Natalia Szwedo – IT Recruiter with nearly 4 years of experience in the outsourcing industry, having transitioned from financial recruitment to IT recruitment for investment banking and FinTech clients. Her key responsibilities include proactively sourcing talent and executing a comprehensive recruitment process. She is best at recruiting at the intersection of business and IT and cyber security. In her day-to-day work, she focuses on building long-term relationships and guiding candidates through the recruitment process in a friendly manner.
In today’s fast-paced world, information technology (IT) is one of the fastest growing and promising employment sector. That is why many people are considering changing careers and entering the IT market. This goal may seem daunting at first, but with the right approach and action plan, it can be successfully achieved. Where to start?
The market for IT professionals is constantly evolving. Over the past decade we have witnessed not only a huge technological leap globally, but also changes in the learning, working and personal development model. The ability to attend online courses and study online at top universities around the world has fundamentally changed the perspectives on professional development and career building.
Today, it is even possible to change careers several times in a lifetime. According to the “Switch to IT as a Career Opportunity” survey conducted by the EnterTheCode.pl platform, almost 10% of respondents plan to reskill in the next 12 months, and around 40% are considering switching to an IT career.
The report identifies the following jobs as the most popular among respondents: Tester, Data Analyst and Project Manager. While these roles are well paid, they do not require a long learning curve in terms of programming skills, which is often a barrier to entry for newcomers.
One of the biggest trends shaping our future is the rise of Artificial Intelligence. The World Economic Forum suggests that AI will have a significant impact on the future of the labour market. So which skills are worth investing in today?
According to the report “The impact of new technology development trends on the competency needs of the IT sector” published by Antal and the Sector Skills Council for IT, these include:
With the IT industry playing a key role in the digital future, analytical thinking, creativity and strong technological expertise will also be essential skills. Significant trends include cloud computing, mixed reality, big data, cybersecurity, quantum computing, edge computing, blockchain and IoT.
If you want to start a career in IT, you should keep in mind that while the sector’s future will be dynamic and challenging, it still holds great opportunities. The key to success is to invest in the development of digital skills and continuous improvement. However, it’s worth being patient and humble – many people consider moving into IT because of the salaries, and it’s the junior or entry-level roles that have the highest number of applicants. In fact, there can be more than 1000 applications for a single vacancy! So it pays to think long term about your career. You can start by:
The first step is to understand why you want to enter the IT market and what you want to achieve. Do you want to change jobs, increase your income, advance your career or pursue your passions? Identifying your goals and motivations will help you choose the right path and maintain your competitive spirit during difficult times.
IT is a huge field covering many areas such as programming, computer networks, data analysis, user interface design (UI/UX) and many more. Consider which area you are most interested in and have an aptitude for. This will help you focus your learning and development efforts on a specific domain. This way you can have a clear focus for your learning and development in that area. Do a lot of research and have a look at the material that is available – YouTube channels, blogs, courses or company profiles will show you what people do. Set aside time to try out the areas you have chosen in practice – for example, programming or OSINT. This way you will have an idea of your level of comfort with the subject!
Whichever area of specialisation you choose, education is key. You can start by taking online courses, reading books and participating in coding communities. You should also look for training or degree programmes that provide a solid foundation in your chosen field. In the age of the internet, you can take advantage of programmes offered by universities from all around the world. When you do this, it is worth finding a mentor – a tutor – to help you with your development. This person could be a colleague or a specialist who helps people along a particular path and should have experience in the industry.
Practice is essential to succeeding in IT. Creating your own projects, participating in hackathons, labs and volunteering activities can help you build an impressive portfolio that will attract the attention of potential employers.
In some areas of IT, industry certifications can greatly improve your job prospects. Consider obtaining certifications such as CompTIA A+, Cisco CCNA, AWS Certified Solutions Architect or certifications for business roles such as PRINCE2, Agile, PSM. There are many options, and each career path has a list of certificates that are most sought after by employers.
Apart from technical skills, soft skills such as communication, teamwork and problem solving are also vital. Employers often favour candidates who have the ability to collaborate and communicate effectively, and who demonstrate business acumen and an aptitude for teamwork.
In the IT sector, networking can be key to finding a job, but also for advancing your career. Join local groups, attend conferences and industry meetings, and maintain your own online support network. When it comes to next steps, remember to consult your mentor. It’s also a good idea to set up a blog. You can showcase your activities, contribute to discussions or use your skills to help the local community in interesting ways. Working in the IT sector is a team game, and commitment is crucial!
With the necessary determination, you can achieve the success you dream of. Organisations and companies looking for new hires pay close attention to candidates’ talents and unique skills and think ahead. This is especially important as IT professionals remain in short supply.
According to a report by the Polish Economic Institute, Poland still needs 147,000 IT professionals to reach the EU average (4.5%) in terms of the share of IT workers in the total workforce. There is a shortage of cybersecurity professionals and a growing number of AI-related job opportunities.
Outsourcing of engineers and IT professionals is a popular model for hiring employees. With a highly skilled workforce and relatively low labour costs compared to wages in Western European countries, Poland is an attractive destination for investors. It is here that experts are sought and job offers are posted. At ITDS, we help our clients source experts from all over the world.
What else should you consider when planning a career in IT? According to a recent survey conducted by Hays Poland among almost 1,000 professionals, up to 92% place a high value on a company’s organisational culture. And so do we. Your choice of company should always be in line with your needs and values, as this is a long-term development process.
At ITDS, we are committed to ensuring that our professionals are part of the best teams and have access to the best projects that are delivered to the highest standards, and we care about your long-term development. Our motto is #makeITbetter – we aim to make the industry better by matching the professional aspirations of IT experts with the needs of clients seeking professional support for their projects. Get to know us better.