by Steve Safarowic
Technology has put the world in a constant state of flux. While it is phasing out certain jobs and rendering them obsolete, one can also witness the rising opportunities for careers in technology. As you witness computer and information technology jobs burgeoning, it may lead you to wonder, “Is a career in IT worth the hype? And if so, which tech career is right for me?”
For your first question, according to Links International, even under the influence of COVID-19, the number of job postings in Q2 2020 decreased only slightly by 1.88% compared to Q1 in Hong Kong. The resilience shown in the IT function is a positive sign considering the current situation. So yes, it is every bit worth the hype!
Now moving to the second half of the question — which tech career is right for me? — we’ve got an in-depth analysis just for you! Here’s a low-down on everything that you need to know about choosing the perfect tech career!
How to Decide if Tech is for You?
Quite often, if you have a flair for something, you may assume that you can forge a career out of it. However, shortly, these sparks may go out, making you feel unsatisfied and miserable at work. Hence, before we get into the nitty-gritty of “Which IT career is right for me?” Let’s first consider if a career in technology is right for you!
Naturally, there is no simple or one-size-fits-all to this question. However, here is an effective strategy to narrow down the search for an answer:
- Conduct a skill and passion audit to identify your areas of interest. Do you like designing? How would you rate your logical and problem-solving skills?
- Identify your strengths. Are you a team player? How keen are you on learning new skills?
- Evaluate the skills that you already possess. Do you know any programming language? How comfortable are you with coding?
- Research the career paths, outlooks, and demands. What jobs are available in a certain field? What are the employment modes available for the same?
- Check out your options. What is a good tech career if you don’t like programming? What are some tech careers for people who are highly creative?
- Gear up for the adventure. What are the right/best paths to go for someone who wants to get into the particular tech industry?
Regardless of the number of boxes that you check, eventually, it boils down to how passionate and motivated you are to start a career in tech. As Mark Twain famously said: Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life.
Once you have carried out the foundational assessment and figured out that you are a fit, you can now move on to the next bit: Prepping.
Kickstarting Your Information Technology Career Path
Earlier, it was assumed that only engineers or those excellent in math could land career opportunities in information technology.
Fortunately, this perception is changing with the rise in specialized training institutes. These organizations offer highly-targeted certification courses and bootcamps that can help you emerge as a subject matter expert.
Most importantly, they train you to deliver in line with the company’s expectations. Therefore, even engineers and experienced veterans sign up for courses to tune their skills with the ongoing, niche market trends.
You can consider these courses your shortcut to success for technology-related jobs. Constant learning is the best way to stay up to date and relevant while expanding your skillset.
Following are three of the most highly-rewarding areas for jobs in the information technology field:
Software engineering is associated with the development, operation, and maintenance of a software product or service using a set of well-defined scientific principles, procedures, and applications to achieve the desired effect.
Despite being one of the oldest disciplines in computer technology jobs, it continues to enjoy high market demand, even in Hong Kong, due to the following reasons:
- High degree of flexibility and scalability in existing software applications with ample room for developing new solutions.
- Greater adaptability as the software rests on well-defined scientific and engineering concepts.
- Cost-affordability due to the mass production of hardware elements.
- Enhanced efficiency, usability, quality assurance, and quality management.
- Adaptability and scalability allow the software to adjust to the dynamic nature of the industry.
For a fully-immersive Software Engineering course, candidates may not need to meet any conditions. However, a basic understanding of programming languages would be preferred.
Who Should Go for it?
Following are a few traits that a software engineer typically possesses:
- Dedication to learning, especially programming languages.
- Quick learning and adaptation.
- Logical and analytical mindset.
- Sharp attention to details.
- Ability to work in a team.
- Amazing time and task management skills.
- Web Developer
- Software Engineer
- Full-Stack Developer
- Front-End Developer
- Back-End Developer
Data Science and Machine Learning
If you have been closely monitoring the careers related to information technology, you may notice a spike in the demand for data-centric roles. Enterprises are now fully realizing the potential that data offers.
Data Science relates to the extraction of meaning from data using a scientific approach. While Data Science is a vast and expansive field, Machine Learning is a branch of Artificial Intelligence that outlines the method for data analysis through automation in the analytical model building.
Therefore, one can see that Data Science and Machine Learning are closely related, with the former interpreting and making sense of data, and the latter facilitating the same with minimal human intervention.
While the knowledge of programming and programming language is encouraged, it is not mandatory. Typically, you should have some understanding of programming languages like Python, C/C++, Perl, SQL, and Java.
Who Should Go for it?
To be successful in the areas of Data Science and Machine Learning, you must possess the following qualities:
- Natural penchant for data analysis, visualization, and intuition.
- Proficiency in statistics.
- Strong communication skills.
- Reliable business acumen.
- Data handling and management techniques, especially for structured, unstructured, and semi-structured data.
- Problem-solving skills.
