How to choose a profession in IT and not regret

How to choose a specialty

1. Start from your interests

There are many specialties in IT, so it is important to choose the tasks that interest you the most. Think about what you like – design, technical support, sales or team management. In addition, it is important to decide in which sector you want to work, because the demand for different specialists in specific fields may vary. For example, you can write programs in the field of healthcare or banking services, create mobile games or develop new technologies in telecommunications. Each industry will require specific knowledge that needs to be improved.

2. Research your chosen majors

When you have chosen several professions, get to know them better. Find out the requirements for applicants, the average salary, the number of vacancies in your area. Please note that a low threshold for entering the profession does not always play into the hands of beginners. For example, it is believed that testing is easy to learn, even if there is no deep technical skills. But there are also many beginners. So it’s better to choose a specialty not only on the principle of “getting into IT faster”, but also because it is really interesting.

3. Connect with people in the industry

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Look for people who work in the specialty you are interested in and find out from them what duties they perform, how their standard working day goes, what they like and dislike about the profession. They can guide you on the requirements for beginners, how to prepare a portfolio, and what to expect at an interview.

4. Try Free Courses

There are many articles, webinars and lectures on the Internet that will allow you to get to know the profession better. And some online schools open access to the first lessons or offer free short courses. You can start with them to see if you are interested in the chosen direction. Perhaps after a couple of practice sessions you will switch to another area or realize that you are ready to continue learning.

Before choosing a profession, you have to do a lot of research work – take into account your interests, the situation on the market and, if possible, try it out in practice. Career guidance tests help with this. For example, the VK platform has created a career guidance mini-application “Test Drive of IT Professions” for teenagers aged 12–18. It will introduce students to various IT specialties and give recommendations on how to study. The program works like a simulator. Having chosen a profession, a teenager will get “to the workplace” – a bot colleague will contact him, who will tell about the profession of interest and offer to complete thematic tasks. So far, six specialties can be tested in the application – for example, try yourself as an interface designer or project manager. In September, the developers plan to add ten more professions to the list.

What specialties are there in IT

1. Developer

Most often, IT is associated with developers who create computer programs. At work, you have to write code for new programs or maintain existing ones, test them and fix bugs. Developers are different, and it’s good to figure out what the soul lies in. For example, you can create mobile applications for Android or iOS, games or websites. There are front-end developers who are responsible for the interface of the product. And there is a backend – they are engaged in the “internal” web applications, hidden from the eyes of visitors.

Interest in a particular area will determine further education. Let’s say that to create applications for Android, you need Java and Kotlin programming languages. And iOS developers use Swift more often.

2. Software tester

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This specialist checks the operation of applications. He not only looks for errors and vulnerabilities, but also evaluates how convenient and understandable the program is from the user’s point of view. The tester has several verification methods in his arsenal. Manuals look for errors manually. But this is not to say that they just push buttons – a good tester thinks through non-standard situations in order to check how the program works. For example, what happens if the user presses the same button many times, starts typing hieroglyphs and special characters, starts the application when the battery is very low or at the same time as others.

In addition to manuals, there are autotesters – they write code that allows you to find errors. The choice of method depends on the situation. Manual testing helps to test the overall design and usability of an application, is cheaper, and is suitable for smaller projects. And the same autotests can be used every time new features are introduced.

3. Business Analyst

Acts as a link between the customer and developers. He clarifies the wishes for the future project, describes them in a language understandable to engineers and proposes solutions that will bring maximum benefit at minimum cost. In other words, when a customer comes in with a wish to “do it well,” the business analyst is figuring out exactly how to do it and whether the team has the technical ability to do so.

A business analyst needs to be able to gather information, communicate effectively, and convincingly convince why certain solutions are useful for the client. English will come in handy – most companies work with clients around the world.

4. UI/UX designer

In the name of the profession, you can see two abbreviations. UX is User Experience (user experience): what results and impressions a person gets from interacting with the program. And UI – User Interface (user interface): how the program looks. At the intersection of these concepts, the profession of UI / UX designer is born.

This specialist thinks through the logic of the application, analyzes user behavior and designs the visual part of the design. His task is to make the application not only beautiful, but also convenient and understandable. Let’s say that an online store website can have very effective photos. But they make little sense if the “Add to Cart” button is hidden somewhere at the bottom of the page and it is difficult for the user to find it.

The ability to draw well is not necessary for a UI/UX designer. But to have an artistic taste, to understand fonts, to be able to work in graphic editors is necessary.

5. Project Manager

The task of the project manager is to organize the work of the team, distribute tasks and check the deadlines for their implementation. He prioritizes tasks and keeps track of expenses so that the project does not go over budget. It is important for a manager to be able to communicate customer requirements to employees so that they become understandable and feasible. Such a specialist needs to develop the skills of planning, communication and team management. For example, many managers use Agile development methodology. Technical knowledge is also useful – a specialist must understand the principles of programming languages, know the basics of UI / UX and layout in order to speak the same language with employees.

6. Data Scientist

This professional works with big data – arrays of unstructured information, such as search engine query statistics, weather station indicators, and medical research results. He creates machine learning models that help companies analyze information and make predictions. For example, by checking the most common customer questions, a data scientist can tell you how to develop a chatbot to prompt call center operators.

For a successful career, you need to be good at mathematics and computer science. Code will also sometimes have to be written – data scientists often use Python when creating algorithms for data processing.

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