Information technology is a popular career field right now—for good reason. Those who find a place in this career path tend to make about twice the annual salary of an average worker in America. And during a time when more jobs than ever require internet connection, IT jobs are in high demand with a bright outlook for the future.
There are many career paths to choose from in the technology field so there is something here you are sure to enjoy, no matter what your strengths or disposition. And IT provides plenty of opportunities to move up in your field or to switch to another specialty and move up from there.
The Most Important Factors to Consider When Choosing a Career Path
- Job availability in the present
- Job outlook for the future
- Job satisfaction/enjoyment
- Work/life balance/schedule
- Room for personal career growth
Information Technology Job Description
Information technology is not just coding or programming. And it’s not just sitting at a desk. There are many types of jobs requiring a variety of skill sets and personality types. There is something for everyone in IT. Artists, sales reps, designers, analytical people, intuitive people, introverts, and extroverts can all find a place they love in this field.
What is Information Technology?
Information technology includes any technological devices involved in computer systems, networking, and telecommunication. IT manages how we store, send, retrieve, and process information on computers and online. And it covers all the surrounding support areas, as well.
Every business today that uses computers or the internet depends on IT support for its hardware, software, maintenance, development for financial transactions, and its own programming and communication both internally and externally.
Why Choose an IT Career?
The information technology field has more perks than most. As we mentioned, the pay is great! In 2018, the median salary for tech workers was over $81,000. There are jobs available, although it can be rather competitive, especially now. You have room to move up in your career. But there are even more reasons to go into IT than that!
You can often work from anywhere in the world. You may not have to move or be stuck in a city you don’t enjoy. You can likely find a position where you can work entirely from the comfort of home.
This is a job where you can put your problem-solving skills to work as new challenges arise. It is generally a fast-paced career that is never boring.
Another fantastic thing about the technology field is that you can start at any age. If you want to switch careers to something in IT and you have a totally different background, with the right training, you can do it. Many courses and certification programs are available online for home study. Or you can go back to school, depending on the job you are interested in.
You can move between different areas and specialties of IT or into different sectors of the economy. Maybe you find out you love being a government consultant from home. Or maybe you enjoy working for a hospital system. You have many options and a chance to find a place that is the perfect fit for you.
You get to be creative and innovative, helping to build future realities by designing and creating new approaches now. Whether you are designing new hardware, creating new software, working on existing networks, or you are customer-facing, all of your skills will be useful and put to work as you help move our culture forward into new innovative ideas.
This field tends to be rather stable which is a huge plus, especially considering that many entire sectors of the economy have struggled recently. Having a career that is in demand and should continue to be in demand can give you a lot of peace of mind.
One of the best reasons to work in IT? You get to be part of making the world a better place. You empower small business owners, large corporations, individuals, medical facilities, governments, and nonprofits to do what they do. You allow people a pathway to work and conduct business and interact online. You help strengthen relationships in corporations, communities, and families.
If you choose a cybersecurity career pathway, you may even help to protect our country and our corporations from malicious cyber-attacks and help keep our essential utilities up and running. It feels great to be part of a heroic effort to protect people and their way of life from harm.
How Can You Get Started in an IT Career?
There are many ways to get into your chosen IT field. Some require no secondary education but may involve certain certifications or skills. For other jobs, you may need an associate, bachelor’s, or master’s degree.
A good place to start if you don’t want to pay to go back to college and want to get into IT quickly would be to learn some new coding languages. You can even get certified in several of them to make yourself a valuable potential employee. Check with possible employers to see which coding skills they are looking for most.
Learn Coding Skills for Free.
Many sites provide learning platforms for you to improve your IT job skills.
Take Classes at a Coding School Online
Get Certified in One or More of the Following
Having the right certifications can be even more important than having experience in some IT jobs. The more you study and train yourself, the more valuable you become to potential employers. Even if you don’t have a computer science degree, if you have training in these areas, you can often advance your career.
Certifications to Consider
- CBAP/Certified Business Analysis Professional
- CEH/Certified Ethical Hacker certification
- Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)
- Routing and Switching
- CISSP/CISSP certification/Certified Information Systems Security Professional
- CompTIA certification
- ITIL certification
- Microsoft certification
- Oracle certification
- Project management certification
- Python certification
- Six Sigma certification
- VMware certification
Types of Degrees for IT Jobs
Consider getting a degree to boost your career. Computer and IS security, computer engineering/computer science, computer forensics, or computer networking and telecommunications would prepare you very well for a lucrative IT career.
You could also earn a degree as a computer support specialist, database administrator, or something in computer information systems.
Or check out something a bit different and more niche like game design, video game programming, or web/multimedia management.
Next Steps for Your IT Career
We’d like to suggest the following pathway for you as you consider the direction you’d like to take in your future IT career.
- Research different jobs and find some that interest you.
- Figure out what certifications or degrees are required and decide how much time and money you want to invest in building your technology career.
- Choose the pathway that best suits your strengths, interests, personality, budget, and timeframe.
- Sharpen your soft skills, too, with seminars or some courses online. Focus on public speaking, time management, communication, resolving conflict, and leadership.
- Create a strong resume.
- Network with people you may know and ask about opportunities.
- Consider an internship to learn the ropes.
We’re thrilled that you are considering a job in the IT industry. We’d like to see you find your dream career and enjoy every minute of it. If there is anything we can do to help you, please give us a call! As recruiters, we can help you get your resume in the hands of the best potential employers for you, customizing your resume for each company, and we can help you prepare for your interviews. A recruiter can give you a big lead over other applicants in a competitive marketplace.