Education

IT Careers Outlook For this Decade

IT careers are usually considered to be the quintessential form of professions in which you are able to make a comfortable middle to upper income, even while enjoying some kind of job security. There are many potential lucrative IT careers available, and most of them do pay quite well. However, with those advantages comes a great deal of competition.

College Degrees for Information Technology

If you want to get into the IT industry, the first thing that you should do is look into professional certification and also check out various college degree programs and/or professional certification. You will be able to pick from associate degrees or bachelor’s degrees which are the two alternatives (besides certification) that are the most likely to get you your first job in IT. The higher your educational qualification, the more likely it is that you will get a high salary. In order to secure a good position, however, you will need some form of credential whether a degree or certification or both.

If you are choosing the college route, then associate degrees are one of the best options (in terms of effort-time vs reward) for IT support professionals. These can either be in the field of information science or computer engineering. The jobs you are shooting for here are IT support, network management or administration. An associate degree can take you into several IT careers, depending on your interests and skills.

Professional Certification for Information Technology

In terms of qualification efficiency, the fastest route is professional IT certification which can be achieved in a “zero to hero” situation in about six months (take or leave). The next fastest is an IT associate degree programthat combine the degree with professional certification. These programs also often combine theoretical courses with practical experience such as internships or any other form of on-the-job training through corporations partnering with the local college (often a community college).

One distinguishing feature of the computer networking, support, and cybersecurity professions is the prominent role professional certification can play. Some of the leading exams in IT are:

Some of the leading exams in IT are:

–           CompTIA A+ Certification for PC and device support and troubleshooting

–           CompTIA Network+ for network optimization, support, and management

–           CompTIA Security+ for all aspects of Cybersecurity

Sometimes these credentials can even supersede college degrees. Because of that, these exams are almost always considered to be high stakes exams. They are administered at test centers where you will be answering questions on a computer. The questions will be a mix of various multiple choice/single or multiple answers and also the feared Performance Based Questions (PBQs). The PBQ requires you to perform an installation, optimization, or troubleshooting task virtually on the computer.

What is the Best “Test Prep”?

It goes without saying that the best preparation for any exam is obviously to have taken in all the relevant information and know the material inside out. However, beyond that, laser focused test preparation can often significantly improve your chances of success at the exam.

All these exams are associated with exam objectives published by their sponsors. The exam objectives document is the first thing you want to consult. It will list all the content point that that can give rise to a question at the exam. Once you are familiarized with that content you may want to take a look at exam simulators. These are software that replicate the exam experience you will be facing at the exam center. The good ones include, in addition to the multiple-choice questions, the PBQs. A leading developer of exam simulators is CertBlaster.

Salary range

Typically, information technology support positions have often beenthe launching pad of an IT career.The annual salary range for jobs within the IT field will vary depending on where you work and what position you are entering. In the US a starting salary for PC Support will range between $35,000 and $55,000 per year. Networking and cybersecurity jobs will typically be in the $50,000 to beyond $100,000. There are typically more entry level IT positions than there are advanced ones, although both types of positions usually require professional certification or another accreditation. Many IT professionals end up working in management positions, which often command a higher salary, sometimes a significantly higher salary.

The traits that are a good fit for information technology careers include creativity, problem-solving skills, communication skills, computer literacy, problem-solving abilities, analytical skills, interpersonal skills, and self-motivation. There is no question that the candidates with both strong IT and soft skills will have an easier time securing the best information technology careers.

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