The Information Technology (IT) industry can be a very exciting career field for the right individual.
According to ComputerCareers.org, employment in computer systems design and related services will grow by 54.6 percent and add more than one-third of all new jobs in professional, scientific, and technical services by 2019. This employment growth will be driven by the increasing reliance of businesses on information technology and the continuing importance of maintaining system and network security. Management, scientific, and technical consulting services also will grow very rapidly, by 55.4 percent, spurred by the increased use of new technology and computer software and the growing complexity of business.
Is the IT field right for you?
The first objective or goal for individuals undertaking the pursuit of a career in Information Technology is to realize that there is clearly a right way and a wrong way to go about it. Those who choose the proper approach will likely enjoy the process and can look forward to climbing a ladder of success that affords new and interesting opportunities in an ever-changing profession. Individuals who follow the wrong path will likely experience mounting student loan balances, drained bank accounts, a loss of education and training benefits, and an uncertain future.
For every success story there are numerous failures. Over the past decade we have seen far too many individuals whose dream of entering the Information Technology field were unnecessarily delayed or failed to materialize because they received inadequate and, often times, unrealistic counseling and advice. An analysis of individual stories of success and failure clearly identify common and identifiable threads that suggest or predict the likely outcome in each case.
What to do?
- assess if the IT field is right for you,
- assist you in selecting an appropriate specialty area of IT,
- provide you with unbiased counseling and guidance regarding the knowledge, skills, and insight that will successfully guide you to a new career or professional advancement,
- help you avoid the common pitfalls and mistakes made by others in the past.
The statistical data regarding the growth of the IT career field in the first paragraph was purposely placed at the introduction of this page. As a career changer, you will likely see this type of data marketed and advertised at colleges and certification training centers. You can also expect to see additional statistical data reflecting salary surveys of individuals who posses various certifications and more marketing material indicating that a few hundred thousand IT jobs are unfilled across the nation. A hasty decision to make a career change based on this statistical data and a strong sales pitch from an admissions representative has been the downfall of numerous individuals. Why, because the statistics fail to tell the entire story. For example, the same statistical data does not explain that only one in ten positions are at the entry-level, and in IT, entry-level can mean up to two years of tangible experience. This type of marketing fuels the mulit billion dollar certification indisutry and may fill college classrooms, but it fails to adequatly provide you with the unbiased information you will need to make adequate decissions. The most common problems career changers face is their lack of tangible experience and limited skill sets. Yes, this also includes individuals with certifications and/or a college degree. Seasoned professionals with several years of tangible experience often find difficulty going outside of their niche because they earn to high of a salary and their employer refuses to provide additional training.
Where do you begin?
Before you can start planning your career, you will need to understand the different areas of IT and the type of experience, skills and credentials necessary to realistically be considered a competitive candidate after training. If you are an experienced professional, you will want to ensure that your past experiences will not overshadow your ability to change direction. Our Information Technology (IT) Career Counselors will assist you with the most frequently asked questions and more. The top five questions are listed below.
- Which IT career path should I pursue?
- Degree or Certification, which credential is best?
- What type of IT job can I obtain with my experience and credentials?
- Where can I find employment opportunities?
- What are realistic salary and wage expectations for jobs with my level of experience?