As the job market in the field of software engineering and computer science is growing, it entice many people often with no technology or coding background to enter into this market. However, they often lack an overarching understanding of the field of computer science. Thus, this article reviews major career paths related to coding and technology career.
Learning one or two programming languages must be complemented with a clear understanding of best career options available for that coding language. For instance, if you like to be a software engineer, spending time and effort on mastering your HTML and CSS might be a waste of time. Therefore, this article is to shed more lights on most popular career options available for those wish to become IT professionals. The essence of this article has beautifully been captured by a coding career roadmap diagram developed by Coding Bootcamps Company available via the below link. Therefore, diagram helps you a lot in finding your feet in the IT field.
I- Web Designer and Developer Career
Web designers or web developers create web pages and web-based applications. Web developers build the web pages and web-based applications that comprise the Internet. A basic web development work-flow includes collecting or creating web content (copy, images, videos, etc.), planning web site layout and navigation, coding the actual web pages, then testing and optimizing the website for superior user experience and optimum performance.
The most reputable certifications in this area are: Zend Certified PHP Engineer, Zend Framework 2 certification, and database-related certifications.
Unlike other IT and coding career paths, mobile App design and development is relatively young. Although it has come to existence with invention of Smartphone and tablet devices, it has gained enormous popularity among programmers. As such, best candidates for this job market have web design or software engineering background. The median annual salaries of mobile App developers are slightly higher than web designers, so they get paid almost the same as software engineers.
Software engineers have been around since the invention of computer. They do design and develop software that is either installable on a PC or laptop or accessible via online SaaS services. Most common languages are Java, C, C++, and Python.
Software development is the process of developing software through successive phases in an orderly way. This process includes not only the actual writing of code but also the preparation of requirements and objectives, the design of what is to be coded, and confirmation that what is developed has met objectives.
Typical phases of software development:
1) Identification of required software
2) Analysis of the software requirements
3) Detailed specification of the software requirements
4) Software design
The median annual wage for software developers, applications was $90,510 in May 2017. Employment of software developers is projected to grow 17 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations. Employment of applications developers is projected to grow 19 percent, and employment of systems developers is projected to grow 13 percent. The main reason for the rapid growth in both applications developers and systems developers is a large increase in the demand for computer software.
Here is a good article for reviewing the most reputable certifications in this area.
System admin career has long history, so major jobs in this area are database, network, and system admin as well as cybersecurity and could service management. Here we look at two major branches of system admin career: 1- Computer Systems Administrator and 2-Information Technology or IT Specialist.
Computer Systems Administrator
A network and computer systems administrator’s greatest contribution is maintaining an organization’s work flow and keeping its lines of communication open. This work is of utmost importance. In a single day, he or she may encounter stacks of servers, dozens of crisscrossing network cables and major malfunctions with the hardware and software that runs the company’s local area and wide area networks. Since companies depend on their networks for so much of their work, problems must be corrected swiftly and completely. Aside from identifying network issues and fixing them, computer systems administrators must also make updates to all equipment and software so they’re current. Another important aspect of the job is ensuring email and data storage networks work properly and employee workstations are connected to the central computer network. They also set up and maintain an organization’s computer servers and train new users on how to use relevant hardware and software. Some network and computer systems administrators also manage telecommunication networks so employees can work from home or on the road, which is becoming more and more important as new technologies allow employees to connect outside the office.
Computer Systems Administrators rank #8 in Best Technology Jobs. As its low unemployment rate of 2 percent indicates, this is an in-demand profession that’s expected to grow as employers invest in new technology and faster mobile networks. More administrators will also be needed to implement upgraded security measures to protect workplace computer systems. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts employment growth of 8 percent between 2014 and 2024, which should lead to approximately 30,200 new positions over this period. Network and computer systems administrators earned a median salary of $75,790 in 2017, or $36.44 per hour, according to the BLS. The best-paid 10 percent earned more than $120,000 in 2018, while the lowest-paid made less than $46,220.
The most reputable certifications in this area are: Oracle Database SQL Fundamentals, Oracle Database 11g Admin, Amazon Web Services or AWS Certified Solutions Architect, AWS Certified Developer, Linx+ certification, Linux Professional Institute system admin exam of 101 and 102, Red Hat Certified System Admin,, Red Hat Certified Engineer, Google Cloud certifications, Microsoft Azure Certifications, and more.
An IT Specialist is a computer support and security administrator who assists companies and organizations with managing hardware, software, networking and solving problems. These professionals go by a range of titles, including information security analyst and network administrator. They can find work in a wide variety of industries, like business, government and manufacturing. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, network and computer systems administrators earned a median salary of $77,810 in May 2018.
Here is the list of careers related to the IT specialist:
- Computer Technician
- Desktop Support Technician
- Help Desk Technician
- IT Consultant
- Information Technology Specialist
- Support Analyst
- IT Support Engineer
- IT Support Technician
- IT Systems Administrator
- Technical Support Specialist
V- Digital Media Specialist
A digital media specialist uses design skills and technology to produce content used in video games and on websites, as well as audio content, special effects, and animation. A person can obtain entry-level employment in this field with a certificate or associate degree. In addition, an entry-level worker should have good computer troubleshooting skills and be familiar with software programs, such as Dreamweaver, Flash, and InDesign.
Here is the list of careers related to the digital media specialist:
- Communications Coordinator
- Communications Manager
- Graphic Designer
- Marketing Assistant
- Marketing Associate
- Marketing Coordinator
- Marketing Manager
- Marketing Specialist
- Social Media Manager
- Social Media Marketing Manager
VI- Digital Marketing
Digital marketing spending is booming. With ever growing money spent on Internet advertising, businesses understand the value of digital mediums boosting their bottom line. And it doesn’t stop there. Advertising via mobile phones and tablets last year rose 180 percent, to $4 billion, and is expected to grow more, according to eMarketer.
The rise in digital marketing has created an immense career opportunity. A vastly diverse, evolving, and promising path, digital marketing is drawing entrepreneurs, new grads, and even traditional businessmen and women looking for a career change. Whether your passion lies in social media, copywriting, analytics, mobile app development, or creative design – there’s a good chance that there’s a digital marketing career that’s a fit for you. But before you dive in, you need to understand t and compare this career versus other IT career paths especially programming ones.
As the industry diversifies, so do the job opportunities. Digital marketing generalists are becoming less and less abundant, and niched digital careers are taking the reins. Here are some digital marketing specializations you’ll see:
- Affiliate marketing
- CRM and email
- Content strategy
- Content marketing
- Community manager
- Digital account manager
- Digital advertising sales
- Inbound marketing
- Online public relations
- Social Media
- Web or mobile development
- Web design
- User experience
- Email marketing specialist
The most reputable certifications in this area is Google AdWords and Analytic certifications.
Summary and Additional Remarks
By now you understand about 6 major career paths in the IT field. It is important to note that coding related career paths are inter-connected. For instance, once you learn web design, you can move on to become a mobile App developer or pursue a system admin jobs. Indeed, logic of coding and algorithm design concepts are common among all coding languages, so you can easily transfer your coding skills and knowledge from programming language to another. The major decision is to whether or not pursue a coding path; therefore, you have to evaluate pros and cons of each career path and find the one best fits your needs.
It is advisable to consult with an IT career counselor to understand what career options best fits your skills. Once you know what career path you wish to pursue, you can make a plan on what, when, and how to learn. There are lots of online resources for learning coding and technology in general. For teenagers and high school students, High School Technology Services offers variety of hands-on training. For adults and professionals, Coding Bootcamps and DC Web Makers Companies offer basic to advance project-based programming and technology classes.