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Is information technology a good career path?

Choosing the right career path is very important when it comes to ensuring a fulfilling and successful professional life. When choosing a career, there are many things to consider, such as what you want to do with your life, what you are good at, what you are interested in and what will make you happy. For many people, information technology checks a lot of those boxes. 

There are a few attractive aspects of working in information technology (IT). The opportunity to work with cutting-edge technologies is one. The field’s flexibility and stability are others. However, there are also some other factors to consider.

First, the field is constantly evolving, which means that individuals interested in IT need to be comfortable with change and lifelong learning.

Second, IT roles can be demanding, both in terms of the hours worked and the level of concentration required. That said, if you're looking for a challenging and rewarding career, IT could be the perfect fit for you.

Benefits of studying information technology

If you're interested in choosing an IT major, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Make sure you're interested in the course material. Students in these majors take several technical classes, and you'll need to be motivated to succeed.
  • Consider your career goals. There are many different IT professions, so it's important to choose one that aligns with your goals. 
  • Research the job market in your area. The demand for IT professionals varies from place to place, so it's important to make sure there are jobs available where you want to live and work. 

By keeping these things in mind, you can make sure you choose the major that's right for you while setting yourself up for success in the workforce.

Growing demand

The demand for computer and IT professionals in the United States is projected to grow faster than average for all occupations. This demand is driven by several factors, including the growing importance of technology in the economy and greater emphasis for technological advancements in areas like cloud computing, information security and big data. 

Cloud computing: Definition, uses and benefits

The need for IT professionals with skills in data analytics, cloud computing and cybersecurity is expected to grow in the coming years, which is good news for IT majors who are looking for a long-term career. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment for computer and information technology occupations is projected to grow 13% between 2020 and 2030, faster than average for all occupations.

Demand for talent is driven by both the private sector and the government, as businesses and organizations of all types seek to improve their digital infrastructures.

Security also impacts this demand. With so many people storing their credit cards and medical and location information on the internet, IT talent is needed to ensure such critical details are kept safe.

Competitive pay

According to BLS, the computer and information systems manager occupation is among the top 20 highest paying occupations.

Other jobs in this industry also offer above-average salaries. According to the most recent estimates from BLS, the median salaries for information technology professionals in the United States range from just over $57,000 to more than $131,000. However, salaries can vary considerably depending on factors such as experience, education, location and company. 

BLS data indicates that IT professionals at the high end of the salary range tend to work in management positions or have jobs that require advanced technical skills. By contrast, those at the lower end of the salary range are more likely to hold entry-level positions or work in less expensive areas of the country.

For example, professionals working in management positions tend to earn higher salaries than those working in support roles. Similarly, those working in cities with a high concentration of tech companies tend to earn more than those living in other parts of the country. Finally, workers employed in industries such as healthcare and finance tend to command higher salaries than those working in other sectors.

Salary ranges are not specific to students or graduates of University of Phoenix. Actual outcomes vary based on multiple factors, including prior work experience, geographic location and other factors specific to the individual. University of Phoenix does not guarantee employment, salary level or career advancement. BLS data is geographically based. Information for a specific state/city can be researched on the BLS website.

More diverse roles

IT professionals play a vital role in a wide range of industries, from healthcare and finance to manufacturing and retail. BLS projects that computer and information technology occupations will add about 667,600 new jobs between 2020 and 2030. This demand for IT talent gives graduates more options when seeking an IT role that matches their interests, goals and personality.  

Because IT fits into so many industries, it can be a great option for career changers. Chances are good that people interested in tech already possess professional experience and transferrable skills that can be applied in a tech role. For example, a cashier or server at a restaurant has likely been trained in software, which can help them more quickly become familiar with IT systems and infrastructure. Education can help them learn these hard professional skills, while their work experience has already provided critical soft skills, like communication, customer service and problem-solving.

Finding the right role in information technology may require some exploration, but the variety of roles available provides many options for those seeking a career in the field. With the right mix of skills, training and experience, IT professionals can find a role that suits their individual goals and preferences.

exploring the various options and matching your skills to the right career can help you find a role that is both lucrative and fulfilling. 

What makes a career interesting and fulfilling varies from person to person. However, many people in the field enjoy the challenge of working with complex technologies and the satisfaction of solving problems. In addition, IT careers often offer competitive salaries and benefits packages. 

To be successful, it is important to have both hard and soft skills. Hard skills are technical abilities related to specific knowledge or tools, while soft skills are interpersonal skills such as communication and problem-solving. Both types of skills are essential for success in the IT field. 

