With all of the rapid changes and advancements in technology, it is no surprise that the technology field offers great potential for launching or continuing a career. There are over 100,000 IT companies in the United States. Our dependence on technology seems to be only increasing with time, so it is safe to say that technology is not going to disappear anytime soon. In fact, opportunities in the technology sector are likely to continue to increase. In addition, technology is a common need across virtually all industries, so there are plenty of opportunities for job seekers to dive into IT work, especially if you have strong problem solving abilities and critical thinking skills.
Pros of Working in IT
1. The Pay
One of the most enticing perks of beginning a career in IT is likely the pay. IT workers out-earn the average American worker, which is true for even newcomers to the field. More experienced IT workers can plan to continue to outpace the average American worker in salary.
2. No Need to Have an Expensive Degree
You will not be deterred from entering the field if you do not have a computer science degree from a high-ranking university. This is a major benefit for anyone seeking to begin a career in IT because this field is accessible without having to take on the burden of hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loans. More important than a polished pedigree is your ability to understand the practical elements of the job. Generally, real world experience and an aptitude to learn are more valued than a fancy degree. This also makes transitioning out of the IT field less painless, if you choose to, because you won’t be bogged down by an expensive financial commitment to launch your career.
3. Opportunities for Growth
Because there are many different roles within an IT department, there are plenty of opportunities to grow professionally within the IT field. If you are interested in exploring a range of options for an IT position, you would be well-suited at a company that has a diverse IT practice to allow you to observe the various potential positions that you could pursue.
4. Opportunities for Active Learning
If you enjoy active learning, the opportunities in IT are endless. Because you will be actively solving problems for clients, you will be presented with chances everyday to enhance your knowledge and strengthen your understanding of a wide range of IT concepts. In addition to enhancing your IT knowledge, working in this field will likely improve your customer service skills, which is an asset in a variety of careers. Conversing with and assisting clients on a daily basis will increase your self-confidence in dealing with the public in general public.
Cons of Working in IT
1. Demanding Clients
While it can be exciting to be part of a profession that is so in demand, your clients can also be very demanding and frustrating. If you are tasked with fixing computer problems for clients, then you may be expected to find solutions quickly with no advance warning under unrealistic expectations. This can create a very stressful environment, so it is important to be self-aware of your ability to manage stress and anxiety if you decide that IT is the field for you.
2. Introverted Co-Workers
Depending on your personality type, you may have to adjust to working with introverted co-workers. Given the nature of IT work, IT workers are generally characterized as less personable and outgoing than average. This is not true in all cases, and you will have to make case-by-case judgment calls, but you may need to be prepared to deal with more introverted and less social personalities.
3. Sedentary Lifestyle
It is no secret that a sedentary office-based career can have negative effects on your health. Because you will be undoubtedly working in a seated position and staring at computer screens for the vast majority of your work days, you should be mindful of the impact that sedentary hours out of your day can have on your overall health. Of course, this fact is true for all office-based careers, but it is worth noting that being proactive about seeking out opportunities to be active and exercise will be important to maintaining a healthy lifestyle in and out of the office.
4. Potentially Irregular Hours
Although the pay can be a nice perk, if you are entering a career in IT, you need to be prepared to work irregular hours. Outside of a normal office day, you may be required to be on call to solve client issues during office hours. On top of that, if you are responsible for server maintenance, then you may be required to work irregular hours because server maintenance is typically performed overnight during off hours. While this may not be an everyday occurrence, you should keep this in mind if your personal or family obligations prevent you from working outside of a regular office day.
Working in IT can be an exciting proposition in light of the growth and change within the field, but, as with any career choice or change, it is not without its own set of challenges. By doing your research before taking the plunge into the IT field, you will be in a well-informed position to decide whether the IT field is the right career choice for you.