IT Job Worries Increase the Importance of Training
Over the past year, the economic downturn has hurt many industries and the Information Technology (IT) field is no exception. As companies have had to shrink budgets and cut costs, many IT workers have found their work shipped overseas, outsource, or eliminated. This has flooded the IT market with more job seekers vying for fewer jobs. In this challenging economic environment, the IT professional must find ways to set himself above the rest of the market.
Unemployment is not fun nor is it easy. The first priority must be to have some source of income while evaluating options. The first place to start is filing for unemployment. The requirements for unemployment claims vary from state to state but the key component is that a person has been released from his or her job. A person who resigns from a job typically cannot file for unemployment. While unemployment is a good place to start, it is only temporary and very often is not adequate. After establishing unemployment claims it is time to begin investigating other options. When looking at other options it is important to remember that finding another job of any kind will affect your unemployment benefits.
Job hunters have several options. The first, of course, is to try to find a job similar to the previous one. With the market as it is, this is becoming exceedingly challenging. For some, seeking a part-time job will keep some cash coming in while providing a flexible schedule for job hunting or preparing for other pursuits. For others it may be the time to start their own business. A word of caution here, it is difficult to start a business in a good economy; starting one today requires greater motivation and perseverance. Finally, this may be the time to consider changing fields. It does not matter what option is chosen, what is important is to make a decision and then follow through.
When pursuing the option of job hunting, individuals must find ways to distinguish themselves from the rest of the market. IT training is an excellent way of doing this. It may seem counterintuitive to be spending money during a time of negative cash flow, but every dollar spent on IT certification is a dollar well spent. Many employers look for applicants with certifications on their resumes. Others are even making certifications a job requirement. Certification training is not the only course of training that will be of benefit. Hot IT areas of specialization such as security, network architecture and ERP software are in high demand. Whether for certification or other areas of specialization, spending money in training now can translate into a new job and higher pay in the future.
Unemployment is not a position anyone wants to be in. At the same time, it is not the end of the world; there are options. Even as the IT field becomes more challenging, the IT professional can make their space in the market. While certification and specialization training will not guarantee a new job, it will help in the search and provides for additional opportunities. The job market will improve. It is up to the IT professional to be ready to take advantage of it.
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