Thinking of starting a career in IT?
Love to play with Computers and Mobile Phones, and thinking of making IT a career choice?
Like to develop new IT products and services and be the next generation whiz-kid?
You are not alone. Thousands of people are moving to IT for continuous and long term job prospects with great salaries.
According to Forbes, top jobs pay anything from $120,000 to $150,000 for starters.
Business Insider lists over 40 technologies that pay over $120,000 per annum.
The IT Industry is a huge, and booming industry. In the coming years, more and more automation is happening, and more computer engineers, and support people are needed than ever.
- Big Data Engineers ($183K), Mobile Applications Developers ($175,750) and Data Security Analysts ($160k) are predicted to be the highest paid IT-related jobs in 2016.
- Big Data Engineers and data scientists will see salaries increase 8.9% in 2016.
- Tech skills in the most demand include Python, Ruby on Rails, ASP, C#, Java, .NET, PHP and virtualization technologies.
The Internet of Things (IOT) is firming up and taking leaps and bounds. According to several surveys, the number of jobs in providing IT Development (Cloud Computing, Green Computing, Web Design and Development, Mobile Application Development, Graphics Design, Game Design) and in IT Services.
Programming languages like Ruby, ASP.NET, PHP, and databases like SQL, MySQL, Oracle, C, Java, C++ are all in the vogue. You don’t even have to master all of them. Just take one, and master it.
Use it to program trial and real projects. Experiment and learn the nuances of each language. There will be several versions and flavors of each language. Figure out the correct framework and go for it.
Computer programming is not only for computer science graduates. Several top universities, including Stamford, National University of Singapore etc. get their Engineering students studying Mechanical, Civil, or any other specialization to take C or Java programming as electives or one of the core modules in the first or second year itself.
Where Should I Begin For an IT Career?
First of all, you must look at your interest and passion, and browse the world of IT. Find out what kind of things make you feel like you will want to do it? It could be Design, or Development or Support Services.
For Design, you could look at Product Design, Creative Design, Web Design, User Interface Design.
For Development, you could take up Mobile App Development, Web App Development, or Back-end Interface Development, Business Intelligence, ERP, Data Warehousing, Data Mining etc.
For Support & Services, there are Cloud Services, Web Hosting Services, Network Services, Hardware Services, Software Services, Web Services, SEO Services, Email Marketing.
There’s a whole new world of Social Media Services, in Using and Exploiting Facebook for Business, Using LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest and ever increasing new platforms to explore.
To begin with, you can visit Wikipedia and read a little bit about each one… It will give you a better understanding of the various options available, and then explore your interests.
There are several good books available on the broad topic of IT, Internet, Social Media to explore. A visit to your local library is a must to look at the plethora of choices available. You don’t have to purchase so many books. Just browse, borrow some, and gain as much knowledge about the various options.
You can then begin to talk to your peers, friends, colleagues, and friends of friends to generally discuss and get a better, first hand information about choosing an IT career. Schools, colleges, Polytechnics and Universities also organize several talks and seminars about choosing the right career, and how to pick the right thing for you.
Finally, create a mind map of all your ideas and thoughts. If you are not familiar with it, read about it here and begin using it. If you want to follow the old fashioned way, you can jot down all your notes in a diary or paper, and then sift through them.
Make detailed notes, and review them yourself, as well as others who support your goal in choosing the right IT career for you.
Next Steps in Choosing an IT Career
Once you have a fair idea about the kind of things you want to within IT, you can join some short term courses to know more about the things, and get direct experience at working on these.
Sure, you will have to spend some time and money, but it is better to spend a little and get a better idea, rather than spending a long time studying a particular topic, and then realizing it is not for you.
I have seen countless people graduating from college with a degree, and not pursuing it as a career, because they did not really like it… they had chosen something because of their parents, or peer pressure.
Don’t waste a college seat doing something that you have no interest in. Imagine someone studying 5 years to be a doctor, and then deciding to not be a doctor and help cure people… What a waste of time, money, resources. As well give that seat to someone else whose passion it is to be a doctor.
Similarly, to gain mastery over any area within IT, you will have to spend a lot of time studying it. Invest your time, money and passion in something that you really care for. Once you have chosen a field of study, put your heart and soul into it.
While I was studying Computer Programming back in the 1980s, after learning Basic, COBOL, ForTran,Pascal, and C, I fell in love with Pascal & DBase III (a database programming language). I then spent countless hours in the lab experimenting it.
I purchased almost every book on these topics and even got my father, my uncle to support me in purchasing very expensive books on these topics. I am proud to say that I mastered both Dbase, Pascal and C to a great extent, and it helped set my foundation in Computer Programming, which helped me all along in my IT career.
Even as I got promoted, and was not writing code, it helped me supervise my team, and work closely with them in implementing several cool features that were unheard of in those times. This gave me great visibility in the company and the senior management got to know of my skills.
It paved the way for frequent promotions and helped me accelerate my career within the company. Pretty soon I was commanding a high 6 figure salary, all because of my passion and interest in the chosen field within IT.
Don’t spend your entire lifetime finding your purpose, your passion, your dreams. Find it, and spend the time in achieving it. Choose something not because of the money, but because of your passion.
Once you have chosen a field, go deep in it. Make a trench that you know every bit of. It will give you immense advantage in the field, and help you accelerate your career, and help you achieve you dreams.
Remember, success is not achieved by luck alone. Success is 99% perspiration, and 1% inspiration. If you stick to the thing that you love, you will attract luck and success automatically, and make the world better for you, for others and leave a legacy that will make an impact in this world.
Written By Vinai Prakash
This article is written by Vinai Prakash, the founder and managing director of Intellisoft group of companies in Singapore. He has helped, coached and guided thousands of participants in achieving their goals, their dreams and finding their passion.
Vinai lives in Singapore. He loves to teach Project management, IT Courses, Photoshop, Web Design, Management Dashboards with Excel, Facebook for Business, Communication Skills, Time Management techniques and Killer Presentation skills among other topics.