Career Exploration: Information Technology
Tinkering up with the CPU and upgrading it. Setting up and looking into networks. Programming. Getting the latest information updates on the Internet. These are just a few of the things that I like to do on my free time. Some of my friends and family have even consulted me when something goes wrong with their PCs or laptops and I like helping them out. It makes me feel like some sort of a doctor, a PC doctor at that. I have also noticed that this is a lucrative field and that its potential continues to be high, given the dependency of most companies and commercial transactions on information technology tools. It is no wonder then that I want to embark on a career in information technology.
There’s a myriad of positions available to those wanting to embark in an IT career just like me. Here’s some of the positions that one could vie for in the industry: a) computer and information systems managers; b) computer programmers; c) computer and information scientists; d) computer systems analysts; e) computer hardware engineers; f) computer software engineers (applications); g) computer software engineers (systems software); h) computer support specialists; i) database administrators; j) network and computer support administrators; and k) network systems and data communications analysts (Moncarz, 2002).
In addition, most employment areas nowadays are in need of some sort of IT support. Some of these areas include quality management and standards; education and training; resarch; software testing; database design; configuration and change management; systems development; and web design (Sandringham Publishing Ltd., Undated). So those who’d like to embark on IT careers will definitely not be wanting on opportunities.
Technology touches every aspect of our lives now and it is probably why this phenomenon has produced one of the most robust job markers for qualified professionals today. The industry is such, that a career in IT is only limited by one’s imagination. Moreover, even in the face of economic uncertainty, like we are experiencing now, those in the IT industry are in the best position to weather changes, both in the job and economic markets (Goff, 2001).
Aside from being robust, the IT professionals also command one of the best salaries in the industry. Here are a few examples taken from IT Jobs Online Ltd.:
Software Sales Consultant
Location: Manchester (Greater)
Skills: Telesales, Software, Cold calling, Software Sales
Salary/Rate: £16,000 – £18,000 pa
Skills: Electronics, Manager, Repair
Salary/Rate: £25,000 – £25,000 pa
IT Workshop Engineer
Skills: Engineer, IT, Workshop
Salary/Rate: £17,500 – £17,500 pa
Field Sales Consultant
Skills: Software Sales, Sales, Consultant, Field Sales
Salary/Rate: £20,000 – £25,000 pa
Senior Network Engineer
Skills: CPL, Networking, Telecoms, Network Engineer
Salary/Rate: £30,000 – £42,000 pa
SIEBEL 7.8 EIM EXPERT
Location: Czech Republic
Skills: SIEBEL, Telecoms, test scripts, SQL Server
SAP PORTAL CONSULTANT
Skills: SAP PORTAL, SAP, CRM, SAP CRM
Salary/Rate: £45,000 – £60,000 pa
SAP BW/BI CONSULTANT
Skills: SAP BW/BI, SAP, BW/BI, CRM
Salary/Rate: £45,000 – £60,000 pa
Skills: SIEBEL, SYSTEMS MANAGER, SIEBEL SYSTEMS MANAGER
Salary/Rate: €80,000 – €110,000 pa
Skills: SAS, DW / BI, design, testing
Salary/Rate: €40,000 – €90,000 pa
As our day-to-day lives become increasingly online and high-tech, the potential for IT
professionals in the long-term will likewise become more favorable.
Based on 2001 data, majority (48%) of workers in the IT industry have bachelor’s degrees. However, the number of those with some college experience but have no degrees is seen to have been rapidly increasing, accounting for 16 percent. As could be deduced from this, a post-secondary degree is not the only option in preparing for a career in IT. Most IT workers get specialized certifications and degree programs (i.e. associate, bachelor’s and graduate level) to get into the industry (Moncarz, 2002).
Acquiring a certification/s is a common way for an individual to go into the IT industry. A certification indicates that an individual has attained a certain level of competency in using a specific set of products. There are two types of certifications, industry and vendor type. Industry organizations, such as the Institute for the Certification of Computing Professionals, offers voluntary certification and it is available for those who have a bachelor’s degree, have two years of working experience and have passed a series of tests (ibid, 2002).
On the other hand, the most distinguished IT companies, such as Microsoft, Novell, Cisco, Oracle and the like, offer offer vendor certifications. This evolved as a lot of IT companies found it difficult to find skilled workers, especially during the Internet boom during the mid- to late 1990s.
Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2007). Computer Scientists and Database Administrators. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2008-2009 Edition. Retrieved November 2, 2008 from http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos042.htm
Goff, L. (2001). Get Your IT Career in Gear!: Practical Advice for Building a Career in Information Technology. Iowa: McGraw Hill Professional.
IT Jobs Online Ltd. (Undated). Latest IT jobs online – Computer Jobs. Retrieve November 1, 2008 from http://itjobs-online.com/
Moncarz, R. (2002). Training for Techies: Preparing for a career in information technology. In Occupational Outlook Quarterly (Fall 2002), pp. 38-45.
Sandringham Publishing Ltd. (Undated). A career in information technology. Retrieved November 1, 2008 from http://www.ca.courses-careers.com/itcareer.htm