Becoming a professional in information technology requires a lot of time, effort, and expenses. You need to be diligent about studying and spend at least a couple of hours every day on brushing up your skills and learning everything you need for a successful career change. You also need to invest quite a lot of money in training and perhaps even a college degree (though we argue that this isn’t necessary) to achieve your goals and get that high paying job.
A logical question to ask yourself is: is all of that worth it? What do you get at the end, after you embark on your computer career? Will all the time, money, and hard work pay off in the long run?
Even though these aren’t easy questions to answer, we will attempt just that in this blog post. Like any other career, a career in IT has its pros and cons. Let’s look at what they are and help you get a better picture of what working in computing technology really is like.
Pros of a Computer Career
- Stable, high income
The biggest advantage of a career in IT is well-known to practically everyone: IT professionals have high salaries. This is true in all corners of the globe, relative to the living standards of that corner. Of course, how much you will be earning depends on your specific situation, what type of IT work you will do, and what IT branch your company is dealing with. According to Statista, the highest average salaries of IT professionals are in the aerospace and defense industry, communications, public relations, and advertising industry, and pharmaceutical, medical, and biotech industry.
Regardless, if you want a more stable income after your computer training and a chance to enjoy a more comfortable lifestyle, a job placement in IT is the way to go. This might not happen immediately after you start your IT career, since you will likely first land an entry-level job, but it shouldn’t be long before you advance, especially if you work hard and prove that you are a company asset.
- A wealth of job opportunities
Unlike in some other industries, the world of IT is seemingly limitless. When talking about average salaries, we mentioned only three sectors you can find work in, but the list doesn’t end there. An IT professional can find a job in the government, the media, film and music industry, healthcare, insurance and real estate, retail, hospitality and travel, and so much more.
Not only that, but the type of work offered is incredibly varied. You may choose to become a web or a game designer, a software engineer, an information technology systems administrator, a data analyst, a cybersecurity expert, or a wide range of other positions. If math, coding, and algorithms are not your strong suit, you don’t have to limit yourself to software development jobs. There is a little bit of everything for everyone in the IT industry; you only need to find what works for you.
- Comfortable office work or working from home
Working an IT job doesn’t require much more than sitting at a desk and staring at a computer. This comes with its own set of health issues, but generally speaking, working in IT isn’t too strenuous on the body. If you are fortunate enough to work from home, you even get added perks, like lunch breaks in your kitchen and taking your dog out for a walk on your coffee break.
One of our success stories, Brice Clements, is a man who used to work as a cable and internet installer before he became IT certified. He was more than pleased to swap his outdoor job in unfavorable weather conditions for an office one, where he was always dry and comfy and could listen to the radio while he worked.
- Dynamic work challenges
Finally, IT work is never dull. Technologies are subject to change, and new software is being developed at breakneck speeds. No one project is the same, and each one will bring with itself a new set of obstacles for you to tackle. Some may be intimidated by this and seek the comfort of a more mundane job, but if you like a challenge and a dynamic work routine, IT is the ideal place for you.
Cons of a Computer Career
- Stressful work
You might think that IT professionals aren’t too stressed in their day-to-day work, but you’d be wrong. As a whole, the IT industry works on a deadline system, where every project requires strict planning and development, with little wiggle room. You will work at a fast pace, constantly evaluating how much time you need to complete something, whether you’re meeting your deadlines, and how long it will take you to deliver a product to your superiors or clients.
Managers in IT expect you to abide by their deadlines that often aren’t realistic, and customers don’t know enough about software development to provide you with the detailed specifications you need for a project. All of this leads to miscommunication becoming constant in the IT industry.
- Sacrificing free time
Expanding on the previous bullet point, there are often times when an IT professional needs to work overtime, sacrifice a family dinner or an outing to complete a project, help a client, or handle an emergency. IT can be a nine to five job, but it is often a lot more than that, especially if you work for international clients, where different time zones come into play.
This won’t be an ongoing thing, but to truly become great at what you do in IT, be prepared to sacrifice some of your free time for work.
- Constant demand for being up-to-date
We listed this as a pro, but it could also be a con for some. A constant demand to keep up with new developments in computer systems and tech, in general, can take a toll on a person. When you’re working long hours and just want to go home to unwind, the last thing you’ll be thinking about is looking up what’s new in IT and what programming languages to add to your skillset.
On the one hand, continual education and training push you to work harder and improve, but on the other hand, they can also lead you to burn out faster.
Plenty of IT Careers to Choose From
If you decided to change careers, attended online classes or enrolled in a certificate program, and then realized you didn’t want to work in that particular IT field – don’t worry. All is not lost. You are not stuck with useless certs and worthless education.
As we mentioned above, there are practically hundreds of IT careers to choose from. Just because you haven’t found your place in one of them doesn’t mean you won’t be happy in a different sector that is still within the IT industry. With minimal to no additional training – most likely no new degree programs required – you can test out several different job positions before finding the one where you feel the most comfortable. In that way, your computer education definitely won’t go to waste.
No one is saying that an IT career is ideal. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as an ideal career. All you can do is learn about the pros and cons of working with computers and decide whether such a work environment is suitable for you.
If you want to forget about financial aid and student loans and go after a higher salary and a less physically demanding job that is continually evolving – IT is your industry. You will enjoy financial stability, ongoing education and training, and a workplace where you’re surrounded by like-minded people who regularly engage in tech talk.
However, this will bring its own set of stresses – tight deadlines, strict managers, and clueless clients. You may need to sacrifice free time here and there to complete a delayed project. You might feel overwhelmed by technology because you have to follow it so closely not to drop the ball on the next breakthrough.
All that being said, in our humble opinion, a computer career is absolutely worth it, if you can handle the cons. If this whole text hasn’t deterred you from joining the ranks of IT professionals – congratulations, you have what it takes to become an IT expert.
To help you get there, My Computer Career offers a wide selection of I. T. certifications, including entry level certs. These programs are designed to provide you with all the training and experience you will need to land a job in an IT branch of your choice. Contact us for more information on students’ experiences, student outcomes, program completion, and job placement. We’ll give you a free evaluation so you can get a better understanding of where you are and what you need to do to become an IT professional. Let’s get started! You can find us in the following locations:
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