Why Work in IT? 7 Solid Reasons to Get Started

illustration of a laptop and a finger pressing the on button

We all love having options. Whether that’s the shoes you wear, the shows you stream or the color of car you drive, a little variety usually doesn’t hurt. But when it comes down to something as important as picking a potential career and education path, that variety can start to get a little intimidating as there’s a lot of research to be done.

If you’re reading this article, you’re likely right in the thick of giving a career in information technology (IT) its due diligence. If you’re wondering why working in IT could be the right option for you, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve asked established IT professionals to share what they enjoy about working in IT and compiled some of top reasons for getting started in this critical career field.

7 Reasons to work in information technology

There’s a lot to like about a potential IT career. Check out the list below to see if the good is too much to pass up.

1. IT jobs are in demand

It’s always nice to feel wanted—and that’s the case for many IT professionals. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment in computer and information technology occupations is projected to grow 11 percent from 2019 to 2029.1 In raw numbers, that amounts to a projected addition of 531,200 jobs.1

While the overall outlook is strong for roles in this field, there are a few occupations with growth projections that substantially stand out. The BLS projects employment of database administrators to grow 10 percent, employment of software developers to grow 22 percent and employment of information security analysts to grow 31 percent by 2029.1

2. Earning potential

Strong demand plus roles that require a specialized, technical skill set is often a formula for strong earning potential, and that’s certainly the case in information technology. While factors like location, experience, job role and skill set can all have a substantial influence on what you could earn as an IT professional, the field does well overall. The BLS reports that the 2020 median annual wage across all computer and information technology occupations was $91,250.1

So how does that shake out by occupation? Let’s take a look at the BLS’ reported 2020 median annual salary for some of the most common roles:1

  • Computer network architects: $116,780
  • Computer systems analysts: $93,730
  • Computer support specialists: $55,510
  • Software developers: $110,140
  • Information security analysts: $103,590
  • Network and computer systems administrators: $84,810

3. There’s a variety of specialized roles and advancement opportunities to pursue

Simply put, you can take your IT career in a lot of different directions once established. Maybe you get your start as an IT help desk specialist, but you mind find yourself branching off into cybersecurity, network administration or even IT project management—and that’s just a few potential options! Additionally, IT professionals who focus on developing programming and software development skills may venture into software engineering, quality assurance, database administration, DevOps or other roles that bridge the gap between technical know-how and business operations.

This is a field that provides options—you can drill down and focus on building your expertise in a specific focus area or take a broader generalist approach that can help facilitate work between specialists. As you build experience and learn new skills, you’ll can find ways to pivot that helps make a career feel fresh.

4. You get to be a problem-solver

“Finding something that doesn't work and fixing it is probably the best part of my job,” says Brian Turner, cofounder of ConvertBinary.

If you’re the type of person who enjoys the process of researching, troubleshooting and just plain figuring things out, the IT field can be a great fit for you. At a fundamental level, many IT roles are focused on solving problems—whether that’s helping someone troubleshoot issues they’re having with Outlook®, automating a tedious process with code or providing answers for how to best expand an enterprise-scale network.

“IT careers require analytical skills. People working in this field are expected to be good problem-solvers and innovators,” says Nate Tsang of WallStreetZen. “If you love solving problems and providing new solutions to them, then go ahead and pursue a career in IT.”

5. Less-rigid educational paths

Unless you’re planning to work in certain government IT roles where you may need a security clearance, there aren’t rigid regulations or local licensure requirements to meet in order to work in IT. While employers in this field will certainly love to see applicants with Bachelor’s degrees in relevant fields as a shorthand way to understand whether or not you know your stuff, they also value demonstrable competence, and that can come in a variety of forms.

For instance, IT certifications and shorter academic credentials are used by many IT professionals to get a foot in the door. From there you have options—whether it’s pursuing a degree or developing your skill set in a piecemeal approach. This gives you some flexibility in how you grow within your IT career.

