How to Start a Career in Tech

A Career in Technology

The technology industry has come a long way since personal computers were made available to the public in the mid-1970s. Today, technology is an evolving career field filled with opportunities for innovation and creativity, meaning that aspiring professionals and industry veterans can pursue a variety of roles from database administrator to software developer to cybersecurity specialist. Computer jobs are extremely common in this industry, but there are managers, business and financial workers, accountants and auditors, customer service representatives and administrative employees who support tech professionals and the work that they do. 

Planning for a career in technology? Industry experts indicate a strong outlook and a number of new advances in technology. Tech employment is projected to grow at about twice the rate of overall employment across the economy, according to CompTIA’s 2020–2030 industry projections (PDF, 8.5 MB)

Tech Jobs and Career Paths

There are various technology career paths available to individuals starting out in the field. Tech jobs come in different forms, but many of them require at least a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, computer science or a related field, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Computer scientists, computer network architects, computer programmers, computer support specialists, database administrators and information security analysts are some examples of tech jobs. 

Data Analyst Job Description

A data analyst, also known as an operations research analyst, identifies and solves problems in the areas of business, logistics, health care and more, according to the BLS. Companies rely on analytics officers to quickly transform data into business outcomes, among other duties like helping to create AI-driven data storytelling.

A data analyst’s primary responsibilities include collecting and organizing information from computer databases and using statistical analysis or predictive modeling to analyze that information and develop practical solutions. 

To become a data analyst, the BLS recommends an educational background in either the technical or quantitative fields. A bachelor’s degree is often the minimum education requirement for entry-level positions although advanced degrees can be helpful. Typical coursework includes statistics, calculus and linear algebra. 

The median annual wage for operations research analysts was $86,200 in May 2020. Employment of the operations research analyst profession is expected to grow 25 percent from 2020 to 2030, which is much faster than the average for all jobs. 

Project Manager Job Description

The project management career path is for individuals who want to practice organizational management and integrate change at their organizations. Project management employs a business approach to technology. Some competencies and skills that project managers must be aware of and understand are change management, strategic integration, effective communication, advanced risk mitigation and operational readiness.

The median annual salary for project manager specialists was $77,420 in May 2020, according to the BLS. States with the highest levels of employment of project managers include California, Texas, New York, Florida and Georgia. 

Product Analyst Job Description

Product analysts, also called market research analysts, examine the potential sales of a product or service in the technology space. They monitor and forecast sales trends, gather data on consumers’ demographics and preferences, as well as competitors, and then analyze that data using statistical software. They also often make charts, graphs and infographics to present their research findings. 

As of May 2020, product analysts earn a median salary of $65,810, and the highest 10 percent earn more than $127,410. Given the greater use of data and market research across industries as well as the increase in collection and analyses of extremely large sets of data, product analyst positions are projected to grow 22 percent from 2020 to 2030. According to the BLS, candidates with a strong quantitative background and master’s degree in a related field will have the best job prospects, though a bachelor’s degree is usually the minimum education requirement.  

Information Systems Job Description

The information systems field consists of computer and information systems managers and personnel who plan, coordinate and direct activities related to computers and information within a business or corporation. Information systems professionals dedicate their time to analyzing their organization’s computer needs, installing and maintaining computer hardware and software, and upgrading their organization’s computer systems. 

The information systems career path isn’t a linear one. It can lead to a role as an information technology director who supervises an organization’s information technology departments. Another career option is information technology security manager. This person is responsible for monitoring an organization’s network and data security. 

The median salary for information systems managers was $151,150 in May 2020. Information systems manager jobs are projected to grow at an above-average rate of 11 percent between 2020 and 2030. The BLS notes that this growth is due to greater popularity of cloud computing. In the face of cyber threats, there’s also an increasing need to bolster cybersecurity in information systems used by businesses. 

Technology Careers Outlook

Technology careers can be found across various sectors, and, as such, earning potential and job outlooks vary widely. The highest-paying tech jobs depend on such factors as industry, demand and location, among others. Candidate qualifications may also affect pay. 

As the significance of big data continues to grow and affect several industries, coupled with the demand for new and faster technology, there will be a demand for jobs in technology. Furthermore, customers can expect rapid growth in data collection by businesses, which may lead to a greater need for data-mining services that require  computer scientists to write algorithms that make sense of large amounts of data, as well as an increase in the demand for software.

A Master’s Degree in Information Systems From Syracuse University

A forward-thinking, solutions-based information systems degree focuses on equipping aspiring tech professionals with business skills and a strong background in technology. Most importantly, a master’s degree in information systems can help students understand how to approach and solve tech-driven business problems through the lens of innovative technology.