A Successful Career in IT Requires Meeting Expectations on Both Sides

Experienced tech consultant and enterprise architecture PhD, Eetu Niemi, explores the importance of setting and meeting realistic expectations in the IT job market - both for employers and employees.

IT Career Expectations

  • Every organization wants to profile itself as modern, innovative, financially solid, a forerunner in diversity - and generally the best place to work. Naturally, not just anyone can work in such a great place, so also the positions have matching requirements. Nothing less than a world-renowned expert will do. You must have 20 years of relevant work experience, proficiency in all the technologies the recruiter can think of, a doctorate - and of course, be less than 30 years old.
  • To have a chance of being picked, potential employees must do even better. They must take every achievement in their resume to at least the power of ten. “Implementing a SalesForce SaaS solution” turns into “leading strategic transformation on the enterprise level.” If their work history has unexplainable gaps, they need to invent “jobs” to fill them. Acting as a board member in your in-law’s startup or a neighborhood nonprofit will do nicely.

As a result, we arrive at a match made in hell. New employees will get fed up when they discover the truth behind clever employer branding. Still, they will need to suffer in a stressful or tedious job long enough not to ruin their resume. Employers will get disappointed when new employees cannot deliver to the standards they led the employer to expect. There is a thing called a probationary period - and it works both ways.

Still, you can be different! Let’s take a look at an alternative approach:

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Top Paying Technology Jobs in 2021

ITCareerFinder analyzes wages and hiring data to identify the highest paying jobs in information technology.

This article will be updated annually with the latest jobs and salaries. Current year: 2021.

Best Paying Tech Jobs

Pay may not be everything, but it’s very important. How important? According to a recent study by Indeed, 93% of tech workers cite pay and benefits as the most important factor when considering a new job.

What’s more, in a rapidly changing field like information technology, workers often need to reach into their own pockets to acquire new skills and maintain their marketability. In other words, to make money in tech, you need money to invest in professional development. Enough said.

To help you maximize your income potential, here is a look at 12 of the highest paying technology jobs, why they are so valuable to employers, and what you need to land a position.

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Jobs that will Gain (and Lose) in the Age of Automation

ITCareerFinder examines 10 sought-after roles that will thrive in the age of automation, as well as some popular jobs that will be replaced as automation accelerates.

best jobs gained automation

Employers estimate that by 2025, 85 million jobs may be eliminated by automation. But at the same time, a report by World Economic Forum (WEF), notes that 97 million new roles may emerge that are more adapted to the new division of labor between humans, machines and algorithms.

From the workers’ standpoint, an overall addition of 12 million jobs, even after accounting for job losses due to the pandemic, is good news. Additionally, a Deloitte study found that automation technologies eliminated 800,000 low-skilled jobs, but the new jobs created by automation and robotics paid an average of $13,000 more per year than the ones that were lost.

So, what kind of jobs will technology create or expand? After careful research and review, here’s a look at 10 jobs that will benefit directly from increased automation. Many of these roles are technical in nature, but not all. Best of all, these desirable jobs will not be replaced by artificial intelligence. They pay good salaries, provide interesting and challenging work, and will continue to grow for years to come.

Here are ten jobs that will thrive with increasing automation:

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Top Job Skills You Can Learn Without a College Degree

Top Job Skills Without College

As the economy diversifies, so do the choices you face when you're preparing to enter the workforce. A four-year degree is no longer a must for many lucrative positions, nor is it an automatic ticket to career success. And with the cost of a traditional college education continuing to rise, student loans are becoming more of a burden, as well.

In short, it pays to look around at the growing number of alternatives that can jump-start you on a career path. Specialized professions in the culinary arts, sewing, carpentry, and money management (everything from credit to budgeting to investing) offer a wealth of opportunities through affordable certificate programs and apprenticeships.

But nowhere are the opportunities greater than in the IT field, which is good news because you can pursue training and certification in much of this space online. This has become even more crucial during the pandemic, as distance learning has become the norm in many places.

And if you're trying to save money (and who isn't?), here's some good news: There are numerous free online courses to explore, and plenty of places to get started.

Follow these steps to gain real-world expertise without a college degree:

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Top 10 IT Skills In-Demand for 2021

ITCareerFinder breaks down the latest employment and wage data and speaks with technology executives to identify the hottest skill sets of 2021 (and beyond).

Top Technology Skills 2021

Possessing the right combination of technical expertise, soft skills and practical experience can help you impress potential employers and land a high-paying job in one of the fastest growing fields in information technology.

