Suitability for IT

The First Step - Make Sure Your Customer Has Made The Right Choice


It is equally important to ensure the customer has a realistic view of what to expect as they either enter IT for the first time, or move upward in the IT industry. Both of these career steps can bring on a variety of changes that need to be considered before making a full commitment. How do you help a customer determine if IT is the right fit? If IT suitability is not properly addressed, it that can cause many issues not only during the assessment, but also when the customer is seeking a position after training is completed. 

Once it’s determined where the client is lacking, you can start the discussion on suitability of the new position. Each area has a make or break point when pursuing a position in IT. Entry level IT positions require a lot of customer service and contact with people. Soft skills are very important in that first role in IT, and depending on how your client interacts and discusses their last position, there may be a need to address a soft skills gap.

Soft Skills


Soft Skills ImageBased on the requirements listed in the job lead, does the client have experience in areas like multi-tasking, meeting deadlines, customer service, communication or any other soft skills the job lead talks about? For example, if your client is discussing their previous position in computer sales and states that they didn’t like talking to people, they probably wouldn’t do well as a customer support specialist where they would be required to communicate regularly with their customers. If they have no previous experience, this will be their entry level role while they gain that experience and work their way up, so if they don’t like talking to people, they might need to look into different employment opportunities.

Certifications


Certifications ImageJob leads tend to list a large amount of certifications required by the employer. Someone who holds every certification would be considered a top candidate, however it is generally unlikely that someone has every single one. If a customer meets 60% of the requirements for the position, it is a good suggestion for them to apply for the job making sure they utilize their keywords and transferrable skills that match the job lead. If they have less than 60%, they can explore the desired certifications if that would make them more marketable for the position.

Experience


Experience ImageMost job leads ask for some level of experience to qualify for the position.  It is very important to read the job lead carefully to understand if that experience is a suggestion or requirement. Also, similar to certification qualifications, a job applicant with that level of experience could be a top candidate for that position, however the perfect candidate might have less experience but be a better fit in other areas. The 60% policy can also apply here for experience level. If a client meets at least half of the experience suggested or required for the position, they should apply for the position.  If they secure an interview, they’ll need to show why they are a good fit for the role. For more info on this, click on this Forbes article and this Career Attraction article. It is also important that a customer understands that taking a certification training program will not give them professional experience, so seeking a stepping stone position or volunteer opportunity where they can utilize their new or updated skills would help increase experience as well as potentially close any employment gaps. It can also help to develop current references who can speak about the customer’s IT and soft skills.

Entry Point & Wages


Entry Point & Wages ImageWhen discussing a career change with a customer, it is important for them to understand where the entry point is for their IT career and what type of salary they can expect for that position. The customer should have a clear understanding of their finances. They should understand the length of time they will be putting into a training program and how long they will need to survive on that first position’s salary before they can move up in the field. Knowing these things can help them decide if taking that next step towards IT is the right move for them. There are many websites that can help a customer review salary information (such as O*Net Online, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Glassdoor, Salary.com, and Illinois workNet) to get an idea of the wages they can expect from their first position. They should also keep in mind that the more transferrable skills and experience they can combine with their training, the better chance they have toward earning a higher salary and moving up the ladder quickly.