As the digital world continues to develop and improve in all major fields, so to do the possibilities of career choices for those in the technology industry. Careers focus on the physical, life, earth, applied, and engineering sciences. Some of the fields that support IT professionals include:
- Computers and Information Technology
- Finance and Banking
- Educational Services
- Military Defense
- Food Services
Depending on your area of interest, you can focus your studies on the necessary courses to prepare you for a specific career. You might be surprised to discover how many fields need qualified IT professionals to fill a number of positions!
If you’re still unsure, do as much research as possible before enrolling in a program. The Bureau of Labor Statistics offers a wealth of information about various careers in IT as does O*Net OnLine. Both sites provide specific job descriptions for a number of different opportunities in your field.
Specific Jobs in Technology
Technology jobs vary widely from one position to the next. What career you decide to pursue should be based on two factors: your interests and current skill set. If you’re just starting out in your career, most of your experience will come from internships or other work-based learning opportunities. While you’re in school, it’s important to gain experience in your field of interest so your resume stands out among the competition. As a computer science, major can land you in a variety of fields, consider minoring or taking a few elective courses in something related to what you may eventually pursue. For example, if you plan on finding a CS job related to medicine, take some biology courses so you can better communicate with your future coworkers.
Before you enroll in a school, speak to an admissions representative or an instructor in the IT department to address any questions or concerns you have about program offerings and course requirements. The more you arm yourself with information, the better able you will be to chart out a wise course to college success.
Below are just a few of the many options open to IT graduates, with salary and employment growth rate data current as of May 2012 from BLS:
- Computer Programmer: The stepping stone towards a more advanced career in IT. A computer programmer writes code to create software programs, and generally interact with software developers and engineers. The median pay is $74,280 a year, and employment in the field is expected to grow 8% between 2012-2022.
- Software Developer: Similar to a computer programmer, software developers are the creative minds behind computer programs. The median pay is $93,350 a year, and employment in the field is expected to grow 22% between 2012-2022.
- Computer Systems Analyst: A computer systems analyst is the glue between business and IT, helping organizations better understand their computer systems needs. The median pay is $79,680 per year, and employment in the field is expected to grow 25% between 2012-2022.
- Information Security Analyst: As cyber attacks continue to increase, the roles and responsibilities of information security analysts continue to increase as well. The median pay is $86,170 per year, and employment in the field is expected to grow 37% between 2012-2022, the most out of any IT field.
- Computer Information and Research Scientist: Many of these jobs require a Ph.D., as they deal with solving highly complex problems in the fields business, medicine, science, and others. The median pay is $102,190 and employment in the field is expected to grow by 15% between 2012-2022.
The U.S. government’s Library of Congress has a science reference services page with books and resources that describe many more career opportunities in science and technology in greater detail. Additionally, one looking to into careers in the IT field should look into certifications as well. There are a variety of certifications for different purposes, of which they’d make a great supplement to your education. Check out Rasmussen College and Tom’s IT Pro for more about certification in entry-level and advanced positions.