The IT job market is ripe with opportunities right now. If you are looking for employment in information technology, you have many options to consider. Of course, you'll want to be sure that you have strong credentials.
Follow these steps and you'll find the best IT job for you.
- Consider if you want to work for a large company or a small shop. A large company will likely have a better benefits package - possibly even including discounts, a gym membership, etc. - but a small technology shop will have a more tight-knit sense of community. If you have a strong preference for a close group of workmates, or you'd prefer to keep to yourself at work, this could make a big difference in the kind of job you take.
- Would like to be employed as an IT consultant? Being a consultant has many advantages. You have the ability to explore many different work environments in either short-term or long-term projects. You may be able to make more money as you are likely to be paid on an hourly basis, and can work overtime if you wish. If you like constantly changing what kind of projects you work on as well as the vibe of the office you work in, then consulting may be for you.
- Look at the benefits package. Some jobs offer health insurance for their full-time employees, a few weeks of vacation, and not much more. Some jobs offer great health care packages, flexible vacation time, on-site gym membership (or discounted/ free gym memberships at local gyms), adoption assistance, generous maternity (and even paternity) leave, discounts at local (or even national) stores, gourmet cafeterias, etc, etc, etc. This is an area where you can negotiate and leverage other offers, if you have them. If you would prefer to work at a company that does not offer much in terms of benefits, ask the interviewer if your straight compensation can be raised to match the cost of the benefits you would receive if you took another position. If you really want a job, make sure you ask for compensation and benefits that are actually meaningful to you - for example, if you have a medical condition that would be covered on a different company's health insurance, but is not on the plan of your first-choice company,. If you ask for the TGI Friday's discount that the other company has, you may have the offer rescinded from your intended company.
A word of caution on this, however - do not interview with a second company and act as if you are entertaining an offer that you really have no interest in just to leverage it with another company. It is in poor taste, makes you look unprofessional, and may come back to haunt you if circumstances change and you wish to get an IT job within that company later on. But it is something to consider if you are legitimately trying to choose between jobs and the benefits package would be a deciding factor. Ultimately, qualified IT candidates are in high demand right now, and employers are willing in many circumstances to meet reasonable requests in order to gain and keep a good IT employee.
- Make sure the company is stable. Not having job security may not bother you if you don't want to stay at a company long, but watch the Internet for news about the company you are considering. If they are considering a merger with another company, see if you can find out if there will be layoffs. Conversely, if the position seems safe, this may be a way to get into a bigger company that doesn't have any current openings.
- Consider the work environment. A lot of big companies used to have strict dress codes for IT professionals - the standard blue pinstripe suit, white shirt, red tie. Not anymore! Many large companies allow for casual (but neat) attire for their IT people. Even one of the largest hedge fund management companies has a casual dress code. But still, the work environment varies among companies. If you want to come to work in a t-shirt and sneakers everyday, that will impact what company you go to work for. No matter how much of a technical wizard you are, you still need to meet the dress standards of the company. This may be a good indicator on the whole of what company is a good fit for you; the general "vibe" of a company is usually reflected by the dress code. Google and Apple are known for their casual dress code, which is reflective of their laid-back, cutting edge technology style. Conversely, if you can't imagine not putting on a tie and jacket (or black pantsuit and sensible heels) in the morning, then look for a company with a more conservative dress code.
- See if the compensation is competitive with similar positions. This is particularly important if you are moving from another area. In different areas of the country, pay may vary in IT. While living expenses have a lot to do with this, the industries that are predominant in the area have a lot to do with the pay scale. If an industry requires a lot of IT development and support, there will be a glut of jobs and the pay will likely be higher. This may affect what job you take, as well as if you decide to move.
IT has a wide range of opportunities. It also has a plum job for every IT professional. If you take these points into consideration and keep your education on the cutting edge with regular online refresher courses in the latest innovations in information technology, you will find the best job for you! Enjoy your job search!