IT work is not without its challenges. Difficult customers, stubborn software, and hardware headaches are as likely to leave professionals pulling out their hair as they are to confuse the layperson. But beyond these occupational hazards, the field of Information Technology has an exceptionally bright future ahead.
The IT sector resides in unfamiliar territory to a global economy still barely crawling toward recovery. The industry is booming with opportunities involving specialized responsibilities, advanced technical work, and impressive paychecks. But how rapid is the growth? Is it really out-pacing other sectors by such a significant margin?
The short answer is “yes”, but the reason for growth in each sector varies. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projected a 30% growth for the occupation between 2010 and 2020. Systems software developers are likely to see the greatest increase at 32% with applications developers falling just behind at 28%. However, compared to the total growth projections for all industries, the trend is astounding. The average across all occupations is exactly half that of applications developers at 14%. The reasons for growth are attributed to developing mobile technologies and the prolific adoption of IT technologies in the health care industry.
Network, Computer Systems, and Database Administrators are included in this rosy picture. For Network and Computer Systems Administrators, the growth rate was projected at 28% over the aforementioned period. The reason provided explicitly mentions technological development in the health care industry once again, along with cyber security and training. Database Administrators clock in at 31% growth due to growing needs for data organization, maintenance, and security.
Finally, Information Security Analysts, Web Developers, and Computer Network Architects join the fray with a slightly below industry growth rate of 22%. However, the projection resides a full 8 percentage points higher than the average across all industries. The reasons for growth are myriad, including demand for network architects, increased prevalence of cyber-attacks, and the adoption of cloud computing.
This comprehensive picture of IT job growth is, on its own, enough to understand that the industry is growing. But the nature of the tech industry itself is what really demonstrates why IT’s sunnier days still lie ahead.
The Nature of Technology
The Information Age moves quickly. New technologies are developed and adopted at light speed. What was once ubiquitous one day is supplanted by newer, more capable technologies before many have the chance to adapt. For businesses, this climate can be extremely hostile, as resources are dumped in droves into solutions that become obsolete well before management would like.
This is the fundamental reason why IT and computer science Bachelor’s degree holders are so highly sought. On the surface, the education prescribes a regiment of computer technologies and computer jargon that can demystify a complicated picture. At its core, however, computer science teaches one how to learn and adapt to new systems, using analytical thought and technical acumen to discern the capabilities and culpabilities of new devices and software quickly and efficiently.
With the introduction of new devices and platforms, virtualization, and the movement of large-scale industries, especially the health care industry, toward advanced technology, IT jobs are clearly going nowhere but up. Current projections already paint a pretty picture for aspiring tech workers, but the potential for greater innovation, faster pace, and newer technologies means that these jobs and these degrees are likely to gain even further value in time.
The Rubber Meets the Road
Ultimately, businesses are recognizing that. In addition to making sense of the highly technical systems that optimize business efficiency, communication, and effectiveness, those with advanced analytical thinking skills can look at new solutions within a business context and manipulate them to the betterment of the organization. Knowledge of network and database solutions can help organizations streamline logistics while new software applications can change the way workers do their jobs. The possibilities are endless, and the realization of this fact, coupled with acknowledgment of the skills possessed by IT professionals, is driving the field forward in a big way.
IT may not be the prettiest job in the world, but the statistics telling the story of its future may charm the less enchanted. With growth numbers off the charts, fueled especially by demands in the health care industry, workers have a rich path ahead of them. Furthermore, the very nature of technology itself necessitates individuals with the capability to keep up and decode new developments. Savvy employers recognize the potential of this tech trend and are rewarding the IT educated with great opportunities that are likely staying put for some time. While on-call database administration may not seem like the most glamorous career path, the compensation and job security will more than make-up for the lack of celebrite, and using your degree to so greatly affect change is a privilege without quantifiable price.