I have more than 11 years experience in IT support and administration (first-third level support), having worked on complex and large environments.
I always wanted to change my career towards software development, however, it’s difficult to do so without a degree… so six years ago I started my academic journey (evening classes out of my own personal finances) and am in the final stages of completing my degree in computer science.
My current salary (in IT administration) is very low (my current employer does not pay well and it is a well-known fact locally that it pays the lowest salaries). I was passed over for promotions due to a high level nepotism in my current company (others with less academic qualifications and experience were promoted several times - so it’s not the case that I lacked qualifications or experience), and I have been communicating with recruitment companies about job vacancies in software development, and from their feedback, my salary range will be about €4k more than I currently have. Furthermore, I am noticing a pattern, in which recruiters who I am communicating with are only referring certain job vacancies or nothing at all, when they have a vast list of job vacancies which appear to match my profile.
I did not start job hunting earlier, since my current company offers high job security and stability, something which I needed until I completed my studies.
I will also be looking for job vacancies on my own, and will not completely rely on recruitment companies.
I am more comfortable in certain software development platforms, and are more preferable, since it will be easier and take less time for me to adapt to, but I do not want to restrict myself in any way.
How can I improve my odds of getting a software development with a decent salary?
Which skills shall I put on my resume to make it stand out? Which side projects should I undertake… to build up my portfolio?