Well, the answer to that question is that without knowing you, I don’t know. I had the experience of working in IT many years ago when life was a little different. Today it looks like there is so much more at stake than there was back then.
I might be being naive here, of course. But in those days, we didn’t have phones or social media who thought they owned us. Maybe we did. Who Knows? I just wasn’t aware.
But the reality of IT was that it was a fast-moving, developing world where information was everything. That much hasn’t changed.
So, let’s take an in-depth look and answer the question… Is Technology a good career path?
- Is it Right For You?
- What is IT?
- Now And In The Future
- The Professional in IT
- The Qualifications Required
- Long Gone
- Is That A Negative?
- Is There a Positive?
- The Better Jobs
- The Job and its Responsibilities
- Companies Today are Reliant on Information
- Job Satisfaction
- Not Mundane
- Any Extra Benefits
- Not Just The Big Boys
- And More
- Always Something New
- You Will Be Paid What You are Worth
- Just Started Your IT Training?
- The Answer?
Is it Right For You?
I suppose the first question to ask you is, do you know what IT is? I apologize to those who have just stared at the screen in disbelief, but some people reading this might not know.
What is IT?
To put it simply, it is the study of and the use of computer and telecom systems. The object of what you do will be the management, storing, sending, and retrieving of information in whatever format the company requires.
The positions can vary from company to company, depending on how they operate their systems. Likewise, the responsibilities will vary. However, there are some things that will be common to every position in every company.
So let’s get into it and find out if it’s a good career path for you. It won’t suit everyone, that’s for sure. But if you like that lifestyle and the rewards it brings, then I would say at least give it a go.
Now And In The Future
Are you just finishing your education? Or maybe have been in the workplace a couple of years, and you may be considering a change. If so, one of the main considerations is the job security of the career you choose.
And if you choose a career in IT, it is unlikely that the jobs are going to dry up. Over the last 40 years, some employment opportunities have declined in IT. Jobs like Data Input Clerks and other basic operations-based occupations. But that is not what we are talking about here.
The Professional in IT
The professional is a valued commodity and becoming increasingly important. Most larger companies have internal training programs. And there won’t be a shortage of work in the foreseeable future.
IT professionals are needed everywhere. And since companies are relying more and more on data and software, the future looks very positive.
So let’s look at what a career in IT might look like and whether you think it would be right for you. But before we do, let’s talk about qualifications.
The Qualifications Required
There has been a major shift in qualification requirements over the last forty or so years. Back maybe 40-45 years, IT wasn’t high on most people’s list for potential work.
The big computer companies visited Universities trying to drum up interest and persuade us. In fact, a good school friend of mine joined a US computer manufacturer without a degree. He just had some decent school-leaving grades and was trained up in-house.
Those days are in the past now. The absolute minimum requirement for most professional grades in IT will require a degree. And preferably one in a computer-related discipline. Different positions will require varying qualifications, especially at the management level.
In today’s educational world, degree courses are prepared to enable you to get worthwhile qualifications. These might be in Computer Science, IT management, Basic IT, and Computer Engineering.
But as more people qualify via these courses, then a Master’s degree is going to be required in certain circumstances.
Is That A Negative?
If there is a potential negative to considering a career path in technology, then this could be one to consider. As the attraction of a career in IT increases, then so will the demand to find a position.
That will inevitably mean that employers get more choice, and educational qualifications might rise to an even higher level. And you will be involved in a competition as much as a job application. And it is likely to be quite ruthless for the better jobs.
To some, that might be quite appealing, seen as a challenge. But it won’t suit every type of personality. So, consider if you are planning to pursue a higher level of education?
Is There a Positive?
Well, of course, it is a growth industry. There can be no argument about that. It is expected that IT requirements will grow by 10-12% over the next ten years. While many reading this will see the computer as something that has always been here, it hasn’t.
The change in the world in fifty years has been beyond what we might have imagined. And the next fifty?
The Better Jobs
These will go to the most qualified and to those willing to compete for them. But there are others. You haven’t got to get your Porsche on Day one. The requirements go right down the hierarchy of operations. Starting at the bottom has its benefits.
The Job and its Responsibilities
If you are not willing to spend hours every day staring at a computer screen, then this probably isn’t for you. It won’t all be that, of course, depending on what job you do. But expect that much of it will be. Are you going to be ok with that?
Depending on the environment you are working in, the data you handle could be very sensitive. Bank details, hospital and health records, personal taxes, there could all be sensitive issues. You might well be responsible for protecting it.
Data security and looking at potential and actual data breaches might come under the remit of your position. You will be a problem solver every day. But it’s more than that.
Companies Today are Reliant on Information
Therefore, they will be reliant on you. If the systems go down, there is no information. It will be you who they start questioning. It will be you that has to fix it. Quick. Of course, depending on the size of the company, it might not be just you. It could be a department.
The role IT serves the company is vital as it is to their customers. So, consider if you are happy to be dragged out of bed at 3;00 am on Christmas morning to go to work if the need should arise?
