For those who are either entering the job force or switching careers in 2023, the tech industry is a field that’s hard to overlook. For the past thirty years, the tech industry has consistently offered lucrative salaries, and the industry as a whole continues to be a major force in the larger cultural conversation.
That said, picking a career path in tech is not an easy choice to make. For newcomers, there is the question of what kind of skills it takes to land a tech job. These are often multidisciplinary roles that require a specialized skillset and practical experience, both of which are hard to get as a newcomer.
One also has to consider the current state of employment in the industry. 2023 has been a year marked by layoffs at large tech companies, which has led to the perception that tech careers might be more precarious than previously thought.
So are technology jobs a good career path in 2023? That’s the question we’re going to answer in this article. Along the way, you’ll learn all about the current state of the tech market, different tech careers to explore, and how you can find the job that’s right for you.
Is Technology a Good Career Path Today?
A career in technology means that you can do meaningful work that can make an impact across various industries. You also have the opportunity to apply a wide range of skills in creative ways when you work in technology.
The paychecks that come with working in tech are a nice perk. Average salaries in the technology sector crossed the six-figure threshold in 2021 and have only trended upward since. The combination of meaningful output and rewarding salaries makes a career in technology a great choice for professionals today.
Is the Tech Job Market Still Hot?
This is the all-important question for those who are considering jobs in tech. The good news is that, despite the recent round of layoffs, the tech market is still very healthy and has overwhelmingly positive prospects, especially in fields like cybersecurity. According to a report by Cyber States, over 270,000 new jobs are going to be created across tech fields in 2023. The rate of employment growth in the tech sector is projected to be double that of the national average in the United States. These numbers indicate that the demand for tech professionals remains high, even if there have been recent layoffs.
A Career in Tech: Pros and Cons
Here are some of the perks and some potential downsides that come with picking this career track.
Pros of a Career in Tech
Here’s what continues to draw people to the tech industry.
An Environment of Transformation, Invention, and Innovation
Innovation and progress are central to technology. This isn’t to say that everyone working in tech is building world-changing AI, but it does mean that, if you work in tech, you’ll likely get to be in an environment where you can work on exciting projects and produce inventive work.
Good Compensation and Packages
A technology career promises healthy paychecks. One report pegs the average salary in tech in 2022 at $111,348. That’s up from the 2021 average of $108,857. Most companies also offer tech employees plenty of nice perks as part of their job.
Great Network and Community
Technology is a field that has spread its roots across most industries today. That means that as a tech worker, you will have access to a network spread across multiple industries and fields too. That does, of course, mean that you will benefit greatly from working on your networking skills and building contacts.
There is also a strong sense of community among those who work in tech. This is true offline, where most major cities have conferences, unions, and meetups for people who work in tech. You can also find your tribe online by looking for communities that cater to people who work on specific technologies. For example, if you work in data science, then you should definitely consider immersing yourself in a data science community.
Opportunity To Have a Positive and Tangible Impact
Working in technology gives you the ability to have a transformational impact on the organizations you work in. This is because most companies today are looking for technological solutions that can deliver new innovations and optimize results.
Diversity of Career Options To Choose From
Tech workers aren’t just limited to the technology industry—you don’t just have to work at companies that produce software. Rather, you can find yourself contributing to various industries, including banking, health, entertainment, and retail.
The abundance of career options is one of the most exciting things about a career in technology. The growth of technology across fields translates to the ability to work in any one of these fields. So if you’re a techie who has always loved cars, you can easily marry work and passion with a job in the automotive space.
Possibility To Work From Anywhere
Most technology jobs are remote-friendly. Especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, most companies are open to hiring engineers and other professionals in a remote capacity.
The ability to work from anywhere is a boon in more ways than one. The obvious advantage is that you can choose the kind of environment you want to work in. But perhaps more importantly, it means that more people have access to the kind of exciting and lucrative job roles that were previously reserved for people who lived in and around the tech hubs of the world.
Cons of a Career in Tech
If you’re going to choose a career in tech, then you should be aware of these downsides.
A High-Pressure Atmosphere and an Inadequate Work-Life Balance
The pressure to deliver under tight deadlines is often an unsaid requirement in tech jobs. This is because a lot of companies ship software updates regularly and are always trying to keep up in a highly competitive environment. As a result, a lot of professionals in this field end up feeling overworked and burnt out.
The high-pressure situation can also take a toll on your personal life. You might find yourself borrowing from personal time to complete your work and make deadlines. So if you choose a career in tech, make sure that you delineate strong boundaries between your personal and professional life so that you don’t build a sense of resentment towards your work.
Because of tech’s lucrative salaries, the competition for jobs is always increasing. That means that you’re always going up against a sizable field of skilled professionals for any job that you’re applying to.
This isn’t to say that it’s easy for anyone to apply to a tech role. The degree of skill required to work in tech will always be a competitive moat for those who possess those skills. That said, you need to be prepared to go the extra mile to gain experience and upskill yourself so that you stand out from the competition.
Mass Layoffs and Hiring Freezes Do Happen
Layoffs are a fixture of work in the tech industry. We’re only halfway through 2023, and companies like Google, Microsoft, Meta, and Amazon have already announced significant workforce reductions. The tech industry also sees hiring freezes happen quite regularly.
Although layoffs are a harsh reality for those working in the technology sector, there are two sides to that coin. As we saw earlier, demand for tech workers remains high despite layoffs at specific companies. That means that a lot of laid-off employees tend to be hired quickly by other organizations.
A career in tech is one that is both high-pressure and sedentary. Even if you work remotely, you will find yourself spending many hours at a desk.
Tech Careers To Explore
Technology provides you with a wide range of options when it comes to different disciplines and fields. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular jobs in tech and understand what each of them entails.
Software Development and Engineering
One of the most commonly available jobs in the tech industry is software engineering, a somewhat generic term used to describe a job that involves writing code to build software for a range of different potential platforms and devices.
Software development is a field in which your main focus will be on specializing in a programming language and a specific application or device type. For example, some Java programmers write code for native applications on Windows.
Game and Mobile App Development
Game and mobile app development is a specialized form of software development. Developers in this industry are also software developers, but they focus on writing software for mobile applications and games.
Mobile app development is an exciting space where a lot of cutting-edge technology is being developed. A career in this field will give you the opportunity to create apps in a world where mobile-first is becoming a focus for a lot of companies.
Game development is a niche development field where you will have to pick up skills in-game physics and learn how to use specific game engines. It’s a great choice for developers who are passionate about gaming.
Cybersecurity is one of the areas within tech that’s seeing a great deal of growth and rising opportunities. As more and more companies move their data and operations online, there is an increasing need for professionals who understand how to set up secure systems and lay down regulatory frameworks for organizations.
Working in cybersecurity will put you front and center of the movement towards more information-secure organizations. It is a field that promises exciting work where you will have to keep up with the latest in malware and network security so that you can keep your own organization secure.
There are few fields that have seen as much growth in the last few years as data science. Companies across industries have woken up to the value of data, and because of this, the importance of data scientists has grown.
Data science is a field that requires skills in mathematics, data handling, and some software development. You should consider a career in this field if you are willing to work on all those skills and are passionate about working with large datasets.
Data analytics is a field where professionals are tasked with extracting specific insights from data to improve business outcomes. As a data analyst, you’ll be given a problem statement, and then it’s up to you to source data and carry out analyses to solve that problem. For example, you might be tasked with understanding why a specific SKU is lagging in sales.
Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence
Most of the cutting-edge work that’s currently happening in tech is in the fields of machine learning and artificial intelligence. Therefore, these are the areas that you should consider if you want to work on innovative projects and have a passion for research.
Both machine learning and artificial intelligence are fields where you need to have a broad skill set. You need to have a strong understanding of mathematical concepts, specifically in calculus, statistics, and vector algebra. Additionally, you will need to have a strong grasp of data structures, algorithms, and a programming language like Python or Java.
IT support is not as glamorous as some of the other tech jobs mentioned on this list. However, it is a key role that requires both technical and communication skills.
IT support is a field that you should consider if you’re good at problem-solving and enjoy interacting with people. You need to have the requisite tech skills so that you’re able to have an in-depth understanding of the technology product for which you provide support.
DevOps is a subset of tech that focuses on coming up with novel methodologies to enhance the output of software teams. DevOps engineers have a strong set of technical and soft skills. Your job will involve taking stock of the projects assigned to your team and devising ways to measure and enhance the rate of development. This is a great role for individuals who have strong people skills and are passionate about improving productivity.
Choosing a Career in Tech: An Overview
What do you need to know to pick a career? Let’s find out.
How Do I Choose a Career Path in Technology?
Here are a few things you can do to determine which career opportunities in tech are the right ones for you.
There are plenty of resources online (such as this post, for a start) that you can use to get some basic information on different fields within tech. Take a look at blog posts and job descriptions to find out what professionals in a given field do and what kind of skills got them there.
The career you choose should lie at the intersection of your skills and passions. So take some time to take stock of what your own strengths are and how they can be deployed in a professional setting.
Complete an Internship
Internships let you get up close to the job that you have in mind. Completing one will give you an idea of what professionals do in a specific role and how they collaborate with others on a team. We’ve put together a guide on how to land an AI internship here. You can apply a lot of the same principles to any tech field.
Talk to a Pro
Shadowing someone who already works at your dream job, or even just talking to them, can go a long way in helping you understand that career path. Use the opportunity to ask them about the specifics of their job and what their day-to-day work looks like.
Which Tech Fields Are in Demand?
The following are some of the most in-demand fields in technology right now.
- Systems manager
- Cloud operations engineer
- Network security engineer
- Cybersecurity manager
- AI developer
What Are Some Tech Careers That Don’t Require a Degree?
The following are some careers in tech that don’t require a college degree:
- Web developer
- Technical writer
- UX designer
- Help desk analyst
- Support specialist
What Is the Easiest Field in Tech?
Here are some of the most lucrative jobs in tech where you can land jobs without much experience:
- CMS manager
- Web designer
- Digital marketing analyst
- Data analyst
- DevOps engineer
What Are the Highest-Paying Tech Careers?
The following are some of the most lucrative careers in tech, along with their average salaries.
Data Scientist: $152,126
Cloud Engineer: $134,478
Machine Learning Engineer: $157,137
Software Architect: $135,016
Pursuing a Career in Tech: Real-Life Examples and Stories To Inspire You
Here are a couple of people who you can use as inspiration in your journey in technology.
In her previous career, Abi Mohamed worked a retail sales job. However, she wasn’t fully satisfied and decided to reignite her passion for tech. The linked post covers how Abi moved back in with her parents, completed a graduate degree, and landed a job as a software engineer with a government agency.
This story comes from an iOS engineer at a FAANG company who goes by the pseudonym Babe Engineer. In the linked video, she goes over how she dropped out of a managerial economics college degree and instead enrolled in a coding bootcamp. Her story serves as inspiration for those who don’t come from a tech background but aspire to work in the industry.
Resources To Find Jobs in Tech
Let’s now take a look at a few places where you can find job posts in the tech industry.
The following job boards carry postings for tech jobs.
Networking is one of the most effective ways to land a job. Start off by letting your friends and family know about the kind of job that you’re looking for. You can slowly move on to attending local conferences and meetups to grow your professional network.
Slack and Online Communities
There are a whole host of online communities that cater to tech professionals. Make sure to look up communities on platforms such as Discord, Slack, and LinkedIn to find ones that are geared specifically toward your niche.
Is Technology a Good Career Path FAQs
We’ve got the answers to your most frequently asked questions.
Is the Tech Field Stressful?
Jobs in tech can be stressful. Make sure to have a conversation with your manager or HR if you feel overwhelmed or burnt out at work.
How Long Does It Take To Land a Job in Tech?
Give yourself at least six months to pick up the requisite skills if you’re completely new to the tech field. You can accelerate your job hunt by building a portfolio of work and networking with experienced professionals in the space.
How Long Does It Take To Make Six Figures in Tech?
The average tech salary is currently in the six figures. So most mid-career professionals (about five years of experience) in the industry reach that mark.
How Do I Switch to a Tech Career?
To start off, pick up the requisite technical skills for the job. You can do so by attending a bootcamp, completing a college degree, or through self-learning. The next step is to work on your portfolio and complete an internship if you can. From there, you can start applying for jobs and networking with professionals in your field.
Are Tech Jobs Oversaturated?
No, tech jobs are not oversaturated. In fact, there is often a dearth of capable talent in a lot of tech fields.
Since you’re here…
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