Technology is a fast-growing and in-demand industry. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates careers in this field are projected to grow by 11 percent between 2019 to 2029. The projected growth is expected to add 531,200 jobs to the US workforce.
The demand for professionals in technology is driven by an increasing emphasis on information security. The popularity of cloud computing and the need to collect and store large amounts of data are a factor as well.
Technology attracts workers because it’s a lucrative field. The average yearly income for technology occupations is $91,250. Compare that to $41,950, which is the average for some other occupations.
Is a Career in Technology Right for You?
A good education is the first step to a career in technology. Students with technology degrees receive the highest job offers. These students are also most likely to get hired soon after graduation.
Knowing where to start is sometimes difficult. The type of degree you need depends on your career goals.
The field of technology encompasses several occupations. This means not all jobs have the same education requirements.
You’ll likely need at least one of the following degrees in your chosen occupation:
An associate’s degree is an undergraduate degree. It’s usually available from community colleges, junior colleges, and technical schools. Some universities and university institutes may also offer this degree.
An associate’s degree provides basic academic and technical knowledge graduates can use for employment or further study. It normally takes two years of full-time study to earn an associate’s degree.
A bachelor’s degree is an undergraduate degree offered by colleges and universities. When compared to an associate’s degree, a bachelor’s degree provides students with a wider range of professional and academic opportunities.
It takes four years of full-time study to earn a bachelor’s degree. This degree equips students with the knowledge and skills to pursue a specific occupation. Most students enroll in a bachelor’s program immediately after graduating from high school. It’s also possible to enroll in a bachelor’s program after first earning an associate’s degree.
A master’s degree is the next level of study after a bachelor’s degree. Universities and colleges award master’s degrees to students who complete the master’s program. And this course of study requires students to demonstrate mastery in their chosen area of study.
A master’s degree takes anywhere from a year and a half to two years of full-time study to complete.
The Top 7 Careers in Technology
The type of education you need depends on your job of choice. Below is a list of some popular jobs in technology. You’ll also find the preferred degree and average yearly income.
A web developer is one of the few jobs in technology that doesn’t require at least a bachelor’s degree. There are three types of web developers. And each type has its education requirements.
A web designer creates the layout of a website. This person is responsible for the look and feel of a website. An associate’s degree in web design is usually sufficient for this position.
A webmaster maintains a website. This person monitors website performance, functionality, and speed, and design. The webmaster also monitors website content, keeps track of marketing campaigns, and monitors search engine performance. An associate’s degree in web development or a bachelor’s degree is preferred for this position.
A web architect plans, designs, tests, and implements new applications and technologies. This person also creates, updates, and maintains social media apps and mobile apps. Web development teams are also directed by the web architect.
The role of the web architect is more involved than most other web developer positions.
A bachelor’s degree in computer science is often required for a web architect. But some employers prefer a master’s degree and IT architect certification. The position also requires two or more years of application or website development experience.
Salaries vary, but the average annual income for web developers is $63,490.
There is a great demand for software developers. This demand is driven by the popularity of mobile apps.
A software developer designs applications such as a mobile app, game, or similar software. And a systems software developer designs an operating system.
A bachelor’s degree in computer science, mathematics, or software engineering is a common requirement.
Salaries vary, but the average annual income for a software developer is $102,880.
Information Technology Manager
Information technology manager is a term that encompasses various positions. An information technology manager is an official job title.
You might also hear the person referred to as a computer and information systems manager, a chief information officer, or a chief technology officer. Other titles for the position include IT security manager or IT director.
The specific duties will vary based on the place of employment. Generally, the person in this position is responsible for an organization’s technology needs and IT team.
A bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field is required. Recently, more employers are beginning to require an MBA in information technology. An MBA is a master’s of business administration degree.
Salaries vary, but the average annual income for an information technology manager is $127,640.
Information Security Analyst
An information security analyst is responsible for protecting computer systems and networks from cyberattacks. The analyst plans and implements security measures, such as installing firewalls. As business security breaches become more common, the demand for information security analysts grows.
An information security analyst typically needs a bachelor’s degree in programming or computer science. But it’s becoming more common for employers to prefer an MBA in information systems.
Salaries for this position vary. The average annual income for an information security analyst is $88,890.
Computer Systems Analyst
A computer systems analyst designs and installs new computer systems. Professionals in this field are most commonly hired by IT consulting firms.
Cloud computing, healthcare records, and mobile technology have created a demand for computer systems analysts. Generally, a bachelor’s degree in any computer-related field is sufficient.
On average, a computer systems analyst can expect to make $82,710 per year.
Computer Support Specialist
A computer support specialist works within an IT department to troubleshoot computer problems. A computer support specialist may also specialize in user support. In that case, the professional focuses on helping customers and non-technical employees with computer problems.
This is one of the easiest technology career paths to enter. A postsecondary certificate or an associate’s degree is usually required by employers. The computer support specialist position is one of the lowest paying positions in the field of technology. But many professionals use this as a stepping stone to more lucrative opportunities.
The average annual income for a computer support specialist is $47,610.
Systems and Network Administrator
A systems and network administrator is in charge of an organization’s daily technology operations. Duties include activities such as installing and maintaining intranets, internet, and local and company-wide networks.
The position generally requires a degree in electrical engineering, computer engineering, information science, or computer science.
The average annual salary for this position is $75,790.
Starting a Successful Career in Technology
You have several options for entering the field of technology. Careers in technology can lead to several places. You might find yourself working for a large corporation, a small non-profit organization, or maybe even as a freelance worker.
If you’re not sure technology is right for you, then you can start small. You don’t have to jump into an expensive educational program right away. Teach yourself HTML, learn to design a website, learn to create open-source software, etc…
Once you decide which career path is right for you, the next step is to get a proper education. From there, begin researching universities, colleges, and other learning institutions to learn about their technology programs.