Technology permeates every aspect of our lives, from work to leisure to home life. The accelerated pace of technological innovations further fuels this increased interest and ubiquity. Consider how technology has delivered so much processing power that the handy little mobile phone we use to post cat videos on social media has vastly more RAM and processing power than the guidance computers that took the Apollo astronauts to the moon!
These astonishing and rapid technological advances prompt the career-minded person to ask, "Is technology a good career path?" And what kinds of tech careers are there, which fields are growing faster, and what's the compensation like?
Fortunately, this article has the answers for anyone who is planning to pursue a tech-based career. So let’s dive into the particulars!
Why Is Technology a Good Career Path?
Thanks to more people than ever using mobile devices and the Internet, we are experiencing a tech explosion. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that overall employment in information technology and computer positions will grow 15 percent between 2021 and 2031. This increase is markedly faster than the average for all other non-tech occupations.
This explosive growth means we will see over 680,000 new tech jobs during those ten years. Furthermore, over 400,000 new openings will be spurred by growth and worker replacement needs..
Moreover, technology is wildly popular and shows no sign of slowing down! The Bureau's report says that demand is rising because of growing interest in cloud computing, data gathering and storage, and information security. These heightened demands will ensure a long, secure career in technology.
So yes, technology is a good career option. So how do you begin?
Building a Technology Career Path
If you’re set on building a technology career, you must begin with a solid foundation. In this case, the foundation has three parts: your desire, motivation, and goal.
First off, define what you want. What do you want to become, and what parameters will you use to tell you that you made it?
Secondly, decide what motivates you and gives you the dedication to do your job or meet your goals. And speaking of goals:
Lastly, determine your goal. If you decide on your goal, you will better understand why you're doing something and what direction you should take.
So, starting a technology career requires introspection and planning for the future. Choose your path, why you’ve chosen it, and decide how you will walk it.
The Tech Job Market
So, is the tech job market healthy? Well, from January to May of 2022, tech employment in the United States grew by 106,700 positions, according to data presented by CompTIA, a well-respected trade group in the IT industry. CompTIA reports that in May 2022 alone, job postings for U.S. tech jobs peaked at 623,627. Openings for software developers and engineers were responsible for almost 33 percent of tech job postings that month.
But newly created positions only tell part of the story. Some employers could be scrambling to fill IT job openings since 72 percent of tech workers surveyed in fall 2021 by TalentLMS and Workable were considering leaving their jobs or looking at new career opportunities within the following year. So perhaps the Great Resignation isn't entirely over after all!
So, when you combine rising demand and the possible exit of a noticeable number of employees, candidates with tech knowledge and experience who want a tech career might find it easy to meet their goals.
Regarding Tech Career Diversity
Technology has traditionally been a non-inclusive and homogenous industry. People of color and women lack representation, but that’s slowly changing. Diversity brings more perspectives to the industry, which is a good thing. A diverse workforce allows companies to interact with and build better relationships with a greater range of clients and customers.
The Types of Careers Found in Tech
Speaking of diversity, the tech field has a broad selection of careers.
System administrators monitor system performance, troubleshoot problems, and are responsible for IT systems' overall secure and efficient operation.
Data scientists analyze, model, and process data into actionable plans for companies.
Software developers create apps and software.
IT Support Specialist
An IT support specialist troubleshoots computer problems and helps users.
Computer network architect
Computer network architects design, create and maintain data communication networks, everything from substantial cloud infrastructures to smaller in-house intranets.
Information Security Analyst
These analysts develop and execute security measures to defend a company's computer networks and systems.
Web developers design and launch web pages and websites.
Quality Assurance Tester
A QA tester tries to break software or websites by conducting manual or automated tests that put the website or software through every conceivable scenario to find if and where they malfunction.
Database administrators oversee a company’s database, including access, security, data storage, etc.
Blockchains, and the related cryptocurrencies we all know about are the latest hot development in data storage, transaction processing. Blockchain software developers create applications on existing blockchain platforms, including front-end and back-end development, design, and maintenance.
Cryptocurrency developers are computer programmers specializing in coding languages such as C#, Node.js, Java, PHP, Python, Ruby on Rail, and others. These languages are, in turn, used in APIs that connect different web services and mobile apps with cryptocurrency blockchains.
The Medical Technology Career Path
Aspiring medical technology professionals need good problem-solving and analytical skills. These professionals must be detail-oriented and work well under pressure. In addition, these professionals must be detail-oriented and work well under pressure. A medical technology professional should start as a technician and work up to a developer position.
The Most Popular Technologies on the Web
If you want a good idea which technologies are most used on the Web, consult Trends.builtwith. This site evaluates and lists the technologies used, which helps aspiring tech professionals focus their efforts on landing a position.
For instance, here’s a sampling of popular technologies and how many current sites use them:
- Apache: 59,305,025
- Google Adsense: 39,321,436
- PHP: 37,937,791
- Google Analytics: 34,621,248
- WordPress: 30,999,031
How to Start a Career in Technology
Although it seems like an intimidating task, you can easily take the first few steps in starting a rewarding career in the field of technology. Just follow these steps:
- Build skills: We will explore the core skills later, but you must gather a robust collection of tech-related skills, such as programming languages.
