There’s plenty of uncertainty these days about how to figure out what skills will be in demand in the future. Trying to determine your ideal IT career path?
Want to know how to shift an IT career and which computer jobs will be in the greatest demand, offer the highest salaries and best opportunities for advancement once you finish training in 2020? Here’s how to stay relevant, no matter your job.
Any kind of career trajectory might seem quaint today, but there’s plenty of uncertainty right now about how to plan for career progression and what skills will be in demand, or irrelevant, in a changing economy.
The uncomfortable truth is we don’t know what the job market of the future will look like—only that it will look very different than it does today and it will change a lot more quickly than it used to. All this can create the impression that as workers we’re now at the mercy of forces well beyond our control.
You don’t have to buy this concept at least not entirely. Change is nothing new. Although tenures at companies may have been longer in the past, roles were always evolving, demanding new skills to keep up.
Even as technology spurs the economy in radically new directions, there are steps individuals can take to shape their careers and stay relevant.
Shifting/begin one’s career doesn’t just mean studying STEM(Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics), learning to code, or becoming a data scientist (although, for people with the aptitude for STEM, that is a good place to start). In fact, surviving and thriving in the economy of the future may come down to many of the old-school tactics that helped guide my career a generation ago.
Here in this blog, we will show you which are the IT career paths you can follow and how you will do it. So, let’s get started:
Mobile Application Developer
Mobile App Developer Employment Projections | 2018 – 2028
10-Year Growth Pct: 26% (much faster than avg.)†
10-Year Growth Volume: 241,500 new jobs
Mobile application development is one of the world’s fastest-growing occupations. As smartphones and tablets continue to change the way we communicate, do business, and access news & entertainment, the demand for new and innovative mobile apps is growing at an incredible speed.
This increased demand translates to one of the largest IT skills gaps ever realized – there are simply more mobile application development job openings than skilled developers to fill them.
Mobile developers write programs inside of a mobile development environment using Objective C, C++, C#, or Java programming languages. A mobile app developer chooses the operating system (a.k.a. mobile platform) they will develop for, such as Google’s Android or Apple’s iOS, then learns the programming languages and software development environment for that platform.
Most employers seek mobile application developers with at least a bachelor’s degree in software engineering, mobile application development, mobile computing, computer science, or a similar programming-centric field of study.
Hiring managers for mobile development positions will also want to see a portfolio with samples of completed mobile applications and your best development projects.
Software Engineer Employment Projections | 2018 – 2028
10-Year Growth Pct: 21% (much faster than avg.)†
10-Year Growth Volume: 284,100 new jobs
Workforce demand for software engineers will rise along with technological advancement and the growing ubiquity of software. For example, the rapid adoption of cloud technologies is driving demand for applications software engineers who can build secure and scalable cloud programs.
Likewise, as the proliferation of computer systems continues and software spreads into new industries and smart devices, the need to develop the computer systems that power these initiatives will create jobs for systems software engineers.
Software engineers design, develop and improve upon the computer programs we use every day, including business apps, operating systems, network control systems, and social networks. Most employers require software engineers to hold at least a bachelor’s degree in software engineering, software development, computer programming, computer science, or a similar programming-centric field of study. Hiring managers for software engineering positions may also require a portfolio with documented samples or live links to your best applications and software development projects.
Video Game Designer
Video Game Designer Employment Projections | 2018 – 2028
10-Year Growth Pct: 26% (much faster than avg.)†
10-Year Growth Volume: 241,500 new jobs
Beyond the booming market for PC and console games, the increased popularity, processing power, and graphics capabilities of mobile devices have unlocked a new world of job opportunities for video game designers, artists, and programmers. Game designers with mobile development expertise will be especially sought after as smartphones and tablets continue to change how video games are played. Game designer employment will also benefit from emerging technologies and rising demand for augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) applications.
If you love gaming and have a desire to learn the latest programming, art, and media production skills, then a video game designer is the career path for you. Depending on your interests and employment goals, the video game design job market offers a wealth of opportunities.
A college degree or certificate in game design or creative writing will help you get hired as a video game designer.
Skills to look for in a video game designer education program include game theory, storytelling & storyboarding, game planning and strategy, creative content writing, brainstorming & creative thinking, and game design project management.
IT Security Specialist
IT Security Specialist Employment Projections | 2018 – 2028
10-Year Growth Pct: 32% (much faster than average)†
10-Year Growth Volume: 35,500 new jobs
Year after year, IT executives report actively seeking professionals with information security skills but finding it difficult to locate good talent. This indicates an incredible opportunity for technology professionals to advance their cybersecurity skills and certifications.
Computer security skills in the greatest demand include IT operations security, mobile device security, risk management, information assurance, network, and cloud/virtualization security.
IT security specialists leverage an in-depth understanding of cybersecurity threats, technologies, and countermeasures to ensure secure computer systems.
This often includes tasks like installing and configuring security software to prevent attacks, educating employees on data security, monitoring and protecting against network breaches, and responding to cyber-attacks with the appropriate countermeasures.
Hiring managers for IT security specialist positions generally require at least an undergraduate degree (associate or bachelor) in information security, computer information systems, network security, computer science, or a related field of study. IT job experience and security-centric certifications will aid candidates in securing IT security specialist positions.
Web Developer Employment Projections | 2018 – 2028
10-Year Growth Pct: 13% (much faster than average)†
10-Year Growth Volume: 20,900 new jobs
As the number of products and services online continues to grow, web developers and designers will enjoy increased job opportunities. The proliferation of social networks will boost demand for web developers as businesses look to engage a new generation of customers and spur a competitive advantage in this rapidly growing space. Responsive web design, user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) skills are a hot commodity in this position as displays must increasingly adapt to varying device sizes and types, e.g., smartwatches.
Database Administrator Employment Projections | 2018 – 2028
10-Year Growth Pct: 9% (faster than avg.)†
10-Year Growth Volume: 10,500 new jobs
Businesses are racking up impressive amounts of digital information, spurring the need for trained and certified DBAs to store, organize, analyze, and secure this data.
In addition, as more databases are connected to the Internet and cloud, data security will become increasingly vital and complex; database administrators and developers – especially those with information security skills – will be hired to protect corporate data from hackers and other cyber threat vectors.
A typical database administration learning plan begins with an undergraduate degree in computer science, database management, computer information systems (CIS), or a related field of study.
A balance of technical, business and communication skills is critical to a database administrator’s success and upward mobility, so the next step in a DBA’s education is often a graduate degree with an information systems concentration, such as an MBA in Management Information Systems (MIS) or CIS.
Database administration positions typically require at least a bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems (CIS), Computer Science, Database Administration, or a related field of study.
Many employers prefer to hire MBAs for database administration jobs because, in addition to the extra technical database training, MBAs are well-versed in key business domains, e.g., accounting, marketing and management, and they’re more adept at communicating with technical and non-technical employees – two traits of highly successful DBAs.
Many employers prefer to hire MBAs for database administration jobs, because, in addition to the extra technical database training, MBAs are well-versed in key business domains, e.g., accounting, marketing and management, and they’re more adept at communicating with technical and non-technical employees – two traits of highly successful DBAs.