If you are well on your way to graduation or just starting your courses in IT, now is the best time to start exploring different IT career fields and consider your options and your preferences! Are you interested in Database Development or Administration or are you more inclined toward a Web Development career? Do you enjoy working on Programming assignments or are you more interested in Operating Systems or Hardware? Is a Network Engineer position for you? As you progress through school and complete more and more courses you will probably discover the answers to these questions, but it could be a good idea to do some research into employment trends in your field of interest, salary information and regional prospects too.
- You could start by exploring current figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupation Profiles – Computer and Mathematical, Occupational Employment Statistics or 2010-2020 Trends.
- Links to Occupational Profiles on O*Net:
- SOC: 15-1051.00 Computer Systems Analysts
- SOC: 15-1081.00 Network Systems and Data Communications Analysts
- SOC: 15-1099.10 Business Intelligence Analysts
- SOC: 15-1099.11 Information Technology Project Managers
- SOC: 15-1031.00 Computer Software Engineers, Applications
- SOC: 15-1032.00 Computer Software Engineers, Systems Software
- Indeed.com – maintains employment trend data that tracks the number of job postings in various industries on a month by month basis (and allows you to compare those trends with data previous months. You can then click on a specific industry (i.e., Information Technology) and see some more detailed data. The number of “clicks” on those job postings is a measure of the activity the site is seeing from job searchers.
- Another good place to do some research is Dice.com – Technology Jobs; you can then look at the numbers (job posts) by Skill or Job Title, by Company, Location or by Employment Type.
Whether this will be your first IT career or you are considering a mid-career change, an internship might be the best way to experiment and allow you to apply your knowledge and skills in an IT setting. You would be able to integrate and apply IT theory and practical skills in a business context as you perform IT tasks such as planning, administering or providing customer support for information services or technology services.