What is the Best Way to Get IT Experience?

You need experience in the IT world before you can get a job in the field, but how do you get IT experience before you land your first job? This is one of the more serious issues facing college graduates today. You spend two to four years studying a topic in the hopes of landing a job weeks after you graduate, but most students find that they have problems finding even an entry-level position. When you need IT experience to land your first job, you can get that experience in a few different ways.

Get Certified

If you have a hard time finding a job in the IT world after graduating, consider going back to school to get certified. You can earn certification that will let you work as a systems administrator, a specialist in repairing electronic devices, or dozens of other fields. Most of these programs let you enroll and finish your studies in as short as six weeks, while other programs run for six months or longer. Those positions can help you show that you have some experience even if you haven’t worked in the field yet.

Look or Volunteer Work

Stop spending all of your time on your resume and looking for jobs and start spending more time as a volunteer. Now is the chance to make use of those relationships you formed over the years. Look for chances to help your church, a former employer or even your family. Even if you do something as simple as create a computer network for your church to use in its offices, you can add that to your resume. All the volunteer work you do counts as experience in the IT field. Allan Hoffman of Monster.com recommends looking at community centers and volunteer matching organizations for these experiences.

College Internship

One of the best ways to get IT experience is with a college internship, but internships don’t stop when you graduate. As long as you can handle working without receiving a paycheck, you can find an internship. Many government internships are available for those currently enrolled in school and those who recently graduated. Though some internships come with a weekly or monthly stipend or a regular paycheck, most IT internships give you experience in lieu of payment. Check with your college and former professors for help finding an internship while in school or after you graduate.

Make Your Resume Shine

Before you apply for another job, take a look at your resume. Does your resume really show the experience that you have? Many IT students keep their resumes short and only include information they think is relevant to the position. A capstone project or thesis project that you did as part of your studies helped you gain experience and is worthy of a spot on your resume. You can also add a former internship to show that you have experience in one specific area, and you can add any work or studies that you did outside of the classroom as well.

Information technology is a hot field right now with plenty of jobs available, but with the number of students graduating from college every year, you might find that landing a job is harder than you thought. To get IT experience that will make finding a job a little easier, think about improving your resume and gaining experience as a volunteer or intern.

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