If a career in information technology evokes images of Coke-bottle glasses, slumped shoulders, carpal tunnel syndrome and creating cryptic code, breathe easy. Gone are the days of IT specialists entering hour-after-hour of 0s and 1s into computer programs. In fact, the IT world just might offer some of the most fascinating positions on the market!
The IT job market has grown almost 3 percent since March 2013 and, in that time, has added 107,500 new technology positions to the field, according to TechServe Alliance. With the rise of computer and mobile technology over the last decade, IT careers have become even more fast-paced, creative and full of perks. Not to mention the fact that some starting salaries for IT workers can be relatively high.*
Market trends suggest companies are looking to hire software developers and computer programmers now more than ever, and they’re offering fun incentives to make it happen.
So, forget the stereotypes and generalizations. Here’s why working in IT is not boring.
IT is an evolving landscape
“To say technology is fast-paced is obviously an understatement,” says Justin Davis, founder of the iOS app Drawer. “Working in IT, you have the opportunity to learn and explore brand new, cutting-edge approaches and technologies on a weekly basis. That pace assures you never get bored with what you're doing.”
Over the last few decades, technology updates and inventions have begun to snowball. Picking up speed, computers and machines have revolutionized the 21st Century and have now created a host of jobs for specialists in technology to fulfill. From iOS app creators to robotics specialists to FBI computer hackers, the IT field is heading in a fascinating direction and the careers being created because of it are nothing less than cutting-edge.
Since technology is constantly progressing, the careers created by its fast pace require employees who are in touch and acquainted with the latest and greatest trends in the tech world.
“IT professionals must invest time staying up-to-date on the latest technologies, security policies and implementation processes,” says Ben Seidel, president of Igniting Business, a web design, tech services and marketing company. “If you love learning, take a job in the IT industry. You'll face new and interesting challenges every day.”
With its colorful and constantly changing landscape, technology promises to be a fulfilling career to those who are looking for an ever-shifting and exciting vocation.
Variety to last a lifetime
Not only is there variety in the types of jobs that IT specialists can fill, but the jobs themselves fluctuate and shift in their roles and responsibilities.
“Every day is different at my company,” explains Eric Schlissel, CEO of GeekTek IT Services. “Each of our clients have unique IT infrastructures and business objectives, so our team faces different challenges each day. Not only do our techs get a wide variety of network, server and workstation configurations to work on, they learn about each of our clients’ businesses and how IT relates.”
Depending on the type of job you have, you may face an array of different assignments and engaging ventures each day. From helping people with their technology to creating new platforms and websites to figuring out how to reverse a dangerous computer virus, IT employees will often face diversification in their responsibilities day to day and week to week.
The variety also stretches to the different types of people, places and businesses served by IT professionals. “An IT career lets you work with people from all over the world,” explains Peter Hodges from Marathon Consulting, a company that provides IT strategies and systems design. “For example, the team at Marathon will be helping a client open an office in Poland in a few weeks without having to leave NYC. It’s fun to have clients in a wide range of time zones.”
Whether you’re a people person or you prefer to buckle down and focus in on complicated code, there’s enough range in the IT world to make it easy to find your perfect career.
Puzzles, problem solving & state-of-the-art skills
Website creators, code-writers, video game designers, virus hackers—all of these positions have one thing in common: they need people who can solve complex problems and have the skill set to do so.
As an IT professional, you’ll either be making things easier, faster and more efficient, or you’ll be helping to sort out a complication, remove a difficulty or step up in the event of a setback. A lot of technology jobs simply involve creating something unique, new, helpful and fun.
“Think of a programming project as a puzzle piece,” says Scott Snyder, senior technical specialist at Chicago Computer Experts. “You can put the pieces together but only in a certain way that will actually make up the correct picture. Knowing how to do that is what makes it interesting.”
As you gain knowledge and ability in the IT world through education and experience, you may soon discover that you’re able to help others and even yourself in ways you’d have never thought possible. “Working in IT gives you an incredible sense of freedom,” Davis says. “When you know how technology works, you have the tools to create anything you can think of. It's incredibly inspiring.”
If you like to think critically, desire to help people, and get a rush from solving a difficult puzzle, consider pursuing a professional position in the IT world.
Knowing its exciting is the first step
So, no … the most exhilarating part of your day as an IT professional will not just be a visit to Jimmy John’s during your lunch break. It may, however, be stopping a virus from spreading to thousands of computers across the country or creating the next best mountain climbing app for iPhones.
Are you convinced that working in IT is compelling enough for you? Download Rasmussen College’s technology career guide to learn more about the top IT jobs in the industry, and get started making your vocation in technology a reality!
*Salary data represents national, averaged earnings for the occupations listed and includes workers at all levels of education and experience. This data does not represent starting salaries, and employment conditions in your area may vary.