With the worldwide economy in turmoil and job advertisements in Australia reportedly at a low, changing careers may not seem like the safest move in the current climate. But now has never been a better time to make the jump into the world of coding, hard drives and USB ports. The IT industry is calling.
Social media, the Internet and computers are entrenched in our daily lives and are here for the long haul. Anyone looking for a long relationship with their career can depend on the IT industry to prove almost recession-proof. And as technology continues to rise and rise, IT careers will follow, making this an exciting time to join the ranks.
The growth and innovation of the information technology industry has meant that you can now get an IT degree just by sitting in front of your laptop in the comfort of your games lair. Distance education has opened the playing field, allowing anyone with a passion for computers to indulge in their favourite pastime. Can’t wait to start? Check out our online IT courses.
For every Apple and Google there is a small-to-medium sized company providing their own IT services, both general and niche or bespoke. The fun and perks of the information technology industry are not exclusive to multinational companies but can be found in local ICT agencies. Most companies also have an in-house IT section, giving you more employment options than you can poke a stick at.
While some IT jobs will have you helping the computer illiterate while you inwardly marvel at their incompetence, there are many specialisations out there for someone who doesn’t want to spend their days teaching people how to reboot their hard drive and locate their lost documents.
From animating movies to coding websites, the IT industry is a veritable melting pot of specialisations – hardware, software, networking and telecommunications, to name a few – satisfying both the extremely technical to the enormously creative. You could find yourself in a stimulating environment surrounded by like-minded people who speak the same language and who get equally excited by Flash.
Technology plays an integral part in every form of modern endeavour and research – from combating climate change and curing disease to ensuring the smooth running of businesses. In fact, the information and communication technology industry is said to contribute more to Australia’s Gross Value Added than mining, education and agriculture combined. The Reserve Bank of Australia has even found a direct link between expenditure on ICT and Australia’s strong productivity growth, which makes the IT industry one hell of an asset.
Working in IT can conjure up images of a dark room full of tech-heads swapping World of Warcraft tips, but rest assured the IT industry is renowned for its fun and innovative approach to work. In BRW’s 2011 Best Places to Work Index, the top five companies on the list were IT companies. With 20 out of the top 50 also hailing from the information technology sector, you can expect great working conditions and a lot of fun on the job.
The IT industry is currently having a skills shortage, due in part to a decline in enrolments in IT courses, which is good news for all you skilled workers looking for a great job. A skills shortage means that there is less competition for more jobs but also means that businesses will work hard to keep you. Once a company has you in its firm but nurturing grasp, you would have to mess up big-time for them to let you go.
A shortage of women in the IT sector has seen the creation of many incentives to bridge the gender gap. For those just starting out and studying a degree in IT, such as computer science or software engineering, the Google-run Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship could take you $5,000 closer to your dream career. And for those in the Australian public service, the Women in ICT awards help to spotlight and attract female talent.
The language of IT is universally spoken. Your IT skills are transferable from industry to industry and country to country, so if you do eventually decide to jump ship, your skills and experience in the IT world will be valued anywhere and everywhere. The world really is your oyster.