How do you get your first experience in the IT industry while studying?
Taking the first steps toward a new job is often difficult. It also happens to be a huge challenge, which can effectively discourage you over time. The IT industry is extremely demanding, and the key to success is ambition and a willingness to constantly develop one's competence. As many specialists as many ways to get your dream profession. Major studies, training, courses, YouTube resources - all of these can be effective to learn about the world of new technologies. What remains is the question of work experience, and with this it can be a bit more difficult. Learn about how to get your first IT job in the following text.
Why gain experience in IT while you are still in college?
College is a good time to try new things professionally as well. IT positions are very diverse and can be related to many areas, e.g. Salesforce, testing, business/systems analytics, mobile apps, IT recruiting, systems support and maintenance, UX - each requires slightly different skills, and not everyone will fit in. Our earlier article can help you decide what position is right for you and which technology is the best place to start in IT. During your education, it's a good idea to see what you feel most comfortable with, so that in the future you will already be training in that particular direction. If you're still wondering why it's worth gaining experience in the IT industry already during your studies, the answer is simple - it will help you save time and find the right career path for you faster. You can read about how your chosen field of study can come in handy when working in IT here.
How do you get experience in IT?
The IT industry is extremely dynamic and how the technologies or programming languages used in it change can make one's head spin. When deciding on a major, start gaining experience right then to stay up to date. A good way to learn on the job is through college internships, placements in the IT industry, and participation in public projects, which you should search for on the Internet.
How do you find out if a job in IT is for you? In addition to their passion, ideal candidates should also have several skills, such as network design principles or programming languages (Java, Visual Basic or C++). The ability to work in a team, or present projects and manage time will also come in handy. Since most programs operate in English, and work in this industry often relies on international communication, it will be helpful to be proficient in the language. Especially if you want to carry out projects for clients from different corners of the world.
- College internships
- Internships in the IT industry
The next step towards your dream job and gaining new work experience is IT internships. If you're dreaming of a particular line of work or position, it's time to upgrade your skills. Participation in internships is often a mandatory part of education at the end of studies. It also happens that students decide to take this step at the very beginning of their higher education, and listing such an item on your resume will certainly confirm to your future employer that you are an ambitious person. An internship in the IT industry can be the beginning of a long-term relationship with your chosen company. It happens that after effective work during an internship you will be noticed, and your supervisor, appreciating your efforts, will hire you permanently - Karolina Adamek, Data Warehouse Developer at Britenet, found this out.
- My adventure with IT began when I studied computer science at the Poznan University of Technology. Actually, I do not know why I chose this particular direction. As a child I was creating popular blog-type websites at the time, and this was probably the ignition to try my hand at this area. - Karolina recalls.
During my studies, a European Union campaign was organized called "The Era of the Engineer." Its main goal was to encourage young people to study technical subjects. One of the side initiatives was to organize paid internships for students from the Technical University. It was this element that helped me start my professional career in IT. At that time I got an internship at a bank as a Tester. It took place during the summer vacation and lasted 3 months. After that, I was offered my first part-time job so that I could combine it with continuing my studies. I accepted the offer and it was my first step into IT work.
The next step was already a job at Britenet, where I got a chance as an ETL programmer. From my studies I had basic knowledge in this area. I learned the rest thanks to my colleagues in the project, I learned from books and tutorials from the Internet.
I continue to grow in Britenet to this day, the learning continues and that's the most interesting thing about IT - every day you can learn something new.
- Participation in open source projects
Working in IT for beginners can be challenging, but it's worth following the trial and error method, constantly learning new things. The ideal place for this is open source projects, through which you can gain experience in the technologies of your choice, develop competence, add new items to your resume, see what the process of program preparation and standards looks like in another company, but also learn about the principles of participation in teamwork (content found in open source is created by the entire community and everyone can be a contributor).
The projects posted on the websites are open to the public, which means that any person can join and develop them. When looking for the first assignments, it is worth paying attention to: the level of difficulty, the number of interested people, the requirements for the candidate's skills, and a description of what can be learned. You can learn more about open source projects by reading this article.
Participation in open source projects is usually unpaid, but there are assignments whereby you get paid for successfully solving a problem - participation in this type of initiative can be referred to as your first job in IT (in search of assignments you can go here, for example: LINK). However, by far the majority of users use open source projects to help them develop, gain experience or create something beneficial for the audience gathered there.
As it turns out, many recruiters use open source projects to find new employees. Thus, it is an excellent way to showcase your skills and stand out among other candidates. Participation in open source projects is recommended for both beginners and advanced professionals.
- First job in the IT industry - casual work or small assignments
When looking for a new position, you need to keep in mind that your first IT job also involves choosing a specific career path. Before securing a good position with an established company, it's a good idea to have specific career achievements on your resume first. Already have a student internship and an IT internship under your belt? It's time to expand your portfolio a bit. Casual work or small assignments can be a good start. The more projects you participate in, the more experience you will gain.
You're probably wondering how to get started in the IT industry? There are a lot of sites on the Internet with job advertisements, including casual jobs. The open source projects mentioned earlier are a good idea on how to get experience in IT. It's also worth browsing job portals (e.g. justjoin.it, nofluffjobs.com, inhire.io), and even specific employer sites.
Finding a job in IT for beginners doesn't have to be that difficult at all. Currently, it is a very popular industry, and juniors can find employment almost anywhere. Today in IT - and this is a huge advantage - you can work from anywhere on earth. If you are on the search stage, it is essential to work on a good resume - effective tips can be found on our blog KLIK.
- Contributing to online services such as GitHub or Stack Overflow
A place to expand your skills in the field of new technologies is the Stack Overflow website - it's a treasure trove of knowledge where you can find information from the IT industry. The site works on a Q&A basis - both people with a lot of experience and little experience can ask and answer questions there. Each entry is subject to user review, so we can be sure that the content that comes to us has been thoroughly verified.
Another worthwhile service is GitHub, which is a hosting service where codes, created by users, are publicly displayed - this way you can show off your skills and prove your knowledge of a particular technology. This service is often used by recruiters to find new employees.
- IT Workshops
New technologies are changing very fast, so you need to keep up with them. If you are still wondering how to gain experience in this industry, we suggest - attend IT workshops! At these types of meetings, candidates expand their knowledge, gain new acquaintances, as well as participate in product development. Workshops usually proceed in a similar way, have a specific structure and a presenter. Thanks to them you will develop technical as well as interpersonal skills.
Workshops and training are often a good way to find a job. Michal Banaszek, who today works as a Software Tester at Britenet, has found this out.
- I graduated from electrical engineering at Lublin University of Technology, admittedly I had computer science for one semester, but it was nothing that could be useful in real life. - Michal admits.
- I started my preparation in the direction of a tester by completing a course at SDA, passed the ISTQB certification, and also tried my hand at the uTest platform. The training allowed me to gain knowledge about which direction I should develop and what I should know as a tester. After completing the course, I relied mainly on the Internet and books. - he recalls.
IT jobs are very promising, so it's no wonder that so many people choose to tie their careers to it. And most importantly - graduation in IT is not at all a mandatory position, however! What counts here is, among other things, knowledge of technology, programming languages, as well as the desire for continuous training, which is crucial in this industry, given its dynamism or frequent upgrades and modifications of systems and software in use. On the way to getting your dream job, it is worthwhile to broaden your professional experience. IT is one of the fastest growing industries, where you won't experience routine, you can grow and take part in international projects that have a real impact on our reality.