The numbers vary all the time, but the Bureau of Labor Statistics is consistent on one point: information technology careers will continue growing with double-digit percentage growth year-over-year for the foreseeable future. Much of the expansion that took place during 2020 in the IT world has been helping to equip more businesses to operate from sites other than offices to enforce social distancing or boost capacity for everything from app-driven curbside grocery pick-up to online ordering at restaurants.
The information technology field is fascinating because, slowly but surely, nearly all businesses have technical aspects. To create and maintain their technological infrastructure, they need to employ or contract with programmers, troubleshooting and maintenance technicians, and other professionals who work intensively on computerized systems. Joining the ranks of information technology at this point is not just a good idea: you also may already want to start looking at how you can boost your skills.Benefits of IT Experience
Information technology has a few benefits beyond those of other growing industries. For one thing, these positions tend to be almost uniformly well-paid, with Computer Support Specialists, for example, making on average more than $54,000 per year, and Computer Programmers making around $86,000. The room for growth to these median salaries is a crucial driver of many people's willingness to amass IT experience and become long-term participants in this career.
These positions often have some site flexibility, so you could potentially work as a programmer or computer engineer even if you didn't live in the same place as the rest of your company. Even on-site computer technicians often have quite a lot of work flexibility, though it is balanced with some on-call needs when problems arise and quickly need to be fixed by a skilled professional.
While many IT positions require a bachelor's degree, it is common for employers to accept other certifications and educational backgrounds with a demonstrable portfolio of substantial programming work. IT is a field that is advancing so quickly that, sometimes, building your skills with individual courses that fit what you need right now is more desirable than going for a longer-term degree like a Master's or a Ph.D.
Why Continue Advancing Your Knowledge?
Information Technology advances and changes every time a company releases a new technology piece. The same skills that allowed someone to manage complex software systems in 2010 are not the same as the skills required in 2020 or 2030. Therefore, most IT professionals are either learning on the job or taking courses to shape the direction of their careers.
It's essential to focus your efforts on courses that fit the next role you'd like to take on or project in your career because learning a new skill only not to get some experience with it hands-on can mean a waste of potential. Luckily, when you choose courses from Portland Community College, the program builds in exercises and hands-on experience in the IT field so that you'll get to practice the work yourself, not just see the theory of it. Continuing to advance your knowledge through a combination of new experiences and new information is the best way to see your career take off and get more and more exciting projects.
How to Expand Your IT Experience
Whether you want to focus on CompTIA IT Fundamentals, ITIL Capability, or ITIL Lifecycle, PCC CLIMB offers the remote, non-credit programs you need to work toward IT certifications and credentials. Start your choice by asking at your current work what kinds of specializations would make you a more valuable member of the team at this point; what skill do they not currently have on staff? If you aren't working in IT yet, consider asking for informational interviews with companies where you'd like to work and ask what kinds of IT credentials they most like to see on applicant resumes.
Then, work with a PCC flexible course - even when you are working full time! - to prepare for and take a credential exam that puts you in a great position to get an IT job or move into a role with more responsibility at work. Not only do these credentials help you advance, they help you enjoy your work knowing you are well-prepared for the challenges of various information technology systems. Even if you intend to remain where you are, taking a course in a more modern IT credential that you've never learned can be a great way to feel up-to-date and confident at work.