Tech Careers Are on the Rise, Learn What It Takes to Land One

Everybody has heard that the job market is on the upswing. MSU recently posted an article about how plentiful jobs are for recent college grads. Good news. More good news? Nick Brezina, IT Staffing Specialist at Recruitment Management Consultants (RMC) says the IT Field is thriving and is one of the best fields to be…

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Everybody has heard that the job market is on the upswing. MSU recently posted an article about how plentiful jobs are for recent college grads. Good news. More good news? Nick Brezina, IT Staffing Specialist at Recruitment Management Consultants (RMC) says the IT Field is thriving and is one of the best fields to be in.

Whether it’s programming, designing, or developing in .net or Javascript, Nick has at least 5 jobs open at the moment, ranging from middle to senior level positions. But, how do you get into this thriving industry? Whether you are switching careers or just starting out, what exactly does it take to get into the IT game?

Before even mentioning things like a portfolio and training, it’s important, according to Nick, for IT hopefuls to know that many of the skills needed are the same as they would be for any other career.

Drive, passion, and the ability to work in a team are sometimes just as important as the technical skills you will need, the latter standing out as one of the most important. “Even if you’ll be working in a cubicle,” says Nick, “You need to be able to communicate and be a team player.” The company needs to know you will come in and work well with their other employees.

These skills might be hard to show on a resume, and if you are just starting out it can be even harder, but it’s not impossible. Internships, activities, and even fast food jobs can show that you work well in a team. “If your boss promoted you to Team Leader at Burger King, put it on your resume,” says Nick.

It’s also important to show a passion for what you do. If you don’t have a lot of experience, that passion can be what sets you apart from other applicants. This can be shown by simply getting involved. There are frequently local meetups and activities that you can participate in. For instance, there are monthly meetups for seasoned and aspiring Ruby, Javascript, or Web Developers at the Technology Innovation Center in East Lansing (for a list of all events, check out our startup event calendar). These meetups can give you a glimpse into the field and show that you are immersing yourself in the industry.

Besides these skills, there’s also the matter of proving that you can do what you say you can do; there’s the technical skills. You will have to have a portfolio. Many people in the industry use Github to host their portfolios. “Your portfolio shows that you’ve learned something, either in school or on your own,” says Nick. It should include coding samples, websites you’ve worked on, etc. Where you learned these skills isn’t as important as the fact that you learned them and can execute them. Whether you developed them in class, in an internship or working with a non-profit, as long as the proof is there, it will speak for itself.

There are numerous programs that can start you on the path to a career in IT, including a program called E-Pathways, through Lansing Community College. Or, start early and take computer science classes in high school or college. Whichever you choose to do, if there’s an interest there, it’s definitely worth pursuing. “They really need to do a better job of marketing how great an IT career path is.”

When you are ready to pursue the IT path, agencies like Nick’s, and recruiters like him, can help you on that path. “We really focus on being a local resource, not just a staffing agency.”

As long as you know where to look, and who to turn to for help, “There are opportunities virtually everywhere,” says Nick.

If you’re interested in transitioning into a tech career or learning more about the different kinds of meetups and events going on around town, make sure to download our free guide to the Lansing startup scene and subscribe to our weekly newsletter!

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