Understanding Entry Level Information Technology Job Candidates

Entering the Information technology industry doesn’t come with instructions. Many people are drawn to the industry by a natural inclination towards computers, electronics or gadgets. And others who do not have a natural tendency make a common sense decision that the IT industry provides a lucrative and secure career.

This mix produces a wide range of entry level information technology graduates both in terms of specific interests and the level of useful commercial knowledge and experience offered by the graduate pool. The challenge for individual entry level information technology job candidates is to present themselves as the best match from a large pool of competitors with similar skills and experiences. So how do the outstanding candidates achieve such a status?

The best candidates know who they are as professionals and where they are going. They demonstrate confidence, enthusiasm and knowledge in the field. Most of all, they show the employer that they are looking forward to contributing rather than just gaining experience. Top candidates have either consciously or subconsciously planned their approach according to the following three phases.

Phase 1 Research. Possibly the most important phase of all and one that is often overlooked by the greater masses. Understanding the different fields in the industry, how they interact with each other and why they exist is an extremely important aspect of a job application. Not understanding the entire industry when applying for a job is like playing soccer without knowing where the other players are.

Phase 2 Identity. Top Job seekers present a clear-cut specialized professional ‘identity’. If, for example, a candidate is applying for a help desk position his/her cover letter and resume should include communication and people skills, a broad set of computer skills and competent listening and note taking skills. Any other skills that are not relevant should be out of scope for the application. This filtering of skills and experience is important in order to help to highlight relevant experience and produce a focused application that does not require a deep analysis from the employer.

Any candidates who have completed phase 1 may also include background information that value adds to the application. In the case of a help desk analyst this background knowledge may include an understanding of the existence of service level agreements which are higher level documents guaranteeing service and restoration times for different systems. Understanding these agreements shows that the help desk candidate will have an appreciation of high priority versus standard help desk jobs.

Phase 3 Organized Documentation. There is no point going to a nice restaurant if you are not going to eat. Right? There is also no point working on an application that is scattered and difficult to follow because the hard work and relevant content is lost in the detail. The content in the application should be tightly associated with the job advertisement.

Completing all phases helps a job candidate to put their best foot forward every time. This type of attention to detail is what separates the mediocre candidates from the short list and is the kind of background understanding that seasoned IT professionals apply to every job application.

Pursue A Masters in Information Technology Degree to Boost Your Professional Value

Why pursue an information technology master’s degree? Because higher education expands the skill set of the degree holder. Companies and executives are looking to rely on people with an expansive foundation and skill set to entrust day to day operations with. Become at an online student to help boost our value without having to sacrifice the job you already have.

Students are welcome to enroll online and take course when their schedule permit. The flexibility of our master’s program is what makes it successful for adult level students. No on campus lectures are required, and the student will have full interactive support for each course.

Admissions

Students must have a degree on the Bachelor’s level to apply to the online program. The college or university must itself be regionally accredited. We suggest students also be prepared to produce the following:

* Recent Resume
* 3 Letters of Recommendation
* Statement of Purpose
* Transcripts
* Grade Point Average of 3.0

International students are encouraged to apply to our programs. English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) results are requested if you speak a native language other than American English. Every applicant will be assessed according to their strengths. There are exceptions made for extenuating circumstances. Please see an admissions counselor for more information.

Career Change and Higher Education

If you’re considering switching careers, then an information technology masters may be the extra resource you need to make the transition. Careers like IT Managers, Database Managers, and IT Project Managers all require an advanced scholastic background to be successful in. Students can map out requirements for the career path of their choice and compare and contrast information like required daily tasks and salaries. Always consider the actual potential for professional growth in the field before deciding. Higher education opens up opportunities to take positions that are rewarding and challenging.

IT Security Option

Choose from three concentration options in the Masters in Information Technology category. These distinct paths are important to governments, local agencies and the students who are pursing the degree themselves. The Department of Homeland Security depends on IT Security concentration majors to interpret risks, threats and more.

The courses for this major helps to prepare the candidate for CISSP certification. Students will be able to take what they are learning in the interactive environment and apply the theories and concepts in their current work setting. Earning a master’s degree opens up doors in the IT industry is an extra value in the eyes of professional staffing agents. You can secure yourself a better financial standing by investing your education.

Log on now to determine which masters you’d like to pursue. Go over the details listed in the category. All student who learn in our virtual environment will have the support of knowledgeable teachers that are well experienced in the IT field. They will offer their skill and expertise to help student succeed. Students will have a chance to interact with peers and instructors on an unlimited basis. Course materials, texts and other necessities will be made available online.

How To Start Your Information Technology Career – Or Jumpstart It!

Many newcomers to the IT field are surprised when they find out it’s tougher to get that first job than they thought it would be. I know exactly what that’s like. I’ve had a great career in IT and I’d recommend it to anyone, but I had a tough time breaking in as well. I’d like to share some tips with you on how to get started on what can be a financially rewarding and personally satisfying career in Information Technology.

School systems are a great place to start. A lot of newcomers forget that schools around the world need IT personnel to support school networks, printers, etc. I began my career with a public school system and it was the best move I could ever have made. If you land such a job, you’ll be doing everything from unjamming printers to supporting the school’s Local Area Network (LAN). You get experience that is going to look great on your resume – you’ll have a big advantage over those whose job responsibilities are narrower. You won’t make a lot of money, but what you need at the beginning of your career is experience, not money. Which brings me to my second point ….

Don’t chase the dollars. I know, I know. We all like money, and besides, maybe you’ve got some bills to pay! I’m not suggesting you work for free, but the question you must ask yourself when starting your IT career is this: “What do I want my resume to look like in three years?” The money will be there – if your resume shows a broad range of experience. That’s what you need to get when you’re considering your first job. Use your long-term vision to decide what kind of IT job you want to be in three years from now, and get a job that will give you the necessary experience.

Get certified. You have entered a field where you are always learning – or at least, you better be! If you stand still and stop learning, your skills will become obsolete and your IT career will stall. Start adding certifications to your resume to go along with your experience. Look into programs that deal primarily with PCs, such as A+, and then look at more advanced certifications such as the MCSE and the CCNA. When you are certified in all three major networking areas (hardware, server OS, and routers), you are a “triple threat”! Combine that with some experience and you will end up with a very impressive resume.

Network. Networking has two different meanings in IT, and you know the first one. But besides computer networking, there’s human networking. Get out there and meet people. Your local newspaper has a business section -check it for IT group meetings. The more you’re seen, the more chance you have of being remembered. It’s a small world, and IT is a small world as well. Meet the business leaders of your area as well. It is amazing how a quick face-to-face meeting or conversation can lead to great things down the road.

Having a successful IT career isn’t just about knowing a lot about computers and networks. It’s knowing the right way to get started, getting the right combination of experience and certifications, and meeting people. I know from experience that it’s tough to get started. I also know from experience that no career field rewards individual drive like IT does. So get started today – and if you feel your IT career is stalled, take a step back, list the reasons why this has happened, and then do something about it!