Making the right career choice is important for anyone. When it comes to Information Technology, making the right decision is critical. There are many IT areas to specialize in, and each has its own set of requirements and certifications.
In this article, we will discuss how to choose the right IT career for you. We will also look at some of the most popular IT specializations and the best certifications to help you get started!
Which Area Of IT Is Right For You?
The first step in choosing the right IT career is to identify which area you are most interested in. There are many different specializations within Information Technology, each with its own unique set of skills and certifications.
To help you narrow down your options, ask yourself the following questions:
- What kind of work do you enjoy doing? – Do you like working with computers, or do you prefer working with people?
- What are your strengths? – Are you good at problem-solving, or do you have a natural aptitude for programming?
- What are your goals? – Are you just looking for a stable job, or do you want to eventually start your own IT company?
- What are your interests? – Do you like working with hardware, or do you prefer working with software? Do you want to be a manager, or do you want to be a technical expert?
Once you have a better idea of what you want to do, research the different IT areas and find one that matches your interests and skill set. There are several major categories that IT specialties fall into. Choosing from a large target area that sounds excellent for you is one approach to begin your journey down the road of picking an IT profession. The following are the most important categories:
- Cybersecurity – protecting computer networks and systems from unauthorized access or damage.
- Network Administration – managing and maintaining computer networks.
- Database Administration – managing and maintaining databases.
- Web Development – developing and designing websites.
- Systems Administration – managing and maintaining computer systems.
- Cloud Technologies – managing and developing cloud-based applications.
- Mobile Technologies – developing and designing mobile applications.
- Data Science – working with data to extract insights and create solutions.
- IT Management and Strategy – developing and managing IT plans and strategies.
Once you have identified which area of IT you want to specialize in, the next step is to choose a specialization. There are many specializations within each category, so it is important to do your research and choose one that matches your interests and goals.
Some of the most popular IT specializations include:
- Cybersecurity – Ethical Hacking, Cybercrime Investigation, Security Analysis.
- Network Administration – Network Design, Network Security, Wireless Networking.
- Database Administration – Database Design, Database Security, Data Warehousing.
- Web Development – Web Design, Web Programming, eCommerce Development.
- Systems Administration – System Implementation, System Maintenance, System Security.
- Cloud Technologies – Cloud Computing, Cloud Infrastructure, Cloud Security.
- Mobile Technologies – Mobile Application Development, Mobile Device Management, Mobile User Experience.
- Data Science – Data Analysis, Data Mining, Data Visualization.
- IT Management and Strategy – IT Consulting Services & Project Management; Enterprise Architecture & Technology Planning; Business
However, it’s important to point out that if you’re new to IT, you may need to climb the skill ladder before you can specialize. For example, if you want to be a database administrator, you may need to start as a database analyst or developer. Likewise, if you’re going to be an ethical hacker, you may need to start as a security analyst.
Researching these categories and subcategories will give you a clearer idea about what area of IT you want to specialize in. Once you have narrowed down your options, the next step is to choose the right IT certifications that will get you there.
Start With The Basics
When you’re ready to make your first IT employment step, you’ll start with the basics. You’ll begin by taking certification courses that will give you a basic understanding of information technology. Whether you are interested in a career in Information Security or believe that System Administration could be a good fit, you must begin with the fundamentals.
You’ll get access to a wide range of jobs if you have at least one of the following certifications: CompTIA A+, Linux Essentials, or Microsoft Fundamentals. Hopefully, as you finish them, you’ll discover specialty areas that intrigue you.
MyComputerCareer can help you get started on your IT certification journey with courses that will give you the foundation you need to succeed.
Once you have completed the fundamental certifications, you are ready to mold your IT career. Some individuals prefer to stay at the generalist level and start working immediately in entry-level jobs. Most people will choose to advance to the next level and specialize. You have the option of earning those certifications before or during your employment if that makes things easier for you.
This is when your certification courses will start to be more specialized to the major category you’ve picked. If you want to work in Network and Cloud Technologies, for example, you’ll need certifications that are more focused on this area. You’ll get certificates from a certain vendor that will aid your progression to the next level if you choose them.
More specialized IT certifications include:
- Security: CompTIA Security+, Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA), Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH), GIAC Penetration Tester (GPEN)
- Networking: Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP), CompTIA Network+, Juniper Networks Certified Internet Associate (JNCIA)
- Cloud: Amazon Web Services Certified Solutions Architect, Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA)
- Database: Oracle Certified Professional (OCP), Microsoft SQL Server
- Web Development: Adobe Certified Expert (ACE), Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD)
- Mobile: Apple Certified iOS Technician (ACiT), Google Android Certified Application Developer (GACAD)
- Project Management: PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP), CompTIA Project+
These are only a few of the most popular IT certifications. New ones are released all the time as technology changes and new vendors enter the market. When you have decided on your chosen IT field, research what certifications will help you get there.
The most important part of getting started in your IT career is taking that first step. Don’t be afraid to start with the basics and work your way up. MyComputerCareer can help you get started on your IT certification journey so that you can get the foundation you need to succeed. With our experience and guidance, you’ll be well on your way to a successful IT career.
You can take our Free Career Evaluation. MyComputerCareer will recommend the most appropriate curriculum to pursue your professional goals, whether you’re a novice to IT or have years of professional expertise.