Software and hardware solutions help consumers:
- Build relationships
- Cultivate careers
- Pursue their passions in a new digital world
This is good news if you’re looking to pursue an information technology career path. There is strong demand for specialists who can develop quality hardware and software. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects high job growth for many related positions between 2018 and 2028:
- Information security analyst roles have a projected growth rate of 32%.
- Software developer roles have a projected growth rate of 21%.
Pursuing these and other IT roles can help you reach a point of sustained professional success. This leads to the question of how to become an IT specialist.
There is no universal answer. But one career-development strategy has proven effective: earning an online Bachelor of Science in information technology degree or online Master of Science in information technology degree. Graduates of these programs can compete for many desirable roles. The BLS projected overall job growth in this field at 12% between 2018 and 2028. This is much faster than the 5% anticipated average increase across all job categories in the same time frame.
To follow this information technology career path:
American consumers are digitally savvy. Around 90% have internet connections and smartphones. They use them to access a variety of entertainment, financial and other applications, Pew Research Center found. However, these IT products and services are quickly becoming irrelevant. People regularly look for more advanced tools that streamline and enrich everyday living.
Artificial intelligence is one of the most powerful tools making its way to consumers, Digital Trends reported. An estimated one-third of Americans now use AI-driven voice assistants weekly. Popular examples include Amazon Alexa and Google Home. These systems make common tasks like online searching and shopping easier, according to Deloitte. Many technology firms plan to follow in Amazon and Google’s footsteps. They aim to roll out new AI products that make life easier, including consumer-grade robots.
Fifth-generation wireless technology is another innovation consumers will soon enjoy. Devices with 5G capabilities allow for connection speeds faster than ever before. Users can:
- Download feature-length films in seconds.
- Use high-bandwidth tools, like wireless virtual reality headsets.
Telecommunications companies are working to bring blanket 5G services to market. Device makers are doing the same. Understanding these concepts is critical for many information technology career paths.
Consumers are also expected to embrace new technology on a larger scale. One key example is the self-driving vehicle. Dozens of organizations, including Tesla and Google’s Waymo, are working to perfect these cars and put them in the hands of consumers. States like California are backing extensive road testing. These environments help self-driving vehicle developers try out their creations on public streets. Approximately 28 companies tested autonomous cars in the Golden State in 2018. They covered more than 2 million miles, per the California Department of Motor Vehicles.
Enterprises of all sizes have embraced innovative technology along with consumers. Almost 90% of organizations worldwide either:
- Increased their IT budgets, or
- Maintained those spending levels in 2019, according to research from Spiceworks.
Most intend to move forward with digitization plans. They will further optimize the infrastructure already in place.
AI programs are major targets for most enterprise IT departments. These software assets lay the groundwork for seamless backend automation. They also streamline workflows. Companies can assign many operational tasks to AI. Workers can then focus on projects that directly impact revenue generation. This is why enterprises across the globe are on track to spend almost $36 billion on AI applications in 2019, according to the International Data Corporation. A strong grasp of AI can help you on your information technology career path.
Cloud computing technology is another area of focus for modern businesses. An estimated 94% of companies leverage the cloud, per RightScale. Yet, IT teams are still working to perfect their cloud infrastructure. In fact, many are pursuing innovative strategies like the no operations (NoOps) concept. This involves automating key cloud computing tasks, like server deployment. These improvements will take enterprise cloud usage to the next level. This will, in turn, improve business productivity.
Putting new technology into place is a top priority for today’s organizations. It's even more important to protect these assets and the customers, employees and business partners who use them. Cybercriminals orchestrated more than 1,200 large-scale data breaches in 2018. They made off with roughly 446 million sensitive files in the same year, the Identity Theft Research Center found. This fraught online environment makes enterprise cybersecurity investment essential. If you’re wondering how to become an IT specialist, cybersecurity plays an increasingly important role.