Why Study Information Technology? 9 Reasons to Consider
When it’s time to pursue a new career and education path, the world is your oyster. That said, having a lot of options doesn’t always make an easy decision. At some point, you’re going to have to narrow down which field you want to pursue—and that will require some careful consideration.
Technology-related careers seem like an obvious avenue to consider, but you’re not convinced. Is working in IT really all it’s chalked up to be? Why study information technology anyway?
While cool-looking offices in Silicon Valley and the allure of “changing the world” with technology all sound great at a surface level, you want to be sure there’s truly some substance to go along with the sizzle that seems to surround this field.
Lucky for you, we’re breaking down data and speaking to experts in the field to bring you the truth about studying IT. With this top-notch information at your fingertips, you’ll be fully prepared to decide for yourself if an IT career is in your future.
9 Smart reasons for choosing to study IT
1. It’s a growing career field
Most students are nervous about finding a job after graduation. While nothing is guaranteed when it comes to the job market, the employment in the IT field does appear to be on a strong trajectory. This job sector is projected to grow, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projecting that computer and IT occupations will grow by 11 percent from 2019 to 2029. That’s a projected 531,200 new jobs!1
With the digital age constantly requiring new solutions for data storage, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and more, it’s no surprise that IT workers are expected to be in high demand for the foreseeable future.
2. IT pros can work in nearly any industry
Not only is there growing demand for IT professionals, but they also have the luxury of being able to work in nearly any industry. Technology powers businesses of all types, meaning that there’s a tech position waiting for you in fields as different as retail, finance, manufacturing and education.
While that might not seem like a big deal at face value, this provides potential job security. Recessions and relatively rough economic stretches are a fact of life. Having a broadly applicable and desirable skill set is a huge asset during times of uncertainty. IT skills provide options, and it never hurts to have options.
3. Several IT careers have high earning potential
First things first: You don’t want to choose a field of study based entirely on your potential salary. If IT careers have already captured your interest; however, it’s certainly a bonus to know that there’s plenty of earning potential there.
According to the BLS, median annual salaries for IT professions in 2020 ranged from $55,510 for computer support specialists to $126,830 for computer and information research scientists, with a percentage of high earners bringing home even more than that.1 Your personal earning potential in an IT career will almost certainly vary due to a variety of factors, but you can be encouraged by the data showing that even the lowest IT earners are still taking home solid pay.
4. It’s an innovative career field
The tech field is constantly growing and changing. It needs employees who are excited to be on the cutting edge of innovation as it continues to evolve. If you’re easily bored with the status quo and constantly imagining ways things could be better or more efficient, you’d probably be a good fit for an IT career.
“The innovations in IT happen before anything else,” says Phil Strazzulla, founder of SelectSoftwareReviews. “Innovations in every other area of the tech field are driven by innovations in IT. Without those, the rest of the tech field would flounder.”
5. The work is rewarding
Surprised to see this on the list? Don’t be! Technology makes a big difference in entire industries as well as in the lives of individual people around the world. It can be rewarding to know that your everyday work is having a positive effect on others and contributing to the growing network of technology we all rely on.
“You get opportunities to bring leading-edge technology to life and make a difference in millions of people’s lives,” says Boris Abazher, founder and CEO of Triare. “Whichever role you choose, you will feel a part of this amazing process.”
6. Curiosity is celebrated
Not all career fields welcome employees who think outside the box. Lucky for you, IT isn’t one of them! Your natural sense of curiosity will be rewarded in the tech world, where you can use your drive for learning to help develop innovative new ideas.
“The people who thrive in IT are those whose curiosity outweighs all else. They're not satisfied when something works. They need to know why and how so they can recreate it over and over again,” Strazzulla says.
7. The job is never boring
Many of the tech pros we spoke with shared that the variety in their workdays is one of the best parts of the job. While the details will depend on the specific type of IT role you pursue, every day has the potential to come with new problems to solve, ideas to brainstorm and tools to put to use. This variety of work can help keep your days feeling fresh.
“IT will always challenge you to learn new things,” Abazher says. “Creativity and problem-solving are the cornerstones of this career.”
8. You can find work opportunities in a lot of locations
The IT industry was leading the way in remote work even before the COVID-19 pandemic hit and turned many roles into work-from-home positions. “It is probably the most flexible career in terms of schedule. You can work on your own or in a team, whenever you like,” Abazher says.
It's not just remote work opportunities, either. Having a strong background in information technology will give you a foundation of knowledge that can be applied across the globe. “IT skills are universal in every country, unlike, for example, accountancy and law. Relocating is a common practice,” Abazher says.
9. You can get started with flexible education options
Unlike many other professions, the path to getting started or advancing in the IT field can be pretty flexible depending on your goals, career needs and existing education levels. Getting started can be a simple as earning an Information Technology Support Certificate or a Network Support Certificate that can be completed in as few as six months.2 Offerings like these give you an opportunity to get started in the field as soon as possible, while providing an excellent foundation of education to build upon as you progress through an IT career.
IT isn’t too good to be true!
Why study information technology? It turns out there are plenty of solid reasons to consider pursuing an IT career. After all, not every field can boast about the positive job outlooks, high salary potentials and fulfilling, innovative roles IT offers.
If you’re ready to take the leap into an IT career, learn how you can get started with our article “6 IT Certifications That Can Help Launch Your Tech Career.”
1Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, [information accessed February 2021] https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/home.htm. Information represents national, averaged data for the occupations listed and includes workers at all levels of education and experience. This data does not represent starting salaries, and employment conditions in your area may vary.
2Completion time is dependent on the number transfer credits accepted and the number of courses completed each term.