Have What iT Takes?
Certainly, having an interest in technology is the starting point for determining whether this is a career for you. But there are many other factors to consider, including:
- What topics excite you? Video game creation? Network security? Wireless technology?
- What are your strengths and long-term goals?
- Are you prepared to get the skills and training needed for a specific iT position?
We've prepared a short self-assessment to help you zero in on an iT area suited to your interests and skills:
» Take the iT Quiz
There are other career assessment tests online - a good example is the DiscoverIT Self-Assessment offered by the Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC).
As part of your research, it's also a good idea to talk to people who are already working in iT, as well as educators in the field, to get a full perspective on the nature of the work and a typical day on the job. This vital information - insights you won't find in a job description or course calendar - can help you decide if the iT sector is right for you.
Which area(s) of iT interest you most?
To help you narrow the field of possibilities, what kind of tasks do you enjoy most? According to the Computing Technology Industry Association, iT careers can be grouped into three main concentrations, based on the types of tasks involved in these jobs:
- Developer positions cover creative roles where you design, develop, debug and administer programs. You may develop code used by computers, high-tech devices, databases, websites, gaming devices and networks.
- Administration positions include roles that administer iT devices and infrastructure. Often, this involves developing, monitoring, troubleshooting and maintaining technology to ensure secure, reliable network and device operation.
- Integration positions include roles that help integrate iT resources with business strategies, processes and needs - for example, iT project management, needs analysis and planning, strategic iT resource design, etc. Business acumen, teamwork and communications skills are essential for these types of roles.
Remember that in-demand jobs and skills do change, often by the time a student completes a degree. Therefore, iT executives advise students to major in something that really interests them, rather than chasing a job that may reflect a short-term shift in the job market.
Remember that what you are skilled at, you are more likely to be interested in ... and what you are interested in, you are more likely to become skilled at!