Why Should Young People Consider Careers in Computing and Information Technology?

MEANINGFUL WORK

Computing and Information Technology (IT) professionals work on creative teams to develop innovative solutions that save lives, solve health problems, improve the environment, and keep us connected. Computing and IT professionals develop information systems and keep computers and networks operating. These jobs are available in nearly every industry, including art, finance, healthcare, and entertainment.

JOB SECURITY AND HIGH SALARIES THROUGH A VARIETY OF EDUCATION PATHWAYS

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that computing and IT jobs will be among the fastest-growing and highest-paying over the next decade. In May 2018, the median salary for computer and IT occupations was $86,320 — roughly $47,000 higher than the median annual salary for all jobs!1 Plus, students can obtain these high-demand positions through a range of educational pathways, including military experience and professional certifications, as well as two-year, four-year, and graduate degrees.

FLEXIBILITY AND A VARIETY OF CAREER OPTIONS

Many computing and IT careers offer flexible hours or telecommuting, making it easier to manage career and personal life. And, the career options are varied, including:

WHAT SHOULD YOU TELL YOUNG PEOPLE ABOUT CAREERS IN IT?

IT’S IMPORTANT. They can use their skills to help solve pressing problems in a variety of fields.

IT’S CREATIVE. They can use their creativity in many different jobs and roles; they will always find new challenges in their work.

IT’S TEAM-ORIENTED. They will do much more than use a computer; they will work with others as part of a creative team.

IT’S VALUED, RESPECTED, AND FLEXIBLE. They will enjoy challenging work in a well-respected field that pays well and often offers flexible hours.

IT’S EVERYWHERE. Most two- and four-year colleges offer programs in computing and related fields. Check out the programs nearest you, and start planning now.

IT’S FUN AND OPENS UP A WORLD OF POSSIBILITIES.

HOW CAN STUDENTS PREPARE NOW FOR A CAREER IN IT?

GET CREATIVE WITH COMPUTERS. Explore computer programming apps, such as:

TAKE COMPUTER SCIENCE OR IT COURSES. If these classes are not offered at school, students may find them online or at a local community college.

KEEP TAKING MATH CLASSES, BUT CONSIDER OTHER “CS + X” PATHWAYS. Math skills are important in many jobs, but remember that computer science impacts many other areas, such as art, dance, music, and sports. Speak with individuals working in these different fields to better understand the connection.

JOIN AFTER-SCHOOL COMPUTING OR TECHNOLOGY CLUBS. Also, look for summer computing camps. (Check out The Connectory or NCWIT AspireIT, for example.)

 


1Computer and Information Technology Occupations, United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. www.ncwit.org/CIBLS