is expansive and that you are willing to go above and beyond when it comes to your work responsibilities. 

2. Get certified. 

To take your qualifications a step further, look into obtaining one or more certifications. There are a number of incentives for pursuing IT Certifications. Many jobs in IT require them, and those that don’t are frequently filled by candidates who are certified. As with programming knowledge, certifications are a notable way to stand out from other candidates during the job application process. 

That said, adding certifications can be useful at any stage of your IT career. If you are looking for better pay, passing a networking or cloud exam can help you make a good case for why you deserve a higher salary. The same is true for promotions. Furthermore, certifications are not tied to your company or role at that organization. Should you ever decide to change jobs, that certification remains valid and will ensure that you are highly qualified for every job to which you apply. 

Online IT Certifications are the easiest way to take exams. There are several organizations that offer certifications [MK1]  – Cisco, CompTIA, Microsoft, Google, AWS, and more – and each one offers multiple tracks. Networking, security, coding, data engineering, and cloud architecture are just some your potential certification areas, so be sure to review them all before making a decision on which ones are right for you. If you’re not sure exactly what you’ll need for your next IT job, the CompTIA programs are more general to many situations, and a good place to start.

3. Know your way around Office Suite. 

This one may seem like a no-brainer, but plenty of IT professionals are not familiar with Office Suite, despite the fact that proficiency in Word, Outlook, and Excel is essential to the completion essential office tasks. 

Information Technology may sound like it consists solely of tending to software and hardware issues, but that’s not always the case. Most IT jobs — like most jobs in general — require quite a bit of communication. Mastering the nuances of Outlook can help you get through your emails in the fastest time possible. Outlook also offers an abundance of methods for sorting or organizing your messages. 

The same is true for Microsoft Word and Excel. Though it’s talked about less often, documentation is a major responsibility for most IT professionals. Knowing your way around these two applications will make this essential task run more smoothly. 

4. Start small. 

Despite the abundance of available IT jobs, it’s not always easy to find the job of your dreams. Available positions may not have the benefits or compensation you want or need. If you are willing and able to keep your options open — including part-time positions or even volunteer ones — your chances of finding the job you want will greatly increase. 

Not everyone is able to volunteer a significant chunk of their time but doing so is a great way to get your foot in the door at any company you’ve been eyeing. The same is true for internships. Since most are unpaid, they are not an option for everyone. If an internship suits your lifestyle, however, it can offer opportunities that are otherwise rare or out of reach. Internships also offer incomparable experience, and a proper resume is a key ingredient in the job search. 

Information Technology is an ever-growing career field, and for good reason. It offers a wide range of job opportunities, and a few simple clicks can help you prepare for each and every one of them. 

 [MK1]Be more specific. Azure, Cisco, etc…