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Is technology a good career path? What you need to know

Tech is one of the most challenging, inspiring, and dynamic industries in the world. Renowned as the mecca of research and innovation, its constantly evolving landscape has paved the way for some incredible inventions — from self-driving cars to drones landing on Mars — and has made it a hotbed for talented graduates and specialists looking to reach their potential.

As we enter a new decade, this interest is only growing. Now more people than ever are interested in a career in technology, and it’s easy to see why. At MentorCruise, an online mentorship platform, we understand that because technology touches almost every facet of our everyday lives, the opportunities to study and work in tech-related fields are rising.

Is technology a good career path? Yes. In this article, we’ll show, you’ll learn why:

  • Why is technology a good career path?
  • Reasons Why the tech industry Is a good career choice.
  • What tech roles are available and how much do they pay?
  • How to prepare for a tech career/the skills you need for a tech job.
  • Who is hiring for tech roles?
  • Tips on how to get hired.

Why tech? The numbers speak for themselves

Despite the 2000 dot-com crash, the past 20 years have seen the once-threatened technology sector grow two-and-a-half times faster than global GDP.

From chatbots and blockchain to multi-use rockets, technology has asserted itself on almost all other existing sectors, be it health, finance, real estate, or manufacturing. The result? The global information technology market is set to be worth $5.2 trillion by the end of 2020.

And with the enormity of the industry, comes an explosive growth in career opportunities. As of October 2018, there were nearly 2.8 million workers in the US information technology sector, and more organizations have opened their doors to new applicants ready to join the ever-growing tech tribe.

While this boom may well be down to the sheer size of the market — there are 4.4 billion active internet users all around the globe — tech companies’ adaptation to the sector has also contributed.

According to the American Bureau of Labor Statistics, tech will see a continued above-average job growth over the next eight years, as firms embrace new technology developments.

The emergence of cloud computing and artificial intelligence, and a rise in other technologies including health care IT, mobile networking, and data management means IT employment is expected to grow 12% from 2018 to 2028. Meaning 546,200 jobs will be added during this period.

In simple terms, If you’re considering a career in techs or looking forward to fresh opportunities for a new profession or a career change, there’s no better time than the present.

The tech industry should be at the top of your list. It’s one of the fastest-growing sectors globally, offering jobs full of opportunities for workers achievement. And if you’re willing to accept the challenge, it is delighting throughout life. Below are some reasons why you should start a career in tech to help you begin your plans.

Reasons why the tech industry is a good career choice

Prompt employment

Tech companies are almost always in need of IT workers because demand is high, and there aren’t sufficient qualified operators to fill the gap. As tech continues to expand, this trend isn’t ending anytime soon.

The demand for IT workers is so high that certified workers can quickly find work even with no graduate degree. While at the same time, you can freelance during studies as an IT student to make extra cash. More on these later.

A range of career opportunities

Information Technology is not a solitary industry. It overlays with all other sectors, which renders it a multifaceted career opportunity. From agriculture to healthcare, digital transformation is accelerating change in all business spheres, allowing IT specialists to pick a career that matches their interests.

Assured career growth

As technology advances, IT professionals grow alongside. Yes! It’s the job role requirement. Such a constant pursuit of knowledge allows them to grow their careers remarkably faster and easier than in other industries.

It is also not unheard of for tech specialists to begin at entry-level work and grow to mid-level managerial tasks in a few years. Just like it is not uncommon to see companies pick out talented tech students before they earn their degrees.

Therefore, if you indeed want a career that guarantees growth and advancement, a job in tech is a great option.

Great pay package

A career in the IT industry remains a great option even if your interest is a good pay package.

People value tech experts for their unique abilities in creating products through code. This makes them inestimable assets in every business. When it comes to financial compensation for their work, it is considerably higher than the average norm, even at junior or entry-level tasks.

For instance, depending on the enterprise and location, software engineers can earn a median salary of about $83,000, substantially more than the national average in the United States.

