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According to long-term demand, technology can be a great career. The generous pay in the tech industry makes it even more appealing. Is technology a viable career? We explore:
- Job Market for Tech Jobs
- What Does Tech Pay?
- There are many different types of careers in tech
- Core Tech Skills Required
- Entry-Level Tech Jobs
- The pros and cons of tech careers
The Tech Job Market
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of IT and computer jobs is expected to increase by 13% between 2020 and 2030. This rate exceeds that of all other occupations. In the U.S., there will be an estimated 667.600 new computer and IT jobs during this period. According to the bureau, demand for IT workers is increasing due to cloud computing, data security and data storage.
CompTIA, an industry trade group, says that tech jobs in the U.S. have increased by 106.700 positions through the first five month of 2022. The group reports that in May 2022, there were 623,627 job openings for tech positions in the U.S. Nearly one third of the tech jobs posted in May were for software developers and engineering positions.
Some employers are scrambling desperately to fill these job openings. TalentLMS and Workable surveyed 72 percent of tech workers in fall 2021. They said that they would be considering quitting or looking for new opportunities within the next year.
A career in tech is a good fit for someone who has tech experience and knowledge, as well as the constant demand.
“Despite headlines about job losses in the tech industry, technology is still a great career path,” says Erica Mobley. She’s a business development manager for Sentient Digital of New Orleans, which provides software and tech services to businesses and government agencies. The tech sector is vast and the hiring needs of each company vary greatly. “New talent is always needed in fields like artificial intelligence and cyber security, which are constantly evolving.”
What Does Tech Pay?
Tech jobs pay much more than other jobs. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, for example, says that the median annual salary for computer and IT positions in May 2021 will be $97,430. This is more than twice the median pay for all occupations (45,760).
Dice, a career-focused tech website, reported that the average U.S. tech salary would reach a record high of $104,566 in 2021. This is an increase of 6.9% over the previous year. Dice’s report on 2022 Tech Salary shows that the following tech occupations saw their salaries grow the most from 2020 to the year 2021:
- Web Developer: 21.3% up to $98,912
- Database Administrator: $2,4 to $111 362
- Technical Support Engineer: 12.4% up to $77,169
- Data analyst: Increase of 11.5% to $84,779
- Software developer: 8% to $120,204
Mobley explains that compensation varies by company and position, but the earning potential in tech is higher because of its rare skill set demand.
Types Careers in Tech
There are many career options in the tech industry. Some of them include:
- System administrator
- Data Scientist
- Software developer
- IT Support Specialist
- Computer network architect
- Information security analyst
- Web developer
- Tester for quality assurance
- Database Administrator
Brian David Crane, a tech entrepreneur, says that a career in technology would be incredibly rewarding. There are many niches in the technology field, ranging from database management to cybersecurity, app development, and artificial intelligence. Tech workers are in high demand, regardless of their interests.
Core Tech Skills Require
Soft skills and hard skills are both important for success in the tech industry.
You may need the following hard skills:
- Data Analysis
- Software development
- Soft skills that you may need include:
- Analytical Skills
- Think outside the box
Entry-Level Tech Jobs
Many tech employers prefer to hire people with bachelor’s and master’s degree, but some are willing take a risk on entry-level employees who do not have a college education or any prior tech experience. These jobs include:
- App developer
- Computer technician
- Data entry specialist
- Technical Writer
- Help desk specialist
Some of these entry level jobs pay fairly well. According to Robert Half staffing, a helpdesk specialist can earn between $36,500 and $74,250 per year. The annual salary for a computer technologist ranges from $35,500 to $48750.
Pros & Cons of Tech Careers
A tech career is not an exception. Here are some pros and cons to tech careers.
The Pros of Tech Careers
- Fast pace
The myriad of options available to someone who chooses a career in tech is one of its many benefits. According to Crane, there are many specialties within the tech industry, including app development, cybersecurity, database administration, and software development.
Crane believes that the field has a great deal of potential for growth.
Crane also emphasizes the fact that many tech workers are able to work remotely and with great flexibility. In a 2021 survey, IT research and advisory firm Gartner identified flexibility — specifically related to work hours or locations — as No. Digital workers around the world cite flexibility as their No. 1 secret to productivity.
Mobley notes that tech careers allow you to use your skills in an industry that is fast-paced and constantly evolving, so that you will never be bored.
Crane says that if you are a lifelong student, you will do well in technology because skills must be constantly maintained and improved.
Cons of Tech Careers
- Constant learning
- Uncertainty about the future of your job
Crane says that stress is a major drawback of a career in technology, especially if you are on the front lines of making sure the technology runs smoothly.
He says that “bugs and breaches are always possible.” You’re responsible for fixing these problems as quickly as you can. When a website goes down, money is lost.
Mobley adds that, while some might see it as a positive, others may find it burdensome. They might feel like they have to constantly learn and adapt in order to be successful with technology. You might be required to become regularly certified in new aspects of technology such as artificial intelligence and cloud computing.
While tech workers tend to be in high demand, layoffs do occur, especially at cash-strapped startups. Crunchbase reported that, through mid-June of 2022, over 21,000 employees at U.S. tech companies were laid off. Some tech companies are cancelling job offers even before the new employees have begun work.
Many technology startups, especially in the real-estate, financial, and delivery sectors that experienced tremendous growth in 2020 are now beginning to experience a slowdown of users, wrote Andrew Challenger. He is a senior vice president at outplacement firm Challenger Gray & Christmas.