5 Facts that Prove NOW is the Time to Pave Your IT Career Path

If you’ve considered pursuing an information technology (IT) career, but are hesitant about leaving your current job behind—worry no more!

Changing careers is always a risky decision, especially when you have a family to support. But if the thought of landing your dream tech job has always been in the back of your mind, there’s no better time than now to do something about it.

IT professionals are in demand throughout every industry, which means NOW is the time to start planning your IT career path. So if you’ve been waiting for proof that pursuing an IT career will be profitable in the long run, here it is.

These five facts will help demonstrate the wisdom in your decision to become an IT professional.

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Fact #1: Organizations are investing more money in IT initiatives

More and more companies are recognizing the benefits of leveraging the latest technologies in their day-to-day operations. Technology has become a staple in most workplaces, drastically improving efficiency, mobility and communication among employees.

Bigger and better technologies are being introduced each year, so it’s likely that businesses will continue to adopt new tech trends in an effort to remain competitive in the marketplace. In fact, 64 percent of chief information officers (CIOs) are confident that their firms will invest in more IT projects in the future.

What does this mean for you?

Technology alone isn’t enough to give companies a competitive advantage; it all comes down to the people who lead, support and optimize the IT initiatives. So when a company chooses to invest in these initiatives, they are choosing to invest in YOU!

Fact #2: IT employment growth is accelerating

Since businesses are allocating more time and resources to IT efforts, it’s no surprise that the number of IT professionals being hired across the country is reflecting this growth. On a year-over-year basis, IT employment has grown by 5.7 percent since 2012, according to a study by TechServe Alliance.

The number of IT jobs has been on a steady upswing for the past few years and there is no sign of a slowdown in the near future. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts growth of all IT careers to range from 12-31 percent through 2020. An outlook as seemingly optimistic as this is rare compared to the average projected growth rate (14.6 percent) among all occupations.

What does this mean for you?

You can be confident that the time and effort you invest in paving your IT career path will be worthwhile. In such a thriving industry, you can enjoy a sense of relief knowing there will be jobs for years to come.

Fact #3: Employers are struggling to find qualified candidates for IT positions

The biggest problem faced by the IT industry is not a lack of job openings; it’s a lack of qualified professionals to fill the openings. In fact, 68 percent of CIOs admit that it’s challenging to find skilled IT professionals to meet their needs.

Haley Felts, an IT recruiter at TEKsystems, knows firsthand how difficult it is to find good IT talent. “The days have passed where an employer simply posts a job and receives a slew of qualified candidates,” she says.

Felts says that most businesses with any sort of IT initiatives are using consulting agencies that specialize in recruiting IT talent. Due to the scarcity of qualified applicants, candidates who have any type of IT degree under their belt drastically improve their chances of landing a job.

What does this mean for you?

Once equipped with the proper education and technical know-how, you can instantly become one of the coveted IT professionals companies are currently seeking.

Fact #4: IT professionals have more job opportunities

With an abundance of job openings and a shortage of skilled professionals, a unique opportunity is there for those who are qualified. The average number of advertised vacancies in this industry outnumbers jobseekers 3-to-1, according to a study by Kelly Services.

This means IT professionals can afford to be selective when deciding to accept a job offer. In fact, thirty-two percent of hiring managers say more IT candidates are declining job offers compared to just six months ago.

For example, Felts says that when she comes across a qualified IT candidate, she’ll likely submit the person for several open positions. As a result, that individual ends up with multiple opportunities. On the other hand, the client only has one option and has to hope their position is enticing enough for the candidate to accept.

What does this mean for you?

As a qualified IT candidate, you’ll have the luxury to pick and choose the position that is right for you. The more knowledge and experience you acquire, the more competitive a potential employer’s offer should be.

Fact #5: IT salaries are increasing

Put simply, employers have to be willing to pay to land top tech talent. For instance, IT degree holders are worth more to employers than individuals with no college experience. Gaining experience in the field also qualifies you for a larger paycheck, according to Felts.

“IT professionals are able to climb the financial ladder faster than any other industry I’ve seen,” says Felts.

The overall job growth in the industry has also resulted in salary increases for IT professionals. Earnings are expected to increase up to 8 percent across all IT positions in 2014, according to the 2014 Salary Guide from Robert Half Technology.

What does this mean for you?

For an individual making $40,000 a year, an eight percent increase is equivalent to $3,200. Just imagine what you and your family could do with an extra $3,200 each year!

The bottom line…

If you’ve been hesitant to make this career change because of the indefinite future, these five facts should help silence those fears. The future is a bright one for IT professionals and if you or someone you know doubts it, direct them to these five facts.

After sharing this information with your family and friends, they’d be crazy not to support you in your decision! So if you’re ready to finally start on your IT career path, the next step is to explore your education options and determine which technology degree can help jumpstart your IT career.

Callie Malvik

Callie is the Content Manager at Collegis Education, overseeing blog content on behalf of Rasmussen College. She is passionate about creating quality resources that empower others to improve their lives through education.

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