CodeGym /Java Blog /Random /How to Start a Career in IT? A Complete Guide by CodeGym
Lucy Oleschuk
Level 31

How to Start a Career in IT? A Complete Guide by CodeGym

Published in the Random group
A generation ago, information technology (IT) was just starting to catch on around the globe. Today, the transformative impact of technology and automation is evident in every industry, reshaping how we work, communicate, and conduct business. How to Start a Career in IT? A Complete Guide by CodeGym - 1No wonder the demand for skilled individuals in IT has surged exponentially. Gartner forecasts worldwide IT spending will grow $5.1 trillion in 2024, an increase of 8% from 2023. With that, the need for IT specialists is projected to be much greater than the number of graduates. Therefore, transitioning from other fields to IT has become a global common practice. Of course, switching careers may have some challenges, which we will highlight in this article. Also, we reveal why to choose a career in IT, the most rewarding IT professions, and how to start an IT career. Why should you consider this article as a reference? Because CodeGym has deep expertise in current market needs and the most effective ways of career switching. With more than 30,000 graduates and their insights, we go through the most acute questions related to switching to IT and outline the main steps to make the transition successful. So, let’s delve into all the ins and outs.

When is it high time for a career change?

People are often somewhat sceptical about starting a career in a new, unfamiliar field, particularly after age 30 or 40. However, you must understand that transitioning to IT or another tech field is not limited by age. You can become a successful IT specialist if you're open to learning new concepts, have clear goals, and are confident in your abilities. As numerous statistics show, even at 50+ or 60+, individuals can reshape their professional careers. According to the StackOverflow Developer Survey 2023, more than 5% of respondents over 55 are already working in IT or just learning to code. How to Start a Career in IT? A Complete Guide by CodeGym - 2Of course, younger people between the age of 25-34 are more willing to learn coding skills (37.28%). However, a combination of mid-career stagnation and financial stability leads most people to make a significant career change at the average age of 39 years old. With that, 12% of workers over 50 also wish to make a career change. These numbers align with CodeGym’s statistics on students learning programming using our platform. How to Start a Career in IT? A Complete Guide by CodeGym - 3As we can see, over half of the students are aged 31-50. It's never too late to learn coding, and a software developer career can last a lifetime — good specialists are always in demand, no matter the age. Moreover, considering the predictions of the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) that overall employment in IT is projected to grow at an incredible rate from 2022 to 2032 (around 377,500 new openings each year), we believe there will always be a need for skilled programmers. So, maybe, it's high time you jumped on this bandwagon, regardless of your age and experience.

Is it possible to master an IT career without a technical background?

The answer is definitely “yes”. Many career switchers successfully transition into IT with zero technical experience. With the right learning program, dedication, and practical experience, you can acquire coding skills to excel in various IT roles. According to CodeGym insights, one-third of our graduates entered the course to learn Java programming from scratch without any college education or coding experience. It's fair to say that they progressed a bit slower than former CS students or those who engaged in programming as a hobby. Yet, they still succeeded and finished the course with a few real-life projects behind their belt. Well, what typically happens after the learning? How can graduates secure a job solely with knowledge and practice but without an academic degree?

How to start a career in IT without a degree

Indeed, some companies look for candidates with a CS degree only. Yet, this tendency is decreasing since more and more companies nowadays focus on the candidate's real-world experience and knowledge rather than a formal education. Even such tech giants as Google consider candidates without a CS degree. If we delve deeper and examine the educational background of professional developers already working in the field, we can see that only 62% hold a CS degree. This means about 38% of professionals with no relevant background switched to IT. How to Start a Career in IT? A Complete Guide by CodeGym - 4

For more information, you can refer to the article:

Do I Really Need a Degree in Computer Science to Become a Good Programmer?

Let’s take your motivation to a new level and discover the most popular and well-paid IT careers. Is a career in IT worth all the effort?

Which IT career pays the most

As we have already mentioned, a career in IT is quite rewarding. And not only because of stability and high demand but because of salary as well. The median annual wage for Computer and Information Technology Occupations was $100,530 in May 2022, much higher than the median annual wage for all other occupations — just $46,310. Among the most perspective jobs in 2023, we can highlight:

Software developer (also called software development engineer or software engineer)

Software developers are engineers designing and building software programs, applications, networks, and operating systems. Their tasks incorporate coding, critical analysis of user needs, planning technical features, documentation, and testing. According to the BLS, the number of software developer jobs is expected to increase to 411,400 annually up to 2031. Software developers need to be proficient in programming languages. According to the Tiobe index (as of November 2023), the most popular ones are Phyton, C, C++, Java, and C#. How to Start a Career in IT? A Complete Guide by CodeGym - 5The median annual salary of software developers is $117,007.