In fact, according to PayScale’s data team, knowledge of high-demand technologies and key fundamentals boosts compensation by 14% to 26%.

If you’re looking to advance your career by acquiring new skills or certifications, here are ten of the hottest areas of technology you may want to consider and the best skills to learn in each:

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Top Tech Skills in the Remote Work Era

ITCareerFinder interviews technology, business, staffing and education leaders to identify the most desirable skills in the post-Corona IT workforce.

Desirable Remote Tech Skills

The global pandemic has thrown organizations large and small into turmoil as offices shuttered overnight, and employees began a trial-by-fire adjustment to home office environments.

This has had a profound impact on the IT needs of businesses, and offers those in the tech job market a series of opportunities in the areas of IT service management (ITSM), unified communications, security, and a host of areas where businesses will need to ramp up their acumen—quickly and permanently.

“The most shocking thing about the pandemic was not that people were starting to work from home, it was how quickly it happened,” explains Shirin Mangold, senior director of IT at software and information solutions specialist Deltek.

She notes the company immediately lost their ability to go in and pick up IT equipment, and had to support employees who had never worked outside the office. This requiring providing an avalanche of information her team needed to communicate to people working remotely, without the ability to rely on traditional in-office communications.

“We had an increased reliance on online collaboration tools and that became extremely important for communicating information to people,” she says. “As people went home, they asked for support on consumer products, home printers, WiFi and cable providers, and it challenged our ability to troubleshoot, so we really had to share knowledge more creatively.”

She sees business needs for IT Service Management and Unified Communications ramping up dramatically as IT departments struggle with a deluge of tickets, a view shared by Matt Hackney, regional vice president for the New York region at the staffing firm, Robert Half Technology.

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The Best IT Certifications for Beginners

If you want to break into the technology field, proactive training and experience – validated by industry-recognized IT certifications – is a great way to begin. These certifications are the best for beginning IT pros looking to land an entry-level position.

best it certifications for beginners

The COVID-19 pandemic has cost millions of Americans their jobs and made it difficult for 2020 college graduates to find work. Additionally, the advent of a larger remote workforce means the state of jobs today looks pretty different than it did just one year ago. Perhaps you’re looking to change careers. Now may be the perfect time. If information technology is a field that interests you, here’s what you need to get your resume noticed and your foot in the proverbial door.

Train Before You Get the Job

Yes, IT skills are in-demand right now. If you’re researching a career in IT you’ve probably read about the IT skills gap. Essentially this means that there are more technology jobs available than qualified professionals to fill them. The good news is, there are plenty of resources out there to skill up to get one of these in-demand positions. One of the best ways to validate your knowledge in the technology industry is via IT certification.

Certifications aren’t just about adding a gold star to your resume. The skills and knowledge gained through proper certification training and exam prep is exactly what IT departments need. The skills gap is slowly hurting organizations and the best solution is upskilled employees. Preparing for, and earning, an IT certification(s) is one of the best ways to gain the critical skills employers need.

The Best Certs for IT Beginners

Before we get into the best IT certifications for beginners, let us first define “best.” It is, after all, a subjective term. Does best mean it will make you more money? Lead to more interviews? Or does best mean that employers are specifically looking for these credentials?

We have decided the “best” certifications for IT beginners are those that will help you get an entry-level job. To that end, we’ve matched desirable entry-level tech roles with the skills needed to land that job, then paired the most marketable certifications with those skills.

Here are the best IT certifications for beginners, segmented by 3 of the hottest technical domains:

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3 Reasons Chicago Is Becoming America’s Newest Tech Hub

Ian Clark, Head of Americas at cloud staffing firm Frank Recruitment Group, breaks down the key reasons IT professionals are moving to The Windy City.

tech jobs chicago

When you think of the world’s great tech cities, Chicago may not always be top of your mind, but its transformation over the last decade makes it impossible to omit from any discussion about the best American cities for IT professionals.

The global skills gap in technology means that professionals hold most of the cards when it comes to choosing how and where their career pans out, but Chicago has a lot to offer to make sure people want to be there.

Of course, there must be opportunity, and there’s plenty of that. Tech giants such as Google, LinkedIn and Salesforce all have offices in the city, which is partly why CompTIA named Chicago as one of the largest tech employers in the US last year.

Here are the top three reasons tech professionals are packing an extra layer and heading to the Jewel of the Midwest:

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Online IT Schools