It’s no surprise that as technology becomes more integral to our lives, corresponding IT jobs are in high demand. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects the computer science and IT industry to grow by 13% between 2016 and 2026. In addition, more people are graduating with information systems degrees, and are ready to enter the rapidly expanding and dynamic world of careers in IT. If you’re excited by the prospect of working in IT, the future landscape represents rewarding opportunities.
As you look to the future of the IT industry, the trends that are shaping it, and how it’s impacting the job market, consider the computer skills that will be in demand, and how to prepare for an expansive and exciting industry.
Trends in IT
As an IT professional, staying ahead of the curve helps to remain relevant and innovative in the field. Taking advantage of IT trends can prepare your organization for growth, make operations more efficient, protect information, and offer potential for advancement in the field.
A variety of IT trends are already having a ripple effect throughout the American economy, and will likely shape the future of the IT industry.
Automation is already having an influence on the economy. By taking tasks that were previously done manually and replacing them with a computer, companies become nimbler and more efficient. Automation World points to the manufacturing industry in particular, where machines produce products faster and with fewer safety concerns, driving down costs.
Buffeted by related innovations like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), automation is set to continue its growth. This creates new jobs for skilled IT professionals who can operate and oversee the operations of these systems. This high-level tech workforce will help to improve the infrastructure that underlies automation as it becomes more entrenched in everyday business.
News of cyber attacks has been common around the globe in the past several years. Large corporations, such as credit card companies, are often targeted, with cyber attacks stealing user passwords, account information, and more. Companies ranging from Target to Marriott to Equifax have been victims. Considering that more and more businesses ― from local firms to international enterprises ― store their data online, it’s natural for criminals to attempt to capitalize on this shift. With CSO reporting 61% of organizations experiencing a security breach in 2018, these cyber attacks have created high demand for cybersecurity professionals. As a result, industries around the world are investing resources in hiring and keeping security specialists on staff to store their sensitive data safely.
Cybersecurity is also necessary on a personal level, as the devices we each use to make purchases, bank transactions, and store our private information proliferate. Harmful software, known as malware, has increased on the mobile devices we use to download apps, make transactions, and more. The cybersecurity company Norton reports that Symantec’s Internet Security Threat Report showed an increase of 54% more malware for mobile in 2017. Much of this comes from personal use. Cybersecurity professionals must respond to threats on all levels and develop technologies that keep the web secure.
Internet of Things (IoT)
Recent decades have seen a host of digital innovation, from social media to smartphones. These advances have changed the way we live, and today more and more “things” are being looped into the internet ― so many, in fact, that the term “internet of things” (IoT) has become common. Typified by robust devices embedded with electronics that exchange and analyze data, IoT allows connection across the home, workplace, automobiles, and more. From the design of these smart devices to maintaining their infrastructure, the proliferation of IoT will create new jobs in the future of the IT industry. In fact, according to CNBC and the McKinsey Global Institute, the economic impact of IoT by 2025 could reach anywhere between $3.9 trillion and $11.1 trillion.
What Today’s Trends Mean for the Future of IT Jobs
Today’s IT trends are already shaping the economy and will continue as the proliferation of digital communications and operations continues. The global workforce has already adapted to many of these new demands. Today, competency with technology is often a minimum requirement for those entering the workforce. Those with advanced expertise in IT have multiple options for employment and future career growth.
In fact, there’s a shortage of qualified IT professionals in many cities worldwide. Forbes points to a 2017 Global Information Security Workforce (GISW) study, where over half of the hiring managers who responded reported a shortage of cybersecurity experts. Now is an ideal time to capture the opportunities in IT. The prevalence of technology and businesses reliance on it for daily operations will continue to expand as new technology is introduced to the marketplace.
The Jobs That Propel IT’s Rapid Growth
While the tech field is booming, there are several IT careers that are not only seeing growth, but can be applied across many industries. Each of these positions will likely grow in number across the U.S., providing ample opportunity for those seeking a computer science degree, such as those offered through Maryville University.
Computer Network Architect
The design and construction of data communication networks are the focus of computer network architects. Working with both local area networks (LANs) and wide area networks (WANs), these tech-savvy IT designers shape the networks that drive our daily web use and more sophisticated operations. According to the BLS, the computer network architect position is expected to grow at a steady pace of 6% between 2016 and 2026. These high-level IT workers often have a master’s degree in a field related to programming or computer science and salaries range from $74,000 to $154,000 according to PayScale.
Software developers are the creative engineers behind the computer programs we use ― from mapping and budgeting software apps to to your latest gaming addiction. There’s a huge variety of positions available in software development, making it a fun and exciting professional path that is also growing. The BLS forecasts a growth of 24% in the number of software developer jobs between 2016 and 2026. This is well above the 7% growth rate predicted for all occupations. They also report the median annual salary for software developers $101,790. Software developers working on systems software recorded a median annual wage of $107,600.
Information Security Analyst
Information security analysts are responsible for protecting the data of companies and individuals in a variety of industries, including businesses of all sizes, government organizations, and nonprofits. The primary responsibility of these IT professionals is to protect computer systems from cyber attack. Due to the increasing dependence of businesses using the digital storage of data, this position is in high demand, expecting growth by as much as 28% from 2016 to 2026, according to the BLS.
If you have the interest, passion, and experience, you’ll find a host of opportunities in the expanding and ever-changing field of IT. The future of IT depends on bright, dedicated professionals who design, protect, and creatively engineer the diverse web systems we use.
Through Maryville University’s wide range of online business degree programs, you can prepare for the future of the IT industry. This is the first step toward a rewarding career in the field that leverages technology for the advancement of business. Take a look at the online programs available and apply today.