Breaking into the information systems tech field can be difficult because of changing technology, competitiveness, and economic conditions. However, there are many ways to position yourself for burgeoning careers in IT, both academically and on the job market.
One way is through temporary assignments. Clearly this is not always the end all be all for IT careers. But as in any career, more opportunities come as you gain experience. A temp job will help you to establish a track record while you hone your skills and make connections.
Often in life you will find that it’s not what you know, but who you know. This being said, now that you have earned your certification, accreditation or degree you are going to need to start networking. Through taking temp work you will come across professionals who can lead you in promising directions. These individuals can later be used as job references or, who knows, could wind up hiring once they move into titular positions.
As you probably learned in school, IT jobs are not all the same. By taking temporary positions you will be able to test the waters a little bit before deciding on what route you really want to take. In my opinion, this is one of the biggest draws of taking temp work upon course completion.
There are different types of temp work and I am going to set you up with some knowledge you may not have at this stage in the game. In this particular field, professionals tend to avoid the term “temp” as it often comes with a stigma of administrative work. Many agencies actually prefer to use “contract” or “project” work.
It’s important to note that what the task includes is dependent on the term used. When referring to project work, you will be expected to complete an assignment without a specified amount of hours or days. You may receive an estimate, but that varies depending on the agency.
As for contract work, you may find these jobs harder to obtain. Generally, you will have to do several projects before being hired for this type of temporary position. Why you ask? For starters, contract work pays substantially more than project work does. This means companies will be looking for someone with a little bit of experience. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t go for the job. I am just helping you to be realistic about the possibilities. For this type of work you will know in advanced the length of time you will be on the job and you can expect to earn anywhere from $40-$150 an hour.
As you get started, you can expect to see the majority of your opportunities coming in the form of low-level web skills, technical support or programming. I feel it is safe to assume that you are already keenly aware of how to perform these tasks. However, nothing teaches you better than real world experience.
Often in life we think of a temporary position as settling for less than we deserve. This is absolutely untrue. Continue to look for IT careers that offer you benefits, paid vacation and sick days. Until that job falls in your lap, it’s a pretty solid idea to take the project or contract work, as it can only help you make progress toward the success you are ultimately aiming for.