People often find themselves standing on a crossroad when trying to make a career choice. They compare average salaries with the hottest jobs, while assessing their current skills and personality type. It becomes about identifying trends and being realistic about your chances of getting hired based on your current skill set. They look for a career opportunity that will bring them not only satisfaction, but sufficient income as well.
That’s why we have decided to create a list of the most sought after IT positions that are predicted to become the highest in-demand jobs in the year 2021. Whether you are a job seeker in your mid-30s or 40s and thinking of changing your career, or you are a senior in high school that hasn’t chosen a career path yet, this article can be helpful. The great news is that a career change into the IT job market is hot and will remain that way in the future. However, certain kinds of tech skills are in higher demand than others.
Every career path involves taking up a series of jobs that will help you advance towards your objectives and goals. It includes various jobs that you’ll need to land in order to reach your ultimate career goal, but it doesn’t mean it should follow a straight line. When it comes to career development and climbing the career ladder, there’s no one-size-fits-all blueprint. In this article, we provide career advice to help you with choosing the right career path and your career planning.
We’ve talked about how you can successfully change careers in one of our previous articles, and now we will delve into which IT career paths have a promising future.
Making the Best Choice about Your Career Path
You’ve probably heard about IT-related jobs, such as IT consultant, cloud architect, data modeler, or software developer. These are all new career opportunities that have surfaced in recent years. In general, it’s clear that any profession connected to software providing or computer engineering will stay in high demand in the future due to the growth of computer science and exponential technological progress. You can take a look at the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook to see which IT jobs are most in demand.
As for choosing a career path, it’s all about making a series of small decisions that contribute to your lifestyle, happiness, and well-being. But you should always keep in mind that many things along our career paths are outside of our control. We make those small decisions along the way based on the information we have at the time. Therefore, making important life decisions, such as choosing a career path or changing careers, always comes with a degree of risk. This article is here to help you minimize those risks as much as possible.
MyComputerCareer can help you make well-informed decisions and take the right course of action. Getting a job in these IT areas could mean a rewarding career, better job satisfaction, and a good salary.
Best IT Career Paths to Take in 2021
Securing IT systems has become a big business because of the increase in the number of cyber-attacks. New regulations, such as GDPR and the associated fines for not conforming to new requirements, has made cybersecurity imperative in every business. As a result, the demand for security professionals has increased drastically. Cybersecurity is all about protecting data (both company and user data) by ensuring these elements through adequately managing and enforcing:
- Malware protection
- Secure configuration
- Patch management
- User access control
Other areas that contribute to cybersecurity include network security, risk management, system monitoring, and incident management.
Ethical hacking is a term that is widely used in the cybersecurity industry to describe a function of IT security based on the perspective of cybercriminals. Ethical hackers defend government and corporate computer networks and systems by learning to think like cybercriminals, adopting many of the same techniques and tools that cybercriminals use. More and more company leaders are getting worried about the possibility of cyber-attacks, while the gap between the available workforce and the number of open positions keeps growing. It’s estimated that there is a surplus of about 2.5 million vacant positions.
Information Security Analyst
Information security analysts are responsible for almost all aspects of an enterprise’s digital security systems, including designing security procedures and computer networks, as well as testing cyber defense systems for weaknesses. To become an expert security information security analyst, you need to understand all the techniques used by cybercriminals and come up with creative, effective solutions to fight them off. Also, you should stay current on advances in digital security and hacking. An effective information security analyst must be capable of performing under high-stress circumstances, able to multitask, be quick thinking, and be technically skilled.
Information security analysts are already highly sought after, and the need is likely to increase as corporate attacks become more sophisticated.
One of the largest areas in IT that keeps growing is the cloud. Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, and Amazon AWS are big players in this field. Many organizations today are adopting a cloud-first strategy – anything they build, they are not building for the traditional data center but the cloud, meaning that there’s plenty of building and migration work. Some experts predict that the cloud-first strategy will be replaced by cloud-only, where almost everything will be moved to the cloud, making data centers redundant while creating a surplus of cloud jobs.
Last year, cloud engineer was named one of the most in-demand IT jobs because an increasing number of organizations are moving their business functions to the cloud. Studies suggest that almost 70% of enterprise IT departments are using public cloud infrastructure, while more than 50% of tech professionals state that hybrid and cloud IT is their company’s most important IT strategy. Since enterprises are moving away from an on-premise IT infrastructure model to a cloud model, they need to hire cloud engineers to help them upgrade or design a new environment.
