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Starting your Information Technology career without higher education: 3 career launching alternatives

#image 31 March 2022 | #image 3 min read



Breaking into any professional industry has its challenges, and the tech industry is no exception. It’s popular belief that attending a four-year institution and receiving a college degree will be the steppingstone many individuals need to launch their career. But sometimes, that’s not the truth.

While getting a degree is commendable, and sets you ahead of competition, there are still other alternatives that can either help in addition to – or instead of – completing a four-year degree. Let’s dive a bit deeper, shall we?

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 26 percent of IT workers in the United States do not have a college degree.

Additionally, if you search job titles, like cybersecurity or software development, on popular career sites, like Indeed or Glassdoor, you’ll notice that many companies only require a high school diploma. That’s because in 2022, employers aren’t weeding individuals out because they don’t have a 4-year degree. They want individuals that can do the job and do the job well.

Therefore, it’s safe to say that how you gain your skillset is flexible if it’s in alignment with industry standards. Here are three alternatives to higher education that align with industry standards and can help you launch a successful career in information technology (IT). Continue Reading Below:

Coding Bootcamps are a Go-To Alternative

If you’ve thought about breaking into the tech industry, then coding bootcamps have certainly crossed your mind. So, what are they? Coding Bootcamps are a go-to alternative for many individuals hoping to get their foot in the door. Coding bootcamps offer training in common computer science disciplines like cybersecurity, software engineering, UX Design and more.

These programs are a great alternative because they provide individuals with hands-on training. Training that ultimately helps students solidify skills and build portfolios to quickly enter the IT workforce. On a positive note, coding bootcamps can be completed faster and are cheaper than most colleges and universities. As far as career assistance goes, bootcamps also offer career services that facilitate meet-and-greets with employers. But it’s still mostly hands-off.

While bootcamps are great alternatives, keep in mind that it’s still up to you to create your own connections and get hired, and usually after attending coding bootcamps, the job search takes 6 months on average. Therefore, if you have the time then a coding bootcamp may be the right path for you.

Certifications are Great Additions to Degrees

If you have a degree already, then congratulations! Now you can build on top of that. Past studies have shown that 23% of IT professionals received salary increases of up to 20% after getting certified.

But what are certifications and how can you obtain one? Certifications are designated credentials earned by an individual to verify legitimacy and competence to complete a job. In comparison with universities and coding bootcamps, certifications are less intensive in training and completion time which for some individuals is a plus.

To obtain an IT certification, you must first decide on which one is right for you. Consider questions like: “What type of jobs am I interested in?” “What will allow me to build on my current skillset?”

After deciding which certification is right for you, you must pass the exam associated with said certification. Once you pass the exam, the certification is yours to add to your resume. However, you’re on your own to learn the information provided by your certification program. Therefore, it’s important to take it seriously and retain all the information provided.

Ultimately, certifications help professionals expand their knowledge, earning potential, as well as put individuals at a competitive advantage. So, if you’re someone looking for a boost in your career then getting an IT certification may be right for you.

GenSpark Gives you the Best of All Worlds

To At GenSpark we’re on a daily mission to close the talent gap by upskilling candidate pools to recast our clients’ workforce. We understand that breaking into the tech industry isn’t easy, and we also know that individuals come from underrepresented backgrounds and experience levels.

That’s why we welcome candidates from all backgrounds! Here we offer uniquely designed programs and pathways to help professionals at every level of their career. Our paid training – that’s right, paid – is designed to meet client demands, and help you get a job quicker. Here’s what that process looks like:

Once accepted into our program, GenSparkers undergo 6-to-12 weeks of paid technical and soft skill training in 1 of 20+ career pathways (see some of those career pathways here).

After training, GenSparkers are placed on “bench,” where they become full-time employees of GenSpark. This is the transition period where GenSparkers go from trainee to full-time client placements. (Until placed with a client, GenSparkers receive hourly pay as well as medical, dental, and vision benefits.)

Once placed with a client, you begin your assignment and thus you’ve broken into the industry with the help of GenSpark.

At GenSpark we don’t just train you, we ensure that everyone that comes through our program has the opportunity and skills they need to be successful in their career. So, no matter your background, if you’re someone looking to break into the IT industry, let GenSpark help you. Apply now and spark your future!


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