If you want to move up the career ladder, getting your work completed on time is not enough. To make the climb to less programming and more management, you must demonstrate you have the skills necessary to lead a team. While many people love to code, it is not unusual to want to move into management. There is more variety in your workday, and the compensation improves. Some companies have a straightforward path to promotion, while others are a little more freestyle. Even if your company has an established process to move up the levels, it is important to continually hone your skills. The downside of having an official path to promotion is that if you don’t meet the benchmarks, you are often shown the door.
Your Degree Matters
If you are one of the many people who scored a job in tech without a degree, now is the time to return to school. Working while taking classes can be stressful, but there are many options available. Evening classes or low-residency programs allow you to earn your degree if you prefer to meet in-person. If you prefer to work online, it has never been easier to find a range of classes and degree programs from many schools. If you have an undergraduate degree, consider working on your masters.
Whether you work towards a graduate degree in computer science or another tech-heavy choice or decide to go with an MBA, you are situating yourself to be in a great position when a management position opens up. You are also showing that you are serious about your career and looking to advance. Paying for school doesn’t have to be a struggle. Taking out private student loans allows you to pay for class without breaking your budget. If you are concerned about qualifying for private loans, consider adding a cosigner. Applicants with cosigners are more likely to qualify for loans as applicants who apply on their own. Private student loans are available to cover the costs of both undergraduate and graduate degrees.
Whether you hope to advance at your current company or are looking to jump to another, networking is invaluable. Honing your networking skills will pay dividends throughout your career. One important thing to keep in mind when networking is that the relationship must go both ways. People are quick to pick up if you are disingenuous. No one wants to feel taken advantage of. When you commit to networking, understand that you need to be willing to take calls, offer recommendations, and otherwise help others out.
Problems inevitably crop up when you are working on a project. No one expected you to adhere to every timeline without fail. The key to keeping your reputation intact when the inevitable happens is to keep the lines of communication open. If you aren’t going to meet a deadline or there is a problem you are having trouble handling on your own, let someone know. Dealing with issues early, and getting ahead of any issues, saves time and money. It can also save your reputation.
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