May 14, 2013, 8:34 AM —
I have been out of IT for about three years and would like to get back in. Prior to leaving IT I was a help desk technician with about ten years of experience and my A+ certification. What would you suggest I do?
Over the past few months I have been asked this question a number of times and relating to virtually all areas of IT, including programming, testing, data center operations, project management, business analysis, website design and, as illustrated in the question above, help desk support. I’ll be answering this/these questions here using the above help desk example, but I’ll be answering the question in a way that will be relevant to virtually all professionals within IT.
As you may expect, three years out of the IT industry is a professional lifetime. The job market changes, industry trends emerge and change direction. Vendors phase out products, upgrade current products and introduce new products. Lastly, as the general economy and specific industry change direction so do company goals. As a result of these and other factors, the IT world you left may be very different than the IT world you are trying to reenter. As a result, consider doing the following steps:
Step 1: Research
Do your research by considering the following questions:
1. What specific job do you want to find?
2. What are the current technologies used by that job?
3. What are the current trends and challenges in your technical area?
4. What skills related to the job you would like are in demand?
5. What industries/companies are hiring in your area?
Step 2: Personal Skills Assessment
Compare your current skills and technical knowledge to the required skills and technologies defined in step 1. In essence, you are doing a gap analysis of the skills you have versus the skills you need.