According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment within the field of computer and information technology is projected to grow 13 percent from 2016 to 2026. This trend, along with the popularity of IT related careers, has students seeking out technology focused degrees.
The range of careers within the field makes it a particularly exciting area not just for technology enthusiasts, but business minded individuals as well. For instance, occupations within this industry can include roles that require a heavy technology background, but there are also technology-related roles in business, manufacturing and leadership.
Other than projected growth in the job market, those in computer and information technology occupations can often look forward to earning more as well. According to BLS, the median annual wage for those in this field was $86,320 in May, 2018. This is higher than the median wage for all occupations, which was $38, 640. (Source)
Computer and IT career paths
The range of career paths within this field is large, but here are a few directions one can take if they have the right skills, education and experience:
Computer and Information Research Scientist: Those working in this field help create new technology and find innovative uses for technology that already exists. Their work has an impact on many other types of industry, from manufacturing to communication.
Computer Network Architect: Those working in this field create and build data communication networks. Their work is vital to industries that rely on data and communication to operate, including government organizations and our overall data infrastructure.
Computer Programmers: Professionals in this field create the code used by computer applications and software programs. Their work is critical to every device and system that relies upon software to function.
Database Administrator: Professionals in this field help organizations store, organize and utilize their data. Companies that are data driven rely heavily upon this type of work to keep their information organized, safe and secure.
Information Security Analysts: The goal of those working in this field is to protect computer networks and systems. Professionals in this line of work are heavily involved in planning and executing security measures at the organizational level.
Computer and Information Systems Managers: Sometimes simply referred to as an IT manager, those in this role help organizations examine and fulfill their technology needs. An IT manager needs to understand technology as well as budget and business needs.
Many additional computer and information technology careers exist, including consultancy and other entrepreneurial paths. Additional fields are likely to open up in the future as technology, and how it’s used, continues to evolve. Your ability to enter into these roles depends on your experience and level of education.
Those interested in enhancing their career, or changing their career path, may want to consider pursing a technology degree. Depending on the program you choose, earning a degree can help you expand your knowledge, increase your skill level and potentially provide you with hands-on experience. Continuing your education, especially at the graduate level, may also help you acquire valuable research and problem solving skills.