Starting a Job Search in the IT Field without Work Experience
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Earning your Associate Degree in IT & Network Systems from Laurus College is a great foundation to build your IT career upon. However, many employers out there, including those in the Information Technology (IT) industry, prefer job candidates who also have work experience in their career field.
Employers don’t always care how a candidate acquired the experience (employment, self-employment, internship, volunteer), but they want to see something on your resume that indicates you can begin contributing to their business operation from day one. Here are four strategies that can help you overcome the ‘work experience’ hurdle:
1. Apply Anyway. Too often, recent college graduates let experience requirements on job postings keep them from applying. At Laurus College, our Career Services department recommends that you apply for every position in your field that requires two (2) years of experience or less. Sometimes employers turn out preferring the candidates with less experience so they can ‘mold’ them into the perfect fit for their company. There are other times where the employer is simply ‘hoping’ for experienced candidates, but ends up with a pool of applicants that all lack experience; with a strong resume & interview, you can easily rise to the top of their list.
2. Pursue an Internship. Most businesses don’t post internship opportunities, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t open to creating one for the right individual. Just recently, a student from Laurus College walked into a computer repair shop, introduced himself to the manager, and talked himself into an internship. Whether or not the internship is paid will vary, but keep in mind that the primary goal of an internship is to gain work experience so that you can eventually land a good paying job in the IT field.
3. Volunteer. Find a business that would be willing to let you volunteer for a few hours each week working on projects that directly relate to IT. Faith-based and charitable organizations are often times the most eager for volunteers with IT expertise (as these organizations don’t always have the operating budgets to carry their own IT staff). Large churches, United Way, Goodwill Industries and Red Cross are examples of organizations you can reach out to, as well as smaller non-profit organizations in your community.
4. Create Your Own Experience. Start a small side business doing IT work for friends and family. Become the neighborhood go-to person for technical support. Purchase desktop computers and laptops at garage sales or from Craigslist and refurbish them. Do anything you can to get your hands “under the hood” of a computer.
The Information Technology (IT) & Network Systems Degree program at Laurus College can help you get where you want to be. Learn more about the IT Programs at Laurus College