Opportunities in IT have been many for over a decade, until the 2009 economic downturn. One of the complaints from businessmen of other fields was that everyone was looking to get into IT and so they could not get good employees. The dearth of employees in other fields, interestingly including engineering, was quite alarming (because putting all our eggs into one basket is never a good idea).
HR teams from IT and ITES majors, and minors, almost invaded college campuses to recruit rapidly. None of the departments were spared. It appeared as if there was a race for the largest numbers of recruits in a year. Colleges and universities seemed to be more than happy with this situation.
Now that there are some signs of recovery, at least in the major companies, students are probably once again tempted to jump onto the IT bandwagon.
IT careers are great but they are not for everyone.
Let us look at some of the advantages that an IT career offers.
- Worldclass Office Environment
- Reputation in Society
- Great Benefits
- International Travel
- Chance to work with the latest technologies
- Work alongside some very bright people
- Flexible Hours (for some)
- Telecommuting (for some)
- Excellent Pay (of course)
All these may be enough reasons for one to consider jumping into IT but here are some characteristics that are needed for being successful in IT.
- Ability to learn new technologies (otherwise, what you know becomes obsolete quickly)
- Ability to cope with unpredictable work hours (not everyone gets to telecommute)
- Ability to work on a computer for long hours
- Ability to cope with deadlines
- Organized life with adequate attention to work-life balance
- Good Communication Skills
- Ability to think logically
- Have decent Analytical and Mathematical skills
- Have Patience, lots of it
- Attention to Detail (goes with the point above)
- Understand that there is no job guarantee
The most important among the above is the ability and desire to learn. Many areas are changing rapidly but probably only a few at the pace of IT. Before the dot com boom, people could depend on their current skills (with minor updates) to see them through for five to ten years. These days, in a year or two, what we know is becoming obsolete. If we don’t keep up, before we know it, we are going to be replaced by someone else who does.
So, we suggest that you weigh all the pros and cons carefully and then chose the path that you think will fit you best.