Mobile app developer

Mobile application development is one of the most profitable and rapidly growing professions due to the widespread adoption of mobile devices and platforms. Mobile app developers create engaging mobile apps for different platforms (iOS, Android), so they need to master such languages as Swift (for iOS) or Kotlin/Java (for Android). The average annual salary of mobile app developers is $124.890.

AI specialists (also known as ML engineers)

AI and ML specialists are highly sought after across various industries, and the demand for them is projected to grow at a high rate. The key responsibilities of AI specialists include designing and implementing AI and ML technologies for computer programs and machines. So, they need expertise in AI, ML, deep learning, and programming languages like Python, Java, or C++. The median annual salary is $160,691.As you see, the most demandable professions in 2023 require you to know programming concepts, and Java may be one of the most optimal choices to start with. It’s popular, easy to learn, and platform-independent.

Where and how to acquire the necessary skills to kickstart your IT career

If you have some technical background, you can master a programming language and frameworks independently. The key is to practice as much as possible to reinforce your knowledge, and our self-paced Java course can help you with that. It consists of 1200+ practical tasks of different difficulty levels with automated verification of your solutions and tips for code improvement. Made with career switchers in mind, it allows you to learn at your own pace. A self-paced course may also suit you if you are a beginner without a tech background. You just need to combine it with theoretical knowledge provided by programming books for beginners. That being said, the best option for novices would be to enroll in a mentor-guided programming course that would cover not only programming fundamentals but also essential tools and frameworks required for junior developers in the modern market. Ideally, it should also include real-world projects to add to your portfolio.

How to choose a suitable programming course?

To find the most suitable course for your needs, we recommend you thoroughly examine the program of the course (main concepts, additional tools, frameworks, databases, etc). Also, you should compare the skills you will acquire through the course with the skills companies look for in junior developers. Based on our rich experience and analysis of the market needs, CodeGym developed a year-long mentor-guided course that will equip you with the essential knowledge to become a junior Java developer. Besides a comprehensive skill set, upon completing the course, you’ll also get a personal portfolio with a set of coding projects.
Tip: to align the relevant requirements with the learning program, we suggest you refer to job and recruiting sites. You can visit global websites like LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and Indeed or your local job search platforms.
Also, you may be interested in the main job responsibilities and qualities of Java developers.

How long does it take to master the developer profession?

This is the most accessible and most challenging question at the same time. The short answer is — from 3 to 12 months. It all depends on the time you can devote to learning and your previous experience. To learn more, you can read our dedicated article, which reveals a detailed learning roadmap of a typical student.

How to apply for a job after completing the course?

Ideally, you should begin “job hunting” during your learning journey. For this, you need to:
  1. Start looking through local and global IT websites. Resources like StackOverflow or Reddit can help you stay updated with the industry trends.

    Also, consider expanding your knowledge base by watching the best YouTube channels for developers, listening to podcasts, and keeping track of gurus in the programming world.

  2. Browse job listings. You can try sending your resume and attending job interviews even before completing the course. Sometimes, a test interview can lead to employment. If not, you'll gain valuable experience handling interviews in IT companies and already know what to expect.

  3. As we have already touched on the topic of interviews, it’s worth mentioning that interview questions are mostly the same. To prepare for them, you can visit unique platforms — in this article, we've narrowed down the best of them.

    Moreover, CodeGym also offers a selection of Java developer interview questions and answers for them.

  4. Create a compelling CV and portfolio. Try to tailor your CV and portfolio to the specific job you're applying for, emphasizing the skills and experiences most relevant to the position. Keep them clear, concise, and visually appealing.


In conclusion, it’s never too late to start a career in IT. And, what is most important, becoming a developer is not just a contemporary trend — it is a reliable profession that holds significant value now and in the future. The good news is that you can master this career within a year. With dedication and the right resources, landing that first job as a developer is not just a distant goal. It’s a tangible reality in the near future!