Wondering if a career in IT is right for you? It’s certainly a lucrative and fast-growing field. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of computer and information technology jobs is projected to increase 12 percent from 2014 to 2024, faster than the average for all occupations. But what’s it really like to work in IT? You may be surprised by some of these facts about working in IT.
- Soft skills are just as important as technical skills. Whether you’re working the help desk, developing websites or protecting your organization from hackers, chances are you need a good balance of technical skills and soft skills. In fact, four of the top five skills cited in core IT job postings are considered soft skills. But what are soft skills? These are things like problem solving, communication, project management and customer service that help you work better with others, overcome business challenges and complete projects on time and on budget.
- Not everyone who works in IT has a computer science degree. There are many ways to get into IT. Some IT pros have a computer science degree, but some have a liberal arts degree and gained hands-on experience that led to an IT role. Others earned IT certifications or participated in boot camps to hone their technical skills. And less than half of IT support workers (43 percent) have a bachelor's degree at all. Don’t let a lack of computer science degree hold you back from pursuing IT. You have other options.
- IT pros don’t have all the answers in their heads. With as frequently and quickly as technology changes, it would be impossible to have every answer and anticipate every challenge. While the IT staff at your organization seems to have all the answers, it doesn’t mean all the answers are necessarily in their heads. A good IT pro is resourceful. If they don’t know the answer, they search the internet, they ask colleagues and other IT pros, they reference manuals and guidebooks, they call vendors. They do whatever it takes to find an answer and a solution. An IT pro who is resourceful is just as valuable, if not more so, as one who knows everything!
- Not all tech jobs are in Silicon Valley. Yes, there are many tech companies and startups in Silicon Valley. But you don’t have to move to northern California to get an IT job. Los Angeles, New York City, Washington, D.C., and more all have thriving tech markets. So don’t give up on your tech dreams just because you live in the Midwest or on the East Coast. Tech jobs are everywhere. You may even find a remote IT job you can do from anywhere!
- You don’t have to be young to work in IT. When you think of IT, you may think startups and social media and mobile apps, and that may give you the impression that all IT pros are young. But that’s not the case. In 2016, the average age of the core IT worker was 42 years old. You can start an IT career at any age, and in fact, you may have gained skills in previous jobs that make you an attractive candidate for an IT role. If you have the drive and determinization to beef up your technical skills, you can start an IT career at 40…or any age!
IT is an ever-evolving, diverse field, with numerous opportunities. Whether you’re into coding, infrastructure, analysis or something else, there’s likely a tech job for you. Take our Is IT Right for You? quiz to help you decide if you would thrive in an IT career.