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Is IT a Good Career Choice? What You Need to Know

Revised: March 15, 2024

The information technology and communication sector is one of the most powerful players in the global economy, with technology driving growth and development across every industry. Within the IT field, there are a variety of career opportunities available, leaving those interested in and passionate about technology, computers, and software development with plenty of options.

The Pros and Cons of an IT Career

Have you ever thought, "Is IT a good career?" It's important to consider the pros and cons of this field before deciding to pursue a certificate or degree in a related subject area. Some of the advantages associated with many of the top IT careers include:

  • Engaging, hands-on work.
  • Healthy salaries.
  • Growth potential.

Some of the disadvantages to consider:

  • Long hours, including shifts that may extend beyond regular business hours.
  • Potential for a high-stress work environment.

Exploring Various IT Roles

The IT field is broad, and there are a variety of specialized roles to consider. The diversity of roles allows you to combine your interests in computer science with the skills you have acquired to begin a long and rewarding career.

Role of a Cybersecurity Professional

Cybersecurity specialists, sometimes called information security analysts, are IT professionals responsible for protecting computer networks and mitigating cyberattacks. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, information security analysts are responsible for actively monitoring the organization's computer network, identifying vulnerabilities within the network, strengthening the network, and mitigating the damage if a cyberattack does occur. The median annual salary for cybersecurity professionals is about $112,000, with an expected job growth rate of nearly 32 percent between 2022 and 2032.

Understanding the Work of a Software Developer

Software developers work to create and implement computer software systems and applications. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, some of the tasks that software developers are responsible for include analyzing data to identify the needs of users in a particular demographic, generating ideas for software that may meet the needs of their target audience, designing multiple facets of an application so that it will work seamlessly, and creating upgrades that can improve upon existing software. Software developers earn a median annual salary of about $124,000, and the expected job growth rate for this field is approximately 25 percent, much faster than average compared to other occupations.

Job Responsibilities of an IT Infrastructure Specialist

IT infrastructure specialists are needed at nearly every type of organization, regardless of size, because almost every business conducts transactions online and across a computer network. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, IT and computer support specialists are responsible for network administration and offer support when IT problems arise in the workplace. They are often called upon to troubleshoot when employees or managers struggle with a technical issue. IT specialists earn a median annual salary of about $59,000, and the job growth rate for this field is expected to be roughly 5 percent over the next decade.

Insights Into Data Management Positions

Data management positions are becoming critical in the digital era, particularly as organizations across all industries seek to harvest consumer data and store it securely on their networks. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, data administrators and analysts are responsible for creating secure databases and developing protocols for safely storing data on the computer network. These professionals earn a median annual salary of about $112,000, and the anticipated job growth rate for this field is 8 percent, which is faster than average compared to all other occupations.

IT Industry Outlook

Overall, the outlook for the IT industry is positive, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics projecting that its growth will be much faster than average between 2022 and 2032. The BLS notes that there are an expected 377,500 new positions in the IT field each year throughout the next decade, which means that skilled and qualified professionals will be in high demand.

IT Career Advancement and Diversity

Within the IT field, there are many opportunities for career advancement, particularly among those who work to complete certifications and graduate degree programs to enhance their skills. Prioritizing professional development is critical to career growth, as the field constantly adapts to the latest technology.

Continuous Learning in the IT Industry

Continuous learning plays a critical role in the IT industry. Even professionals who earn a bachelor's degree or master's degree in information technology will have to complete additional industry training throughout their career to develop the latest and most relevant skills within the industry.

Diversity and Inclusivity in the IT Workforce

There has long been a gap in the IT industry regarding diversity and inclusivity. Many perceive this field to be one that is male-dominated and lacking in diversity. As a result, many tech companies and IT firms are working to improve their diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging initiatives. According to Forbes, companies that work to close the diversity gap in the tech industry will be rewarded with improved products, better innovations, and enhanced insight into the needs of all consumers. Better representation within the industry will only help fuel it forward in the digital era.

Information Technology Salaries

Due to the specialized nature of this field and the fact that skilled IT professionals are in high demand, the salaries for IT careers may be higher compared to other occupations.

Entry-Level IT Job Salaries

The salaries for entry-level positions in the IT field vary, but the most common entry-level position is the IT specialist position. According to the BLS, the median annual salary for IT specialists and IT support technicians is about $59,000.

Salary Growth Opportunities

Professionals in the IT industry will find that there are salary growth opportunities when they pursue specialized certifications and advanced degrees. For instance, a graduate with a master's degree in information technology may be able to seek a position as a computer and information research scientist, which earns a median annual salary of about $136,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Is a Certificate in Information Technology Worth It?

As you consider the various IT careers available, you will want to prepare accordingly and develop the skills necessary to secure an entry-level position and continue to grow your career. At Champlain College Online, we offer an online Information Technology Fundamentals undergraduate certificate program that allows you to develop the fundamental skills and credentials required to enter the IT field. Additionally, we have an online Master of Science in Information Technology program that offers an advanced curriculum designed to address the current demands of the dynamic IT field. Request more information about the IT degree and certificate programs at CCO today.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Highest Paying IT Job?

While many IT careers offer a generous salary and compensation package, most agree that management positions are the highest-paid jobs in IT. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, computer and information systems managers earn a median annual salary of about $164,000. While most candidates for management positions have a bachelor's degree in a related field and at least five years of industry experience, many can secure a competitive advantage by earning a graduate degree.

What Is the Easiest IT Field To Get Into?

As a skills-based industry, you can secure an entry-level IT position with an undergraduate certificate or specialized certification program. According to Indeed, some IT positions with minimal educational requirements include:

  • Computer Technician
  • Web Designer
  • Technical Support Specialist
  • Application Developer
  • Computer Programmer

Why Is Information Technology a Good Career?

Information technology is a good career choice because it allows you to combine your passion and interest in computer science with a relevant, skills-based career. The industry enjoys steady, consistent growth, and the rapid development of new technology will continue to ensure that there is always a demand for qualified professionals with a universal foundation in computer systems and information security.

What Skills and Qualifications Are Needed for an IT Career?

IT professionals should have well-defined technical and soft skills to pursue an IT career. Some of the most critical technical skills within the IT field include programming, coding, database management, network configuration and security analysis, and operating system skills. Some of the most essential soft skills in IT include communication, organization, problem-solving, analysis, and collaboration.

What Do People in the IT Career Field Do on the Job?

The daily tasks and responsibilities within the IT career field vary based on the individual position. Some IT workers can work remotely, while many work in an office setting to provide IT support and mitigate technical issues that arise within the organization's network. For the most part, IT careers are not physically demanding, and many professionals appreciate that each day brings new and exciting challenges to overcome.

Is a Degree Necessary for a Successful IT Career?

While a degree may not be necessary to enter the IT field, many find that an undergraduate certificate program, bachelor's degree, or master's degree allows them to elevate their career and pursue advanced positions. Anyone interested in a specialized IT position or a management opportunity will likely need to earn a degree. 

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