Thinking About A Career Change

Discussion in 'IT and Computer-Related Degrees' started by lawrenceq, Nov 4, 2017.

  1. lawrenceq

    lawrenceq Member

    How would you go about breaking into the IT industry (web development) if you had zero experience?
  2. nyvrem

    nyvrem Active Member

    Focus on what you want to learn and what type of job you would like to have. Wed development is pretty broad. Do you want to dive into? front end development? backend dev.? other things inbetween that might peek your interest? UX/UI ? Mobile Dev. ?

    Once you've found what you think you might be interested in. start with the basics/foundations.

    Check out Udacity/Cousera/Udemy for free courses on IT.

    You'd be looking at some of these basics.




    OOP background (start with python)

    once you got the hang of them, you can dig deeper into things like



    understanding of frameworks


    Mobile dev. would require you to study Swift/Java programming languages

    You can pick all these up online for free. If you need help, check stack overflow. there's alot of questions and answers on IT there. You would want to understand Github as well. There's alot of open base projects you can contribute too. This will help you get hands on real life experience. You'd also want to create a personal portfolio (eg your own website) that shows what you've done over the years.

    Getting some industrial certifications would help since you don't have an IT degree. Look into Microsoft certifications (MCSA/MCSE) You would want to check out SQL certifications too. Microsoft has a virtual academy that offers free online classes for the exams.

    If you want to consider getting an IT degree, U Mass online has a 2nd Degree in IT program that only needs you to do 10 modules.

    Other places would have options as well, such as Oregon State Uni's 2nd degree in comp sci.

    IT is never ending. There's always some new emerging technology that you'll need to learn and re-learn. You whole life won't be just about coding. There's alot of other things that happens inbetween. It more like solving problems + working in teams.

    Wish you the best ~
  3. lawrenceq

    lawrenceq Member

    Thanks for the input.
  4. toronto198

    toronto198 New Member

    Something popular right now are bootcamps, while expensive, here in MTL the most popular bootcamp has currently near 100% placement rate. I spent 2 years on an associate 10 years ago and started with about 15k less than what we are offering the bootcamp guys, and the bootcamp is only 3 months.


    I would suggest you do not spread too much, this will tend to overload you with information.

    select a specialization, either front-end, back-end or devops,
    Select languages very popular in your area,
    do courses,
    do some open source projects and put them on github.

    Then you should be able to hit some junior position
  5. lawrenceq

    lawrenceq Member

    Thanks. I've looked over everything and I'm definitely more interested in backend development.
  6. TheCreeper

    TheCreeper New Member

    I am in the USA. I'm in the same boat you are in as far as looking to change my career into IT with no experience.

    I was also looking into web development (about a year ago) and I decided to forget about programming/development from what I found in my research...

    I had found way too many blog posts, articles and forum threads about programming/web development jobs in the USA frequently being outsourced. Or, even if a company does not outsource, they will bring in foreign programmers/developers through work visas and pay them less (not as cheap as outsourcing, but still cheaper even after sponsorship/relocation costs).

    I have decided to stay away from concentrations that can easily be outsourced. You cannot avoid a company bringing in guest workers through visas, though. But removing the threat of outsourcing gives you a better chance at getting and keeping jobs, even if only marginally.

    This is certainly something to think about if you live in the USA or in a Western country in general. I'm not saying you can't get a job in programming/development if you live in the West, but from what I have gathered, it's a lot more unstable a concentration than other IT concentrations.

    I don't know if things have changed (I don't know why it would), so you'll want to do your own research, of course. IT appears to be a very dog-eat-dog industry...not as easy to break into as it once was (just like any other professions anymore). Because of a surplus of people now having/getting IT/CS-related degrees (because the market was demanding it a few years ago), managers are now favoring either experience OR young age/fresh degree over everything else. However, it all depends on your geographical area, of course.

    From what I gather, information security is "where it's at" today in the IT market. However, experience in other concentrations coupled with information security is often favorable over some newbie with a information security degree.

    Again, this is from my own research. You will have to do your own and come to your own conclusions.
  7. AsianStew

    AsianStew Active Member

    You can always start off with transferring your courses over to a competency based degree program such as Brandman or Hodges, NAU, UW Wisconson, Capella, WGU and so on. Those programs allow you to transfer your current Bachelors into their undergraduate degrees in IT. Or if you prefer, you can go for one of the Big 3, transfer everything in and take 24-30 credits in the new area of study.
  8. BusinessManIT

    BusinessManIT Member

    Yes, IT is a very unstable field now. Outsourcing. High pressure. Aggressive deadlines. After hours support. On call. Lots and lots of usually unpaid overtime. Lower pay nowadays and far more to learn than in the past.

    IT is a pressure cooker that I am glad to have left after a 36 year career in IT. When I started in 1980, it was far easier to break into. I was trained to be a programmer at my first IT job simply because I had recently graduated college with a Bachelor's degree (non-IT). My boss decided that since I was a college graduate I must be smart and thus able to learn to be a programmer. I had to learn the COBOL programming language, and nothing else. Thus, I became a programmer. There was nothing else to learn. I was a programmer who coded with COBOL. 85% of programming positions at that time were for COBOL programmers. It was a stable career. Not as much pressure, no outsourcing to speak of. High salaries. Easy to jump to other companies since you only needed to know COBOL.

    Nowadays, to be a programmer, you need to know many programming languages, and more, much more. This field has deteriorated so much that if I was 22 years old again, I would never consider it.
    Cosmic Fury likes this.
  9. Michelle Carlos

    Michelle Carlos New Member

    Careers in the software industry are wide open – even for people who don't have experience from the relevant field. Although it is a highly skilled profession, unlike areas such as law and finance, there are no accreditations or formal exams needed to become a developer.

    However, through focusing on the following areas, aspiring developers will find themselves at an advantage, with or without experience.

    • Be enthusiastic – you need to enjoy programming to do it well
    • Do your research to learn the most relevant practices
    • Participate in communities – both real and virtual
    • Look for opportunities to develop your IT skills
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 29, 2018
  10. Elijah James

    Elijah James New Member

    Ms. Michelle Carlos, Thanks for sharing the details about IT industry. Today many people choose IT industry as there is tremendous growth in the industry.
  11. graduate

    graduate Member

    A large number of intake is already cut down due to restrictions on H1B visa, I suggest to re-think guys, I also came here as a programmer last decade, in general there are always a large number of jobs that companies keep advertising for months and months but didn't get right talent.
    If you are talented, adaptable to newer technologies and can work hard, then it is a great career. I don't know any good talented programmer who stay out of work for months, provided he/she is willing to relocate, Downsides are pressure, never ending learning, instability to stick/stay at one job/place for too long. You'll always find contracting jobs in virtually all places of US on rates that are second only to medical folks.

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