Back to Blog

How To Get Into IT

How To Get Into IT in 2024 đź’»

11 minute read | April 26, 2024
Maria Muntean

Written by:
Maria Muntean

Ready to launch your career?

In 2024, the tech industry is on track to exceed $5 trillion in global spending. With innovations like AI, blockchain, and quantum computing becoming more mainstream, there’s never been a more exciting time to pursue a career in this field.

In this article, we’ll simplify the first steps you need to take to get into IT this year, from understanding your career options to honing your technical and soft skills. If you want to make a significant career shift within IT, read on. 

Is It Easy To Get A Job In IT?

Yes, it’s manageable if you pursue a step-by-step framework. However, it depends on several factors, including your experience, qualifications, the role you want to pursue, and the demand for that role in the market.

The high demand for IT roles can make it easier to find a job, but it also attracts more people to the field. At the same time, the rise of remote work has made some IT jobs more accessible, allowing for opportunities not limited by geographical location, so you can easily work from home. 

How To Get Into IT: A 9-Step Guide

Although almost anyone who loves the prospect of a tech job can successfully land a role, few are motivated and disciplined enough to go through with their choice.

Here’s a 9-step guide to pursuing your first role in IT.

  • Research different career paths

  • Take a course before making the leap

  • Meet the educational requirements

  • Build your skillset

  • Explore hackathons & open-source projects to create a portfolio

  • Find a mentor

  • Pursue an internship 

  • Remember: your network is your net worth

  • Work toward the job you want

1. Research different career paths and shortlist your own

The first step to finding your way is researching and understanding the various tech career paths in the IT sector. We’re not just talking about specific roles but specific IT fields where you can pursue various roles.

Here are just a few examples:

  • Software development is ideal for those who love problem-solving and creating new things. If you’re fascinated by the thought of building apps or developing software that impacts people’s lives, this could be your calling.
  • Cybersecurity is perfect for individuals passionate about protecting data. This role involves developing strategies to prevent attacks, monitoring systems for security breaches, and responding to incidents.
  • Data analysis is suited for curious minds who enjoy numbers and insights, as you’ll need to interpret complex datasets to help businesses make informed decisions.
  • Network administration is best for those interested in the “skeleton” of the internet and its internal systems. Network administrators manage, maintain, and troubleshoot networks.

You need some thorough research to choose among these paths. 

Consider what excites you, your natural talents, and the kind of work environment you thrive in.

It’s also wise to look at each field’s future growth prospects; depending on technological trends and demands, some areas may offer more opportunities (e.g., “Is AI likely to replace me in this role? “).

Throughout this process, don’t be afraid to converse with professionals already in the field and ask for their advice and experience.

2. Take a course before making the leap

Before making major decisions, it’s smart to take an IT course to test the waters. This will help solidify your interest and give you a foundational understanding of the field you’re attracted to.

The good news is that there are plenty of options, ranging from free online tutorials to paid bootcamps.

Both online and in-person formats have their perks. Online courses offer flexibility and a vast selection and are ideal for self-starters and those balancing other commitments. On the other hand, in-person courses provide a structured environment and direct access to instructors, which is perfect for beginners needing more guidance or those looking to network.

However, when deciding on a course, pay attention to some of the following:

  • What does the curriculum look like? Ensure it covers the fundamentals and specific technologies or skills relevant to your chosen role.
  • Look for courses taught by instructors with real-world experience.
  • Consider courses that offer hands-on projects and real-life scenario simulations, as these are the ones helping you build an actual portfolio.

Some courses offer job guarantees or career advice services and mentorship, which can be a huge advantage in your job search.

3. Meet the educational requirements

Not every IT position requires a formal college degree.

However, having one significantly puts you in an advantageous position, especially for more sought-after jobs such as software engineering. 

You can pursue computer science, information technology, cybersecurity, or software E]engineering degrees. A degree in data science or analytics is best if you’re interested in the data side. 

Moreover, you can pursue specialized programs like network administration or cloud computing, as these are more targeted and prepare you for a specific role’s challenges more efficiently. 

4. Build your skillset

Programming, cloud computing, and cybersecurity are essential technical skills for a tech career.

Within programming, you’ll need to know languages such as Python, Java (or Kotlin, more popular nowadays), and JavaScript, as they’re in demand for their versatility and use within software development. When it comes to Cloud computing skills, more and more companies migrate to cloud-based solutions (if not all), so you’ll need familiarity with platforms like AWS, Azure, or Google Cloud.

