BPO to IT Career: Switching Paths Successfully

You clocked out from your BPO job, your brain fried from the umpteenth customer service call, and you can’t help but wonder, “Is this it?” Your eyes flit to the tab you’ve secretly kept open on your browser all day—coding bootcamps, IT certifications, the works.

In this post, we’re discussing how to make that leap from BPO to IT—a move that just might redefine your career trajectory.

Quick Takeaways:

  • BPO professionals have transferable skills such as client communication and problem-solving which pave the way for IT opportunities.
  • Formal degrees are not mandatory; certifications, bootcamps, and self-teaching can effectively bridge the skills gap for IT roles.
  • Gaining IT experience can begin within your BPO role with side projects, volunteering, or internal IT department opportunities.

Why Do BPO Professionals Consider a Move to IT?

For many folk toiling away in the world of Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), the allure of the IT industry is hard to ignore. There’s more to it than just upgrading from a headset to a pair of nerd-chic glasses. The shift is often motivated by a variety of compelling reasons.

First and foremost, growth opportunities. The IT sector is ever-evolving, and it’s no secret that it offers an impressive trajectory for career advancement. While the BPO industry provides a solid foundation, the ceiling can feel decidedly lower in terms of where one’s career might peak.

Then, there’s the paycheck. Let’s be frank—who wouldn’t like a fatter wallet? IT positions often come with a better wage compared to BPO roles, mainly due to the specialized skills and expertise required in tech.

The work itself also holds its charms. Many BPO professionals yearn for a more engaging and intellectually stimulating environment—a place where the day-to-day grind isn’t so… well, grindy. IT work can involve problem-solving, innovation, and the satisfaction that comes from creating and managing something tangible.

Finally, there’s the thought of the long-term. The tech sector is seen as a more stable and future-proof career choice, with a vast field of specializations and industries hungry for tech talent. The thought of being part of the next big thing—whether in fintech, health IT, or cybersecurity—adds an exclusive zest to the prospect of an IT career.

What Skills from BPO are Transferable to IT?

Believe it or not, time in BPO equips you with quite the arsenal of skills applicable to IT. Here’s a few worth their weight in gold:

  • Customer service: Working in BPO means you know how to handle clients with grace, even when they’re firing questions faster than an express train.

  • Communication: Articulating complex ideas in digestible bites? You’ve got that in spades.

  • Problem-solving: Crisis in the call center? You’re the go-to for unravelling those knots—definitely a talent IT teams covet.

  • Multitasking: Juggling multiple tasks is basically your middle name; an essential skill in the fast-paced IT world where switching contexts can be the norm.

But it’s not just about these broader skill sets. The specifics of BPO work, like understanding workflows, analytics, and data management, align closely with underlying requirements in IT roles, especially ones that intersect with customer-oriented tech products.

Can You Transition to IT Without a Tech Degree?

Time to bust a myth—you don’t need to be a degree-toting tech wizard to break into IT. Sure, a tech degree can open doors but it’s not the only key to the kingdom. The landscape of IT is surprisingly welcoming to those who are willing to learn and hustle, degree or no degree.

Consider certifications and bootcamps, for starters. They can offer focused learning paths in areas like cybersecurity, network administration, or software development. Websites like Coursera or Udemy have a wealth of courses that cater to the skills gap you need to bridge.

Online courses and self-teaching avenues—hello, YouTube tutorials—are more abundant than ever. They cater to the go-getters who live by the creed of DIY. Moreover, they’re often developed by industry professionals and offer practical, real-world insights without the rigmarole of traditional academia.

And here’s a unique tip: contribute to open-source projects. Doing so can give you hands-on experience, something to show potential employers, and—it’s a biggie—networking opportunities with seasoned IT pros.

The IT world values experience and the ability to show what you can do, often putting practical skills on a pedestal as high, if not higher than formal qualifications. So, while the parchment might be a plus, your real-world skills and the passion to continually learn and adapt are where the rubber meets the road.

Transitioning to IT without a degree is not only possible, it’s increasingly becoming part of the tapestry of the tech workforce. Get stuck in with enthusiasm, an insatiable appetite to learn, and a chunk of resilience—you might surprise yourself at how far they can take you.

What Are the First Steps to Transition from BPO to IT?

Dipping your toes into the vast ocean of IT can be both thrilling and a bit daunting after having sailed in the BPO ship. But fear not, a transition is more than feasible with the right approach.

First and foremost, immerse yourself in research. Discover the IT roles that tickle your fancy. Are you drawn to data? Do the problem-solving aspects of software development intrigue you? Or maybe the intricate details of network security keep you up at night — in a good way, of course. Websites like Glassdoor and Indeed are treasure troves of information on different IT careers.

Next, it’s time to make friends with LinkedIn. Build a network that is a blend of BPO colleagues and new IT acquaintances. Engage in forums, join groups related to IT interests, and don’t shy away from asking for advice or mentorship.

Updating your resume is like choosing the right outfit for a first date — it needs to make an impression. Highlight any tech-related tasks you handled in BPO, and emphasize transferable skills like problem-solving, customer service, and analytical thinking.

Consider IT-oriented roles within your current BPO company as a stepping stone. Many BPO firms have IT departments; expressing interest could lead to internal shadowing or training opportunities.

How Do You Gain IT Experience While Working in BPO?

Let’s face it, breaking into IT is no walk in the park. Gaining relevant experience will be your golden ticket.

For starters, dive into side projects. Whether it’s setting up a home network or creating a website, applying your skills in real-world scenarios speaks volumes.

Volunteering can be a win-win. Non-profits often need IT support, which means you get hands-on experience while making a difference. It’s the kind of feel-good action that bulks up your resume, too.

Think about part-time jobs or internships; they can be tough to juggle with a full-time BPO job but consider this — they’re the perfect proving ground for your burgeoning IT skills.

Don’t forget to explore possibilities within your current workplace. You may strike gold with shadowing IT professionals — it’s like having a backstage pass to a rock show, giving you a firsthand look at what the job entails.

What IT Career Pathways Are Ideal for Former BPO Workers?

Former BPO workers come with a unique set of skills that can be surprisingly fitting for various IT pathways. Here’s a list of roles where your BPO experience might just give you an edge:

  • Customer Success Specialist: Your experience in handling clients is gold here. The role requires ensuring clients are successful in using IT products or services, a task well-suited for a BPO professional’s skill set.

  • Technical Support Analyst: This role is all about solving customer tech problems — something you’re likely familiar with if you’ve ever troubleshooted for customers in a BPO setting.

  • Business Analyst: Your understanding of business processes, combined with some IT knowledge, can make you a fine BA. It’s all about helping organizations improve through data analysis and tech solutions.

  • Quality Assurance Tester: Got an eye for detail? QA could be your calling. It involves making sure software is up to snuff, a critical role in any tech company.

  • IT Sales Professional: Leverage your sales experience from BPO into selling technology solutions. This role is perfect for those who can talk the talk and walk customers through tech’s value proposition.

Remember, your journey from BPO to IT need not be a lonely one. Connect with others who’ve made the jump and learn from their experiences. Keep your eyes on the prize and, most importantly, enjoy the ride. With passion and perseverance, the IT world can become your oyster.

  • Alex Mitch

    Hi, I'm the founder of HowMonk.com! Having been in finance and tech for 10+ years, I was surprised at how hard it can be to find answers to common questions in finance, tech and business in general. Because of this, I decided to create this website to help others!