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An IT Career Change During COVID-19 is Possible

Author: Tony Zorc

The disruption of COVID-19 has been felt by everyone on some level; many jobs and careers have been affected. As some careers become less stable as more emphasis shifts to cloud-based technology.

A pivot towards an information technology (IT) career can offer better job security and opportunities. And guess what, an IT career change is a lot less expensive and difficult than you’d think.

Why Is Now a Good Time for a Career Change? 

The prospect of a career change can be daunting for everyone, but due to COVID-19 forcing many industries further online, this offers a strong incentive to transition. Many non-IT jobs were heavily affected during COVID-19, with many people still unable to work. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: “In July, 31.3 million people reported that they had been unable to work at some point in the last 4 weeks because their employer closed or lost business due to the coronavirus pandemic—that is, they did not work at all or worked fewer hours.” Whether your position is tech-based or not, it’s clear that IT, technical, or cloud-based-roles are more secure right now. During government shutdowns from COVID-19, IT companies remained operational. This also applied for businesses that already utilized cloud IT, which has only fueled the need for a digital-ready workforce and the tools to support them. The demand for IT workers to support such IT infrastructure is also increasing Not only would pivoting your career focus right now put you in line for more opportunities and job security, but it also increases your pay potential. Greater pay is a leading cause for shifting to IT jobs, about 9 out of 10 employees  

Will a Career Change to IT Pay Off?

Generally, yes, pivoting to a more IT-focused job does pay off. However, this is an investment of time and money. Depending on your level of exposure to different technologies and current IT skills, you will probably need additional training to fully transition into IT. This may also necessitate acquiring formal certifications. Training and certifications will be an investment, some cost averages range to about $38K. However, this investment returns to pay for itself! Generally, 81% of tech career changers reported that they recouped their investment once their pivot was complete. According to Glassdoor the average IT professional makes about $84K. Bear in mind though, that the title, level, and industry also play a role in salaries. Besides the financial rewards, there are some other central benefits you could gain with seeking an IT job.  

Other Benefits IT Careers

We’ve established that these jobs are pretty secure, especially given the economic uncertainties surrounding COVID-19. It’s also clear that IT and IT-centric positions pay well, but there are other core benefits. Here are a few. 

  • Job opportunities Cloud IT is used in every industry and by all levels of organization from small businesses to enterprise-level companies. Having an IT background will allow you to market your skills for any type of work you want, as well as all around the world.
  • More flexibility  Many IT professionals are allowed to work remotely courtesy of the cloud and/or have flex schedules that provide more work-life balance. You have more options in how you actually work whether at home or in an office setting.
  • Increased career options Again, by now, all industries and organizations utilize Cloud IT. This means that as long as you can find an open position, you can basically find work in any field you like. Working in IT can also let you specialize your skillsets for specific industry types and fields like nonprofit solutions or construction IT.
  • Exciting field IT is one of the fastest growing industries in the world. Opportunities are always expanding as new technology develops and trends emerge, so IT professionals can grow and stretch their skill sets in new ways. There are also many areas of IT like database management and security that offer individuals a variety of paths to choose from. 

How Do You Approach an IT Career Change?

As with any career change, you’ll want to begin with research. This also includes some internal contemplation. Because of the scope and complexity of IT work, you should really consider what you want to do in IT. Consider your own interests and current skills, and how they could enable you to pivot Ask yourself:

  • What kind of IT am i already experienced with? 
  • What area of cloud tech am I most drawn to? 
  • Do I want to switch to an IT job in my current field?
  • How can I take my current experience and skill sets and use them in IT?
  • What are the resources, training, and expenses I need for this career change?
  • What are some specific jobs should I seek?

While IT can involve a lot to learn, such as coding, many people have successfully taken their knowledge and used to change to highly technical IT careers. One CNBC article reported that a pharmaceutical regulation successfully pivoted her career to cybersecurity in about eight months after taking IT classes. She ended up making $40K more than her previous role too. Accounting Seed CEO, Tony Zorc, started his career as an accountant, but after becoming interested in technology, he went on to develop his own accounting platform, Accounting Seed. Even with little-to-no IT experience, you can do it, but be realistic with what you want, your attributes, and interests. Look for a role that interests you and you can transition. 

First Steps and Jobs to Consider

Research! Once you have an idea of what areas of tech you might want to get into, look into the requirements. It may be worth starting out in an introductory IT role where you can get job experience and enhance your skills while working. Here are some jobs to think about.  

These jobs are each unique and offer opportunities to grow in every area.  

Internships Aren’t Just for College Kids! 

One thing to also bear in mind is that internships are not excluded to people in school and can be done without having or pursuing a degree. This old-school of thinking that changing careers requires going all the back to school is swiftly becoming outdated. Internships, even unpaid internships, offer real-world experience you can use to practice your new skills, learn, and gain credentials. If you’re really interested in a position but are worried about your lack of experience, explore the possibility of interning the company. Today’s job environment gives individuals even more flexibility and opportunity to dictate their own career change.

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