Choosing a career path can be daunting, exciting, and stressful all at the same time. Am I good enough? Will it make me happy? How much money can I make? Regardless of whether you’re just entering the workforce or looking to pivot, starting out on a new path comes with a range of emotions and uncertainties. And while you could argue that there’s no “perfect” career for everyone, it’s hard to deny that being an information security professional is anything but prosperous.
5 Reasons to Pursue IT
“Becoming an information security expert boils down to expansive technical knowledge, breadth of experience, and education,” writes Michael Hess of CBT Nuggets. It takes a lot of effort, some natural talent, and a commitment to ongoing education and learning – but the decision to pursue IT as a career path is a smart one.
Here are some reasons why:
- Positive Industry Outlook
In a day and age where technology makes certain careers obsolete in a matter of months or years, the IT industry has a positive outlook. In fact, it’s perhaps the only industry that’s safe from the evolution of technology. Because as technology improves, the need for smart professionals to diagnose, develop, and leverage these tools also grows.
More and more jobs are becoming available to both seasoned and entry-level IT pros each year. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment is projected to grow by 12 percent from 2014 to 2024, which is faster than the national average for other occupations. Specifically, that looks like an estimated 488,500 jobs being added to the workforce – with much of the emphasis being on cloud computing and big data.
- Financially Rewarding
As the industry grows, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics also projects increased pay and financial compensation for IT professionals in different specialties. In May 2014, the median annual wage for those in computer and information technology occupations was $79,390, whereas the median annual wage for all occupations was just $35,540. The highest median salary in the industry goes to computer and information research scientists who make roughly $108,360.
- Engaging and Creative
It’s not all about the money, though. Another advantage of being an IT professional is that you get to work on tasks that are engaging each day. If you like solving problems, you’ll enjoy the creativity that comes along with the profession. Rarely will you encounter the same problems. There are tons of nuances and subtleties that make the job very interesting.
- Lots of Flexible Opportunities
As an IT professional, you have a lot of flexibility in how and where you work. Want to work for a large Fortune 500 company? There’s ample opportunity. Prefer to work with a small business? You can find these options, too. Want to work from home? This is also a very practical choice. No matter your preference, you can find a setup to meet your needs.
- Real-Life Skills
As an IT professional, you may be looked at as a “nerd” or “geek” at times. However, you’ll also be viewed as the hero. “If someone’s computer is malfunctioning, you’re the guy they call to come and make the repairs,” writes IT pro Andy Peloquin. “The look of gratitude you get when you finally finished the repairs is highly gratifying, and people are very thankful for your efforts.”
Start Your Career Today
You aren’t going to enjoy all of the benefits of being an IT professional on day one, but you will slowly identify them as you progress through your career. The great news is that anyone can decide to become an IT professional and begin working towards that goal. There are lots of online resources, training opportunities, and positions available to those willing to learn. Could this be the right opportunity for you?