I've divided this article into two parts, the first part I'll talk about the benefits of being in the IT business and the second part I'll talk about downside of IT business. Let's go ahead and start with the advantages first.
The first benefit of the IT business,is the very high salary. Programmers, architects, DevOps engineers, cloud engineers and IT managers all receive very good salaries. A programmer’s average salary is 105 thousand dollars a year, software architects 138,000 and software engineering managers’ average over 173,000 dollars in the US.
The next benefit of being in the IT business is that, right now there is a shortage of trained people. For example, if you look at cloud computing positions, there are over 50,000 cloud computing positions available in the U.S. today.
They are available from 3,700 run employers and represent 100 and 1913 open positions worldwide. It doesn't take long to look around to see how many open jobs there are in the information technology business, so this is a terrific time to go into this business because of the high demand.
Moreover, if you've mastered some core IT skills, programming languages, a cloud computing platform, it's fairly easy to move to another company that uses the same hardware and software platform.
So if you're well-trained and wants to quits, it only takes finding another company that has a similar type of technology. There is not dead end job if you have the skills, you have the choice to move to another company with a suitable enviroment.
You can work from home; many IT companies now support remote work. This is a great advantage to save time and money.
IT jobs are particularly well suited for working from home, so the only thing you'll probably need is a high-speed internet connection and some type of computing equipment. Especially if you have special needs, are a mom or dad of little children, or simply prefer the quiet of your place.
The last advantage I'll talk about is business knowledge. Since you're involved in programming or support of a system “DevOps“ or operational support, you will understand how the business operates.
Many IT departments support mission critical systems, that are really the core of how the company does business. And this knowledge is valuable, it can lead to a promotion or other opportunities. Since you can acquire that detailed business knowledge, you might become the go-to expert on how a lot of these business processes actually function on a day-to-day basis.
Let's move on to the next part. IT business is lucritive, rich and comfortable for so many interested candidates. However, like all good things, there are drawbacks as well. Let's go ahead and take a look at the potential drawbacks that working information technology business might have.
First, the limiting tight deadlines. Deadlines around IT projects can be critical to the success of the company and some projects might be driven by legislative deadlines that must be met. Our industry might be regulated in some way, they may have a certain date where you have to implement something by.
Fines or penalties might be involved for missing deadlines. These things can lead to a very high level of stress. Some people are better at dealing with this than others, but tight deadlines and that focus around getting something out the door on time, can lead to a high amount of stress.
Another potentially negative factor in the information technology business, is the potential of very long work hours. To go along with those tight deadlines, you must work a lot of hours to meet those deadlines.
Particularly, when the project's coming to an end, if you work in an IT support position, you'll probably have to work long hours fixing problems. Most hardware and software upgrades happen on off hours, weekends, holidays and the very time when you don't want to be working. So if you're not really up for long hours this is probably not a good business for you.
I've worked for startup companies ridiculously long hours and have spent the night at work many times. So if long hours are not in it for you, then this is probably not the right business for you.
Another thing that you'll have to learn in the IT business is how to deal with change. The IT business is constantly changing and you'll need to adapt to that change and the pace of change is continuing to increase. You'll need ongoing training to adapt to all of the changes. Certifications languages are changing, people are migrating to the cloud.
This represents a ton of new technology and you'll need to continually update your certification throughout your career, remain competitive and this can be a challenge for a lot of people.
Sometimes people go into this business and they master one mainframe type of technology or they become a COBOL programmer years ago, and simply refuse to upgrade their skills to the new platforms. But, this is inevitable in this business, as things are changing very rapidly, you'll have to keep up.
That's something to consider, whether you're adaptable and open for change or not. The next area I'll talk about is stress. Working with mission-critical applications is a stressful job.
Many of these systems deal with large amounts of customers and a large amount of money. When these types of systems go down, you'll be called into work on these production problems, and most of the time, these systems have a ton of visibility.
Don't be surprised when senior management members and the CEO themself are involved in what happens with these system problems.
Many times when you work on these systems, you are working on a tightrope without a net, it can be very difficult and stressful in peak situations. Especially if something has been hacked into or a service or a program is down for an extended period of time.
All of these limiting factors can lead to burnouts. when you're working for long stressful hours, on a job that requires your full focus, it really can lead to a career burnout. It leads the person to start planning a career change along the way.
However, massive growth in the IT sector has created a lot of opportunities for people to work in this sector. Of course, that also means that there are a lot of challenges too.
These roadblocks can be seen in many different aspects of the industry. The problems in the IT industry are primarily due to external factors that are beyond the control of the company.
Some of these challenges come from business decisions like who employers hire, how they hire, and where they invest. The rise in salaries for developers has left some companies unable to afford them or make returns on their investment.
The good news is that there are many ways to overcome these challenges. With a little bit of motivation, you can try out some of these strategies to make your work day easier.
I've really enjoyed my career in the information technology business, but after 30 years I've switched to the education field and more out of the production side of supporting mission critical systems, and I'm happy that I did both, but I'm glad that I developed some secondary skills along the way, so I had the option later on.