There was a time when jobs related to information technology (IT) were considered specialized and niche. In those days, computers were as big as houses and could still only handle basic calculations. Those days are gone. Now more than ever, IT plays a critical role in nearly every industry. There’s never been a better time to become an IT professional. Whether you’ve always wanted to work in IT or are considering a change from your current career path, you would be well-served to first investigate which of the many jobs available could be right for you.
Here, we will discuss careers in IT and if it is a good career path for you this year.
Is Technology a Good Career Path in 2021?
The COVID-19 pandemic has shaken a lot of things. It has affected global markets, impacted corporate structures, accelerated the shift to e-commerce, and kick-started the work-from-home (WFH) trend. Like every other industry, the IT industry heads into 2021 facing some pretty big question marks. Many of which are related to the pandemic itself.
Other questions about the immediate direction of IT are either pandemic-adjacent or completely stand-alone:
- What role will AI play in the coming days? AI is a massive trend in IT; during 2021, its power will continue to be leveraged to help us gather and interpret data on the world around us. Throughout this time of growth and change, those working in IT career pathways must consider how best to set limits on AI capabilities, use them for good, keep them from being abused, and strive toward applications that are not biased (that is, not designed to work in favor only of the rich and powerful).
- How will robotics and automation affect efficiency? Whether robotics and automation are used as tools to replace human labor or merely assist them is one of the major questions IT professionals face moving forward.
- Will more IT products and services pivot to subscription services? The subscription model of doing business has had a far-reaching effect, impacting even how people access IT solutions. Those working in the industry will find themselves subject to these changes.
- What impact will enhanced connectivity have on the markets? Faster connectivity speeds are not just about loading webpages more quickly. The broad availability of 5G networks could change the shape of the world as we know it.
Anyone considering an IT career path in 2021 can expect to deal with questions as they move forward. While some may find these questions daunting, others will find them enticing. If you’re looking to be part of teams investigating these questions further, now could be the perfect time to search for in-demand IT jobs.
10 In-Demand IT Jobs to Search Right Now
If you’re currently investigating a potential IT career path, these resilient and profitable tech jobs would be a good place to start.
As artificial intelligence increasingly plays a role in IT innovation, it only makes sense that AI Specialists have become one of the most sought-after hires in recent years:
Hiring growth for this role has grown 74% annually in the past 4 years and encompasses a few different titles within the space that all have a very specific set of skills despite being spread across industries, including artificial intelligence and machine learning engineer.
Though the inner middle-school, robot-obsessed — you might be geeking out at the title (which, admittedly, is very cool) — AI specialists spend most of their time on the programming side, teaching computers how to “think.” Though they do occasionally process simulations, most applications today relate more to marketing and understanding consumer decisions than anything else.
We’re not talking here about mall cop or parking lot security. We’re talking cybersecurity.
These IT professionals make sure everyone from government agencies, large corporations, and start-ups are safe from potential threats and hacks, both from inside and outside their organizations. In addition to skills that would allow them to assess threats and vulnerabilities, those seeking jobs in cybersecurity should also possess excellent communication skills, broad experience with security systems, and knowledge of laws regarding regulations and compliance.
All you have to do is consider the vital role website play in daily life, and you will understand why web development is still one of the most popular fields in the tech industry. Year after year, those skilled in web development find job security and competitive salaries by building, creating, and developing websites of all kinds.
At this point, it doesn’t seem that web development will go out of fashion any time soon. As long as we need websites, we will need web developers; and as long as we need web developers, skilled candidates will always find these types of IT jobs open to them.
It’s safe to say we have entered the era of the mobile app: mobile users currently spend 86% of their time on apps, as opposed to 14% on their browsers. Unsurprisingly, marketers have taken notice.
With businesses currently leaning in on attracting customers through their mobile channels, they’re always looking for people who can help them more effectively:
- Develop an engaging mobile app
- Optimize their apps
- Improve their customers’ experience through apps
Mobile app developers play a pivotal role in connecting consumers to products, goods, and services that can make their lives better. IT professionals working in this field are likely to experience high levels of job satisfaction as a result.
Though they mostly work behind the scenes, network administrators have both inward-facing and outward-facing responsibilities.
- Oversee LAN/WAN protocol, software, and hardware
- Analyze and diagnose issues
- Stay on call in case of emergencies and systems failures
- Help staff and employees (and, in some cases, consumers) troubleshoot their own issues
- Communicate well and explain systems to others
Since the network is one of the most basic and important systems within an organization, being able to keep one up and running is one of the most foundational and critical IT jobs currently available.
Software engineers work together (mostly in teams) to design, develop, and streamline effective software systems. If you enjoy thinking outside the box, working collaboratively, and are looking for an opportunity to advance as an IT professional, this could be the right avenue to investigate.
Java is one of the most widely used programming languages in the world.
It is currently still used for the following:
- Desktop programs
- Mobile services
- Both web and app development
Because Java is still so widely used, qualified IT professionals seeking positions as Java developers will have little trouble finding openings.
Increasingly, companies are moving their operations almost entirely onto the cloud. This move allows them to have access to their data, systems, and applications from anywhere, allowing their global partners ease of access while at the same time more effectively supporting their remote (WFH) employees.
In order for them to pull this off, however, they need the help of cloud engineers. These IT jobs involve maintaining cloud infrastructure, troubleshooting any issues that come up, and keeping the cloud secure. Especially since the shifts of 2020-2021, Cloud Engineers have taken on an increased role within their companies.
Worldwide spending on blockchain technology is on the rise and not expected to peak until 2023. That means technology consulting firms and data firms are going to continue hiring blockchain engineers for full-time positions.
While an IT career as a blockchain engineer may require more specialized skills and training than other items on this list, the higher the specialization, the higher the chance and competitive compensation.
Digital marketing managers coordinate teams who develop marketing strategies, find fresh ways to implement these strategies, and manage far-reaching marketing campaigns to promote a company’s products, goods, or services. They can work for a marketing agency or be hired in-house by a large corporation, small business, or start-up. This is important to remember when seeking this type of job in IT.
The digital marketing manager holds major responsibilities in promoting brand awareness, both online and offline. In addition to being able to communicate well and manage teams, applicants for this type of IT job should also possess a keen insight into the human psyche, especially as it relates to consumer behavior.
Is Technology a Good Career Path?
Whether you’re looking to move into IT for the first time or are simply looking to change IT jobs within the industry, given the ongoing trends detailed in this article, it could be that 2021 is one of the best times to make the switch. Keeping an eye on the key trends in IT while looking will put you on the right path toward establishing a thriving career in the IT industry.