In this post, I will tell you ten things I have learned about working in the information technology business. This can give you an expectation of the type of job you might get after completing your training. I based this list on my over thirty year career and working many different jobs in the information technology (IT) industry. To be fair, I have broken this down into five positive things about IT jobs, and five negative things about IT jobs. Although these are generalizations, I think, if you talk to anyone who has worked many years in the industry, they would probably agree.
Five Positive Things About Working in IT
Programmers, architects, dev ops engineers, cloud engineers, and IT managers command very good salaries.
- Programmer salaries average $105,090
- Software Architects average $138,484
- Software Engineering Managers average $ 137,183
Programmers, architects, dev ops engineers, cloud engineers, and IT managers are all jobs in high demand. There are 50,248 cloud computing positions available in the U.S. today from 3,701 employers and 101,913 open positions worldwide today.
After you have mastered core IT skills, it is fairly easy to move to another company that utilizes the same hardware and software platforms. This allows you to change jobs or locations as business conditions change or your life situation changes.
Many companies now support working remotely or working from home. IT jobs are particularly well suited for this, especially cloud computing jobs. Working from home can save you large amounts of time and money.
Since your systems support running the business, you will become well versed in how your business operates. This knowledge is valuable and can lead to promotions or jobs in other parts of the company.
Five Negative Things About Working in IT
Deadlines around IT projects can be critical to the success of the company. Because of this, it may cause team members to work long hours prior to delivery. Also, projects can be driven by legislative deadlines that can not be changed. Fines and/or penalties might be involved for missing deadlines.
All of this can lead to high levels of stress!
If you work in IT support, you will probably have to work long hours, at times, to support fixing problems and service outages. Particularly if the service outage is in a mission-critical system. Most hardware/software upgrades happen during off hours. Many times this is on weekends or holidays.
Dealing With Change
The IT business is constantly changing, and because of that, you will need to adapt to that change. Also, the pace of change is continuing to increase and you will need ongoing training to adapt to this change. IT certifications expire as the technology changes. In order to remain competitive, you will need to continually update your certifications throughout your career.
Working with mission critical applications is a stressful job! Many of these systems deal with a large number of customers and a large amount of money! When a large system goes down, you will be called to work on it until the problems are resolved. These events often involve the senior management of the company and have very high visibility. In some environments, these are recurring events. You will have to evaluate your personality to determine if you can deal with a high stress job.
Being in the middle of very hectic projects and high visibility product development can be exciting early on. After a time, extended periods of long hours and high stress levels can lead to burnout. In order to combat this, it is a good idea to develop some secondary skills you can use to transition to a new career, if and when you need to.
I have presented a simple list of things that I have learned while working in the IT business. Review this list, and compare it against some of your long-term goals, your personal strengths, and your weaknesses to see if these line up with a career that you would want to pursue. Like any job, positions in the IT business have their pluses and minuses. But in this case, unlike other industries currently, the advantages in this industry make a compelling case for building a career in information technology. That is, if you can tolerate the negative aspects of these types of jobs.
If you would like to learn more, you can download our Information Technology Guide for free: