The outlook for the Information Technology (IT) career field is very positive. The career field continues to enjoy unfettered global growth. The average salary has risen to nearly $75,000 in the United States. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) states IT employees can expect 13% growth through 2024, far better than the 7% national average. Further, while management positions are faltering in many career fields, computers and information systems managers should expect a 15% growth through 2020, with a median salary over $120,000 per year. Why is this growth still occurring?
Business must invest in technology to remain competitive and technology is woven into the fabric of all business efforts. Corporations are constantly seeking additional IT capabilities to streamline their business process and increase their competitive advantage. If corporate operations is the basic building block of business, IT is the mortar that holds the corporation together.
IT skills are in demand across corporations and government contractors. What you might not know is your military experience has already granted you critical IT skills.
1. Adaptive Skills
IT continues to evolve very rapidly. Several years ago, Wal-Mart was handling 1 million transactions an hour, feeding 2.5 petabytes (or 167 times the amount of data in the Library of Congress) into their big data repositories. In 2010, Facebook held 40 billion photos; by 2016 there were over 350 billion stored, with seven new images uploaded every second.
To stay on top of the competition, companies demand an adaptive and agile workforce to remain competitive. Therefore, with business competition at an all-time high, the IT position you seek is a change enabler; where you can work on the leading edge of business, operations, and technology. Having served in the military, you are flexible, adaptive and know what you must do to complete the mission at hand. Remember, these skills are ingrained in the military and most civilian employees must be trained on these.
2. Leadership as a Transportable Skills
Your leadership and referential knowledge is invaluable. You may start out as an IT technician, but you know and understand leadership. As your professional management and technological skills develop, you may end up as the Chief Information Officer (CIO), Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) or Chief Operations Officer (COO).
3. Desire for Professional Growth
IT work is ever-increasing. With the advent of the Internet of Things (IoT), there is an increasing demand for skilled IT professionals. The IT field is highly diverse and can take on multiple career paths during a lifetime. Your efforts may contribute to numerous business enhancing capabilities. Your work may improve internal communications support to the company. Later, you may find your work contributes to the bottom line and enhances the company’s market position. Other positions may allow you to boost the company’s ability to expand its customer base in a robust globalization effort. Regardless, you have a chance to grow your career within the company.
4. Desire to Protect and Defend
Cybersecurity is needed for all functions and jobs within IT. As a transitioning service member, you know the importance of maintaining safety and security in your day to day affairs. In the combat zone, you live these imperatives. You have been taught to do what is necessary to defend yourself and your unit. Therefore, you have an inherent understanding of the importance of security.
Similarly, as you learn more about IT support and management, you must remember that cybersecurity is paramount. In every server you build, every network you architect, and in every piece of software you develop, you must think about security. Today, you need a solid understanding of cybersecurity for any job that you perform in the IT industry.
The civilian IT workplace is wide open for your new career. Put together your personal strategic roadmap today for your military transition into the rewarding career field of commercial information technology.
Wishing you a fast and lucrative transition!