Consistent planning. Education. Fine-tuning. If you''re considering a career in technology or information technology (IT), your path to employment typically should have these three vital components. In an industry that morphs almost daily, staying on top of new technologies and understanding complex business principles can be critical to your professional development.
Career Options in Technology and IT
Just like constant flux of the technology landscape, technology and IT career tracks constantly evolve. According to Computerworld, technology and business have become so irrevocably connected that the best opportunities should be in hybrid positions that specialize in using technology to accelerate company growth and realize business objectives. That being said, professionals entering the market can benefit from augmenting their tech skills with business operations. Those that do may gain a competitive edge over other applicants. Some of the career tracks that show promise for the coming decade include:
- IT project manager
- IT consultant
- Senior software engineer, developer, programmer
- Computer networking system engineer
- Information technology specialist
IT Employment Outlook and Salary Potential
Information technology is one of the stronger industries based on opportunity, salary, and advancement. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, computer and information systems managers held about 264,000 jobs in 2006, with about one in four of those working in computer systems design and related services for service-providing industries. Employment of computer and information systems managers is projected to increase by 16 percent through 2016. With respect to salary potential, earnings typically vary by specialty and level of responsibility. Other factors that can influence salary level include industry certifications and geographic area. In 2007, computer and information systems managers earned a median salary of $108,070.
Prospective Technology Degrees and Coursework
InformationWeek gives some meaningful advice on how best to begin a career in technology. Despite your urge to want to focus solely on the latest technological developments, your studies should include a healthy dose of exposure to clients and customers. IT is still primarily a service business, and those that can provide service along with expertise typically flourish as professionals. Common degrees that employers typically value include a bachelor''s degree in computer science, information technology, or programming. Master''s credentials are available in most major IT disciplines and are traditionally preferred for development or leadership roles. For example, an MBA can give a budding IT professional the business training that companies usually look for in applicants.
Online Technology Career Training Options
- TeamREES reports these top online career training certifications will be in high demand in the coming decade:
- Networking and support: A+, MCDST or CCNA certification
- Project management: CompTIA Project+, Project Management Institute''s (PMI) Project Management Professional (PMP) and Microsoft''s SharePoint 2007
- Security: Identifying physical and virtual threats to commercial and proprietary software.
- Virtualization: VMware and Microsoft, most notably.
Earning technology and IT degrees online can provide you with a rich technological component absent from common on-campus programs. The distance learning environment promotes self-sufficiency and problem-solving skills that employers typically value.
Online Learning Options :
- Online Degrees in Programming and Software Development
- Online degree programs in computer science and programming from accredited universities and colleges:
- Computer and Software Engineering Online graduate programs in Computer Engineering
- Computer Programming Undergraduate and graduate degrees in Computer Programming and System Design
- Computer Science Graduate and undergraduate degrees in Applied Computer Science and Computer Science
- Online Degrees in Information Systems Operation and Management
- Online degree programs in information technology and information systems from accredited universities and colleges: