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How to Start Your Career in the IT Industry

How to Start Your Career in the IT Industry

13 Jul 2017

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You’ve spent years studying an IT-related field, worked hard and achieved fantastic grades; you’ve worn the gown, thrown the cap and received your degree certificate. Now what? It’s time to search for graduate IT jobs where you live, or even abroad, and begin the process of applying. A daunting concept for many fresh out of university.

The beauty of the IT industry is that there are a variety of routes you can explore, from software engineering to quality assurance, all the way up to management roles. The need for specialists in IT is continually growing, as our collective need for the most up-to-date technologies and software creates high demand.

The stark reality, however, is that you won’t be the only graduate enquiring about graduate and internship schemes in the IT industry, particularly in hotspots for IT firms like Ireland. Interest in jobs in this field are always increasing, resulting in a very competitive environment for those who have just finished their university courses. It is, therefore, no surprise that applying for your first job after years of education can be a stressful process, but with our top tips, you are sure to fly through the interview processes and begin your career in the IT industry in Ireland.

Narrow Down Your Options

The first step in the job search is to list the departments of the IT industry that you would like to work in. It is essential for job satisfaction, and ultimately your professional career, to find work that you are passionate about and build relevant experience to climb the ladder. Additionally, because of the vast number of jobs available, it is important that you narrow down the options than wasting your time looking at, applying and interviewing for job roles that are not suitable for you and your skillsets.

Make Connections in the Industry

One way to find jobs is to network with IT professionals in the desired location and learn how they began their career in IT. With the help of social network platforms such as LinkedIn, this process is a lot easier than it used to be. However, it is no guarantee that if you messaged a professional in the industry that they will get back to you. Your best bet is to find work and make connections through a recruitment agency, such as Eolas. By setting up interviews for jobs, internships and grad schemes in your desired field through an agency, you will be able to ask for guidance and advice from professionals in person and build up a relationship. Chances are the interviewer will see your questions about their career as an eagerness to progress, which is highly valuable to any business. You will also have the support and guidance from your agency representative whose sole focus will be helping you to succeed, so if you need any advice on the industry and the interview, they will be able to advise you.

Remember that First Impressions Count

Similar to many industries, first impressions count. Make sure you construct a killer CV that clearly highlights your relevant skillsets for the role – you could even look to highlight these within their own section or use a bold colour to draw the interviewers’ eye. Most importantly, in both your CV and interview, demonstrate your enthusiasm for the industry and the reasons why you have applied for a role at their company in particular. If you are worried about your interview, read our top tips to ace an interview.

Obtain Extra Qualifications or Knowledge

So, you have your degree in computer science, game design or something similar, yet there may be some elements missing from your education that could make you stand out from the crowd. Have a look for IT courses in specific software that is relevant to the career you want to pursue. Extra qualifications, or even just a more in-depth understanding of software and skills will always bode well in your interview and can help sway the decision in your favour when it comes to a making a decision amongst a sea of applicants.

Demonstrate Your Experience

However, it is not always necessary to have a degree or qualifications in IT-related fields. Demonstrating your innate understanding of coding language, software and skills could land you your dream internship position. This can be done through a portfolio of paid, or unpaid, work that can be applied to the role in question. This route, however, will take a lot of dedication on your part to keep up-to-date on all the relevant knowledge, as well as practising your skills.