Effective Career Management Strategies for IT Professionals

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that field of IT services is rapidly growing and creating high-paying jobs and excellent opportunities. In fact, the subfield of computer systems design and services alone employs over 1.5 million people. However, the IT industry is quite unique and competitive, so IT professionals should follow the tips below to effectively manage their careers.

Career Planning

First, college students and entry-level IT job candidates should research individual IT disciplines and their potential for future growth and opportunity. There are limited benefits in pursuing a career path that lacks long-term growth and development potential. The next step is to consider the associated economic viability and stability because the demand for certain technology products and services fluctuates according to market, innovation and industry trends. Research shows that the fastest growing IT jobs include web and software development as well as systems and cybersecurity analysts.

Continually Cultivate Skills

The technology sector is very fluid and agile, so IT professionals must continuously refine their knowledge and update their skills. The actual rate of technology progression depends on the sub-field, but all IT professionals who want to be successful in their careers must proactively increase their qualifications and expand their abilities. The easiest way to accomplish this is through maintaining industry certifications and membership in professional organizations. Attending technology events, conferences and trade shows are the best ways to stay up-to-date with market changes, emerging solutions and real-time trends.

Expand Business Acumen

Technologies like Big Data, sentiment analysis, machine learning and predictive analysis are transforming how business leaders conduct research, understand situations and make decisions. Many companies are striving to integrate departments and expand technology solutions, so IT professionals have many opportunities to become involved in new projects outside their expertise. Most companies that engage in e-commerce are aligning their sales, marketing and product management departments in order to centralize and streamline operations. They need IT professionals who understand their concepts and concerns in order to identify traffic, increase conversions and encourage click-throughs.

As a final note, IT professionals should maintain a strong network of industry contacts and associates. This will provide viable employment opportunities, but it will also establish credibility and guarantee future growth. IT professionals should also utilize appropriate resources in order to advance their careers.

Hottest Job Skills in IT: Essentials for Tech Professionals

IT Skills

It is difficult to find a career comparison article that does not list software development and other IT jobs as being the most in-demand positions in the modern economy. There is no exaggeration whatsoever in these reports. The salaries, benefits, and opportunities to work on challenging projects are incredible in the world of IT, especially in tech epicenters such as Silicon Valley and the Pacific Northwest.

However, with such high demand for such positions and high reward for those who make the cut, the field is perhaps more competitive than it has ever been. An IT professional must not only wear many hats, he or she must stay up-to-date on the key technical areas that drive the modern market. Let us look at three of the hottest job skills in IT, but keep in mind that this list may be outdated within a year or so:

JavaScript/HMTL 5/CSS3:

With mobile development outpacing desktop development and most of the common daily applications that we use moving online, it is becoming essential for tech professionals to understand web browser development technology. In fact, JavaScript positions have grown nearly twice as fast as those of comparable web-oriented languages. Furthermore, HTML 5 and CSS3 are leading to innovations in web browser capabilities will make them the main interface to nearly every kind of software.

Scalability:

One area that is not really about specific technologies but more about the fundamentals of computer science is scalability. An education in computing is not really complete without an understanding of algorithmic complexity – the way in which memory and runtime performance hold up given increasing amounts of data input. However, in this day and age such familiarity is essential rather than simply nice-to-have.

In his rules of programming Rob Pike stated that “fancy algorithms are slow when n is small, and n is usually small.” However, in modern web-oriented business, n is never small – some companies routinely churn through petabytes of data with their systems. Facebook and Google reached the top of the tech world by handling scale better than other companies, and at these companies there is usually more glory for the engineers that work on the backend technologies than those that work on the customer-facing portals that millions of people use.

Linux:

One reason why web companies have been able to maintain success despite taking on massive numbers of users is their adoption of Linux and its accompanying open source tools. Without the constraints of licensing costs, companies can affordably put more machines to work solving their large-scale problems. As such, pretty much any serious candidate for a technical position should have as close to an administrator-level understanding of Linux as possible.

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Rookie Recruiter? No Problem!

Not all recruiters are equal. In the staffing industry, just like in any other, new hires have to get their experience from somewhere. It can take a few years to be able to competently navigate through an area’s local employment front, and sometimes you may find yourself working with a recruiter who is still a little green. From being submitted to a position that you have little interest in, to missing out on being selected for a job on some minor technicality, working with an inexperienced recruiter has the potential to be quite the headache.

However, if you find yourself working with a junior recruiter, do not fret! You can still come out on top with a great, long-term professional relationship and the job you’re after.

Here’s what we recommend.

Take the Reins

Take the Reins!

We aren’t suggesting that you take complete control of the relationship, but you should be proactive, and in a sense, do the recruiter’s job for them. If you feel like your skills aren’t being properly accessed, you should pre-source yourself for the position by asking for the detailed job description. You will get a better idea of what the job entails and can decide for yourself if it is something that you would like to pursue.

Ask and You Shall Receive

If you’re interested in the position, but feel like there are still some unanswered questions, you can always ask to speak with someone “who has more information.” It’s likely that the junior recruiter is working closely with a more seasoned recruiter, and by phrasing your request like this, they should have no problem putting you in touch with a senior colleague. The more experienced recruiter will have a deeper understanding of the position and the hiring manager’s preferences, and can use this knowledge better present you as the ideal candidate.

Remember, everybody has to start somewhere and your recruiter is there to help you get the job you want, so stay positive! With these tips, any shortcomings an inexperienced recruiter has should no longer be an issue.

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