10 Reasons why you should work in IT
To most folks in the tech world, working in IT might sound like one of the dullest jobs on the planet. And that can be the case at times. However, as I’ve found out, working as an IT officer for the past 6 months, it’s also one of the most lucrative career paths if you’re still in college trying to make ends meet or just taking your first steps in the tech world. Let me tell you why.
1. IT jobs don’t have a strict definition
IT can mean a lot of things in different industries and workplaces. You might be getting yourself into database and systems administration, working with hardware, providing support for software over the phone, setting up networks, patching up security issues in a firewall or, most likely, a combination of all of these.
IT guys and gals are usually jacks-of-all-trades and they work with a lot of different hardware, software and anything in between. While it might be a lot to take in at first, it’s a great learning opportunity for most and can help you sort of figure out what kind of area best suits you or at the very least the kind of technology you want to steer clear of.
2. Building bridges
While you might be stuck on formatting hard drives and changing Ethernet cables for what feels like eternity, there’s a lot of time for you to make new acquaintances in any IT job. And I don’t just mean the tech people you work with, but also the end-users, the people whose laptops you’re repairing.
Sure, you might not make a ton of friends or meet the love of your life, but you learn to communicate with the end-users, understand their needs and express technical things in a… non-technical way. That’s an extremely valuable skill in any tech job you might want to pick up later down the line, as most of us tech-oriented folks don’t naturally possess it. It can come in handy in the meeting room, when trying to close a deal with a potential customer or even in your next job interview!
3. You have to keep your zen
Tech support calls are often infuriating. As is disaster recovery on your servers. Oh, and firewall configuration, too. After a few weeks in IT, you start developing a sense of patience Buddhist monks would be jealous of. You also learn to plan ahead and organize your tasks so that you can be more efficient.
An IT job, at its core, is running around with a broken bucket trying to put out fires around the office — everything is urgent and you have no idea what you are doing half the time. If you can’t keep calm, you won’t be able to accomplish anything, so your mind naturally adapts to this situation as you get used to it. Almost any job is like that, but in most of them you don’t have the danger of accidentally cursing at your superiors over the phone because they can’t plug the HDMI cable into the right port or type the password correctly for the nineteenth time this week.
4. Thinking in and out of the box
Like I already said, IT jobs can involve a lot of different technology. So IT folks have to adapt to changes and figure out solutions quickly. It’s also worth noting that you learn to use your tools and resources to the maximum of their capabilities to deal with day-to-day tasks.
Troubleshooting others’ problems and figuring out how to minimize downtimes or issues can lead to some really creative thinking and problem solving, which can come in handy in the future. Learning to setup and use new tools and hardware is also extremely beneficial, as it helps condition your brain to learning very fast, a necessary evil in any tech job nowadays.
5. The valley of non-technical ideas
Most developers I know struggle with finding useful and worthwhile ideas for new side projects, which can be a bummer and lead to an endless cycle of procrastination. If most of your time is spent coding or learning about code, you might end up in a situation where all of your project ideas revolve around programming or — even worse — ToDo Apps!
Hobbies and activities outside of programming can help alleviate this, but what if I told you a job in IT could do just that? Getting to talk with people outside of the tech world, you will hear a lot of people wishing for an application dealing with very simple tasks they have to face daily. While the technical skills to develop such an application might not be that advanced, you can still learn something from building it. And, who knows, it might be the next big startup inspired by the needs of a lazy co-worker hanging around the water cooler.
6. Switching paths
I’ve already stated how varied IT jobs can be, which can help you find the kind of thing you like working with. But you might also get a pretty good feeling of the kind of stuff you like working on. That can be especially true in larger companies where the portfolio of activities and departments is more varied.
I’ve heard of a lot of people deciding to pursue post-graduate education in economics or marketing, as they realized that programming or server administration just wasn’t for them. Possessing skills both in IT and another field can help you land a job with much more ease, but more importantly it can help you land a job where you are truly satisfied with what you do.
7. No pressure
Most IT jobs, especially junior ones, are honestly not that stressful. Most often than not, you will be providing support for your co-workers’ issues, which will start to seem insignificant and easy to deal with after a few weeks on the job. Rarely ever will you have to work late or will you lose sleep over that one tiny detail you cannot get right.
While this might not prepare you for a more stressful environment, it still allows you the flexibility of figuring out where you want to be in five years’ time and work on those goals as soon as you go home after work.
8. You have some creative freedom
If you work in a non-technical firm and you get asked to build or set up a new system, you are mostly free to do whatever you want as nobody knows what the heck you are talking about. Want to work with that flashy framework nobody has ever heard about? Sure thing! Want to install that extremely popular tool everyone has experience using except for you? You’re in luck!
Most IT jobs involve some amount of creating or setting up new systems and the majority of managers barely know anything about this kind of stuff, expect for the obvious connection to black magic and alien spaceships. If your colleagues in the IT department have no objections, you can expand your knowledge and prepare for your dream job all while on company time.
9. Becoming the Swiss army knife
Computers are absolutely everywhere around us nowadays and this trend is growing by the moment. While IT jobs might be in short demand in a few years, IT skills won’t and that’s a very important thing to note.
As you spend time working with computers and tech in an IT job, you learn a lot about pretty much everything computer-related, which can make life so much easier in the future. Setting up a network? Easy peasy! Formatting a computer? I can do it blindfolded! Upgrading an old laptop? Nothing special about it! These skills can save you time and money and you can be the friend who always has the solution, don’t underestimate them!
10. It pays the bills
Finally, no matter how dull or uninspiring IT sounds, it provides you with a decent enough salary most of the time. If you are starting out in the tech world and aren’t looking for anything fancy or very specific, IT can help you get a positive account balance before you move on. And there’s no argument anyone can make against that!