Tech professionals are responsible for keeping our world up and running. As technology has advanced, positions within the IT industry have become more and more specialized, ranging from help desk to security to routing and switching and beyond. Today’s IT workers have a wealth of responsibilities to ensure businesses run smoothly.
If you are interested in entering the tech field, it is imperative that you know what to expect in your future career. Understanding the functions of various disciplines within the IT industry will help you maximize your internal technical resources, and enrich your relationships with contractors. Here are five of the most common IT positions of the year.
1. Software Developers
Businesses and consumers desperately crave new software applications, and software developers are the only ones who can provide. Nearly every digital device, from desktop computers to smart watches, makes use of software, and it is the responsibility of software developers to create and maintain apps that users need and want.
Software development is already one of the most popular positions in tech, and it will only continue to grow. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the field to expand at least 17 percent by 2024, which is dramatically faster than the typical employment growth rate of 7 percent. Though most employers look for developers with bachelor degrees, some skilled programmers can find work on home-grown experience alone, which is especially impressive considering the average developer salary of over $100,000 per year.
2. Network Architects
The network is easily the most valuable tech in an office environment as it allows workers to communicate and collaborate with each other and clients to get things done right. Therefore, a network architect (who might also claim the title network engineer), whose job it is to design, build, and physically maintain network, is a vital member of any IT team.
Network architecture is one of the most technically demanding jobs in the field; architects must understand capabilities and interactions of a wide array of devices and applications to ensure smooth operation. Therefore, most network architect positions require at least five years of IT work experience, with many starting out in network administration and engineering. Fortunately, architects are paid well for their knowledge and skill, to the tune of over $100,000 in salary.
3. Network Administrators
After an architect has constructed the network, a network administrator steps in to run it. Local area networks (LANs) and wide area networks (WANs) take a surprising amount of effort to maintain: Internet and intranet connections need monitoring; servers need sustaining; users need supervising; and security threats need managing. Every IT team absolutely must have a network administrator to function well.
Because networks are changing rapidly as new technology is introduced, open network administration positions often expect applicants to receive continuing education. Many administrators look into online courses and CCNA lab simulations for hands-on experience and for help earning CCNA, CCENT, and more certifications to stand out in this competitive field.
4. IT Consultants
Not every IT professional must find work with a business requiring tech assistance; in fact, a majority of tech workers are starting careers with third-party tech firms that provide services to clients either on a per-project basis or through a recurring contract. IT consultants can assume a number of responsibilities, from developing a single application to providing ongoing tech support. Thus, most consenting firms are looking to acquire all sorts of tech talent.
According to IBISWorld, IT consulting is growing slowly but steadily alongside the economy. Rising corporate profits will allow for increased spending on external services, adding to the opportunities for tech consultants. As yet, profit margins for consulting firms remain thin, but large and established IT consulting companies prove that the model is sound and prime for a profitable explosion.
5. Tech Support
IT has diversified in recent years, but businesses still have a desperate need for the prototypical IT worker who resolve everyday tech hiccups. Tech support is usually a team of hands-on tech professionals willing and able to troubleshoot common tech problems. Anyone working under the tech support umbrella must be patient and considerate, displaying excellent customer service for those who may be less-than-tech-savvy.
Tech support is an excellent starting position for anyone interested in pursuing a long career in tech. Tech support specialists gain experience with users, granting sought-after intel on how users work with tech and what tech solutions users truly need, which can develop into fodder for application or network development in the future.