“While there are good degrees you would want to seek and excellent certifications available, there is so much you can learn in this industry without much of either,” says Robert Kanter, founder of ITI Smart Solutions. “If you are willing to take an entry-level position, there are so many free sources of information and training; you can learn so much before exploring higher education or certifications.”

6. Opportunities are widespread

While it’s true some locations, like Silicon Valley or Austin, Texas, have a dense concentration of tech firms and opportunities, IT jobs aren’t found solely in a few areas in the country. Businesses and organizations of all sorts depend heavily on IT infrastructure and personnel to keep things running smoothly—whether it’s ecommerce for small businesses, telecommunications, local governments, healthcare providers or even agriculture!

“I have always worked at the crossroads of technology and a variety of different industries,” says Cristina Dolan, founder of InsideChains. “Every industry has a component of IT that is critical to each business.”

Additionally, while certainly not a guarantee, many IT roles can be done remotely. This obviously can help open up the pool of potential job opportunities and provide new paths to pursue in your career.

“I like that there are growing remote work opportunities in IT,” says Sebastian Schaeffer, CTO and owner of dofollow.io. “I'm in my late thirties, and when I first started out, I never thought there would be so many great opportunities to do interesting work from the comfort of my home.”

7. Working closely with technological advancements

Information technology is the driving force behind a lot of the innovations shaping entire industries. Whether it’s developing a secure infrastructure for digital record-keeping across our hospitals, developing a chatbot that can easily address common customer questions or building an app that makes a long-standing industry more efficient, there’s a lot of potential in this field.

Schaeffer is energized by the prospect of working in a field that’s always pushing for the latest and greatest.

“I love being on the cutting edge of tech because I feel like it gives me a better understanding of one of the most important ways in which human society is changing.”

Is an IT career in your future?

As you can see, there’s quite a few good reasons to giving working in the information technology field some serious consideration. If you’d like to learn more about the flexible, fully online education options available to you at Rasmussen University, visit the School of Technology programs page. Not quite ready for that? You can learn more about your potential IT career options with our article “Careers in Technology: 9 Options to Explore.”

1Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, [accessed July, 2021] https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/home.htm. Information represents national, averaged data for the occupations listed and includes workers at all levels of education and experience. This data does not represent starting salaries. Employment conditions in your area may vary.

About the author

Will Erstad

Will is a Sr. Content Specialist at Collegis Education. He researches and writes student-focused articles on a variety of topics for Rasmussen University. He is passionate about learning and enjoys writing engaging content to help current and future students on their path to a rewarding education.

writer

Related Content

This piece of ad content was created by Rasmussen University to support its educational programs. Rasmussen University may not prepare students for all positions featured within this content. Please visit www.rasmussen.edu/degrees for a list of programs offered. External links provided on rasmussen.edu are for reference only. Rasmussen University does not guarantee, approve, control, or specifically endorse the information or products available on websites linked to, and is not endorsed by website owners, authors and/or organizations referenced. Rasmussen University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, an institutional accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

