On Sunday, New Jersey’s The Record ran an article that highlighted the still highly positive outlook for information technology jobs and went on to specify four specific degrees or fields of study that one might expect to pay off remarkably well in the coming years.
The article provides a handful of meaningful data points to make its case for narrowly focusing your IT education upon cyber security, web development, systems analysis and integration, or health information systems. It’s worth reading and considering, but it also goes without saying that not everyone will find this particular collection of advice to be equally inspiring.
First of all, an article like this one presupposes that the interested reader either hasn’t yet completed his or her information technology degree program, or has no qualms about re-enrolling in order to follow a path that he or she had previously passed over. If that doesn’t describe you, what are you to do with the information presented by The Record? Is it still relevant to you?
Certainly, it can be. Any information about the IT industry is relevant if you’re in the middle of a program of information technology training or you have unfulfilled career goals in that field. But all such information must be considered in context with information from other sources.
Faithful readers of this blog will note that The Record’s recommendations are incomplete insofar as they don’t mention the sometimes prohibitive difficult of a high-level position in cyber security, or the freelance web development opportunities that exist right alongside opportunities with information technology firms.
So while the four aforementioned degrees may indeed be especially promising, it is important to keep in mind that there are always other ways of looking at your future prospects, especially when it comes to information technology training. There are ways to show yourself to be qualified for specific fields without limiting yourself to that career path before you’ve even acquired a degree. There are ways of demonstrating your competency in those areas by pursuing supplementary online information technology training or by pursuing broad-based career development within your organization.
Conversely, there are plenty of situations in which a person can have the correct degree and yet still prove to be lacking in the core competencies that would allow him to perform the relevant tasks or work within a specific information technology firm. There are skills that you can pick up from certified scrum master training or other online information technology training programs, which will help you to stand out from the crowd of people who completed the exact right degree program, but then stopped there and let their peripheral skills atrophy.
Above all else, we recommend that you avoid being that sort of person. Keep your information technology skills fresh with ongoing training and career development, and be prepared to learn whatever else you need to learn when new opportunities open up. But if you’re not sure whether you want to pursue any of the four fields listed by The Record, then don’t limit yourself. Make your IT training work for you.