Always wondered about IT career? There is no better time than now

Indrė Sakalauskienė, Human Resources Strategy Partner at Danske Bank IT center

Flexible working hours, high salaries and bright prospects attract many people to the IT field. However, in the face of the looming threat of coronavirus, IT has highlighted another major advantage. Professionals in this field have every opportunity to work remotely. For this reason, the attractiveness of this profession in the labour market today has increased significantly. For people dreaming about an IT job and considering a change in their career, now is the perfect time to think about retraining.

 

I can safely say that there could hardly be a better time for retraining. Today most of us spend a lot of time at home typing away at the computer and some even have more time for themselves due to a reduced workload. This free time can be employed productively by learning. This is especially true if reoccurring thoughts about IT kept popping up before.

The current situation shows that while particular fields experience a downward tick, the IT sector is showing steady and stable growth. After all, if we take a look around us, we could see various stores giving up brick and mortar sales and moving their activities online. In fact, it is very likely that this will become a permanent move even once the crisis will be over. This only proves that most spheres are digitizing and knowledge in IT is a big advantage in itself.

For those considering retraining, it is important to realise that today to become an IT professional, one no longer need to leave his home. Those who wish to become IT specialist can now easily find courses online that will allow them to garner the initial library of knowledge and information. Of course, this alone will not be enough to climb the career ladder. To become a specialist in your field, it is necessary to constantly expand your horizons in the field of IT.

But an even more important aspect should be the realization that the field of IT is not all sunshine and rainbows, as perhaps sometimes it might be wrongly presented. It is not uncommon for many to see their initial drive for changing career paths later crash against the wall of wrong assumptions.

The best companions on the path towards becoming an IT professional are realism and measured expectations. Imagine that after retraining, you once again find yourself at the very beginning of your career ladder. The extremely talented will catch on in half a year, others may need a year and a half or more. A certain psychological stalwartness becomes very important as well, as you will have to get used to hearing advice and making mistakes. At this time, most people who had previously embarked on different careers reach a turning point. They either give up or reaffirm their initial decision and take the first steps in their new career path.

While retraining poses psychological challenges, they have nothing to do with gender, age or other personal characteristics. Nor do they have anything to do with the person's character. It is often assumed that introverts feel like fish in the sea when working in the IT sector. However, participation in projects, the ability to hear the expectations of customers and colleagues, and communication are essential in this field.

The notion that programmers have complete freedom and simply play computer games in the office can become a major hindrance. Timely completion of tasks is particularly important in this area. It should be well understood that any new IT professionals will have to put a lot of effort and work at the beginning of their career.

One of the basic rules that beginners should follow is that theory and practice go hand in hand in IT. Therefore, it is best to start with small projects. While working on such projects, mistakes and failures should not be feared, for in IT as in any other activity, they are unavoidable in the beginning. However, hard work will allow you to accumulate a small amount of completed jobs, which are greatly appreciated by employers. The first step could be asking for an internship position, which would show motivation and in the eyes of employers, sometimes a strong desire and drive can compensate for lack of proven skills.