Careers in IT – Career Outlook

My primary goal in providing this series of Information Technology articles is to show you that American Sentinel University is serious about motivating service members into continuing their education and training to advance their careers and enhance their quality of life by pursuing a position within the exciting field of IT. We want you to succeed.

In addition to passing along my Information Technology experience, I will also attempt to help you choose an IT career path and plan how best to pursue that path by providing input from subject-matter experts about specific IT-related topics.

While my previous articles have provided overviews of what to expect in an IT career, this column features an analysis of the IT labor market by Mark Aylward, a 23-year veteran of Information Technology recruiting who has placed every type and level of IT practitioner and consultant in small, large, national and international companies. Mark has a positive outlook on Information Technology careers and a great deal of experience working with both employers and employees from the field. I hope that his input will build your confidence in pursuing a Career in Information Technology.

Mark’s thoughts come from a recruiting perspective and support what I have previously explained from an IT manager’s perspective. His points concern continuing education, ancillary people and business skills, and they show that Information Technology can be an exciting and viable career.

By Mark Aylward, Owner, Lucid Government Solutions

I thought it might be helpful to offer my opinion on the demand and supply for Information Technology skills both now and in the foreseeable future.
The market for IT professionals isn’t necessarily candidate-driven. It would be an understatement to suggest this. We live in a world where Computer Science and Information Technology training and education cannot keep up with the demand for these types of skills in today’s marketplace. In addition, we have made it more difficult for companies in the United States to utilize the talents of those candidates educated outside of the U.S.

The nature of the current IT landscape is such that Information Technology professionals are increasingly likely to need better/more current Information Technology skills to leverage technology that affects business process improvement.

All of these influences suggest that demand is rising at a pace far exceeding supply. If one analyzes these demand/supply relationships from 1987, when the stock market crashed, to the dotcom bubble bursting in the late 1990s, to Sept. 11 2001, through today’s recession (if I may be so bold!), it is clear that, even during slow economic periods, IT demand is always at the top of the list of “recession-proof” skills.

IT training + people skills + business knowledge = strategy for success. Professionals with formal Information Technology education and certification who also possess “people skills” and fundamental business knowledge can leverage this combination to become analysts, management consultants and strategic advisors in a business world starving for these skills.

Considering the current Stimulus Plan, the globalization of the economy and the continuing increase in foreign competition, the business community and Federal Government are clearly committed to continuously upgrade systems such as performance and security systems, among other capabilities. Our country’s government agencies and commercial businesses will need to continue to invest in these technical advancements moving forward to remain competitive as well as secure.

Considering the historical evidence and momentum that information technology innovation has in today’s world, any guidance or educational professional would be safe in recommending IT as a viable career.

Thanks, Mark! I hope you found this article encouraging for advancing your Information Technology career objectives. I also want to invite others to provide input that could be of use to the military community in helping them understand the many available IT paths, and the opportunities for completing the education and training they need to succeed in an Information Technology career.

Talk to one of American Sentinel’s admissions counselors about the opportunity to enroll in one of our many affordable online programs, giving you the flexibility and the expertise that you need to succeed in your IT career. And ask us about your TA, Montgomery GI Bill (Chapter 30), or the new Post 9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33) benefits. Our reduced military tuition rates and military scholarships help extend those benefits even further, minimizing your out-of-pocket expenses, so why wait?

If you have any questions about the IT field, or if you are a service member transitioning into civilian life, feel free to leave a comment or question using the submission form below. I’d love to hear from you!

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