- Get certified: Industry certifications aren't mandatory, but they are an excellent way to verify your expertise to recruiters. Besides, these certifications typically teach valuable skills, which goes to the first point!
- Start programming as soon as you can: Coding is a valuable skill, prized in a diverse and wide selection of industries.
- Apply for tech positions: Take what you learned, and prepared for and put yourself out there.
What Are the Fastest Growing Careers in Technology?
Not all tech careers grow at the same pace. Here are the current hot fields:
- Cybersecurity: There are more cyber threats than ever, so the industry needs qualified professionals to protect tech assets.
- Web Development: Thanks to more significant online usage by an increasing number of people, the industry needs more people to design websites. This demand includes front-end, back-end, and full-stack developers.
- Data Scientists: There's a tidal wave of data out there, and only so many people available to make sense of all that raw information and turn it into actionable assets.
- Database Administrators: Since there’s so much data available today, there’s a demand for professionals who can maintain database environments to handle issues such as data storage.
- AI and ML Engineers: The tech industry is making exciting strides in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. Consequently, the industry needs more engineers to aid in automation.
Exploring Women’s Career Paths in Technology
It’s no secret that women lag in representation in the tech field. Although women comprise almost half of the workforce in the United States, they only account for about 25% of the occupations involving math and computers.
This disparity is exacerbated by workplace discrimination, a gender-based pay gap, and fewer women pursuing STEM degrees.
Things are changing, but the progress is slow. Here are some reasons why software development is a good choice for women.
Core Tech Skills Required
The tech field requires a delicate mix of hard and soft skills. Here is a typical skill breakdown:
- Data analysis
- Software development
- Analytical skills
- Creative thinking
The Future of Tech Careers
Technology keeps growing and changing rapidly, and the professional who wants to stay ahead of the curve must adapt accordingly. Tech professionals must stay current and keep expanding their skill set, learning new coding languages, working on higher cognitive skills like critical thinking or writing, and sharpening their soft skills.
The future heralds ever-growing trends such as automation and home offices (e.g., freelancers and consultants). Savvy tech professionals would do well to stay informed of advances in automation and sharpen their at-home work ethic.
If you’re still wondering if technology is a good career path, the following roles offer some of the highest salaries in the industry. Note that any salary figures you see can fluctuate and vary according to region, experience level, and state of the economy.
- AI engineers
- Big data engineers
- Blockchain engineers
- Cloud architects
- Data scientists
- DevOps engineers
- Full-stack developers
- Information systems security managers
- Internet of Things (IoT) solutions architects
- Software engineering manager
- Web developers
Average Tech Salaries
As a rule, tech jobs pay considerably more than their non-tech counterparts. For example, as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for computer and IT-related jobs in May 2021 was $97,430. That is more than double the median annual compensation for all comparable non-tech occupations, which clocked in at $45,760.
Dice, the tech career marketplace, reported that the average tech salary in the U.S. in 2021 reached a record-high $104,566. This figure represented a 6.9% increase from 2020. And according to Dice’s 2022 Tech Salary report, these tech occupations that saw the fastest-growing annual salaries from 2020 to 2021:
- Database administrator: 2.4% to $111,362
- Data analyst: 11.5% to $84,779
- Software developer: 8% to $120,204
- Technical support engineer: 12.4% to $77,169
- Web developer: 21.3% to $98,912
Entry-Level Tech Jobs
Although many employers would rather hire workers with a degree, some may take a chance on entry-level workers who don’t have degrees or even any tech experience. After all, work experience is a great way to learn new skills, an on-the-job training scenario. These jobs include:
- App developer
- Computer technician
- Data entry specialist
- Help desk specialist
- Technical writer
The Pros and Cons of Tech Careers
Like any other field, technology has its advantages and disadvantages. Here’s a brief sketch of some upsides and downsides.
- Fast pace: Say what you will about the field; it's not dull!
- Flexibility: The tech field is conducive to adjusting conditions to accommodate its staff.
- High interest: The world is obsessed with technology today, which means more job opportunities and better job security.
- Variety: There are many options available.
- Constant learning: Tech innovations never stop, so tech professionals must keep current or get left behind.
- Job uncertainty: The tech field is volatile, and things can change quickly. Startups collapse, industry layoffs happen, and particular tech becomes obsolete.
- Stress: Put the first two listed cons together, and you have a recipe for stress!
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Do You Want to Foster Strong Tech Career Skills?
At last, we come to the finish, and we end with two fantastic opportunities for you to not only gain certification but also learn valuable tech skills that will carry you far.
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And the ITIL 4 Specialist: Create, Deliver and Support certification course teaches you how to create, deliver, and support IT-enabled products and services using ITIL® 4 CDS Specialist certification. This specialist training course helps you understand service performance, quality, and improvement, including appropriate methods and tools.
These are just two of the valuable tech courses that Simplilearn offers. So visit Simplilearn today, and get started on a solid tech path to help secure that dream career!