For millennials and grads who want to get a good understanding of the business point of view, as well as the tech perspective, a career in DevOps is a good place to start. The DevOps role serves as a sort of buffer between the developers and the end users, with responsibility for overseeing application deployments and providing support. Because of this position in the middle, the DevOps team gets an in-depth understanding of business requirements and the pressures the business operates under, as well as the challenges developers face in creating successful applications.
Get Tools Knowledge
Even if you have a technical degree such as Computer Science or Information Technology, classroom work most likely won't expose you to the tools typically used by Dev Ops teams to manage and automate the application release build, deployment, and monitoring processes. While experience with tools can be learned on the job, it's helpful to have experience or at least familiarity with tools such as Puppet, Chef, and Jenkins.
If you aren't able to get experience with these tools through school or a summer job, you can get familiar with them by installing free downloads onto your home computer. (Many have free trial periods or are open source). Assign yourself a small project, such as writing a program that uses some third-party libraries. Use the tools to automate building the application and running some test cases. Create a deployable package and write a script in a language such as Python to validate that the deployment was successful.
Build Interpersonal Skills
The DevOps team often has to arbitrate conflicts between business and technology demands to find a way to release the application that meets both sides' needs, so interpersonal and communication skills are key. Leadership roles in clubs are a good way to develop those skills.
Think About Your Career Path
Because of the depth of understanding the DevOps role provides, it offers a number of paths to develop your career. If you have strong programming skills, it's possible to move over to the development team, where your insight into the business can help insure the application meets unstated, as well as stated, business requirements.
It's also possible to move over to the business side, where your technical knowledge can help the business better understand how to leverage technology. Of course, you can always stay in DevOps and move up the leadership/management ladder, taking on additional responsibility and potentially overseeing all DevOps-related functions throughout the organization.
While you don't have to have your career planned out through your retirement in 40 years, having an idea of where you want your first DevOps job to lead you can help you make the right decision about which job you want to start with.