Last but not least, you’ll probably also need a bit of cybersecurity expertise, i.e., understanding how to protect networks, systems, and data. To build these skills, you can:

  • Engage in coding challenges and hackathons;
  • Gain hands-on experience with cloud services through free tiers and personal projects;
  • Study the principles of network security, encryption, and ethical hacking;
  • Take online courses and obtain certifications in specific technologies or platforms;
  • Contribute to open-source projects.

A good IT professional also has soft skills, including effective communication, problem-solving, and teamwork.

5. Explore sample projects, hackathons, open-source projects, or volunteer work to create your portfolio

You can pursue unlimited projects, but with so many options, you must carefully allocate your time and resources to those that best suit your goals.

To build some sample projects, start by identifying a problem you’re passionate about solving or a tool you think could benefit others. Use platforms like GitHub to find inspiration or templates to kickstart your project. Focus on applying the technologies and skills you want to showcase to employers and ensure your project is well-documented and accessible online. 

You can also build projects during hackathons. These are intensive, competitive events where you can collaborate and solve problems within a tight timeframe. These events are in-person or virtual opportunities to network, learn new skills rapidly, and work under pressure. When you participate, focus on contributing effectively to your team, embracing new challenges, and pushing your boundaries.

What most beginners prefer to focus on and have the most success with, though, are open-source projects, as they allow you to give back to the community while building a portfolio. Start by selecting a project that aligns with your interests and skill level on platforms like GitHub. Initially, you might contribute by fixing bugs, adding features, or improving documentation.

And while working on your own and building a few projects is a great way to add some experience to your resume, make sure to also focus on landing a gig — whether volunteering, an internship, or a freelance opportunity.

6. Pursue an internship 

If you’re pursuing a degree and want to land an internship, leverage your university’s career services. These services often have partnerships with companies looking for interns.

If you’re not enrolled in any course, browse through online job boards like LinkedIn, Indeed, and Glassdoors, as well as specialized sites like and WayUp. 

When evaluating internship options, consider the tech company’s culture, the skills you’ll develop, and the potential for mentorship. Look for roles that offer hands-on experience in your area of interest and clarify your responsibilities. It’s also beneficial to check reviews from past interns on sites like Glassdoor to get a sense of their experiences.

7. Find a mentor

A mentor should provide you with all the guidance you need, help you set and achieve career goals, and, eventually, introduce you to their professional network. Try to seek someone with a strong track record in your area of interest with a deep understanding of the tech industry.

A good example is Springboard’s mentorship program, where learners are paired with industry experts who provide one-on-one guidance, tailored advice, and support throughout their learning journey. This type of mentorship program is especially beneficial for those looking to make significant progress in their career in tech, offering personalized feedback and real-world expertise that can be hard to find elsewhere.

8. Remember: your network is your net worth (so get involved in the community)

“Your network is your net worth” is particularly important in such a competitive industry. Let’s break this down in an actionable five-step process:

  • Identify your goals. Before networking, clarify what you’re hoping to achieve. Are you looking for a mentor, seeking job opportunities, or aiming to stay ahead of industry trends? 
  • Join relevant communities and platforms. Sign up for and participate in relevant online forums, social media groups, and professional networks like LinkedIn, GitHub, and Stack Overflow. Look for communities that align with your interests, such as specific programming languages, technologies, or areas within IT. Other engaging platforms include Hacker News (Y Combinator),, Slashdot, and the Twitter #buildingpublic community.
  • Actively engage. Simply joining groups isn’t enough. You should actively engage by asking questions, contributing to discussions, and sharing interesting articles or your own projects.
  • Build relationships. Networking is about building relationships, not just collecting contacts. When you connect with someone, whether online or in person, aim to build a genuine connection. Follow up with those you meet with a message or email expressing your interest in keeping in touch and mentioning any specific topics you discussed. Over time, these connections often become valuable professional relationships.
  • Offer value. Always look for ways to offer value to your network. This could be sharing job leads, offering project feedback, or providing support and advice when others face challenges.

9. Work toward the job you want

Now that you’ve got the basics covered let’s see how you can get started with your job search.

Create a strong resume

When building your tech resume, the golden rule is to tailor it for each job application. This means carefully reading the job description and highlighting your experiences and tech skills that align with what the employer is seeking. 