- Data Scientist
- Data Analyst
- Data Engineer
- Machine Learning Engineer
- BI Associate
- Part-time Introduction to Python
- Part-Time Data Science & Machine Learning
- Full-Time Immersive Data Science & Machine Learning
If you wish to bag careers in technology and design, then you must seriously consider getting into UI/UX designing. As the world transitions towards a customer-centric approach, brands are under incredible stress to provide a simple yet memorable user experience. As a result, there has been a significant increase in the demand for UI/UX designers. UI stands for user interface design, while UX denotes the user experience design. Both the UI and UX are interdependent on and independent from one another. UX follows an user-first strategy to design the products, regardless of the technology or the medium that is being used. On the other hand, UI renders the application effective by focusing on its functionality and thereby offering an enjoyable and optimized overall look and feel.
No prerequisites required.
Who Should Go for it?
If you are considering a career in the sphere of UI/UX designing, you must possess the following qualities:
- Ability to find multiple solutions to a single problem.
- Detail-oriented approach to designing.
- Broad understanding of customer needs.
- High level of creativity.
- Strong communication and visualization skills.
- UI/UX Designer
- UI Designer
- UX Designer
- UX Researcher
- Service Designer
- UX Consultant
Top 5 in-demand Careers in Technology
What are the most interesting new career paths that are evolving in tech right now? Let’s take a look at them individually:
Data caused a boom in job opportunities in the information technology sector. Hence, data specialists, such as data analysts, data engineers, etc. are highly in demand. Therefore, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that a career in the field of data will register a growth of 27% by 2026.
You should consider a career as a data analyst if you have keen mathematical and statistical skills. Further, having moderate coding or programming skills can help accentuate your business acumen.
A Day in the Life of a Data Analyst
Data analysts are responsible for gathering, storing, handling, interpreting, and retrieving data. Here are a few day-to-day responsibilities that they bear:
- Mining of data from primary and secondary sources.
- Producing and maintaining internal and end-user reports.
- Identifying meaningful patterns to make predictions.
- Collaborating with other departments (especially sales and marketing) to share analytical insights
- Establishing a data collection infrastructure (database), and maintaining the data fidelity.
- Carrying out descriptive, diagnostic, predictive, and prescriptive data analysis.
The USBLS states that the employment of Web Developers will increase by 13% by 2028. Considering that a significant chunk of businesses are moving to the digital domain, web developers will continue having a sustained demand.
If you are passionate about building applications and platforms, solving real-time problems, and nurture the desire for constant learning, then you will flourish as a web developer.
A Day in the Life of a Web Developer
Web developers are primarily responsible for building and maintaining applications, websites, software, and other systems. They may work in the back-end or front-end, or carry out full-stack web development. Here are a few roles and responsibilities that come with the post:
- Realizing the UI/UX plan goals.
- Ensuring display optimization across devices.
- Developing and maintaining technology to power up to the front-end.
- Carrying out tests and fixing bugs.
- Coordinating with sales and marketing teams and the client.
- Implementing the functions as well as pages of your application.
Machine Learning Engineer
Machine learning continues to dominate the artificial intelligence sector. By 2018, this area of expertise has increased its number of postings by 344%! In addition to being the most sought after job, Machine Learning Engineers are also paid handsomely for their services.
Those having strong logical, analytical, and problem-solving skills will fit right in as a machine learning engineer.
A Day in the Life of a Machine Learning Engineer
Typically, an ML engineer will carry out the following tasks:
- Analyzing machine learning algorithms to identify bugs and solve them.
- Visualizing and exploring data.
- Supervising and outlining data acquisition best practices.
- Verifying data quality and ensuring the same via cleaning.
- Mapping out the various data sets and differentiating between them.
Web or App Designers
Web and app platforms call for maintaining consistency and branding across all channels. As a result, a UI/UX expert can help formulate the perfect strategy for the same. Typically, a UX designer would collect inputs based on a customer’s PoV. On the other hand, the UI designer will streamline the design to blend aesthetics with functionality.
If you have a knack for combining technology and creativity, a job in design is perfect for you!
A Day in the Life of a Web or App Designer
UI designers will be responsible for the following:
- Creating a standard visual guide for all web/app developers.
- Designing screens and determining what element goes where.
- Incorporating customized UI elements such as icons, buttons, scrollbars, and sliders.
- UX designers will contribute to the following activities:
- Collecting user information, determining a user persona, and locating their pain points.
- Analyzing data collected over feedback, surveys, questionnaires, etc.
- Creating wireframes and prototypes.
It is estimated that the average base pay of a Business Intelligence (BI) Analysts in Hong Kong, would have touched a whopping $36,000/month. Therefore, if you have the data analytical, problem-solving, and communication skills and industry knowledge, you can secure your career as a BI analyst.
A Day in the Life of a BI Analyst
The day-to-day tasks carried out by BI analysts include:
- Analyzing market trends and competitor strategy.
- Communicating with clients, suppliers, and organizational staff to stay on top of all the news.
- Transmitting BI information to the concerned parties in a timely manner.
- Identifying the best strategies that will work in accordance with the business goal.
Finally, choosing the ideal career path is a result of your personal interests, core competencies, and acquired skills. We have made a few excellent suggestions on the up and coming tech career options that are here to stay. Feel free to diversify and pick up additional skills or specialization as you snake through your career.
Now that you have a solid understanding of how to choose the best tech career path for you, so go ahead and live your dreams!