What You Need To Know Before Starting An IT Career

02 Jul 2015
| Last update: 25 Aug 2017

An IT career has amazing possibilities and varied directions to venture into. This includes working the help desk, database management or network specialization. With the continuous innovations in technology, it’s difficult to learn every single job description and/or duty an IT professional needs in the field.

Since there’s no way to fully prepare for the exact skills required for an IT career,  it’s advantageous to mentally prepare for anything. Develop the ability to adjust to never-ending changes in technology, master quick thinking and decision making skills and challenge your brain to think outside the box.

Specifically, there are three main areas you can expect to be particularly challenged in. You’ll have to be flexible and continuously stay up-to-date on the newest technological innovations in these areas.




The whole purpose of virtualization is to improve efficiency, obtain higher availability (or space) and to lower costs. If you’re pursuing an IT career, you can expect to be called to work on network, storage or server virtualization.

With the rapid innovations in technology, smaller businesses are wanting to ‘virtualize’ their businesses, whereas, originally, only large corporations did this. As a result, company executives often demand virtualization without realizing that certain levels of integration are different within every organization. What’s right for one company is not going to be the appropriate business model for the next one…at least for right now, but that can, and undoubtedly will, change.

It’s the responsibility of the IT specialists to stay up-to-date on the very latest developments and to be very familiar with the technological capabilities of the business they’re working with. They’ll have to think outside the box and likely cater a specific plan for each individual business.

Mobile Devices & Security

The onslaught of iPads, Notebooks and smart phones, with their ingenious apps to enable users that perform work-related tasks on them, also brought into play a highly increased vulnerability to hackers. If these devices, which are privately purchased by the employee, aren’t updated and synced to the company’s IT security updates, it can leave the business wide open for hackers.

Remember the Heartbleed Bug? In April of 2014, this was the biggest security threat in the history of the Internet. However, it won’t be the last.

For those in an IT career, this can turn into a nightmare. What IT students are learning now is only a foundation. It’s imperative to continue studying the latest developments and hacking schemes in order to protect privacy and maintain control over mobile integration.

Compliance With Corporate Regulations

Depending on the institution you work for, you’ll likely have specific regulations that you must abide by. These can include HIPPA and/or HITECH for the medical industry, Sarbanes-Oxley in general business, FISMA for government and SEC Rule 17A-r in the finance industry.

In addition, users sometimes install programs and applications on their work consoles that help them perform their job duties. The problem is that a lot of these aren’t tested and approved by the IT department. They very well may compromise the security of the company network and its data.

Between the two aforementioned issues, the IT specialists will have to be attentive to the programs and applications that are installed and stay updated on the bugs and security risks for each individual program. At the same time, they’ll need to be well-versed in their company’s federal, state and/or agency regulations and be able to discern which ones take precedence when there are multiple ones to be applied.

Master the Art of Flexibility For Your IT Career

An IT career doesn’t have specific areas of specialization. Going into this occupation mentally prepared will give you an edge as you pursue your career. Every network will continue to evolve and require vigorous investigation on the newest developments.

The challenge never ends. No day will be the same. No network is like the one before. Knowing and accepting this upfront, you will be able to venture into an IT career with enthusiasm and passion.

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Lynn Silva

Lynn Silva

Content Writer at Squirrly
Lynn is an expert at infusing mental skills into online business to improve sales, productivity and personal branding.
Lynn Silva