Cloud engineers are responsible for assessing an enterprise’s infrastructure and migrating its functions to a cloud-based system. As more enterprises move their critical business processes to cloud infrastructures, cloud engineers are in high demand. They build, maintain, and link to various cloud services with a mix of business knowledge, technical skills, and experience with (at least) one of the biggest cloud providers (Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, or AWS).
- Data Analyst
What the current market also desperately needs is data analysts, and it’s all because of the unprecedented increase in the amount of data collected in recent years. The skill of analyzing, processing, and making sense of data has become crucial for enterprises that need to bring well-informed, data-driven business decisions. To put it simply, everyone is excited about tracking and measuring everything, but first, they need to understand what to do with all the chaotic results achieved. With a wise approach to data input and analysis, organizations can maximize their business results.
Job requirements for this position include liaise with data scientists, data providers, industry partners, and domain scientists. Data analysts are responsible for gathering requirements, understanding goals, ensuring knowledge transfer between stakeholders, and implementing solutions. The ability to create sport patterns, forecast probabilities, and reveal the trends is definitely a skill of the future in the world of IT.
- Network Administrator
Computer networking is at the heart of every home and business, and it is evolving faster than ever due to the rise of IoT, machine learning, artificial intelligence, advanced analytics, and blockchain technology. Also, networking is often overshadowed by high-profile technologies, which is why it is probably one of the most underrated tech revolutions. The truth is that almost all major technologies are dependent on connectivity and networking – as they advance, so does networking.
Since networks within enterprises have become so complex, the sophisticated knowledge of installation, management, and adjusting network components is now among the top IT jobs. Network administrators are responsible for keeping an enterprise’s computer system operating smoothly – they install, organize, and support the system or its segment within an enterprise. They may be responsible for the entire network (smaller companies) or a network’s area (larger companies).
Without network administrators, enterprises are at risk of losing their connection to the internet, intranets, WAN, and LAN. For digital companies, this would mean a complete stop to most of their operations and all communications.
Putting Focus on Your Soft Skills
Excellent tech skills can only take you so far. In order to successfully change careers and be able to play a more integral role in your new organization, you will also have to develop soft skills (also known as core or transferable skills), such as adaptability, communication, and emotional intelligence. Being proficient in a certain technical skill (e.g., experience in an in-demand programming language) will definitely help you in your career, but it’s not enough. Today’s corporate leaders are paying more attention to core skill sets than they ever have before. As you sift through job postings and apply to jobs, pay attention to the application requirements – if an application says a cover letter is required or optional, always include one. Your potential employers and hiring managers will appreciate it.
Another important thing to remember when choosing your new career path is to avoid saturated career paths. This is vital for anyone who wants to transition into IT Try to put into context how the IT sector and computing have changed drastically over the past decade, from IT being a niche to becoming commonplace. If a career path is oversaturated, it means that the competition is fierce, which makes your goals more difficult to attain. We suggest you aim for some of these career paths since they are in high demand with acute skill shortages.
To stay relevant in today’s ever-changing job market, you should understand how the job-specific knowledge you aim to develop is interconnected with your personality, as well as determine how these experiences, attributes, and traits fit into the changing job market.
Is Now the Right Time for Career Reinvention?
The COVID-19 pandemic was an unexpected event that disrupted our habitual routines. These hard times lead us to think about what really matters in life and what is worth doing, which is why many people are thinking about switching jobs. But is it really the right moment? If you are worried about your prospects or are feeling risk-averse, it is challenging to dive into reinventing your career. Add the aspect of social distancing to everything, and we get a threatening situation that prompts us to act more conservatively, which is the opposite of what’s required when thinking about career reinvention.
However, this crisis is likely to prolong itself, but it does come with certain benefits. We shouldn’t feel so defensive about this seemingly unproductive time-out because we are conducting important inner business and making crucial decisions. Some psychologists suggest that the inner business we are doing may be more beneficial than engaging in various self-improvement activities. Use this time for career planning and developing a plan for the future, and consider seeking career advice from mentors, career coaches, or other professionals that can guide your professional development and job search towards landing your dream job in IT.
Leverage the internet and reconnect with your dormant ties (old contacts that you haven’t talked to in a couple of years) because these contacts are more likely to give you some constructive criticism and advice. Once you do that, start building new relationships on social media (primarily LinkedIn).
For those looking for IT certifications (such as CCNA, CCENT, CompTIA A+, CEH, Microsoft Certified Professional, etc.), MyComputerCareer is a technical school with great IT courses taught online and at our seven campuses. If you are new to the IT industry or are after career advancements, contact us for more information.