Technology has become an integral part of our daily lives. It powers communications, drives businesses, and keeps government and public services up and running.
Accordingly, work in the information technology (IT) field is in high demand. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment of IT occupations will grow 11% from 2019 to 2029, which is much faster than average for all occupations.*
If you already work in IT, many opportunities are available to learn new skills and expand into different roles. Or, if you feel stagnant in your present career, a career in IT offers potential and fulfillment. Here are five promising IT careers to watch in 2021.
1. Information Security Analysts
Cyberattacks are on the rise, now more than ever:
- COVID-19-related phishing attacks increased 667% from late February to late March 2020, according to the cybersecurity company Barracuda.
- Cybersecurity Ventures predicts every 11 seconds will see a ransomware attack on businesses by 2021, up from 14 seconds in 2019. This does not include attacks on individuals, which occur even more frequently than businesses.
Information security analysts help protect organizations against data breaches. Such duties include:
- Implementing security measures that ward off breaches
- Monitoring computer networks for breaches and investigating them if they happen
- Creating disaster recovery plans, which include steps to take if a breach occurs
Information security analyst jobs are expected to grow 31% from 2019 to 2029, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. The BLS reports that at least a bachelor's degree in computer science, bachelor's degree in cybersecurity, or bachelor's degree in a related field is required for an information security analyst job.
2. Software Developers
The nature of technology requires the development of new applications and systems to help businesses stay competitive. New applications on smartphones and tablets, software for the health care industry, and software that powers consumer electronics and appliances all help people carry out vital functions.
Software developers are the creators of software and applications that are essential to daily life. They build computer programs, applications, and systems that run devices and control networks. Software developers must analyze existing systems and create better ways of running them with technology.
Software developer jobs are expected to increase 22% between 2019 and 2029, according to the BLS, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. To become a software developer, the BLS reports that typically at least a bachelor's degree in information technology or a computer science-related field is required.
3. Computer and Information Systems Managers
Companies are increasingly moving their operations to digital platforms and adopting cloud computing services. In fact, in its IT Industry Outlook 2021 report, CompTIA said organizations are increasingly adopting a cloud-first mentality when it comes to building or upgrading IT infrastructure. The report stated: “Security assessments, integration requirements and provider comparisons will be par for the course rather than viewed as clunky overhead, and cloud will be the foundation for rebuilding efforts.”
Along with this increase in the digitization of information comes a rise in demand for computer and information systems managers. Often known as IT managers or IT project managers, people in these roles plan, coordinate, and direct computer-related activities within a company. They analyze the organization’s needs and make computer systems recommendations based on the costs and benefits of such technology. They may also plan and direct the work of other IT professionals.
The BLS projects that employment of computer and information systems managers will grow 10% from 2019 to 2029, much faster than average for all occupations. To become a computer and information systems manager, the BLS reports that a bachelor's degree in information technology or a computer science-related field is usually required, as well as related work experience. Many computer and information systems managers also have a master’s degree in IT or a related graduate degree.
4. Database Administrators
Data gives insights that can fuel a company’s growth and alerts organizations to potential trends that may affect them. It can be used to optimize processes ranging from how food is produced, to how efficient transportation is, to how a business serves its customers. According to a report from Market Data Forecast, the global big data market size is expected to reach USD 229.4 billion by 2025, up from USD 138.9 billion in 2019.
Coinciding with the growth of big data is the need for database administrators. Database administrators ensure data security, back up and restore data, test database structure, and maintain databases. They can work with data ranging from personal to financial to public data.
The BLS reports that employment of database administrators is projected to grow 10% from 2019 to 2029, which is much faster than average for all occupations. A bachelor's degree in cybersecurity, a master’s degree in cybersecurity, or a master’s degree in information technology may help prepare you for a career as a database administrator.
5. Computer Support Specialists
To stay competitive, businesses and organizations must upgrade computer software and equipment to adopt systems that increase productivity and efficiency. They also need to make sure the systems they're using work at the best level.
What does a computer support specialist do? They:
- Manage computer systems and help users and organizations
- Provide support to individuals or manage entire networks
- Test and optimize network systems, perform maintenance, and troubleshoot computer networks
Employment of computer support specialists is projected to increase 8% from 2019 to 2029, much faster than average, according to the BLS. Education requirements vary based on the skills needed for the position, but an associate’s degree in information technology may qualify you for some computer support specialist positions.
Want to Enter the World of IT or Grow Your IT Career?
Perhaps you've been working in IT for years, and you need a degree to move up in the field. Or, maybe you work in another field and you’re looking for a career change. Whichever one describes your situation, there are numerous information technology careers available—if you have the right qualifications.†
Some IT pros choose to expand their education so they can move into leadership or management roles. Others may not work in IT at the moment, but the right educational foundation can help them gain entry into this growing field.
Purdue University Global offers online IT programs that enable you to continue working while you study. You can learn from anywhere in the world, as long as you have access to the internet. Learn more about Purdue Global's online IT degree programs. If you'd like more information, contact us today.