Today's job market is thriving, but getting a job right out of college remains a challenge for many who are seeking entry-level positions. Some don't know what to do with their major; others aren't sure how to navigate the application and interview process. Still others are daunted by the robust competition from their peers as jobs are posted.
There is one area, however, where competition is nearly nonexistent and job forecasts are exceptionally strong: Information Technology.
According to technology staffing firm Modis, IT jobs are expected to grow at twice the rate of other industries, with nearly half a million new positions opening up by 2024.
A recent Spiceworks survey shows that one-third of IT professionals are planning to change employers in the coming year, and the areas that IT pros consider most important for success in 2018 are cybersecurity, networking, infrastructure hardware, end-user devices, data storage, and backup.
Research from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) seems to support these findings, as well. Computer and IT jobs are projected to grow 13 percent from 2016 to 2026, which is faster than the average for all occupations, according to the BLS. The industry is expected to add 546,100 new jobs in this time period, with demand being driven by cloud computing, data storage, and cybersecurity.
In terms of salaries, IT jobs pay well above average, too. The median IT salary in May of 2016 was $82,860, the BLS reports, which is more than double the median salary for all occupations -- $37,040.
The report also highlights networking and security job salaries:
- Network architects with Bachelor's degrees averaged $101, 210
- Network and system admins with Bachelor's degrees averaged $79,700
- IT security analysts with Bachelor's degrees averaged $92,600
Hard to find good help
Even with the rosy growth forecast, ZDNet reports that many cybersecurity jobs are going unfilled. According to an ISACA survey quoted by ZDNet, most companies receive five resumes, on average, for cybersecurity positions, as compared to 60 or more for other jobs. "The main problem of obtaining key talent in the realm of cyber security stems from a lack of qualified applicants," the report concludes.
Having this kind of foresight into job growth pattern is rare, but it's fair to say that IT is a field where lucrative and fulfilling work will be easy to find for today's students and those seeking career advancement.
The future's so bright...
The fields listed above map to rapidly evolving technology segments. Traditional infrastructure and data networks are slowly being supplemented by cloud-based and software-defined operating models, especially for backup and recovery solutions. Cyber attacks are a constantly moving target, as well, fueled by criminal groups and even nation-states conducting espionage and sabotage activities. As these technologies grow and gain wide adoption in business, qualified personnel are going to be well-positioned to apply their skills.
One smart, affordable, and efficient way to embark on an IT career path is through an online university. Millions of students around the country take classes online every year, and the format is ideal for people who may be working full time while looking to complete their degree.
King University of Bristol, Tennessee, for example, offers a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology (BSIT) online degree program designed for students who may have some college credit already and who want to pursue IT careers. The program includes technical training and classes in crucial areas like business, communication, and critical thinking.
King University's BSIT program provides three tracks: Network management, cybersecurity, and information systems.
Students who complete the BSIT program are well-positioned to join the IT workforce immediately or move on to graduate programs and research positions. With a BSIT in hand, students can pursue jobs such as cybersecurity analyst, network architect, systems analyst, and hardware or software designer.
King University's online BSIT program is designed for practical-minded students. The school ensures that enrollment and credit transfer processes are smooth and simple, with year-round registration and multiple start dates for spring, summer, and fall semesters. With an accelerated course load, major coursework can be completed in as little as 16 months. Tuition for the online BSIT program is affordable and accessible, with financial aid available to qualifying students.
There's no question that IT is a smart career choice for the coming decade. Students and professionals interested in reaping the benefits of this trend would do well to consider an online university program that best meets their time and budget constraints.
To learn more about King University's online BSIT program, visit https://online.king.edu.