Have you been let go because your skills are no longer needed in today’s workforce? Do you get the feeling that it’s just a matter of time before your industry becomes irrelevant? Are you burned out and need a substantial change in your life? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you might consider reinventing your career. While there are a number of career choices, transitioning into technology has some unique benefits.
Who’s Changing Careers?
If you’re reinventing your career, you’re certainly not alone. While a large-scale report on career changers doesn’t exist, there is a patchwork of independent studies and surveys indicating people are changing careers all the time. For example, a recent report from the American Institute of Economic Research found one million to two million Baby Boomers made career changes between 2011 and 2012. Likewise, a 2008 survey from The Sloan Work and Family Research Network found nearly 70 percent of Generation X workers were planning to change careers, and a majority of that population was planning on developing new skills. And finally, a 2012 Multiple Generations@Work survey reported 91 percent of Millennials expected to switch jobs every three years. Clearly, employees of all ages are NOT remaining idol.
Reasons People Change Careers
There are a number of reasons why people of all ages change careers. Glassdoor, a leader in workforce transparency, found seven of the most common reasons. These include:
- Mismatched expectations
- Interest in evolving fields
- Declining industry
- Changing needs
- Chasing a dream
- Overcoming stress
- Looking for a challenge
Certainly, many can relate or have experienced some of these reasons that have either led a to a career change, or is currently encouraging one. What’s your reason for reinventing your career?
Which Jobs are Getting Replaced?
Just like Blockbuster Video and the landline phone, technology changes everything. Jobs that once required human involvement have been replaced with technology-based solutions. While this trend continues to grow, many popular occupations lose relevance. According to a 2013 Oxford University study of the US workforce, the most at-risk jobs include:
- Loan officers
- Receptionist and information clerks
- Paralegals and legal assistants
- Retail salespersons
- Taxi drivers and chauffeurs
- Security Guards
- Fast food cooks
- Personal financial advisers
As the list of at-risks jobs continues to grow, alternative options take their place. Quoting Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, “Every new thing creates two new questions and two new opportunities.” So, what are the new opportunities?
Transitioning into Technology
As technology edges out some jobs, it also creates a host of new careers. IT practitioners with the right certifications and experience are in high demand. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in IT-related occupations is projected to grow 12 percent from 2014 to 2024 clearly outpacing most professional careers. While a lack of qualified talent has been a challenge for employers, it has created amazing opportunities for those willing to train and validate new skills.
Careers in IT and software development provide lucrative incomes and often times can be achieved without a college education. Instead, certifications tell hiring managers that you have the skills required to perform the job. While certifications are important, you’ll also need to accumulate work-related experience. The combination of certifications and work-related experience can be your key to transitioning into technology.
Considerations for Reinventing Your Career
It goes without saying; reinventing your career should be taken seriously. After all, you’ll likely need to develop new skills and find entry-level employment. This is both a time and money commitment that should be considered. Likewise, you need to know if you’re really wired for an IT career. While the income is attractive, a successful IT career requires a passion for technology. Lastly, you need to be dedicated to continuing education. An IT practitioner’s value to any organization is the ability to adapt and meet the evolving needs of the business. This requires keeping skills sharp and certifications updated.
Career Opportunities in IT and Software Development
There are a multitude of IT-related careers to choose from. This includes careers in infrastructure, cloud computing, cyber security, and software development. Each one of these fields provide unique roles requiring specific skills.
Information technology practitioners in the field of Infrastructure are responsible for enterprise-level systems. While IT directors and managers require a host of skills, other positions offer the ability to specialize. This includes specializations in networks, systems and data storage. CompTIA, Microsoft and Cisco offer popular certifications for this field.
One of the most interesting trends in infrastructure is cloud technology. The impact of this technology is dramatically changing the way enterprise managers deliver IT services. Nevertheless, the field of infrastructure continues to offer amazing employment opportunities and is good place to begin a career in technology.
There are few careers in the world as hot as cloud computing. Cloud computing is definitely changing the face of IT, lowering costs for businesses and creating great employment opportunities for those with the right skills. Certifications from vendors like AWS and EMC2 are in high demand and commanding some of the highest paid salaries in the industry.
You really can’t go wrong with a career in cloud computing. Cloud computing is replacing the need for physical infrastructures and opening up new opportunities for growth. The future of IT is going to be based on cloud technology and those who embrace it will ride the bleeding edge of IT for years to come.
A growing skills gap and rise in cyber crime has created a strong demand for security practitioners. According to a Peninsula Press analysis of BLS data, there were approximately 209,000 unfilled cybersecurity positions and a 74 percent increase in cybersecurity job postings in 2015. In short, the number of unfilled security positions outnumber the current pool of security practitioners creating a strong demand for qualified talent. This trend continues today as the rate of cyber threats continues to rise.
If you’re looking for an fast-paced career, then you really need to look at cyber security. Organizations all over the word continue to ramp up security efforts, while providing incredible employment opportunities. Reinventing your career has never been more exciting.
Software and Web Development
Software and web development are ideal careers for anyone wanting to create. Developers are the creative minds behind computer programs and websites. Some develop the applications that allow people to do specific tasks on computers or other devices. Others program the underlying systems that run the devices or that control networks. The demand for software and web development is incredibly high and has forced many organizations to recruit oversees to fill positions that aren’t being filled by American workers.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of software developers is projected to grow 17 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations. The leading reason for the rapid growth is a large increase in the demand for computer software. You really can’t lose with a career in software or web development. The combination of demand and great pay really makes this field one worth pursuing.
Summing It Up
Reinventing your career can be a little scary, but transitioning into technology may just be the right fit for you. Whether you’ve been let go or replaced, a career in IT or software development can provide the lucrative and stable employment opportunity you’ve been looking for. Anyone interested in learning more about careers in IT are encouraged to chat with a friendly KnowledgeNet representative.