Is technology a good career path for me?
IT professionals are increasingly important in the business world, and they play the critical role of protecting our most vulnerable business information.
Since they’re needed everywhere, and since business is relying more and more on computers, the field is ripe for the taking!
Let’s talk about some reasons why a career path in tech might be right for you!
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What Does The IT Career Path Look Like?
First, what is information technology? Well, it’s the study or use of systems (especially computers and telecommunications) for storing, retrieving, and sending information.
Information technology jobs are fairly diverse and can look different from position to position, as well as company to company. IT workers can have a wide array of different responsibilities, but there are some core elements of the career that stay pretty uniform through the field.
No matter what, IT jobs will involve long periods of sitting at a computer. Shocking, isn’t it? Well, that is something you need to be prepared for, and you’ll need to ask yourself if you’re okay with that over the long term.
IT workers will handle large amounts of company data, and much of it can be very sensitive, especially if you’re handling personal information like credit cards or hospital records. Not only will you be handling it, but you’ll be responsible for protecting it.
You’ll be expected to handle things like data security, discovering data breaches, solving whatever problems arise, and plenty more. It can look different every day, but it will still involve computers.
Everything is on the computers these days, so the work that an IT tech performs is absolutely critical to businesses, and the customers who rely on their data remaining safe.
The minimum required training to become an IT specialist, but different positions (especially management levels) will have different requirements. These degrees are most commonly in information technology, IT management, computer science, or computer engineering.
Master’s degrees are not only preferred, but also increasingly required for these positions and they will open you up to management positions in the future. To be considered a specialist, you will need a minimum of 3 years of experience in the IT field.
Benefits Of Information Technology Careers: Industry Growth
We’re still in the early days of computers. They’re only going to improve from here. Watching a movie in 4K Ultra HD might look like an Atari game a century from now, and computers are no different.
The IT field is expected to grow by 11% in this decade, and there’s already a surplus of jobs for those in the field today. This means that if you haven’t started your education yet, there’s time for you to do so and have a bright future ahead of you!
One of the biggest perks about going into this field is the salary. The average salary for an IT specialist in the US is $69,000, which more than twice the national average.
Not only that, but that figure only increases as you advance in your career. The average IT consultant makes around $80,000 a year, and the average manager earned anywhere between $110,000 and $156,000! That’s up to 5 times the national average.
The number one factor in life expectancy in the US is job satisfaction, and that’s not really a surprise when you think about it. It’s where we spend most of our time and energy through our lives, and it gives us something to care about.
The good news for IT specialists and aspiring specialists is that the vast majority of people working in the field report having high levels of job satisfaction. They also largely report lower rates of burnout, due to constantly facing new challenges and having a solid work environment!
There is already a deficit of IT specialists out there, relative to demand, which makes sense in the earlier days of the digital age, making your job security prospects high, which plays a major role in your overall job satisfaction.
Not only that, but there are also high growth prospects within your career, moving up to team leader or management positions, independent consultation work, or moving to a larger company and gaining more responsibilities. Salaries commonly hitting 6 figures probably has something to do with it, too.
We’re not talking just about your health coverage, dental plans, and vision insurance. Perks are different, and these jobs have a lot of them! If you work specifically for a tech company, they know how in-demand those jobs are, so they tend to offer really great perks.
Some might let you make your own schedule, some may offer free food or massages, casual dress codes, on-site coffee bars, and more. These companies typically care a lot about company culture, which as anybody who’s been in a hostile work environment knows is a huge perk in itself. They’re also known for caring about job satisfaction and making improvements based on feedback their employees give.
IT specialists also tend to have pretty good work-life balances. They’re in the buildings to fix problems, and if that can be done in a reasonable amount of time, then that’s more time you get to spend with your family! This is especially true for techs who make their own schedules!
Some people may see this as a downside, but there really are so many benefits to having to learn and adapt throughout your career. Most people love a challenge, and this is especially true if it’s for a passion of yours.
This is definitely a huge benefit if you got into the IT field for your love of computers. There will always be new software, new technologies, and new advancements for you to take apart, learn about, and explore.
Not only that, it will keep your brain healthy. Studies show that people with higher levels of education (like in the IT field), who are constantly learning and facing new challenges have a significant decrease in their risk of developing Alzheimer’s.
Challenges In The Field
There isn’t an industry out there that doesn’t face problems. Every job will have its benefits and its downsides, and it’s always going to be a balancing act. However, if you can put up with a couple of challenges, you’ll be looking at a promising future.
Lots of Screen Time
Honestly, this is the only real, significant downside for many, and it’s so obvious that it’s barely worth mentioning. The job offers so many benefits and perks, and it’s really worth it if you can handle all the time you spend at a desk, which a lot of people love to do!
Fortunately, there will be issues that arise with other technologies, there will be phone calls to make, and you’ll be taking walks around to help people out in the building. However, if you’re the type of person who needs to be moving and can’t see yourself sitting at a desk for a lot of your time at work, this may not be the job for you.
As we said, this can be a pro or a con depending on how you perceive it. The truth is, the industry does change all the time, and you do need to keep up with it if you want to be an effective IT worker.
If you work for a tech company, this won’t be an issue, as they will most likely keep you up to date. However, if you’re the “IT guy” for a small company, then it is on you. The good news is that you’ll have less responsibility to improve in that case, but it is just something to keep in mind.
Is The IT Path Right For Me?
The IT career path, like every job, isn’t for everybody. To say if it’s right for you is a question that only you can answer. However, now that you know the benefits and the challenges with the job, you’ll be able to make an informed decision.
Just keep doing your research, and if you find that it’s right for you, then you’re going to have a bright and promising future! Be sure to keep up to date with the latest job trends, and see what some of the best low-stress jobs are on the market today!