So, you’re considering a career in technology. Fantastic! With everything from Web 3.0 and the Metaverse to artificial intelligence and quantum computing in the works, this fast-moving industry fizzes with exciting opportunities.
But is technology a good career path for you? After all, if you spend years acquiring the skills and qualifications required by jobs in this field, you want to feel confident that it’s the right way forward.
Today, we’re going to discuss a range of relevant topics to help you decide whether or not becoming a tech professional is a career worth pursuing. Let’s dive in.
The Technology Job Market
Is technology a good career path? It is if you like the sound of job stability in a burgeoning industry.
Indeed, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects tech to grow by an impressive 15% between 2021 and 2031, faster than the average for all occupations. In practical terms, this equates to an increase of around 682,800 new jobs throughout that period.
Beyond this source of opportunities, the BLS explains that roughly 418,500 additional tech jobs arise yearly from growth and replacement needs. Simply put, many tech workers leave their positions permanently each year, opening the door to new applicants.
Thus, assuming they have the requisite skills, experience, and qualifications (often a bachelor’s degree), people who pursue a career in tech will enjoy a wealth of job opportunities ahead of them.
A range of factors will determine whether or not this career’s right for you. In this section, we’ll run through the main pros and cons to keep in mind.
Advantages of Careers in Technology
Let’s start with the positives. Alongside the job stability we talked about above, here are a few compelling ways you’d gain from taking this career path:
Information technology is a $5.3 trillion global industry expanding yearly. Not only that, but it’s also a highly specialized field. The result is a winning combination with regard to salaries at most tech companies: high demand for a limited workforce.
According to the BLS, the median annual wage for someone with a technology career is $97,430 – more than double the median wage for all occupations! Many techies earn significantly more than this as well. For example, a computer network architect takes home $120,520 annually in average salary, and information security analysts earn $102,600.
Beyond earning impressive salaries, tech workers often enjoy additional compensation in the form of equity and access to Employee Stock Purchase Plans to invest in company stock at a discount.
Anybody opposed to a regular 9-to-5 routine will appreciate the flexibility tech careers offer. No matter your area of expertise, you can expect a high degree of control over when and where you perform your duties. Why?
Because thanks to the internet, most roles of this nature can be performed anywhere and at any time. So, if being paid to code while soaking up the sun on a Florida beach sounds like your idea of paradise, a tech career would be perfect.
High Growth Potential
Are you ambitious, enjoy change, and love to learn?
A tech career could be right up your alley. This industry offers a vast array of different specialties to choose from, such as cybersecurity, web development, and AI. That means there’s always another avenue to explore – an escape route if you ever feel bored, stuck, or in need of a new challenge.
The tech world’s never stagnant, either. It’s forever changing, so you and your skillset are always changing.
Disadvantages of a Tech Career
There are two sides to every story, though. Here are the primary downsides to a career in tech:
The ever-changing reality of tech isn’t for everyone. It means you can never afford to sit back and rest on your laurels.
That’s because skills that take years to master can be irrelevant a few years later. Failing to learn, adapt, evolve, and upskill yourself is a recipe for disaster. You become obsolete to employers as soon as the disparity between your skillset and current tech trends grows too large.
Don’t be fooled by what you see in tech offices worldwide. High-stress jobs aren’t limited to financial careers and medical professions. Despite the notoriety of Google’s employee benefits, such as modern offices with comfy seating pods, climbing walls, and arcade games, a high degree of stress and fast pace environment is commonplace in tech roles.
It comes from various sources. From cybersecurity threats and the need to resolve them ASAP to overbearing clients and the tumultuous nature of tech startups (often resulting in layoffs), stress is a constant feature of this fast-paced and dynamic industry.
11 Types of Tech Jobs To Consider
What specific career in the tech sector do you want to pursue? As we talked about earlier, there’s no shortage of options! In no particular order, here’s a list of popular roles to consider:
1. Computer Programmer
Computer programming will be a great choice if you love to code or want to learn how to do it. In this role, you’d be writing, altering, and testing code that permits computer software and applications to function as intended. You’d be writing the coded instructions for computers to follow.
2. Computer Technician
Are you the person your family and friends turn to for tech advice? If so, your skills and interests might be well-suited to working as a computer technician. In this job, you’d install hardware, maintain software, troubleshoot problems, and perform repairs whenever something goes wrong.
3. Database Administrator (Dba)
DBAs enjoy varied roles that involve maintaining a database's performance, security, and integrity. As a prime learning opportunity, you’d work closely with an IT project manager and various programmers to ensure everything runs smoothly and meets client needs.
4. Software Engineer
Sometimes called systems or software developers, software engineers create, maintain, and optimize computer systems and software. Day to day, you’d be writing code, testing new programs, and solving any issues that arise in existing web programs and applications.
5. Game Developer
Love playing video games of one kind or another? You could take that passion and turn it into a career as a game developer. You'd be working with game designers to turn their ideas into reality using code, whether it’s intended for PC, game consoles, online games, or even arcades.
6. Web Developer
7. Information Security Analyst
Information security analysts are a bit like the detectives of the cyber world. They work for organizations, helping to monitor their IT networks for signs of cyber security breaches, identifying vulnerabilities, investigating and responding to suspicious activity, and maintaining their security systems.
8. Data Scientist
Harvard Business Review once deemed roles in data science the “sexiest job of the 21st Century”. In a high-paying position perpetually in demand, data scientists try to mine “big data” sets to find actionable insights that help answer complex questions. They try to uncover trends, identify patterns, create algorithms, and forecast possible outcomes.
9. App Developer
Application developers are software engineers who focus on designing, building (via code), programming, testing, and updating – you guessed it – apps. The applications in question could be for a specific operating system or device, such as mobile.
10. Data-entry Specialist
Data-entry specialists (also known as data-entry clerks or operators) work in admin departments of organizations, helping to digitize their data for storage purposes. It’s less technical than other careers on this list and includes duties such as collecting client data and maintaining a filing system.
11. Technical Writer
Are you great at explaining complicated topics in a way ordinary people can understand? If so, you may have a natural aptitude for technical writing jobs. Also known as technical communicators, you’d be preparing manuals, guides, journal articles, and related documents to communicate complex technical information in a clear, simple, and concise manner.
What Skills Do You Need for a Tech Career
Regardless of the specific tech role you pursue, there are a few essential skills it pays (literally) to possess. For example, at a technical level, you’ll need a firm grasp of data analysis, programming, cybersecurity, and software development.
These capabilities tend to receive the most attention from tech employers, but specific soft skills are also invaluable. For instance, you can expect greater success in the tech industry if you’re creative, adaptable, good at problem-solving, and have a keen analytical mind.
Is Technology a Good Career Path? You Decide!
So, is technology a good career choice for you? It depends!
Because “good” means different things to different people, the answer to this question’s entirely subjective.
With any luck, though, the insights in this article have shed light on the situation for you. Ultimately, if you love computers and want a challenging, versatile, and dynamic career with impressive growth potential in a strong job market, then the tech sector could be a perfect fit.
This article originally appeared on Wealth of Geeks.