How to Find a Job in Technology
Since every industry, every city, and almost every business requires some form of information technology services, technology careers exist no matter where you live or what your specific expertise is. However, certain areas are hot spots for IT jobs.
Of course, Silicon Valley in California is one of the nationally known hubs for technology development and innovation. In fact, many West Coast cities, including San Francisco and Seattle, are top spots for tech jobs. However, according to Glassdoor, East Coast cities like Boston and Washington DC are also great for high-tech jobs. Even Midwestern cities like Minneapolis and St. Louis are areas where highly skilled tech professionals can find plenty of opportunities.
How do you find your job from all technology careers? Like most careers, it starts with education and learning. While it is possible to get a job in the technology field without formal education, you will find that many more opportunities are available if you have a bachelor’s degree, usually computer science, programming or software engineering of some kind. You can also be certified by technology organizations, which shows your commitment to staying at the forefront of the technology sector and attracting employers from your resume more.
When applying and interviewing for a job, make sure you speak directly about how your education and experience will help that particular organization. Cite past projects and assignments that help you address the unique challenges this company faces and talk in a clear, substantive way about how you will help the team. IT technology can be very broad and may include a lot of technical jargon that hiring managers don’t fully understand, so it’s important that you communicate in a clear way how your experience will enhance an organization.
There are many reasons why you should work in the tech industry. Not only is it one of the most active and developing fields in the world, it also offers quality income and strong growth. In other words, you’ll have a fulfilling career with high pay that won’t be going away anytime soon.
First and foremost, technology is at least now the pinnacle of research, development and creative thinking in the country, if not the world. While traditional sciences like medicine and engineering certainly have their share of innovation, no other field seems to give you the opportunity or outright encouragement to create something new. That’s a very exciting prospect for many people.
Technology also involves meaningful work. Don’t be fooled into thinking IT jobs are all about mind-numbing Twitter feeds and dumbed-down smartphone games; technology involves important careers that improve people’s lives and create valuable, useful solutions to real-world problems.
There’s also a wide range of work. Technology is integral to nearly every industry in the country, including agriculture, transportation, journalism, entertainment, real estate and manufacturing. You name an industry and there are certainly dozens, hundreds, possibly thousands of technology jobs available. This allows people with a technology background to work in almost any geographic area, in any field, and in any industry.
Would you be successful in a technology career?
How can you be sure if one of the many promising jobs in technology is right for you? It takes a lot of dedication and commitment. However, certain qualities will lead to a successful (and happy! Careers in Technology.
While technology careers involve a lot of scientific thinking and hard data, being a creative right-brain thinker is an advantage. Regardless of position, working with technology means finding creative solutions that are both usable and visually appealing. It’s no coincidence that technology companies from Google to IMB are constantly investing in creative endeavors.
They should also enjoy problem solving. Almost every post for information technology jobs or careers in technology will have the phrase “problem solving” somewhere in the text. If you’re the kind of person who tries to fix your own bike, television, or WiFi connection without the help of a professional, you probably fit the bill for an IT career.
The desire to learn is also important, especially if you want to land one of the highest-paying tech jobs in the industry. Systems, software and equipment are evolving faster than ever, so you need to be fully committed to ongoing training through courses, certifications, seminars and industry information.
While not all technology careers are completely desk-bound, there will certainly be plenty of screen time. If the thought of spending hours, often full work weeks, in front of a computer sounds unbearable, a technology career may not be right for you.
Best-paying entry-level technology jobs
If you’re looking for a quality technology career, consider entry-level positions first. Not only do these information technology jobs offer a stable career with excellent pay, they are often available to people who are just entering the technology sector with minimal education.
Computer Programmer , Starting salary: $ 48,700
When writing and testing code for computer and software applications, computer programmers take ideas, often created by developers and software engineers, and turn them into real programs. As a computer programmer, you need to know the language of computers, including C++, Java, and more. However, there is a problem with this technology career. According to the BLS, the job outlook for computer programmers is expected to drop 7% between 2018 and 2028. With over 250,000 jobs overall, it can still be a great entry-level career, but there may not be as many opportunities in the next 10 years.
Web Developer ,Starting salary: $ 37,900
Web developer high median pay makes it one of the best jobs in the technology and information industry. As a web developer, your main responsibility is designing and building websites. You are responsible not only for the overall look and visual appeal of the website, but also for technical aspects such as usability, layout, and overall performance. Demand for web developers is expected to grow 13% between 2018 and 2028, making it one of the most in-demand IT careers in the country. Plus, standard entry level education is an associate degree, so you can break into the industry quickly! However, you may want to spring for a Bachelor’s as this can make you a more competitive candidate!