Use keywords from the job listing to beat Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) and clarify why you’re the ideal candidate for the role. Your resume should include:

  • Professional summary: A brief section that outlines your IT experience, key skills, and what you bring to the table.
  • Technical and transferable skills: List programming languages, software, tools, and technologies you use, as well as operating systems you’re familiar with.
  • Projects: Highlight specific projects you’ve worked on, including any you spearheaded or contributed significantly to.
  • Experience: Detail your professional experiences, focusing on achievements and responsibilities in past roles.
  • Education and certifications: Include degrees, certificates, and courses.

Optimize your LinkedIn profile 

On LinkedIn, use a professional photo and create a headline that states your current position (if any) and your areas of interest within IT.

Your summary should tell your professional story, highlighting your passion for technology, key achievements (use numbers), and what you’re looking for next. Be specific about your tech skills, projects you’ve worked on, and tools you’re proficient in.

Remember: It’s a numbers game when it comes to applications

Don’t be discouraged if you’ve applied to 20 positions and not heard back. The IT job market is competitive, and many roles receive dozens, if not hundreds, of applications. 

Analyze jobs that didn’t pan out: Could your resume have been more tailored? Was there a skill gap you could address? 

Whenever possible, ask for feedback from employers who chose not to proceed with your application. 

Entry-Level IT Jobs To Consider

Here are some of the most in-demand entry-level positions in tech.

Resources To Find IT Jobs

You’ve got your resume ready, your skills are well-defined, and you’ve got that nice degree or course to back you up.

But how do you find your first IT job?

  • Job boards. They are often the first step for many professionals. Indeed, Glassdoor and Angelist are good for filtering IT jobs, allowing you to narrow your search based on location, job title, experience level, and even specific technologies or skills. Pay special attention to the job description and required skills to tailor your application accordingly. You can also set up alerts according to your search criteria to be among the first applicants.
  • Networking And LinkedIn. Use LinkedIn’s job search function to look for opportunities and apply filters such as location and experience level to find roles that fit your goals. You can also filter by remote jobs if you’re looking for flexibility. Beyond the standard job listings, look for actual “posts” and people actively posting and seeking candidates to fill roles.
  • Online communities. Subreddits like r/ITCareerQuestions, r/cscareerquestions, and r/forhire offer a mix of advice, job listings, and networking opportunities. Engaging actively and contributing to discussions is vital to building your reputation and network on these platforms. Pay attention to posts from potential employers and recruiters, but also be proactive by sharing your skills and availability for work. 
  • Freelance platforms and marketplaces. Fiverr and Upwork are very popular among IT folks looking for project-based work or freelance opportunities. However, they are very overcrowded, with many people competing for work at very low rates. They can be an excellent place to start and build a portfolio, but it can quickly become overwhelming. Focus on projects that pay fairly and genuinely contribute to your professional growth.

FAQs About Getting into IT

We answer your most frequently asked questions.

Does An IT Career Pay Well?

Yes, an IT career generally pays very well, above-average incomes. The salaries, however, vary widely depending on the specific role, experience level, and location.

What’s The Easiest IT Job To Start With?

Help desk or IT support roles are considered the most accessible entry points into the IT field. These positions require basic technical knowledge and strong communication skills.

How Long Does It Take To Start An IT Career?

Starting an IT career can take a few months with certifications and bootcamps to four years if you’re pursuing a bachelor’s degree. The duration depends mainly on the learning path chosen and the specific IT field.

What Degree Do Most IT Jobs Require?

Many IT jobs require a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, Information Technology, or related areas. However, nowadays, most junior-level IT professionals can get by without a degree if they pursue a high-value course or bootcamp.

Can You Get Into IT Without A Degree?

Yes, it’s possible to get into IT without a degree. Many professionals enter the field with certifications, bootcamps, or self-taught skills.

Since you’re here…
Interested in a career in software engineering? Join our mentor-led Software Engineering Bootcamp or our foundational Software Engineering Course if you’re just starting out. We help people make the switch every day (just peep our reviews). You can do it, too!

About Maria Muntean

Maria-Cristina is a content marketer with 7 years of experience in SEO and content strategy for SaaS and technology brands. She holds an MA thesis on the effects of emotions in written and video content. She loves to spend time near the ocean and watch horror movies.