If you're interested in a career path that's full of opportunities, the IT sector is a smart place to look. Over the past two decades, the IT sector has grown consistently, even throughout the burst of the dot com bubble and the contractions of the 2008 downturn. Why does IT continue to be such a good bet?
The answer lies in your smartphone – and your tablet, your laptop, your video game consul, and even your smart TV. As the number of electronic devices and networks we have access to continue to expand, so do the uses for those devices in modern life and business.
Take a look at how the app economy has grown since smart phones have been on the market. Businesses who rely on the cloud have a high need for quick, agile networks – and people to maintain them. The expansion of technology spans across the industries, from healthcare to the service sector and everything in between. Look at your smartphone: how many apps do you have? How many apps are out there? By getting a degree in the It sector, your options are limitless. You will have the opportunity to work in a variety of sectors, and whatever sectors might interest you, whether that's business, hospital administration, academia or entertainment.
As an IT professional, you'll be given an important task: creating all of the hardware, software, and the networks that connect us. You'll be the one who keeps it all running, and create new innovations to blow the old ones out of the water.
Nationally, jobs in the industry are projected to increase by a whopping 47% between 2010 and 2020, with some areas like software system development growing by as much as 72%. The area of network and computer systems administration alone is expected to add as many as 96,600 jobs by 2020. Even more attractive, median salaries across the nation for the industry are high. As of 2011, the median salary for a software system developer was $94,570. In contrast, the lowest paid median salary in the industry for a computer support specialist, a role that does not require a degree, was still a respectable $48,800 (Disclaimer: Salaries will vary by location and may be lower or higher than salaries listed).
Still, these are the national numbers. We couldn't help but wonder, are these job prospects really so great in Utah and Idaho? And are IT sector employees really
happy, even if they're paid well? The answer is a definite yes to both questions. Here's why.
Diversity of Job Roles
Much to their pleasure, one thing that our IT sector graduates consistently find is that a degree in the IT sector qualifies them to do a variety of jobs. This of course makes them more employable in the long run, but it also has the subtler effect of creating the opportunity to consistently challenge yourself as the years go on. Growing bored with one role you've mastered doesn't have to mean leaving the industry. Instead, you can retrain for something new. That's not something you can say about a lot of other industries.
If you take a look a look at any one of the degrees listed on our Information Technology page
, you'll see all of these job titles listed as possibilities: web designer or developer, computer programmer, database designer or administrator, network or computer administrator, computer repair technician, information security, computer systems analyst or architect, computer or information systems manager, health information manager, and strategic technologist.
And those are just the current
available roles. Imagine how many more titles we'll keep adding to our degree programs as the industry continues to expand!
Lots of Opportunity Nearby
It's not just that the IT sector is healthy generally around the nation. It's doing pretty great specifically here in Utah and Idaho. Provo
and Salt Lake City
alone are preparing for a steep rise in computer science, engineering and software jobs over the next three years thanks to Oracle, Ebay and Adobe – a presence that has earned this region the nickname of Silicon Slopes. Of course, that won't be any surprise to any locals who recently attended Utah's very first Tech Week in early October 2014 – just another indicator of the health of the local industry.
The numbers underscore this point. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average wage for all computer and mathematical occupations as of May 2013 was $71,610 in Utah, and $77,420 in Idaho. Over the past year, the job market for IT in Utah has increased between 3.3 and 5.9%. It was slightly lower in Idaho, but still generally positive.
Work/Life Balance and Company Culture
Even better, current employees rank a number of companies located near to our many campuses high in terms of both salaries and benefits. Melaleuca, for instance, which is headquartered in Idaho Falls, has an excellent 401K matching program, insurance with extensive coverage, on-site day care and gym. Hewlett-Packard, located in Boise, offers work from home options and flexible hours. In Salt Lake City, the University of Utah is consistently rated one of the best places to work, with excellent benefits and work/life balance, while Overstock.com gets excellent ratings for a diverse and accepting work environment. Altogether, employees consistently report a love not just for their IT job but also for the generous and caring companies that hire them.
The IT sector is roaring in Utah, Idaho and beyond, and it's only going to get better. Whether you're coming from outside the industry or you're returning to brush up on your skills, exploring all that the IT sector has to offer is a smart, secure, and mentally stimulating move. To learn about how Stevens-Henager College® can propel your IT career, talk to our admissions staff
What IT sector are you most interested in??