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Six alternative paths to a career in IT

January 22, 2015
By Vanessa Ulrich

Didn’t study computer science? A career in IT is still possible if you have the aptitude and desire. While a certification, self-directed study, or on-the-job training might still be necessary, here are some degrees you may not realize are applicable to a future in the tech industry:

Economics – The study of demographic and behavioral data means econ grads have analytical skills and fluency with cause and effect that are transferrable to a range of IT jobs, like business analysts.

Mathematics – Skilled statistical analysis and predictive modeling means math majors—especially actuarial mathematics and statistics—are great candidates to work with Big Data.

Linguistics – A boom in programs and applications with voice-recognition capabilities has increased demand for experts in natural language processing. While some linguists in the tech industry don’t require programming skills, these can make a job candidate much more marketable for computational linguistics jobs.

Foreign Languages – Maybe you studied Russian, Arabic or Mandarin but not Java, C++ or Python. Consider going into cryptography, where you’ll use your expertise with languages (though brushing up on programming helps) to create codes and encryptions for network and data security.

Informatics – The science of information is critical to technology as data storage goes predominantly digital. Studying informatics can prepare you to work on complex systems such as managing electronic health records or working on artificial intelligence.

Library Sciences – Think that library science degree was a bad investment? Use those skills to land a role in data management.

A potential employer will likely require some kind of verification that you have the right skills, whether that’s proof of certification, on-the-job training or online classes. Depending on your work experience, those who studied related fields like statistics or informatics might be able to transition right into an IT job. However, most people who break into IT from an unrelated field will start at an entry level, like a junior-level network or systems admin. If you’re committed to making the switch, strengthen your application by earning a few IT certifications that are “easier” to obtain.

Ready to take the leap? Contact a recruiter today to help assess your skills, goals and what jobs might be a good fit to launch your career in IT.

As part of TEKsystems’ public relations team, Vanessa Ulrich reads everything she can about the technology industry and emerging trends. Vanessa blogs about where technology and society collide, giving context and commentary to top news stories.

Want to read more? Meet a TEKsystems consultant: Kent from Kansas, or find out where gender diversity is headed in 2015.

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