If you have an interest in innovation, a passion for helping people and the confidence to let your creativity shine, there are exciting and rewarding career opportunities available to you in technology in almost every industry.
From supporting the development of critical vaccines; building the next generation of electric vehicles; creating new and engaging ways to deliver distance learning; keeping air, food and water safe and sustainable; or bringing efficiencies to the delivery of government services, there is a career in tech waiting for you.
Even better, you don’t necessarily need to be a computer whiz or math genius to land one of these jobs, as technical skills can often be taught, but professional and personal skills are often more difficult to find.
Those in the know say that a growing number of employers are more interested in creativity, organization, verbal and written communications skills and a willingness to be a team player and less in technical acumen.
“That’s true for people joining the labor force for the first time, returning to the workforce, burned out or hitting a ceiling in their current job, or downsized out of a job through no fault of their own,” said Todd Thibodeaux, president and CEO of CompTIA, the Computing Technology Industry Association.
It’s a field that offers a certain amount of job security, too. The economic and employment disruptions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic have had an impact on tech occupations, though not nearly to the degree that other industries have been affected. The unemployment rate for IT occupations in the U.S. stood at 2.4% in November 2020, below the national unemployment rate of 6.7%.
Employers across the country continue to advertise job openings for tech workers — there were nearly 200,000 listings in November 2020. These openings were spread across many industries outside the technology sector, including financial services, manufacturing, retail, government, healthcare and education. You’ll also find great variety in the types of positions companies need to fill. They include application and software developers; tech support professionals, whose roles are increasingly important as more people work and learn from home; network analysts, architects and engineers; cybersecurity pros responsible for securing our data, devices and networks; and project managers tasked with keeping mission-critical projects on track.
There are a number of free resources available to help you learn more about tech careers:
The Future of Tech (futureoftech.org) is a free and growing library of resources to get you up to speed on what’s new and next in the world of technology.
Cyberstates (cyberstates.org) is the definitive guide to information on the U.S. technology industry and workforce.
If you’re interested in cybersecurity, CyberSeek (cyberseek.org) has detailed information on the U.S. job market, including guidance on career paths and professional certifications.
CompTIA (comptia.org) offers many tech career planning tools, including salary calculators and job search help.
“There are career options available that allow you to combine an interest in technology with something you are passionate about,” Thibodeaux said. “With the right access, encouragement and opportunity, anyone can maximize their digital knowledge and skills so they can achieve their life’s ambitions.” (StatePoint)