Information technology as an industry keeps growing with no obvious signs of slowing down. New technologies are constantly surfacing, and technology has more and more of an impact on individuals and businesses. For this reason, it is a very popular area when it comes to career choice. There are many avenues to a successful IT career, but planning the right approach can make a big difference in how quickly you attain success.

Decide on formal study – or in-work experience

The different sectors of IT have various requirements when it comes to formal qualifications. Many IT professions require an advanced degree – for example, if you are planning on working in artificial intelligence or machine learning you will most likely need to be qualified to post-graduate levels. IT support personnel, on the other hand, do not need degree qualifications to find a job: instead, this line of work typically demands on the job training in an apprenticeship scheme.

Formal study will often lead to a higher paid job, but you have to decide whether the cost in loss of earnings and tuition fees warrant the increase in salary. For many people, that is not the case. Also, many IT careers benefit from a lot of self-study – you could potentially train yourself to a very high skill level.

Think about contracting

Most individuals start their IT careers in full-time employment, moving on to a contracting position later in life. That’s not always the case though – if you have self-studied to a high level of capability you could start contracting immediately. Contracting has many advantages, and if you take the right approach you can stay clear of the pitfalls. An umbrella pay scheme can help you maximize the money you take home, providing advice on taxes and dealing with invoicing on your behalf.

Stay on top of changes in the IT field

When deciding on information technology as a career, you need to take into account that it is an area of business that undergoes a lot of change. To avoid facing a shortage of employment prospects and having to completely retrain within a few years take care not to choose a field of IT that is in decline.

It can be tempting to jump on the latest bandwagon, but not every new field in IT retains its prominence for very long. Instead, look for new technologies which are showing signs of becoming established, which will offer you a few decades of reliable employment. However, even inside particular fields, the changes can mount, and workers who do their best to stay up to date are usually the most in demand.

The benefits of an IT career

Workers who are successful in the field of IT generally find that their work is interesting and fulfilling. IT workers are well paid and would typically work reasonable hours; with workers employed at companies enjoying solid benefits. IT workers are also very flexible: it is often easy to move to a different field if you in need of a change. These and many other benefits make choosing information technology as a career very attractive.

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