Businesses are increasingly dependent on digital technology to drive their processes. As a result, they are seeking more qualified IT professionals to handle, manage, and support their technology infrastructure and systems. This means there’s tremendous opportunity to build a successful IT career, but picking a particular field within IT from the many options can be a daunting task.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that there will be about 1.3 million IT job openings by 2022. This far exceeds the number of qualified candidates available to fill such positions. This has resulted in a skills gap across IT verticals: as of 2018, there were 17% more job openings in IT than there were people skilled enough to fill them.
This presents an enormous opportunity for students, beginners, and professionals looking to begin a lucrative career in IT. The large number of roles in the IT space offers plenty of room for growth and aspiring professionals can fast-track their pathway to a successful career…with the right certification.
This article discusses the things you should consider before making a career choice in IT.
A lot of careers are only open to people who have a four-year college degree. This isn’t usually the case for IT roles. While most employers do prefer candidates with such degrees, most enterprises will accept applications from individuals (from any background) with certifications in a field that’s relevant to the position you want to fill.
Compared to college degrees, it takes a much shorter time to complete an IT certification program. You can access the courses online, and keep up with them at your convenience. Of course, the kind of online course and certification you need will depend on your career path and the job in question.
While there may be overlapping areas, a data engineer will need a different kind of certificate from what a system’s administrator role requires. Find out what entry qualifications are required for your field. This will inform the learning path you’ll take.
Skills and Interests
Analytical and problem-solving skills are highly prized in the IT space. So is flexibility—tech environments are dynamic and fast-paced, and require employees to be highly adaptable. Creativity, resourcefulness, and strong communication skills are also considered to be important soft skills.
There’s a widespread belief that persons in IT should have a strong background in math and statistics. While proficiency at these subjects confers an advantage, it isn’t necessary. If you would like to become a big data analyst, it does help if you are familiar with calculus or algebra. But it’s not as important for hardware technicians, network administrators, or help desk supervisors.
Most entry-level positions won’t demand that you have prior experience in a related field. But hiring managers will show a preference for candidates who have demonstrated their skills in some capacity. You can do this either by working in a volunteer role or undertaking your own projects.
Workloads vary across IT fields. Software engineers develop software products using programming languages; network administrators ensure that their organizations’ systems are updated and functioning properly. These roles involve unique sets of responsibilities.
When picking an IT career, find out the expected workloads and determine if it’s something you can handle.
The State of the Job Market
Generally, the demand for IT skills is significant— higher than it is for technical skills in other industries. Job postings for machine learning engineers rose 344% between 2015 and 2018. Hiring for blockchain engineers has climbed 400% since 2017. Other segments have witnessed similar levels of growth.
But the need for IT professionals varies across tech domains and verticals. If you are keen on landing a job right after obtaining the necessary qualifications, you can pursue a career in the high growth segments of IT.
The general picture of salaries in IT is quite decent. The average annual salary of a data scientist is $141,000. Software architects can expect to earn about $130,000 a year. The majority of IT jobs pay significantly above the national average salary.
Projections for the Future
If you are picking an IT career, it should be one with a reasonable prospect of long term growth. Such a career gives you greater liberty to keep a job, progress up the ranks, and make transitions at your discretion.
This opportunity exists in several domains within IT. According to current projections, fields like cloud computing, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, data science, and analytics (to name a few) will continue to grow over the next ten years. The demand for IT security specialists is expected to have expanded 32% by 2028. Software engineer jobs will also grow by 21% within the same period.
Projections like these can give intending IT professionals an insight into their career options, and enable them to select the most promising pathways for the long term.
The great thing about roles and careers in IT is that you can transition between them, as long as you have the right qualifications. If your initial pick for an IT career doesn’t turn out as you had hoped, you can switch to a vertical that suits you better.
If you have decided on an IT career path, you can begin that journey with us here at Skillup Online. Our certification courses will provide you with the skills and qualifications you need to land the IT role you desire. Click here to begin learning today.