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How to Start a Career in Information Technology

This article is sponsored by Flinders University

Are you a computer whiz with a knack for problem-solving? Then a career in information technology (IT) could be perfect for you! 

The IT sector in Australia has grown rapidly in recent years, and projections indicate there will be a 3.1 per cent increase in roles over the next five years and over a million technology workers in the country by 2027. The IT sector is expected to contribute over $200 billion to the economy by 2030. 

This means now is the ideal time to get involved in this thriving industry! Read on to find out everything you need to know about how to get a job in IT. 

Step 1: Get qualified!

Luckily, when it comes to careers in IT, there are lots of qualification options to explore. 

Short courses, like the eight-month to one-year Diploma in Information Technology from Flinders University Academy, are a fantastic way to prepare for entry into a variety of bachelor’s degrees. 

A diploma can also be a great way to help decide which specialty or undergraduate degree you want to pursue before making the three-year commitment, while still gaining valuable experience in your chosen field. 

Once you move into an undergraduate program, like a Bachelor of Computer Science or a Bachelor of IT in Game Development, you can specialise in a certain field, gain work experience and connect with like-minded people. 

Find your specialisation

So what does information technology encompass? With many areas to specialise in, it’s a good idea to spend some time researching where your degree could take you. 

Some popular IT specialties include: 

  • Computer science 
  • Software engineering
  • Business and information systems 
  • Digital forensics
  • Game development
  • Machine learning
  • Network and cyber security systems

The most common sectors of the industry are software, services, and equipment, while software engineering, cyber security and data analysis are currently the most in-demand IT careers in Australia

However, technology is an ever-changing field, so it’s important to follow your passion. Try to find an area you especially enjoy, as this will help you find your way towards a fun and fulfilling career! 

Develop your work experience

Many undergraduate degrees in Australia will come with work experience or internship opportunities. This is an excellent way to gain experience, add to your CV and build your professional network. 

For example, Flinders University has a specialised work-integrated learning (WIL) program for some of its degrees. 

WIL can include placements, internships, professional experience or projects with community organisations. For international students, WIL can be a fantastic opportunity to gain hands-on experience in a real business environment. 

You can also look for work experience externally. Websites like Indeed or SEEK are great ways to find companies offering internships in your chosen field. 

Practise your soft skills

While you’ll need to be proficient in technology to launch your career, an equally vital and sometimes forgotten influence on your future is your soft skills. 

You can develop soft skills like professionalism, communication, teamwork and more while studying. Completing group assignments or projects will give you a chance to learn how to work with others and be a part of a successful team.

You can also build your soft skills in other ways, such as through a part-time job—even if it’s in a different field—getting involved in community sports, coaching, volunteering, travel and more.

Don’t underestimate how much these experiences can add to your employability and your resume. 

Network with professionals

It’s essential to build connections with current and future members of your industry during your studies. 

Your classmates will become important colleagues in the future, so it’s a good idea to try to develop strong relationships with your peers. Similarly, getting involved with your university’s events will provide opportunities to network and meet industry professionals. 

You can also explore the clubs and societies available at your education provider. Joining computer societies or cybersecurity societies, for example, can be a great way to meet like-minded students and expose you to opportunities outside of your studies.

Organise placement

While you’re studying, don’t forget to plan your graduation placement!

This can start with internships, which can lead to opportunities post-graduation. For instance, many students at Flinders University have found their WIL has led to full-time or graduate work.

Alternatively, take advantage of partnerships your university has with companies looking to hire graduates. 

The IT industry is an exciting innovator and helps solve problems in business, commerce, defence, medical research, climate change and the environment. Tailor your studies to suit your interests at Flinders University.