The IT Career Path: A Dead End Or An Avenue To The Exec Suite?
IT-related jobs are set to grow through to 2016. Sounds like good news — increased demand equals more career opportunities, specialized training, and job security (and maybe higher salaries). So, I was surprised when I read that baby boomers and gen X’s were steering Millennials away from a career in IT . Why? Their (arguably flawed) logic was that trends toward outsourcing, cost cutting, and the ever-growing emphasis placed on “getting closer to the business” are draining IT of its career opportunities.
So, what career path would you recommend for someone just starting their career? There are lots of options – sales, customer service, marketing, manufacturing, or finance. . . But are these better than a career in IT? I’ve always thought that a career in IT offers, perhaps more than others, the best potential careers path for young graduates. Here’s why:
- Business dependence on technology will still offer a ladder to the top. Yes, many operational IT functions will become commoditized over the coming years. IT will evolve to BT, becoming a technology oriented service provider to the business. The BT organization will be highly attractive as a career option because it will have a direct impact on the business and will provide access to the corridors of power.
- IT will take on more responsibility not less. IT has a broad view of the business. As the business becomes increasingly fragmented, more and more IT professionals will do tasks like enterprise business planning or business process redesign. So, young IT professionals will gain skills and knowledge that can be readily applied outside of IT and directly in the business.
- The need for technical expertise. As technology becomes embedded into the business, they will still require the technical expertise needed to strategize effectively. Massively complex technology ecosystems will require IT professionals to have sound technology breadth and depth. The technical skills and knowledge required from IT professionals of yesteryear will still be as important now.
Plus, there’s no question that there are some super-hot IT careers at the moment — like security for one. But let me know what you think. Would you recommend the next generation of graduates to pursue a career in IT? Are their specific areas in IT that offers better opportunities than others?