A sound education

Every task in the IT industry demands a unique set of skills. To qualify for a position, you might be required to prove the right amount of technical expertise and present evidence of education and experience.

Nevertheless, what skilled professionals don’t need is a 4-year college degree. If you hold the right certification and demonstrate the capacity for performing tasks, you’ll win an entry-level position.

Besides, certification training programs are often faster and far less costly than a complete degree in Computer Sciences. Anyone with an adequate desire to begin an IT career is very achievable, even when you need to start from scratch.

Want to enter the IT industry? You can begin by identifying the tech positions/responsibilities available and how much they pay.

What tech roles are available and how much do they pay?

Technology is that ever-changing industry that responds and adjusts to our ever-changing world. Consequently, tech-related careers are growing in diversity.

While an IT career sounds like a great idea, it can be challenging to know where to start if you don’t see what’s out there.

But rest assured, a career in technology can span a whole spectrum of interests, skills, and passions — there’s quite possibly something out there for everyone. Whether you want to develop next-gen video games and apps, defend networks from impending cyber attacks, or crunch the numbers as a data scientist, the world is your oyster.

And, not only do these jobs offer fantastic prospects, but a pretty good paycheck, too. The median annual wage for technology occupations was $86,320 in May 2018 — more than double the median wage of all other jobs ($38,640).

Here are Indeed.com’s 10 most in-demand technology jobs and their average salaries:

  1. Wordpress Developer: $62,000
  2. Systems Integration Engineer: $65,000
  3. SAS Programmer: $117,000
  4. Senior Technical Lead: $122,000
  5. SAP ABAP Developer: $140,000
  6. Database Engineer: $124,000
  7. Senior Engineering Manager: $145,000
  8. Senior Architect: $132,000
  9. Field Application Engineer: $110,000
  10. Ruby on Rails Developer: $124,000

Now this list may look a little narrow (and very specialist!). But remember: just because you want a job in tech, doesn’t mean you have to work for a tech company.

Every sector you can think of needs IT specialists. Whether that’s dealing with data at Walmart, or creating a website for a new vegan cafe. So whatever field you’re most comfortable in, there’s a world of work to break into.

Who is hiring for tech roles?

Unsurprisingly, it’s the big tech firms that are always hiring new recruits — we’re talking Apple, IBM, Amazon, and Microsoft. Not only are these guys raking in the revenue and continually setting the bar for tech development across the globe, but they have great employment rates.

What’s more, they can be a fantastic place to work, with free food, onsite gyms and flexible hours just some of the perks on offer. Here are the top eight tech companies to work for, according to Glassdoor’s 2020 workers survey:

  1. HubSpot
  2. DocuSign
  3. Ultimate Software
  4. Google
  5. LinkedIn
  6. MathWorks
  7. Nvidia
  8. Microsoft

However, that isn’t to say you should rule out the lesser-known names. Notice there are a few companies in there you might not have heard of? The tech industry is filled with new, fast-growing firms with extremely promising futures.

Here are the top five fastest-growing tech companies from Forbes’ Fast Tech 2020 list.

  1. LinkedIn
  2. Apple
  3. Qlik Technologies
  4. Athenahealth
  5. Equinix

While these firms are likely to offer jobs all across the country, you might have to consider relocating to boost your chances of getting hired. Once upon a time, this would mean a one-way ticket to Silicon Valley, but with the industry evolving, new tech hubs are popping up across the US.

According to Compita, the top city for tech employment is Austin, Texas, while other hotspots include Raleigh, North Carolina; San Jose, California; and Seattle, Washington.

And, as we said before, tech tasks are popping up in organizations from all sectors. The kind of position you apply for will totally depend on what you want to get from a career in technology. Do you want to be a little fish in a big pond with a steep learning curve and loads of perks? Then go for Google. If you want to be in control of your own workflow and have a huge impact in a short time frame, then a smaller, local organization may be for you.

What skills do you need to get into tech?

IT professionals have become some of the most in-demand members of today’s labor force.

