The United States Department of Labor estimates that computer and information technology jobs will grow by 13 percent between now and the year 2026. This amazing job growth is projected to be faster than any other occupation. The median wage for computer and IT personnel is $86,320, much higher than the average for all occupations at $38,640.
In order to take advantage of these stellar opportunities, interested people should start now to further their education. Rohit Antao who is an IT professional and entrepreneur, shares his top 6 career advice tips for people who want to succeed in information technology.
- Be Adaptable – The IT business is characterized by constant change. If an employee is not willing to constantly update their skill set, they may be forced out of the competitive workplace. IT professionals should always be ready to learn a new skill or practice new adaptations. It is crucial that IT professionals continue to take classes to update their skills. They should also be careful to avoid boxing themselves into a specific segment of the industry. For example, when cloud computing became a force for change, many IT professionals did not work quickly enough to take advantage of these opportunities. Without adaptability, IT professionals will be left behind.
- Communicate – Stereotypically, IT professionals are seen as people who cannot effectively communicate with people outside their specialty. While this may work in certain employment situations, in most businesses’ IT professionals will have to deal directly with their coworkers. Being able to relate to non-professionals on a personal level is a good place to start. Participating in inter-office communication is a key to success.Communication helps IT professionals understand the problems that their coworkers are facing. It also makes them more approachable. Too many people are intimidated by IT professionals or look down on them as technology geeks. Communication can go a long way toward combating these misconceptions.
It can also be challenging for IT professionals to translate their work for the less technically savvy public. Writing articles and white papers about their work is a great way to practice putting these things into words.
- Customer Service – Customer service skills are another facet of communications. People who work in IT are frequently called upon as the technical support system of their workplace. This can be a uniquely frustrating position, but it can be rewarding to help others with their problems. It is best to concentrate on fulfilling your company’s needs without alienating yourself.
- Pursue a Specialty – When employers want to fill an IT position, they are generally looking for someone with a specific skill set. It pays to enhance your skills in specialty areas. Don’t try to become a generalist who can handle all problems at 50 percent efficiency. It is better to specialize and choose a specific area where you will concentrate your efforts. It may be that you will need to broaden your skill set while you are in a job, but a well-developed special skill will get you through the door.
- Take Personal Responsibility – Don’t expect your employer to provide you with all the necessary training to help you become a specialist. The employer may send you to specific skills training for certain types of software or hardware, but it is more likely that you will be planning your training on your own. Many times, employers will pay for certain classes, but you may have to pay for some out-of-pocket.It is also a great idea to have a mentor. Learning from the experience of an older employee can help you learn to navigate workplace pressures. It might be better to choose someone with an outside perspective so that you will have unbiased advice for your problems.
- Always Give it 100 Percent – No matter what you do, make sure that you devote yourself to excellence. Having a “good enough” attitude will not get you ahead in your field. Ideally, you want to make yourself stand out in your employers’ and supervisors’ minds as one of their best professionals. If you make a mistake, own up to it and try to do better the next time.This also applies when it comes to deciding what kind of workload you should carry. It is best not to spread yourself too thin so that you can’t complete everything that others have requested of you. Practice saying “no” and you will find that your time is used more effectively.
Enhance Your Career
When you follow these 6 tips from Rohit Antao, you will have a better idea concerning how to optimize your career as an IT professional. Above all, always be ready to learn new things and be open-minded at all times.