Bobby Knight, the Senior Vice President of Strategic Sales and Delivery for Modis, discusses how to build a career in IT. He says having an interest in the industry is vital, and there are all kinds of ways to get started, from getting a formal education to keeping up with the right technology. It’s also important to stay current on your industry research like listening to informative podcasts and read industry-related magazines to stay updated on IT developments.
“The best jobs are found by relationships,” he said. “If you have a good reputation and a good relationship with someone, this could be a good resource for you to find a new job or career.”
When asked whether it’s better to specialize in one specific IT area or to be a more well-rounded candidate, Knight said the well-rounded path is preferable. In a customer environment, people will have all kinds of different issues and various types of software. IT professionals who not only have a basic understanding of technology but who can also speak to various levels and types of technology are always in high demand.
Knight stresses the importance of keeping up with technology. “Because it changes so fast, you’re never done,” he said, but he loves this part about the industry because you can continue learning.
Tons of apps out there can be used to keep up with tech, and while this type of mobility is critical to conveying new technology, there’s another type of mobility also important to finding a job — you have to be able to pick up and move to a different location to fill a position. The unemployment rate for IT professionals is probably less than 2%, he said, because the demand for IT talent is high. Businesses that put off IT-related projects in the last few years are now at the point in which they need to pick up the projects again.
If you’re looking to hire IT professionals, be aware that the newer generation likes to communicate via texting and email, so learn how to attract talent through those channels.
If you’re looking for a job, remember that the best job typically isn’t the one that’s posted — it’s the one you hear about through a friend or connection,” he said. “Always be interviewing and building your reputation, because that’s what’s going to give you your next job and probably your best job. Make sure you’re also building your personal brand: check that your Facebook page is presentable, update your LinkedIn profile, etc.
Knight suggests that if you want to know more about a job candidate, look at his or her Twitter account because you can see who the person is following and who’s following him or her. This information can tell you a lot about a person. This also ties back in with maintaining your personal brand on the Internet.
People in the IT industry are aware of the good (and bad) reputations individuals have and know that certain jobs will teach you certain favorable skills. If you want to get into IT work, maintain the quality of your personal brand, network with others in the field of your interest, and stay updated on IT news.