The IT field is a vast and quickly developing industry and it can be a very daunting task to keep up with relevant trends and the latest news. We have gathered a list of methods to help you gain experience in the field of information technology regardless of whether you are just starting out or have been working in the field for a few years.
Internships sometimes come in for bad press: working for little or no compensation might not sound like an attractive option. But take a moment to think through the advantages.
Take charge of your internship options by shortlisting the companies that you would most like to work for. Do a little research and identify those organizations that most closely map to what you are looking for in a career. Why not approach some of these companies? Get in touch with the HR department and let them know that you are interested in expanding your skillset. Let them know what you can do and, most importantly, think about what you can offer them (that maybe nobody else can.) You never know. The very company that you work for might just end up hiring you if you meet their expectations.
Make internship work for you by being proactive about your experience. If you do get an internship in a great company, be sure to take full advantage to learn as much as you can. Connect with other employees and start building a solid network. Be sure to ask questions, build up your knowledge, and professional competencies. And why not find out if they have a mentorship program – and really optimize your time there.
Sharing your expertise means inviting a new conversation. If you keep your eyes, ears, and mind open, you may learn something in the process as well. Even though you may have been in your field for a longer period of time it doesn’t mean you know everything there is to know. Encountering people with different ways of thinking will help broaden your own knowledge and give alternate ways that you may approach problems.
How many non-profits are there in your vicinity that need help? Maybe they need technical support or someone to troubleshoot technical problems that arise? Perhaps they could do with a hand creating a network.
Do not know the answers to the questions above? You should definitely do your research and find out.
Volunteering is a great way to put your skills to practice, pick up really valuable experience, as well as have an opportunity to learn out about different sectors and industries. Whether it is a school, a hospital, a charity, or a project, there is a chance you will learn about a new industry. And also notch up plenty of hands-on experience you can attest to further down the line. You will not only gain valuable experience but you will have the satisfaction of giving something back.
Live the Experience
Whether it is an internship, mentorship, volunteering project, or even participation in a competition – there are plenty of ways to build your experience. You can even gain experience by trying your hand at being a technopreneur – combining entrepreneurship with your technical skills. You can also get in touch with your local academy to find out about any opportunities or programs in your region.
Gaining experience is not just about waiting for the right job to come along. It is also about seizing the initiative to learn, to try something new, to hone existing skills and gain new ones. So you can add tangible value to your resume. And remember that most employers see initiative as a plus. Make the most of each opportunity that arises.