However, a recent survey found that 86% of businesses have trouble finding tech talent. So what’s going on?

Chances are, it comes down to a lack of applicants within the field.

Myth would have it that you need to build a computer from scratch, and speak code as your first language to get into tech. But that’s not true.

Sure, if you want to land a job as a developer, then you’ll need to know your JS from your CSS. And if you’ve got your sights on a career in User Interface Design, then you’ll need to brush up on the fascinating world of user experience.

But nitty-gritty technical differences aside, the soft and transferable skills needed to succeed in tech responsibilities are largely the same.

You’ll need excellent communication skills, attention to detail, a willingness to learn, dogged determination, and — importantly — curiosity about the world around you.

Tech responsibility also tends to require intuitive problem solving, systematic thinking, and working as part of a team. Granted, you’ll work alone sometimes too, but tech departments are often fun places where collaborative creativity is encouraged.

So, where do you go to learn and develop these skills? You’ve got a few choices.

First, there’s the traditional approach. In the past, the best-paid tech jobs required a bachelor’s degree from a strong technical college program — a route which could cost up to $60,000 per year. Ouch. And while this is still a great way in, it’s not the only way.

Use online bootcamps to learn coding fast and get the tech job of your dreams

Today, e-learning is a smart alternative in the form of online courses and bootcamps.

If you’re ready to work extremely hard and get a coding certification in record time, an online bootcamp may be right for you.

For example, Udacity offers accreditation through its nanodegrees, high-quality tech courses, and a thriving community of students and alumni. Flatiron School has an excellent job placement record of 93% for its graduates.

Lambda School has an extensive program that you won’t have to pay for until you get a job in tech. Lambda School employs an Income Share Agreement (ISA) model in which you pay 17% of your income for two years once you’re making $50,000 or more.

These all have reputable programs with cohorts of graduates working in top tech companies.

If you want to start learning tech in your free time as a hobby, many online courses teach you high-demand tech skills free of charge.

For self-learning, an excellent place to start is the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) OpenCourseWare system, where some 300 million people use the site’s 2,400 courses for self-learning. Other sites include FutureLearn and Code Academy. These resources will give you the credentials required to get your foot in the door and start your journey up the tech ladder.

Now, after you’ve acquired all these skills, here are tips on how to get hired.

Tips on how to get hired

With a global median salary of $135,000 per year in an industry driving innovation, it is not surprisng that many people want to land jobs in the tech industry. However, the question for many—especially those with no coding experience—is how?

  • The first thing you’ll want to do is to understand the landscape— By understanding the companies and the training institutions and their trends, you can identify the skill sets and principles you need to obtain to land a tech job.
  • Then create a portfolio while studying and leverage those skills that will be aligned with your future result. For instance, if you study software engineering, you might need a website, GitHub profile, open-source contributions, and freelance work.
  • Next, you want to locate someone else in your friend association or online with a similar objective or specialty. A companion on the same journey to motivate and support each other will help influence your applications or end goals.
  • Connect with mentors and mentees in tech who are several months to a year into this career. These persons would give you the best actionable steps, strategies, and tactics to succeed.
  • Adopt a pivot as an opening to find your true passion. Remember not to limit yourself based on your past experiences. Reflect on what you can do for work that doesn’t seem like work.
  • If you are changing careers, highlight related expertise even if it isn’t in the same industry.
  • Don’t be scared to ask for help if need be.
  • Finally, change your beliefs about the risk of a job change.

Need more help? Get expert advice.

While you might be tempted to jump right in, navigating a tech career can be tricky. Your success depends on knowledge, experience, and having the right connections.

Here at MentorCruise, we’ve got just that. Our team of qualified mentors are equipped with the insight and know-how you need to trail-blaze through any stage of your tech career, whether you’re just starting out or reaching for a raise.

Step up your career game plan, prepare for interviews, find that dream job and embrace a new-found confidence, as your personal mentor will listen to your doubts, provide solutions and take you to where you want to be.

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