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The Sprawling Field of Information Technology

Information Technology JobsInformation technology (IT) has exploded since the late 1990s, with jobs crossing all kinds of borders, blending together and gaining in prominence. With more and more of our lives revolving around technology and the computers that organize them, there is an increasing demand for people behind the computers to make it all work. And IT is hardly bound to simply making networks function or building computers; nowadays, the field captures everything from network administration and computer repair to ATM maintenance and graphic design. Basically, if you need to use a computer to make it work, you’re in IT, in one form or another. Sound good to you? What kind of options do you have and how can you break into the giant lands of IT?

Go With What You Love

This is often said of just about any career, but in IT, it takes on particular meaning. There are a few reasons why it’s so important to figure out what you love and feel passionate about and stick with it:

1. There is no such thing as a ‘jack of all trades’ in IT; it’s far better (and more lucrative) to specialize in something you enjoy doing and run with it. With so options: repair, maintenance, builds (of computers, ATMS, computer systems, security system, etc.), graphic design, game design, coding, web design, security, writing, web coding and many others, there’s no reason not to pick one and run with it.

2. IT people are often the first to be blamed for when things go wrong and the last to get credit when things go right. This means that you have to do your IT job because you love it, not for fame and rarely for wealth (though some IT jobs pay more money than others).

3. It’s much easier to pursue an education by yourself, pursue and broaden your skills and improve your lot in your spare time if you enjoy doing it!

Not sure what you love yet? Write down a list of the things you enjoy doing on your computer and go from there. Cross-reference it with your personality, what you enjoy doing in general and what kind of goals you have and from there, your path through IT should become clearer.

Keep Educating Yourself

The field of IT is always changing and evolving which is why it’s so attractive to many people. This also means that it’s very important to stay abreast of changes in your field. Keep on top of technology news, get certification in areas of your field (such as certification in using Adobe) and even pursue an Associate’s degree or Bachelor’s degree in your area of interest to boost your resume and give you a solid foundation of skills from which to build. Remember, the more specialized your niche is, the better your education has to be; for example, there’s a big difference between working as a writing marketer online and working in video game design in terms of your schooling!

Some IT jobs are entry level, but the more you educate yourself, practice your skills, and improve your expertise, the more employable you will become. Take advantage of any opportunities you can to better yourself and your abilities so that you can start making more money by being more employable.

Stay in Touch!

Whether you’re just getting started or you’ve already established yourself, staying in touch with others in the IT field is important. You can do things like swap clients, swap information, learn a new skill that someone else can teach you, get trade information, get support and generally feel less alone. One of the common complaints for many IT professionals-particularly freelancers-is feeling lonely and cut off. By reaching out to others, you can alleviate much of this and get some new insight into your field. If you’re just starting out, reaching out to others is even more important as many professionals are always willing to give a helping hand. After all, it’s a big field to work in!

The Information technology sector is growing and diversifying all of the time and that means there will always be a demand for a wide range of people. If you love working with technology in pretty well any scope you can imagine, then this could be the field for you!