When you first jumped into Healthcare as a career, you loved the pay, job security, and the fact that you were helping people. But as time moves on, you're finding the demanding workload and physical demands are starting to get too much. Plus, you hear a lot of good things from your friends working in IT and cybersecurity.
If you've been thinking about moving out of Healthcare and into a new career in computer technology, don't panic, the transition may not be as hard as you think. There are lots of similarities between tech and healthcare roles, as well as some transferable skills. Plus, skilled IT workers are much in demand, particularly in the Washington DC region.
How can I use my healthcare skills in IT?
Perhaps the biggest concern with jumping into IT is that you won't be using your people skills. But don't worry. The ability to understand and communicate with others is a critical skill in IT. Whether you are a programmer translating a customer's needs into software, or a Help Desk Technician helping a member of staff get their computer working again, IT roles require careful listening, understanding, and explaining.
As a healthcare professional, you must be able to pay attention to detail. Organizing and dispensing medications, inserting IV's, managing medical equipment all require focus and dexterity. The same is true of working in IT. Understanding and fixing code requires patience and a focused mind. Updating motherboard components requires precise handling of delicate equipment.
While one of the reasons you might be leaving the Healthcare field is because of the long hours and demanding schedules, the willingness and ability to work flexible hours and stick with a problem until it's resolved are also essential traits while working in IT. However, an IT role would be less demanding in terms of schedule. There may be times when your skills are needed out of your regular hours to solve a critical issue, but this is far less likely than in the healthcare industry.
Finally, if the reason you got into Healthcare in the first place was to have a faced-paced and challenging career, working with computer technology won't disappoint. The IT industry is continually evolving at a fast pace, particularly in the areas of cybersecurity. While most IT jobs do not have the life and death urgency of a healthcare career, keeping up with constant changes and the latest technology requires the type of dedication and willingness to get excited about the change that your current healthcare job does right now.
Do healthcare workers successfully transition into IT?
Many of TrainACE's successful students were former healthcare workers looking for something new, challenging, and potentially more lucrative. Since we opened in 2001, we've helped people in roles such as medical coders, dental assistants, certified nursing assistants (CNAs), home health aides, and orderlies.
How Do I Get Started in IT from Healthcare?
1. Do the Research
The first thing to do is to get researching. As it has matured, the IT industry has become incredibly broad with many specializations. You may be interested in helping others as a help-desk technician, or love the idea of working with big data, or are excited about the prospect of working in cybersecurity. Having a general understanding of where you want to go will help shape the training and experience you need to get there.
2. Get Some Training
Just like in healthcare, skills training and certification is essential for IT roles. The good news is that you do not have to go back to school for years to obtain meaningful certifications. If your IT experience is limited, start with CompTIA's A+ and Network+ training and certification. These will teach you the basics of how computers are put together and how they communicate through networks.
Classes for these certifications are readily available online or in-class. If you are in the Washington DC region and want to move quickly, you can take CompTIA A+ as a 7-day Bootcamp style class and Network+ as a 5-day Bootcamp style class.
3. Gain Experience
As with all jobs, getting experience in the field you choose is important to get that first job. Depending on your current role, you may already work with computers regularly. If so, you have an advantage. If you don't, then consider looking for part-time or volunteer positions that will give you hands-on experience working with computers and networks.
Another option is to get your necessary certifications and talk to your HR department to see if there are any roles at your current organization that you could transition into. Even smaller sized healthcare companies need IT support and networking experts.
Is it worth it?
Most people who transition from Healthcare into IT roles have been delighted with their decision. They transitioned for different reasons. But, whether they were looking to get a less physically demanding job, better hours, better prospects, or better pay, they still feel like they are helping people and are making good use of their skills and experience.
A big reason people transition from Healthcare to IT is the potential salary increase. If this is your reason for the change, keep in mind that while starting salaries in IT are good, they are often lower than many people first expect. According to Glassdoor, The average salary for Help Desk technicians in the US is $41,842. This rises to $47,740 in the Washington DC region. Having said this, once you have some experience under your belt, with the right training, your salary can increase exponentially.
If the idea of a new career in IT excites you and you're ready to get started, TrainACE offers a range of IT training classes from beginner to advanced. If you're just starting out, consider our CompTIA A+ Classes.
Remember that we have flexible schedules that will suit your current availability. In addition to weekday classes, we also run evening and Saturday classes too.