2020 was a difficult year for all of us, and for many it continues in 2021. Jobs have been lost, and whole industries have been forced to revamp their entire business models, leaving many out of work or facing new ways of working. While significant challenges remain, think of this as an opportunity to consider a new career in the new year.
Pick the right path for you
The first thing to consider when looking at moving into an IT career is deciding what area of IT to pursue. The 2020 Open Source Jobs Report found the most in demand position to DevOps practitioners followed by developers. The top areas of expertise being sought by hiring managers are Linux, cloud, and security. While it’s good to consider what skills are in demand, it’s just as important to figure out which subject areas will interest you most. If you find a role that not only offers great career opportunities but that you will also enjoy, you are that much more likely to be successful. Our Career Path Quiz is a great place to start, and can point you in the direction of a technology focus that aligns with your existing interests.
Start with free training to ensure there’s a fit
Before jumping head first into a training and/or certification program, take advantage of free training courses to gain baseline knowledge and also ensure this path is really one you want to pursue. Our Plan Your Training page outlines suggested courses and certifications depending on the subject area you’ve chosen to pursue. Many paths, including System Administration, Cloud & Containers, and DevOps & Site Reliability Engineering all start with LFS101 – Introduction to Linux, which is a good starting point for just about anyone looking to start an IT career. Other popular free courses included LFS151 – Introduction to Cloud Infrastructure Technologies, LFS158 – Introduction to Kubernetes, and LFS162 – Introduction to DevOps & Site Reliability Engineering.
Begin learning about intermediate and advanced topics
Once you’ve selected a path and taken some free courses to confirm it’s right for you, it’s now time to move into intermediate and advanced training courses. The Plan Your Training page is still a great resource as it lists the courses that will be most beneficial to learn about a particular topic area. Keep in mind that you typically will not need to complete every single course in a given area to be ready to begin working; concentrate on ensuring that you have the basic skills needed and you can always come back later in your career to pursue more advanced courses.
Think about certifications
While planning the training courses you wish to complete, keep certifications top of mind as well. Especially for those who are new to IT and do not have past experience to fall back on, holding a certification gives potential employers confidence that you have the skills needed to succeed in a given role. Many Linux Foundation training courses complement and help prepare for specific certification exams, so work both into your learning plan. And we offer certifications for those just starting out, like the Linux Foundation Certified IT Associate (LFCA), in addition to more specialized certifications like the Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA). Be sure to take advantage of the digital badges awarded for successfully completing a certification, which can be linked to social media profiles like LinkedIn and also can be independently verified, providing confidence for employers of your skills. The Open Source Jobs Report also found that a majority of hiring managers give preference to certified candidates, so these certifications really can open doors.
More structured options
For those who want a bit more structure and support in achieving their learning goals, we also offer two bootcamps. If you’re just getting started and are interested in pursuing a cloud career, the Cloud Engineer Bootcamp meets all your training and certification needs in one organized package. One major benefit of the bootcamps is they include instructor office hours five days per week, enabling you to actually speak to one of our expert instructors to answer questions and get tips on how to be most successful.
As we move forward into 2021, countless new career opportunities will be available for those who take the steps to pursue them. Get started today and enroll in training to gain the skills you need to be successful in an IT career, then take those skills and gain the certification to prove it!