How To Get Started in A Career in IT
By Barbara Thorp
It's quite easy to trace back the ambition. Little kid sits too close to the PC monitor, tapping furiously at the keyboard, meticulously dressing up his/her character, who then wields a blazing sword to vanquish evil fairies and monsters in a land where gamers can chat with each other and the game never ends because you can always level up and get stronger and stronger, and...
Well, you get the picture. That's how in the world today, so it's not surprising that many kids dream of becoming a computer expert.
Maybe you consider yourself to be a computer 'nerd' who has never had any formal training but really knows the ins and outs of the Internet. Or perhaps your knowledge of computers is limited to surfing, emailing, gaming, downloading, and watching, uhm, music videos. Either way, a career in information technology is for everyone. The best thing about a career in IT is that you can begin studying at 9 or 90, anytime you want. It's never too late to study, so long as you have the heart for it.
If you feel that you are too old to study, you might have to really think about it. Sometimes stepping out of ourselves and doing something entirely new can be mystifying, but very exciting, particularly if you haven't studied for a quite a while.
If you're still young, then your parents might be against you delving into computers, seeing you spending so many hours at it just to ruin your eyes. You could always reason out that there's more to computers than just conquering deep space and fighting monsters. IT jobs play a big role in the entertainment fileld, in TV, films, commercials, architecture, medical imaging, oil industry, web and graphic design services, not just to gaming.
Which IT School to Attend
Inevitably, most IT courses are expensive since they include laboratory facilities, books, and fees to go with them. If you have enough funds for studying, you can enroll in private school IT classes, but if you'd like to save money, then go for public school instead.
Government Funded Training Scheme (http://gftp.otte.vic.gov.au/gftp) is a good place to start. TAFE (education.vic.gov.au/tafecourses) is another excellent technical college worth checking out for your computer job. Most colleges offer IT classes, so get a hold of their curriculum brochures or visit their websites to find out about courses and their requirements.
Don't forget to ask the technical college you choose whether their courses include preparing advanced certification exams. Certifications are a considerable enhancement to career and salary.
This means that as you go along, you should be creating and accumulating your works into an impressive portfolio. Don't be shy if your initial works are still awkward and not all that perfect. Be proud of your origins; someday when you become the best in the IT field, you will want to look back on those early fumbling days.
Preparing for the IT World Outside
Once you've chosen your field and your school, start working hard. Your college years are not just your time to learn IT, but also an opportunity to prepare yourself for your eventual job.
Hands-on experience is the only real way to learn about software, hardware, or anything to do with computers. Before long, you'll be building your own and working with it. Read textbooks and research online because the world of IT keeps changing and advancing each passing day. This is one career you can't afford to stagnate in. In IT, you'll find that the theories in books only look good on paper, but they have to be carried out as well.
Applying for an IT Job
Your demo reel is important because this is what prospective employers will be basing their decisions in hiring you. Polish your work and know that each effort you put says a lot about you and your work ethics. After all, what good is a resume if your portfolio doesn't astound your prospective employer.
Search for Jobs at http://jobs.OzFreeOnline.com, a free job classifieds with job opportunities all over Australia.
About the Author
Barbara Thorp is an article contributor for Jobs section of OzFreeOnline.com
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