7 IT Career Paths for your to Explore in 2023
It’s common to believe that working in information technology (IT) entails working in a tech office in a big city. But that isn’t the whole story. According to Burning Glass Technologies, more than 90% of IT skills and jobs in the United States are housed outside of the tech sector. Non-tech IT jobs are also growing at a faster rate than tech-sector IT jobs, with the gap expected to widen. Furthermore, IT skills are required in places such as hospitals, local governments, banks, and universities throughout the country.
Having said that, the world of IT offers a wide range of career opportunities in a variety of industries. An IT professional can specialize in cybersecurity to keep computers safe, cloud computing to make information more accessible, or help desk roles to assist with an organization’s day-to-day operations.
IT career options in 2023
Understanding your options can help you navigate your first steps as you begin your career in IT.
Not sure where to begin? Many IT professionals begin their careers in generalist positions that cover a wide range of issues, such as help desk technicians or IT associates. You can get an entry-level IT certification to help you get one of these jobs, but it’s not always necessary. After you’ve gained some experience and a better understanding of what you enjoy doing, you might consider focusing your career on a more specific area. If you’re just starting out, you can look into entry-level IT jobs to see what other paths you can take.
Unless otherwise stated, job outlook data is sourced from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and applies to the years 2020 to 2030.
*As of July 2022, the average annual salary was obtained from Glassdoor.
- Computer Support
Many people in the early stages of their IT careers work in computer support roles, which support a wide range of computer operations. From there, you can specialise in a narrower field, such as cybersecurity or networks, or progress in computer support to become a senior or manager.
Salary: $70,953 per year
Job growth is expected to be 9%.
Jobs in the early stages of a career include IT support technician, desktop support technician, help desk technician, and IT associate.
Senior help desk support technician, service desk supervisor, and support desk manager are examples of mid-career or senior positions.
Getting started: If you’re just getting started, an entry-level IT certification can provide you with the necessary skills.
- Information security/Cybersecurity
Working in cybersecurity entails safeguarding computer systems, devices, and sensitive data against malware, unauthorized access, damage, and data breaches. According to Global Knowledge, an IT professional development company, cybersecurity is one of the two IT fields that will see the most demand (the other being cloud computing).
Salary: $96,543 per year
Job growth is expected to be 33%.
Jobs in the early stages of a career include information security analyst, cybersecurity analyst, and cybersecurity engineer.
Mid-career or senior positions: Senior cyber engineer, information security manager, and ethical hacker
How to Begin: Understanding fundamental cybersecurity principles can help you get started in this field. Consider gaining experience by obtaining an entry-level certification, such as the CompTIA Security+ or the Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA).
See IBM Cybersecurity Analyst Professional Certificate. Get ready to launch your career in cybersecurity. Build job-ready skills for an in-demand role in the field, no degree or prior experience required.
- Systems and networks
Network IT professionals are responsible for network-related tasks or hardware, whereas systems IT professionals are responsible for servers and computer systems. They may have overlapping roles, especially in smaller businesses where you are more likely to have to wear multiple hats. You could begin as an analyst or administrator and progress to network or systems engineer or architect.
$115,633 in salary per year
Job growth is expected to be 5%.
Jobs in the early stages of a career include network administrator, systems administrator, network implementation technician, and systems analyst.
Network engineer, systems engineer, network security engineer, cloud network engineer, senior systems administrator, computer network architects are examples of mid-career or senior jobs.
How to Begin: There are several network and system certification options available, such as the CompTIA Server+ (CompTIA Server+ Certification Exam Training SK0-005 Server+) or the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)(Cisco CCNA 200-301 The Complete Guide to Getting Certified). Alternatively, you can begin as a generalist on the IT help desk and advance to one of these specialties.
More here: 6 Network Certifications to Advance Your IT Career
- Software development
Software developers, also known as software engineers, create computer programmes that are used to perform a variety of tasks. Examples of software include your internet browser, music streaming service, and online video conference app. Software development can lead to careers in a variety of industries, including finance, video game development, and technology.
$110,913 in annual salary
Job growth is expected to be 22%.
Job titles include software engineer, software developer, and senior software engineer.
Starting out: Learning the coding languages used in software development is essential for landing a job in the field. Begin with popular languages such as Python, Java, or Ruby.
IBM’s full-stack software engineering course is the best place to get started.
- Website Development
Working in web development entails creating and maintaining websites as well as mobile applications. Web developers can be front-end or back-end developers, which means they work on the front-end interfaces or behind-the-scenes mechanics of a website, or both.
$94,445 in salary
Job growth is expected to be 13%.
Jobs include web developer, web designer, front-end developer, back-end developer, full stack developer, front-end engineer, back-end engineer, full stack engineer, and full stack engineer.
Dr Angela Yu’s course The Complete 2022 Web Development Bootcamp has over 800,000 and is rated 4.6!
Because of the pervasiveness of internet-connected devices, businesses now have unprecedented access to data on their customers, services, and other business factors. And, while data isn’t a traditional IT specialisation, the increased demand for data skills makes it a viable career path for those seeking IT-related work. Working with data can entail anything from maintaining hardware and security to sifting through data to find patterns and insights as a data analyst or scientist.
The salary is $98,860 with an expected job growth rate of 8%.
Early career positions include data center technician, database administrator, and data analyst.
Data Scientist, Data Engineer, and Data Architect are examples of mid-career or senior positions.
Getting Started: If you want to work as a data technician, you should have some background in IT support. If the idea of working directly with data appeals to you, consider obtaining a data analytics certification, such as the IBM Data Analyst Professional Certificate or the Google Data Analytics Professional Certificate.
Here’s the best course to get started for Data Analyst Beginners -> The Data Analyst Course: Complete Data Analyst Bootcamp 2022
Continue reading: 7 In-Demand Data Analyst Skills to Get Hired
- Cloud Computing
Cloud computing, along with cybersecurity, was identified as the top technical area in IT experiencing the greatest demand by Global Knowledge. A job in cloud technology typically entails some programming on cloud software platforms such as Azure, AWS, or Google Cloud.
$119,123 in salary per year.
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Job growth is expected to be 27%. (LinkedIn 2020 Emerging Jobs Report)
Early career positions include cloud engineer and cloud computing programmer.
Mid-career or senior positions: Cloud architect, Cloud Consultant
Starting out: If you want to break into cloud computing, you’ll most likely need cloud-specific knowledge. You can obtain cloud certifications or enrol in coursework.
More here: Best Cloud Certification for Beginner from IBM
If you’re not sure where to begin, the fundamentals are a good place to start. Consider the Google IT Support Professional Certificate, which requires no prior relevant experience.