7 Reasons to Switch to a Career in IT

Guest Post, Workplace

By Guest Author, Zoe Price:

The mantra “learn to code” is a popular one on sites like Reddit, which has an audience filled with technically minded people. However, coding has become something that’s more accepted in the mainstream as the number of devices and apps has grown exponentially.

Let’s face it; we don’t all start in the career we end up doing. Indeed, many British people have degrees in one field but work in a completely different one a few years after leaving university. That’s because as students, we didn’t really know what we wanted to be or what industry we wanted to work in when choosing the degree to apply for. Having never worked in that field, most young people are only guessing what it’ll be like, and the reality rarely lives up to the career dream.

In this article, we cover the reasons why switching to a new career in the IT/tech field might make sense for you.

Your Current Career is a Bad Fit

While studying for a degree might be interesting as a course of study, working in that field is entirely different. This often happens to solicitors who take a law degree, possibly struggle to pass the bar exam, and then discover the practice of law is too slow and stuffy for their liking. However, other careers can equally become untenable for different reasons like being a bad fit culturally, poor work/life balance, or just being uninteresting.

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Eventually, it becomes too hard to ignore the level of discomfort present in the current career. Maybe after a job change, the realization dawns on you that it’s the career choice and not the employer that’s the problem. Technology seems hip, trendy, and interesting by comparison.

You’re Technically Minded

Not everyone has a mind for the mundane. Some of us are technically minded and logical. In which case, working in IT makes a lot of sense. Whether that’s working through debugging code, creating and managing relational databases for major companies, or managing their internal networks, there’s a proper role in the technology arena when you have that kind of mindset.

For instance, some people prefer programming because it’s logical and structured. They set out to create some code that performs a specific function. Then they debug it to remove any mistakes in their code and ensure it executes perfectly; first time, every time. There’s a certain simplicity and elegance to working with code in this manner.

It makes working life simple when having an in-depth, challenging project to work on too. This makes it fun to go to work and get paid to complete challenging assignments where others might wilt at the problems presented.

Career Has Stalled Out

When careers aren’t going anywhere or have nowhere to go, that’s a problem. If you want to advance over time and increase your salary regularly, some careers don’t support these goals.

By comparison, IT careers are highly progressive. Often, the more you put into them by taking the best IT courses, the more you get back through advancement opportunities. Junior developers advance to become senior developers when their coding skills improve but also when they become more advanced by getting into JavaScript libraries, MySQL database programming, or the popular Java language.

There’s a host of different IT courses to sharpen your skills once you’re already working in technology. It’s also possible to take some of them before you change careers to skill-up first.

You’re a Creative Genius

Well, okay… Maybe genius is too strong a word, but you can draw or paint or create fantasy landscapes in Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator. When it comes to visuals, you can pull off impressive things.

Also, you have a creative mind to come up with new ideas and spin off other ideas to produce something new. This type of mind is useful in creating new corporate logos or designing a website that impresses clients.

The role of a graphics designer fits this type of ability. Being creative and visually adaptable isn’t easy to teach. Learning how to use Photoshop well is fine, but there’s a certain innate ability required that’s in the DNA.

Also, not to be outdone by the developers, some graphics designers also learn to code at a basic level. Enough to understand the languages used to develop websites and adjust code on the fly.

Better Salary Prospects

It depends on your current career, whether working in some facet of IT will actually pay you more.

Certainly, a programmer who writes clean code that works well is worth their weight in gold. Companies fight between themselves with competing offers to hire that person.

Working in networking takes patience. There are quite a few different Cisco qualifications that take time and money to proceed through them. They go up in increasing levels of difficulty. Fortunately, there’s no absolute requirement to complete them all. You can study up to the degree you’re comfortable with and work with networks based on the knowledge you’ve acquired through education.

Salaries are rising in the IT field. The average salary is over £60,000 now with the highest offers for jobs in London. There is plenty of demand for good people and usually not enough talented people to fill the roles. As a result, if you can skill up and deliver what’s needed; rapid promotions and sizable pay rises are often possible.

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You Want to See Your Creations Come to Life

Working in many other fields, it feels like shuffling virtual paper around a desk. Many jobs don’t have a direct effect on the bottom-line. They also don’t produce anything discernible. Yes, the calls got answered, or the problems were resolved, but at the end of the day, you didn’t produce anything you can point to and say, “I made that.”

Some roles within IT provide that missing sense that you produced something even if you only played a small part in the overall project. Certainly, working as a graphics designer might involve designing a new logo that’s highly visible. A web designer might see their new website design mock-up approved by the client and then produce the final design. Months later, the website is live with their creation.

There’s a feeling of pride and making a visible difference that’s just not present when shuffling virtual papers.

Open to Switching Careers Soon

Making any career switch is scary. That puts people off doing it, and then maybe they leave it too late. With IT, it’s important to move quickly when switching into a new career because it’s still fairly young. Most people in their 40s and above are already in upper management. They might still code here and there, but mostly they’ll be overseeing projects and people, not designing sites or managing networks.

There are many possible reasons to make a change. It’s a bit of a leap of faith. However, when taking courses to learn your trade and practicing in your spare time, it makes the move that bit easier. If you’re going into design or development, then creating a portfolio of sites or producing some logos is well worth it. Employers will ask to see these as a demonstration of your capabilities in lieu of previous related work experience. It also gives you the confidence to know you can do the job too.

By Guest Author, Zoe Price

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