Now What? Landing a Job with a Degree in Information Technology

Once you've graduated with a degree in information technology, you're ready to land that big job. Luckily, the careers in the field of information technology are some of the fastest growing in the country. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that computer system analyst jobs will grow by 25 percent over the next 10 years.

With technology making up such a huge part of our society today, it's easy to see why this field is rapidly growing. How do you land a job in the industry after getting a degree in information technology? Keep reading to learn more about the trends and hottest jobs you should be looking at right now.

Skills Needed in the Information Technology Industry

Code on a black computer screen

Image via Flickr by BobMical

Obviously, strong technical abilities are one of the top skills employers look for in a candidate. You'll be able to prove your skill here simply from the classes you've taken. However, in a field that was once considered very solitary, employers are now looking for candidates who can prove they're good with communication and can work well with others. Therefore, it's important to show you've joined activities outside of class to show your ability to collaborate.

IT worker in Seattle put it, "You always have a new challenge." This means you can't be content to sit back and watch the world go by. You constantly need to keep learning and exploring.

Cities Where Information Technology Job Growth is High

If you're looking for the best area of the country to find information technology jobs, California is where you want to go, specifically Silicon Valley which is made up of the cities of Santa Clara, San Jose, and Sunnyvale. Between September 2013 and 2014, the area added 34,000 jobs and employment increased 3.5 percent. Indeed, the technology sector has seen particularly strong growth in these cities. In the same time frame, the area has added 7,300 information jobs. Plus, since 2008, there has been an increase of 37 percent in information jobs.

How to Get Started

Like other industries, when you're just starting out in information technology, your best bet is to get an entry-level job. One job you can look at is a computer programmer. These professionals will write and update code to create computer programs. Most computer programmers will specialize in different programming languages. While businesses will hire programmers with an associate's degree most will have a bachelor's degree. The average salary for a computer programmer is a little over $74,000 a year, and the BLS predicts this field will grow 8 percent in the next 10 years.

You don't have to limit yourself to the technology industry, though. With the big push to get all health records in this country computerized, health information technician is another fast-growing job. With additional certification to understand health codes, you can step into a field that the BLS predicts will grow by 22 percent over the next 10 years.

Hottest Growing Jobs in Information Technology

As more people cut the cord on their desktops and turn to their mobile phones, the demand for employees who understand mobile technology soars. Whether it's constructing mobile apps or making sure websites are mobile-friendly, businesses desperately need help. If you pursue a job as a mobile app developer, make sure you're up-to-date in different programming languages such as Objective-C, Java, and HTML.

The latest buzzword to take over the tech world has been all about the cloud. Of course, if you ask any IT manager they'll say they've always been in the cloud. However, as more businesses jump on board, the need for IT professionals who can harness the power of the cloud also climbs. This is where cloud architects come in. These professionals have a strong background in management and virtualization networking.

Another popular term that's getting thrown around today is big data, and businesses are very interested in how they can use it to their advantage. Data scientists work in many areas of big data. Some are responsible for combing through the logs and finding information about customer behavior. Others are responsible for creating the programs that collect and track this data. Many entry-level positions as data cleaners are opening up, and they're the perfect way to get your foot in the door.

Signing Up for an Internship

Of course, sometimes great grades and a new degree just aren't enough to get you that first job. Employers are still looking for real-world experience before they hire. How do you gain experience if you can't get a job to get experience? This is when an internship is an ideal opportunity.

Getting an internship allows you to try out a job without having to fully commit to it. This means it's the perfect opportunity to see what truly interests you. Internships also provide valuable contacts in the field that you can use later. Best of all, nearly 60 percent of the time a college graduate working a paid internship will be offered a job.

Continuing Your Education

Finally, you can also choose to further your education to open up even more job opportunities. If you've earned an associate's degree, a bachelor's degree will give you the opportunity to become proficient in at least one programming language, such as Java, and gain a large knowledge of computer systems. Continuing on to your master's degree will allow you to focus on specific skills for certain industries, like digital media or software development. Finally, you can work towards your Ph.D. and study the impact IT has on business, economic, and scientific areas.

While graduating with a degree in information technology is an exciting time, it can also be an unnerving one as you set out to find that new job. However, with this information in mind, you can land a job offer that will really pay off.

Contributed to by Courtney Rudd

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