January 09, 2012, 5:09 PM —
Even though I have undergraduate degrees in physics and mathematics, I really like computers and would like to work professionally within IT. How can I find a job within IT?
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Thanks for your email. To your question, one of the best ways to get an IT job is by leveraging your knowledge in areas outside of IT. In your case, with a degree in physics, you would be very marketable to IT groups that develop and/or support science related organizations. This is the case because you have an understanding of the work being performed by the organization you are supporting. In your case, you would be an ideal candidate for IT departments within companies that:
- Provide math-related software products/services
- Build products (like airplanes) that require an understanding of physics
- Electronics manufacturers
- Green energy engineering firms
- Other companies in similar industries
Additional advantages of looking for IT jobs within these industries include:
- You will be marketable to both their internal IT and software engineering departments
- You will be able to retain and take advantage of some of your physics knowledge
- It will be easier for you to gain the professional respect of your internal business users because you speak their professional language
- You will be able to design and develop higher quality software because you have an understanding of science that will be incorporated in the software you will be creating
- If at some future point you decide that IT is not right for you, you can more easily pivot into a business-related role because of your physics and/or math background
I give you this advice based on my own experience. I personally have two undergraduate degrees, one in Accounting and one in Computer Information Systems. Professionally, I always worked within IT, but because of my accounting background, always worked on accounting and business-related software applications. My accounting background was of great advantage to me in this role because I had a deep understanding of business fundamentals and processes related to the software I was building. The same should be true for you in the physics and/or mathematics area.