The following are just a few of the most popular and high-demand jobs available in the field of information technology.

Popular information technology career areas

exploring the various options and matching your skills to the right career can help you find a role that is both lucrative and fulfilling. 

What makes a career interesting and fulfilling varies from person to person. However, many people in the field enjoy the challenge of working with complex technologies and the satisfaction of solving problems. In addition, IT careers often offer competitive salaries and benefits packages. 

To be successful, it is important to have both hard and soft skills. Hard skills are technical abilities related to specific knowledge or tools, while soft skills are interpersonal skills such as communication and problem-solving. Both types of skills are essential for success in the IT field. 

The following are just a few of the most popular and high-demand jobs available in the field of information technology.

Network security

Job description: Network security professionals are responsible for a variety of functions related to the protection of an organization's computer network. Their duties may include researching and installing security software, monitoring network activity for signs of intrusion and responding to security incidents. Network security professionals are also responsible for developing and implementing policies and procedures to ensure the security of an organization's network. 

Salary range: The annual salary range in May 2021 for a network security professional was between $61,520 to more than $165,920 per year, according to BLS.

Skills and qualifications: To qualify for a career in network security, individuals often need to possess strong technical skills and have received training in cybersecurity or a similar degree. Most employers typically look for candidates with a bachelor's degree in computer science or a related field. Employers also prefer candidates who have experience working with networks and computer systems.

Outlook: The demand for network security professionals is expected to grow in the coming years as the need for cybersecurity increases. BLS projects demand to grow by 33% from 2020 to 2030, which is much faster than the average for all occupations.

Systems administration

Job description: Systems administrators are responsible for the day-to-day maintenance and operation of computer systems. Their duties include ensuring that systems are up to date, troubleshooting errors and overseeing updates and security patches.

In addition, they are responsible for ensuring that networks are secure, and that user data is backed up. They also work with users to help them resolve issues and improve their understanding of the system. In larger organizations, they may be responsible for managing teams of junior administrators.

Salary range: The annual salary for a systems administrator in May 2021 was between $49,560 to more than $130,830. Experience and qualifications will play a role in determining your starting salary, as will education level, location and the company.

Skills and qualifications: To qualify for a job in systems administration, you will need to have strong problem-solving skills, experience with network administration and usually at least a bachelor's degree in computer science or a related field. However, many employers prefer candidates with master's degrees in information systems or professional certification. Employers also value experience working in a relevant field, such as network administration or software development.

Outlook: The demand for systems administrators is expected to grow 5% from 2020 to 2030, according to BLS. 

Data analytics

Job description: Data analysts are responsible for collecting, organizing and analyzing data to help businesses make informed decisions. They may also be responsible for creating reports and visualizations to help summarize data.

Data analytics is needed in a variety of industries, including healthcare, finance, retail and manufacturing. The duties of a data analyst vary according to industry but may include creating reports, conducting research and developing recommendations based on data analysis. 

Salary range: The annual salary range for data science professionals in May 2021 was between $59,430 to $167,040. The starting salary for entry-level data analytics positions is typically lower than the median annual salary, but with experience and qualifications, salaries can increase significantly. 

Skills and qualifications: BLS does not provide education requirements for data scientists, but it does for the related fields of operations research analysts and computer and information research scientists. According to BLS, an operations research analyst typically needs at least a bachelor’s degree, although some employers may require a master’s degree. Computer and information research scientists typically require a master’s degree, such as a Master of Science in Data Science or a related field such as mathematics, statistics or computer science.

Data analysts typically need strong analytical and problem-solving skills. Candidates with experience in statistical analysis software, such as SAS and SPSS, as well as database software, such as SQL, may have an advantage in the job market.

Outlook: BLS does not track employment data for data analysts as a single category, as they can work in many different roles and industries. However, BLS projects strong demand for computer and information technology occupations overall.

Information technology degrees at University of Phoenix

If you’re ready to get started on your journey toward a career in IT or are looking for an education to help you enhance your current career, University of Phoenix (UOPX) offers 19 technology degrees that align to 63 occupations. This includes associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees in information technology, with elective options in cybersecurity, networking and software development. UOPX also offers online IT certificate programs in specialty areas like cybersecurity policy and governance, digital forensics, cloud computing and more.

Interested in learning more about technology degrees and certificate offerings from UOPX? Here’s what to know: