Effective Career Management Strategies for IT Professionals


career_managementThe Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that field of IT services is rapidly growing and creating high-paying jobs and excellent opportunities. In fact, the subfield of computer systems design and services alone employs over 1.5 million people. However, the IT industry is quite unique and competitive, so IT professionals should follow the tips below to effectively manage their careers.

Career Planning
First, college students and entry-level IT job candidates should research individual IT disciplines and their potential for future growth and opportunity. There are limited benefits in pursuing a career path that lacks long-term growth and development potential. The next step is to consider the associated economic viability and stability because the demand for certain technology products and services fluctuates according to market, innovation and industry trends. Research shows that the fastest growing IT jobs include web and software development as well as systems and cybersecurity analysts.

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Continually Cultivate Skills
The technology sector is very fluid and agile, so IT professionals must continuously refine their knowledge and update their skills. The actual rate of technology progression depends on the sub-field, but all IT professionals who want to be successful in their careers must proactively increase their qualifications and expand their abilities. The easiest way to accomplish this is through maintaining industry certifications and membership in professional organizations. Attending technology events, conferences and trade shows are the best ways to stay up-to-date with market changes, emerging solutions and real-time trends.

Expand Business Acumen
Technologies like Big Data, sentiment analysis, machine learning and predictive analysis are transforming how business leaders conduct research, understand situations and make decisions. Many companies are striving to integrate departments and expand technology solutions, so IT professionals have many opportunities to become involved in new projects outside their expertise. Most companies that engage in e-commerce are aligning their sales, marketing and product management departments in order to centralize and streamline operations. They need IT professionals who understand their concepts and concerns in order to identify traffic, increase conversions and encourage click-throughs.

As a final note, IT professionals should maintain a strong network of industry contacts and associates. This will provide viable employment opportunities, but it will also establish credibility and guarantee future growth.