How to Successfully Switch Careers [Infographic]

After Highschool I jumped right into marketing. It wasn’t because I wanted to, I just happened to have a friend whose Dad owned a company and he offered me a job in Tokyo. I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life and had numerous interests so taking some time off from school made sense.

Fast-forward 4 years and I was still doing marketing but not enjoying it. I could go to college. But the idea of owing student loans without knowing what career path I wanted to take didn’t seem right for me. I was interested in IT but didn’t want to commit 4 years without some hands on experience. You know, to reassure myself that my pursuit and interest wouldn’t die first day on the job. Scroll down to the end of the infographic to hear my story.

In the infographic below under the Education and Development of Skills you’ll notice subcategories like Take Classes which can be online learning courses, trade schools and workshops. There’s also the Find a Mentor option whisch is the route I went. It’s like enrolling in an apprenticeships of sorts. But there are many options available when looking to successfully switch careers.

Checkout this InfoGRAPHIC

Have you or do you know anyone that has been able to successfully switch careers through one of the methods below?

Are you looking to switch careers but don’t know where to start?

How to Successfully Change Career Paths [Infographic]>

Infographic by Back to College Blog

My Story

I got a job helping lay some office network cables. I knew what some of the cables were called and I could roll a spool of it. But I had no idea how to crimp the ends or what color order they should be in. I was confident I would learn though. And I think my hard work paid off because someone took notice. There was a guy who had been in IT for about 20 years and he started to show me the ropes. First the different cable standards and then when to use which one. He went on in great detail as long as I showed an interest to learn.

I then asked him the million dollar question, “How do I get from where I am now to where you are?”. You see, there is no college degree for this. At least not 10 years ago. A Bachelors in Computer Science, which is the prevailing IT degree, only teaches programming and software development. He told me to keep working IT jobs at an entry level so that I’d have a good foundation and gain experience, and to start studying for a certification. He advised me to not try to be a jack of all trades in IT but to pick one area like Networking, Security or Computer Engineering and be an expert in that. He said this would help me stand out from the rest. I picked Security and now I’m a Cyber Security Professional. I have my degree but that was more because industry requires it and I have numerous certifications in Information Systems Security. This did take time but I followed his advice and it all worked out. I was fortunate to find a mentor who took some time out of his day. He’s probably forgotten me but I still remember him clear as day.

Featured image by http://dribbble.com/vectyr

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