How to build a career in IT management?

If you are considering a Bachelor’s Degree in IT Management, you most likely already know that this degree can lead you to a wide range of possible careers. Prague has a well-established reputation as the number one IT city in Central and Eastern Europe. As a tech hub, Prague is home to the Czech Republic’s oldest cybersecurity giant AVAST, mobile security technologies company TeskaLabs, gaming company Bohemia Interactive, and global social media analytics company Socialbakers. The city has provided fertile ground for a variety of great startups, including Gooddata, JetBrains, Warhorse Studios, and ZOOM International, and the list keeps growing.    

Information Technology changes the world on a daily basis. By studying IT Management at UNYP, you can drive that transformation. 

For this blog post, we asked Professor Michael Williams (Head of the Bachelor of IT Management program at UNYP) to share his expertise in building a foundation for a successful career in the IT sphere. 

The IT industry changes so quickly that professionals must create a continuous training plan to keep up with technology advancements. Taking that into consideration, how would you argue that a college degree in IT management is still an essential component of professional success?   

IT is not just about knowing how to deal with software and hardware. Getting a degree in IT is still relevant because it teaches students how to network and how to communicate with unfamiliar people. With an American degree in IT, you get to take various courses in areas that you might not have considered before. IT is influencing every industry out there – the medical field, psychology, business, marketing – and studying IT Management gives you the opportunity to take these different kinds of courses. For example, if you are applying for an IT job at a law firm, most law firms would want you to understand how their field works. If you took a class in law during your degree program, that would help you to get this job. Going to college makes an IT person more marketable in the future.

Of course, you can go to school and get an associate in IT. However, with this type of degree you will most likely become someone like an IT specialist or a network specialist, but if you choose to get a Bachelors degree, you could potentially market yourself as an IT Manager. Employers are still looking for people who have a minimum of a four-year degree to hire for certain positions in IT. College graduates know how to work with others and have experience of working on team projects – and they are likely to have had an opportunity to study abroad as part of their universities exchange program, which is also essential. Technology is dissolving borders at work, as IT professionals often work in virtual teams with colleagues from different parts of the world. Companies want to hire IT professionals with people skills. 

How does an IT professional keep up with changing technology?

When you get a degree in IT, it prepares you for a wide range of responsibilities within IT management. Professionals keep up with changing technology by getting certifications in the area they want to specialize in. You probably want to get at least one certification before you leave college because it will make you stand out from the crowd. Sometime your certifications last only three to four years. Certifications are designed to keep IT professionals up to date with technology, or up to date within their specific area of IT. 

What advice would you give current UNYP Bachelor of IT Management students about finding their first jobs? 

Usually, students start looking for their first jobs after their first year in college. It’s best to spend your first year getting to know yourself as an individual, and give yourself some time to grow into your new environment, developing your social presence. After the first year, you want to start looking for the type of job you are potentially interested in. First, you have to discover what area you want to be in. Sometimes it’s hard, but you have to narrow down your long list and choose an area of IT suitable for you. Once you discover what area you want to be in, you should research the different companies that work in that area and find out what qualifications they are looking for their potential employees. After that, you should try to make contact, and talk to somebody within that company, to learn in-depth what characteristics they are looking for when hiring. Alternatively, you could be even bolder, and ask that person to come and talk in your school and do an informative company presentation. These simple steps could help you establish your social network – it’s all about reaching out. This is what’s going to get you a job. 

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