Computer Support Specialist , Starting salary: $38,270
By providing help and advice on networks and systems, computer support specialists make it easier for others who may not have advanced computer training and knowledge to use computers. They can test and evaluate existing networks, perform regular maintenance, and troubleshoot network systems. In many cases, a computer support specialist will listen to a user’s problems and provide troubleshooting and repair tips to resolve the issue. Many computer support specialists will work for computer design firms. Others will be employed by educational organizations such as universities and local schools. Employment is expected to grow by 10%, making it a reliable technology career field for future opportunities. An associate degree also qualifies you as a support specialist, but you may be more competitive with a bachelor’s degree, depending on the company.
Best paying tech careers
Computer and information systems manager, Mid Salary: $142,530
Also called IT project managers, computer and information systems managers are advanced and experienced professionals who determine information technology goals and create systematic plans to meet them. Like many managers, they take an all-encompassing approach to their work, creating long-term plans, delegating tasks, and organizing phases of an operation. They must also identify both short- and long-term staffing needs and personnel accordingly. As a computer and information systems manager, you essentially direct all computer-related work and determine the steps to create a better network and software system. Recommended entry-level training is a bachelor’s degree.
Computer & Information Research Scientist,Mid Salary: $118,370
At the forefront of information technology are computer and information research scientists who develop and design new ways to use computer technology. They research techniques and invent new directions for software and computers. By attacking complex problems, researchers create new technology methods for numerous industries, including business,medicine, and science. A large percentage (28%) of computer scientists work for the federal government. However, many work for the computer systems industry, the information industry, and the engineering industry. About 11% work for colleges and universities.
Computer Hardware Engineer, Mid Salary: $114,600
These are the professionals who deal directly with physical computer components such as processors, circuit boards, memory chips, and routers. They are engineers, so they deal with the physical nature of technology and may be tasked with designing new hardware that is more efficient or effective. While computer hardware engineers may not deal directly with code and software development on a regular basis, they test finished models of their devices, sometimes using existing software or programs to make the new hardware work. They may also upgrade current hardware to meet the advanced requirements of evolving software.
Software systems developers, Mid Salary: $110,000
The other form of software developers work with systems. These technology professionals research and create systems-level software. They can work in a variety of dedicated industries, including medical, military, industrial, and scientific. If you choose this career path, you will define operational specifications and create software requirements. To succeed as a software developer, you’ll need to work with basic computer science principles as well as engineering and mathematical analysis. Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maryland, Delaware, and New Jersey are the highest paying states for software systems developers.
Computer Network Architects,Mid Salary: $109,020
These professionals design and build data communications networks, from LANs for ” local area networks “to WANs for “wide area networks. “The networks put together by these professionals can connect two offices in different cities or connect a complex network of offices, satellite offices, and in-home offices. One of the tasks a computer network architect will perform is the initial design of a computer system. They may also need to present plans to an administrative or management committee and could be asked to update security systems or research new and emerging technologies that could benefit the organization’s network.
Software application developers, Mid salary: $103,620
While the BLS organizes it, software developers fall into two general categories: Systems Developers and Applications Developers. We’ll start with applications. This career typically begins with the ability to research and analyze a user’s needs and create a computer or smartphone application to meet those needs. If you are building an application for business, much of the focus might be on optimizing efficiency. The applications developed are often fully customized to a specific business, organization, or industry, although many are applicable to numerous fields. For example, a developer may create accounting software that applies to almost any organization in the country.
Information Security Analyst, Mid salary: $98,350
A computer network must be protected from cyberattacks and unauthorized access. While many tech careers deal with security at some level, an information security analyst is 100% dedicated to the complete security of a computer network. They plan and deploy security steps or monitor a system for security breaches and investigate possible violations. One of the main responsibilities for security analysts is implementing security software such as firewalls and encryption programs. They may even perform security audits by intentionally attempting to hack a system to identify vulnerabilities.
Database administrator, Mid salary: $90,070
While database administrators do not create software, they use specialized technology to store, organize, and implement data. One of their primary roles in ensuring that data is available to the people who need it, including CEOs, government officials, entry-level employees and salespeople. The type of data a database administrator works with is typically financial and customer records. For example, a database administrator may work with and manage a database to ensure that salespeople can easily reference a customer’s previous orders, budget, and purchase patterns. It is the responsibility of a database administrator to allow salespeople to reference this data in an organized and clear manner.
Computer Systems Analyst, Mid salary: $88,740
These highly skilled and experienced professionals are called upon to analyze an organization’s current computer system and make recommendations to improve efficiency and effectiveness. Combining IT knowledge and business experience, computer systems analysts understand business needs and tailor computer systems to meet those needs. They can consult with management, research new technologies, mandate changes, and even implement the changes they recommend. Massive growth is expected for this job, making it one of the best tech careers from both a financial and job security perspective.
Network and Computer Systems Administrators, Mid Salary: $82,050
Almost every business and organization needs a network of computers to conduct business and achieve their operational goals. They turn to network and computer systems administrators to set up, maintain, and repair these networks. System administrators work with the physical computers, installing network hardware, maintaining system security, and collecting data to analyze and evaluate the system. System administrators may also need to train others in the proper use of the computer system, and they often need to troubleshoot problems related to the software or hardware.