(As an answer, I was, and we stayed two days before we got home. One of the Banks financial systems had crashed, and it had to be fixed)
This is a topic quite high on most people’s lists. And so it should be. Once you start, you will spend about a third of your life there. It helps if you enjoy it and get something out of it other than a paycheck.
The good news is that most people working in IT will tell you the job satisfaction rating is high. Because you are not doing the same things day after day, week after week, the interest level is an asset.
It will have some repetitive duties to perform. Everything does, but they will be few and far between. New challenges will arise frequently. New designs, updates, and changes will need to be analyzed and implemented.
The work will hardly be mundane. And if you like the satisfaction of realizing you have helped to fix something important, it could be for you. Therefore if Job Satisfaction is high on your list of priorities, a job in IT could well be a good option.
Any Extra Benefits
Let’s ignore the salary potentials for a second, but what are the other benefits? Most IT companies recognize the value of their staff. And In the larger companies, the benefits can be impressive. They will expect you to earn your corn, though.
Some have freebies like coffee or snacks on site. Others offer benefits from the company’s own business environment. If you work for a health insurance company, that could be a free pension or health insurance.
Not Just The Big Boys
While the benefits from major corporations can be significant, that’s not the only place that you’ll get them. I am aware of smaller IT companies that offer other benefits. Working from home if you choose, long holidays, flexible working hours to allow you to spend time with family.
And what about when you have put in a few years. You could go freelance as a lot of IT people do. The money is usually a lot higher, and you choose when and where you work. You haven’t got the security of a full-time placement, but the freedom appeals to some.
Therefore you need to ask yourself if you would like to see extra benefits from the workplace having an impact on your life?
Always Something New
If you are someone who likes the adventure of learning something new, IT is a good place to be. Software and systems options change almost by the hour. So, there is sometimes a lot of extra learning to take place.
Some will see that as an advantage; others will find it a bore. But if you become a specialist in a certain area, then your value as an employee goes up. You gain that knowledge by constantly learning. Always taking on board something new, pulling it apart, and knowing how to use it.
Therefore, if you dislike change and having to adapt, IT might not be for you.
Yes, I left it until last. And this is an area where I will disagree with most other industry experts and especially the ‘salary structure experts.’
The salaries can be mind-boggling, there is no doubt about that. I read that the average salary for an IT specialist is $69,000. Taken from some survey or other. It might be the case on Mars, but not here.
People were earning that much and more when I was in the industry, and that was a good while back. These days you can treble that if you are good. British writer and Poet Geoffrey Chaucer paraphrased a saying in the 14th Century. “A Labourer is Worthy of His Hire.” That applies to IT.
You Will Be Paid What You are Worth
That’s exactly what that means. And if a company needs your skills desperately, then you will be paid for them. Of course, not all jobs demand astronomical salaries. And in the first year, you won’t get quite as much. But it is likely to be higher than the mean average in other industries.
And I do agree with the fact that as you progress the salary will rise. But I still feel they are undercutting the potential of what can be earned. Perhaps they are doing that deliberately for a good reason.
However, with a good salary and job security comes two things:-
- A very good standard of living.
- A certain level of peace of mind for the future.
If you decide IT is the place for you, then you’ll need to go to the interview looking like a professional. That carries a lot of weight in a competitive interview environment. Therefore, to make sure you look the part, get yourself the Tassia Luxury Leather Executive Case Attache Briefcase. Using a nice pen for any reason will give you a professional image; I would recommend the Parker IM Fountain Pen.
And don’t turn up to the interview soaked to the skin; that never creates a good first impression; the Lilyxin Premium Automatic Compact Umbrella Windproof will help you out.
Just Started Your IT Training?
Great! We’ve found some insightful studying guides just for you. Let’s start with computer programming options such as Computer Programming for Absolute Beginners, Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software, and Python Programming: An Introduction to Computer Science.
Or how about Computer Programming: Learn Any Programming Language in 2 Hours, The Art of Computer Programming, and Computer Programming: The Most Complete Crash Course, all available online in 2023.
Secondly, if you’re interested in designing algorithms, then check out The Algorithm Design Manual, the Algorithmics of Matching Under Preferences, the Computer Vision: Algorithms and Applications, or the Practical Discrete Mathematics: Discover math principles that fuel algorithms for computer science, as well as finally Data Structures and Algorithm Analysis in C++ to fly through those exams!
Lastly, if you’re more interested in becoming a Data Scientist, take a look at Data Management: Databases and Organizations, Computational Design Thinking, the Introduction to wxMaxima for Scientific Computations, or Data Management: a gentle introduction: Balancing Theory and Practice to make the most from your studies.
And finally, how about Thinking as Computation: A First Course, the Clinical Analytics and Data Management for the DNP, the Introduction to Computation and Programming Using Python, or the DAMA-DMBOK: Data Management Body of Knowledge, all of which as also available online today.
Or, if you’re after the big bucks, check out our informative article on the Top Highest Paying Jobs in IT.
I can’t give it to you. It depends on you, what you want, and how you see your future. But I will say that if you tick all the boxes, you can do a lot worse than getting a job in IT.
Happy job hunting!
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