How do you prove that you have learned or mastered business analysis or computer programming or project management or any other Information technology career?
Do you demonstrate your competency with a college degree or by gaining hands-on experience or acquiring a certification?
In some professions like medicine or law, there is a rigorous licensing, certification and training process without which you cannot practice practice the profession or get a job.
But in Information Technology (IT), you can become a software tester, business analyst, computer programmer, IT Manager or project manager without any supporting certification, college/post-graduate degree or license.
However, unlike so many other professions, you cannot get a job or succeed in an information technology career without a fair amount of hands-on experience or professional expertise.
As a matter of fact, the IT Industry is notorious for being performance or results driven. This explains why many managers fail to attach extra weight to educational qualifications and the like.
When was the last time your firm hired a web designer based on the web designer’s educational qualifications or hired a project manager with an MBA and zero work experience over a project manager with 10 years of hands-on experience and no MBA degree?
The superiority of hands-on experience over college education or certifications becomes self-evident when computer science or information technology college graduates find it hard to get jobs because they lack practical, hands-on experience or skills!
With that in mind, here is a question submitted by a college student on “how to deal with college”.
… the toughest challenges facing my career includes methodologies that our lecturers employ in teaching IT related topics; being not practical rather too theoretical, lack of competence criteria, difficulties in job seeking.
Become A Practical Learner
Find a way to build, create or perform the real-world tasks that correspond to the courses you’re taking in college.
If you are learning web design or computer programming, join an open-source project an contribute your code or start one of your own.
If you’re learning technical writing, volunteer to work on a commercial or open-source project where your skills and contribution will be used to create real-world solutions.
That will help you create a portfolio of projects that will open doors for you!
Find the real-world practical tasks that correspond to whatever theoretical skills you are learning from college and get a heads-up on your competition that way!
Take a Lot of Knowledge-Based Tests
Take tests or certifications not to get a job but to sharpen your skills, advance your knowledge or deepen your understanding of the industry.
Do not depend on tests or certifications to get a job because hiring managers realize that certifications by themselves are not necessarily a true test of ability.
Practice tests or certifications are better used for sharpening your skills or improving your comprehension or retention of a subject.
Discover and Follow your Passion
Don’t worry about making money after college. Rather use your time in college to find what you love or what you’re good at.
After college, get a job you’re passionate about at any cost … even if you are under-paid compared to your colleagues.
Don’t go into a career because it is popular or because it pays well.
Rather, follow your dreams, passions or strengths and the money will follow you after a while because you will excel and command the top pay in your industry .. if you are passionate about your job!