The classical thinking of people keeps an archaic idea that it is possible to get a new profession only after graduating from a relevant speciality in a higher or secondary educational institution. Especially, if you want to work in such a high-tech sector like IT. You can study if you have time, desire, and ambition. This is definitely a good and correct way. But not everyone has the same terrific environment. Are there alternative ways? Do we have to spend 4-5 years of life to become an IT specialist? Spoiler: not necessary.
The Pro-Papers team took interest in this issue and studied it in detail. For starters, let us tell about one very visual educational experiment, which was conducted by SibEGDE IT-company.
Ninth-tenth grade schoolchildren from the most ordinary, non-core schools were taken to the company for an internship and were dragged in for a month to test web and mobile systems. Candidates were chosen randomly from completely untrained adolescents who had a very poor idea of what people in IT companies were doing. Several mentors taught them a minimum, designed for a novice user, and practised on current projects of the company. They taught them to work with technical documentation, to make test cases for systems, to test the system using one of the research testing methods. This immersion was enough for schoolchildren to climb to the first step in testing – from ground zero to the junior.
None of the interns will tell you that it was easy. It took a lot of personal time, they had to learn a lot of information and complete tasks systematically. But everything is possible if you really want to learn and understand what needs to be done in order to move from the desire to act.
There are no strict rules that require a diploma of higher education when applying for a job in the IT field. Here, your competencies are important, and where you got them – in high school, on courses or studying video lessons independently – is no longer important. You will be interviewed to evaluate your knowledge and will give an input test task to test your skills. The answer is: yes, secondary education can be enough if you really want to work and are ready to study on your own. And also it is important to learn constantly because the IT sphere is one of the most dynamically developing and, in principle, involves continuous learning.
IT specialists pay a lot of attention to the personal qualities of an employee (the so-called soft skills), so intellectuals will come in handy here. There are also no age restrictions, you should have a desire to achieve the goals set. Thus, even a schoolboy has a chance to work in IT.
What IT branches are the best for beginners?
The lowest level in the field of information technology is a tester. And from this position, it is appropriate to begin a smooth climb on the IT elevator. This is indeed the most common scenario, and many start their careers with testers but do not forget that the field of information technology is very, very flexible. And often, it depends on the person where can he/she apply himself/herself.
A tester is a specialist who tests software and looks for errors in his work – bugs, controls the quality of the product after its development.
What is expected from a beginner:
- Theoretical knowledge of the testing process;
- Understanding of principles of client-server applications;
- The desire to learn and improve;
- Your readiness to focus on the project.
Where to start from?
In general, there are three ways:
1. Long Way.
Go to secondary special or higher education institution for a speciality like “software engineering”.
Pros: this way will allow you to become not only a tester but also to go further.
Cons: the path is long, it can take from two to five years. Not for everyone.
2. Take courses for testers.
You can take them online or with attendance. There are a lot of options.
Pros: you save time on training, courses last an average of one or several months. You can practice in parallel.
Cons: a large load, a lot of information, tasks, and after the end will require further self-education.
3. To complete an internship in an IT-company.
Pros: real immersion, mentoring help, a lot of practice, the ability to stay working.
Cons: not every company takes interns, you need to search, and also have plenty of free time.
If you become a tester, then you will always learn something new. It will never be like this: if I’ve finished studying, so I’m a tester, I don’t need anything else. Here you need to master something new all the time, this is a daily work. Some testers read more than 40 work-related books a year. Finding courses for self-development is also very important. It is better to choose from large companies, there are several major ones.
The tester occupies the lowest level in the hierarchy of IT-professions, but in vain. After all, the profession is undervalued. It is worth looking at least at the growing need for testers. At the same time, even in specialized universities, this speciality is not taught. But there are so many opportunities to get a profession and develop in it. It remains only to start doing something!