logo-accreditation-acen logo-accreditation-ccne chart-credential-laddering-associates-bachelors-masters 0 Credits90 Credits180 Credits48 CreditsStart HereHIGH SCHOOL GRADSStart HereTRANSFER STUDENTSStart HereSECOND DEGREE PURSUERSEnd HereASSOCIATE'S DEGREEStart HereMASTER'S DEGREEPURSUERSEnd HereBACHELOR'S DEGREEEnd HereMASTER'S DEGREE chart-credential-laddering-associates-bachelors 0 CreditsStart HereHIGH SCHOOL GRADSStart HereTRANSFER STUDENTS90 CreditsStart HereSECOND DEGREE PURSUERSEnd HereASSOCIATE'S DEGREE180 CreditsEnd HereBACHELOR'S DEGREE chart-credential-laddering-msn chart-credential-laddering-nursing-programs chart-credential-laddering-nursing DNPMSNRN to BSNLPN to RN BridgeAccelerated BSNProfessional Nursing ADNPractical Nursing DiplomaPre-LicensurePost-Licensure icon-colored-outline-bank icon-colored-outline-certificate icon-colored-outline-circle-dollar-sign icon-colored-outline-folder-search icon-colored-outline-hand-heart icon-colored-outline-head-blocks icon-colored-outline-head-cog icon-colored-outline-head-heart icon-colored-outline-health-plus-leaves icon-colored-outline-hospital icon-colored-outline-lifelong-learning icon-colored-outline-light-bulb-analytics icon-colored-outline-location-pin icon-colored-outline-maginify-glass icon-colored-outline-magnifying-glass icon-colored-outline-monitor-healthcare icon-colored-outline-monitor-paper-search icon-colored-outline-nurse-rays icon-colored-outline-padlock-shield icon-colored-outline-person-presenter-screen icon-colored-outline-scales icon-colored-advance icon-colored-arrows-cross-curve icon-colored-briefcase-star icon-colored-build icon-colored-bulb-analytics icon-colored-certificate icon-colored-continual-development icon-colored-duo-chatbox icon-colored-folder-mortarboard icon-colored-forward-ribbon icon-colored-gears-clock icon-colored-globe-pen icon-colored-growth icon-colored-hand-bubble icon-colored-hand-stars icon-colored-hands-gear icon-colored-head-blocks icon-colored-head-cog icon-colored-health-plus-leaves icon-colored-hospital-building icon-colored-laptop-cbe-skyscraper icon-colored-laptop-checkmark icon-colored-laptop-webpage icon-colored-location-map icon-colored-location-pin icon-colored-monitor-paper-scan icon-colored-mortarboard-dollar icon-colored-national icon-colored-people-chat-bubbles icon-colored-person-cheer-star icon-colored-person-laptop-checkboxes icon-colored-person-screen-instructor icon-colored-person-whiteboard icon-colored-phone-chatbox icon-colored-police-light icon-colored-prep icon-colored-presenter icon-colored-regional icon-colored-save-time icon-colored-shirt-hat icon-colored-skyscraper icon-colored-state icon-colored-student-centered icon-colored-support icon-colored-world-experience icon-triangle-arrow-up-plant icon-triangle-calendar-pencil icon-triangle-clock-rotating-arrows icon-triangle-display-gears icon-triangle-hand-right-speech-bubble icon-triangle-laptop-coding-brackets icon-triangle-mortarboard icon-triangle-paper-ribbon icon-triangle-person-cheer-star icon-triangle-person-juggle icon-triangle-triple-people-chat-bubble icon-arrow icon-bank icon-camera icon-filter icon-general-chart icon-general-connect icon-general-degree icon-general-discuss icon-general-email icon-general-find icon-general-hat icon-general-heart icon-general-laptop-building icon-general-laptop icon-general-leader icon-general-map icon-general-money icon-general-paperwork icon-general-people icon-general-phone icon-general-speak-out icon-head-heart icon-info-circle icon-mail-forward icon-mglass icon-play-solid icon-quote-mark-left icon-quote-mark-right icon-scales icon-share-square-o icon-simple-chat icon-simple-desktop icon-simple-find icon-simple-hamburger icon-simple-phone icon-spinner icon-tag icon-testimonial-quotes icon-util-checkbox-white icon-util-checkbox icon-util-checked-white icon-util-checked icon-util-chevron-down icon-util-chevron-left icon-util-chevron-right icon-util-chevron-up icon-util-circle-arrow-down icon-util-circle-dot icon-util-language-switch icon-util-loading icon-util-open-window-button icon-util-open-window-link icon-util-pdf-button icon-util-pdf-link icon-util-refresh icon-util-x rebrand-arrows icon-modality-campus icon-modality-field icon-modality-online icon-modality-residential icon-social-facebook-square-colored icon-social-facebook-square icon-social-facebook icon-social-google-plus-square icon-social-google-plus icon-social-instagram icon-social-linkedin-square-colored icon-social-linkedin-square icon-social-linkedin icon-social-pinterest-p icon-social-twitter-square icon-social-twitter icon-social-youtube-play-colored icon-social-youtube-play ras-logo-flame ras-logo-horizontal ras-logo-stacked