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What You Should Know About a Career in Tech

Carol Evenson
Job security in the computer and IT business is strong given continuous technological expansion and growth. As an IT pro, you have many options for a career.
The tech industry has grown consistently over the past 20 years and shows little signs of stopping. Computer and information technology (IT)-related jobs are projected to outpace all other jobs in terms of sheer numbers well into the next decade according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
This above-average growth is fueled by evolving technologies and their adaptation of them by various organizations.
As more companies implement cloud computing, cybersecurity, mobile networking, data management and other technologies, IT continues to show great promise in terms of opportunity and potential for high earnings.
Given that the median annual wage of computer and IT occupations is over twice that of all other jobs, you may be considering a career in this particular industry.

IT Roles

IT professionals can work in almost any business, as many companies require IT services. Their roles usually involve technology implementation, computer network design, coding, software development and website design.
IT jobs you might have heard of, include software developers, database administrators, computer support specialist, app developer, among others.
As technology continues to evolve, there will be a high demand for trained pros that know and understand creation and implementation. For example, one trend software development now involves a technique known as microservices.
Instead of an application being a standalone program, it is structured as different services working together. This is a new approach to software and prominent microservices examples include heavyweights such as Netflix and Amazon.

A Day in the Life

One thing to consider is what a work day for an IT pro looks like. IT employees typically work long hours, with an estimated 25% clocking well over 40 hours in a week. Often, IT work involves problem-solving or providing on-call services, especially in emergency situations.
If you were to work in this field, you might be on a project that has a critical delivery schedule, requiring you to put in as many hours as possible to meet deadlines and project milestones. Whether you’re working in the tech industry or not, give careful consideration to the pleasantness of the work environment.

Education Requirements

As with most careers, a certain level of education is usually required. Many computer and IT occupations require at least a Bachelor’s degree. If you don’t already have a degree in a relevant field, pursue one at a school with strong technical programs.
A career in the IT requires staying aware of new knowledge and learning, so you’ll have to carve out time for continuing education.
Online courses can be especially helpful. Certifications are also strongly recommended as they signal to potential employers that you are qualified for certain roles. The right credentials will make you more competitive.
Not all certifications are created equal, so be sure to pursue those that are most relevant to what you want to do. Keep in mind that IT occupations usually require knowledge of operating systems, development tools and programming languages. You can’t possibly know everything, so focus your time, energy and money on the most relevant skills.

Tech Firms

Some of the largest tech companies are household names such as Apple, Google, Amazon, and Microsoft. Others include names you may not have heard of in a while such as Texas Instruments and IBM.
There are also privately held businesses that employ tech pros, like Uber. You may even set your sights on smaller, but quickly growing companies such as LinkedIn.
Given the potential for growth and earnings, it makes sense to contemplate a career in the tech industry. The median annual wage for this field was $86,320 in May 2018, over twice that of all other industries. Job security in the computer and IT business is strong given continuous technological expansion and growth.
As an IT pro, you have many options for a career. Moreover, this is a global field with opportunities all over the world. If you’re willing to put in the work to acquire the knowledge and skills, you could enjoy a very rewarding and fulfilling work experience.