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Are You Considering an IT Career? You Should!

Have you been unemployed for awhile in your chosen career and you’re looking for options? Maybe you’re approaching college for the first time and wondering what you should do with your life? Even if you just want a better job than you’ve got now, an IT career fits perfectly into all three categories. Best of all, the IT industry wants you to join the cause and get involved with modern tech. Here’s why!

The IT Industry Needs Talent

Here are two statistics for you to consider at the moment: by the end of the year, almost 1 million IT jobs will remain unfilled in Europe alone because there isn’t enough talent to fill those positions. For people who fit into the 16 to 24 age group who are looking for work, the unemployment rate is nearly 20%, even though every other age group has a declining unemployment rate. As technology continues to take over more aspects of life, IT professionals are going to be in even greater demand.

Simply put, if you switch over to an IT career with the appropriate amount of training, then you’re going to find a job somewhere. Period.

You Can Work Where You Want To Work

Almost every business relies on technology in some way. There’s always going to be those jack-of-all-trades owners that can take care of their IT needs on their own, but most of the time a little help is needed. From the writer who uses Office products to the billion dollar company that focuses on product innovation, IT plays a role in both successes. Your potential in this industry is almost unlimited. You can work for whom you want to work in any field because you’re needed!

Boredom? What Boredom?

With an IT career, there’s always something going on that will keep you active either physically or mentally. It’s a constant problem-solving routine where things are fresh and new because there’s always something different going on. If you love a game of chess, then you’ll love what this industry can provide you for a career. Best of all, every country requires IT professionals. That means you can go anywhere and do virtually anything you want to accomplish in life.

You Change Lives, One Person at a Time

Technology has helped to ease so much suffering in the world today and it’s just getting started! Think about what Facebook has done to connect people together. What has Apple done for communication with their line of products? Looking ahead, there’s 3D printing that could produce viable organs for human transplant, wearable technology, and smart homes will truly become smart because everything will talk with everything else. You could be part of that. You could change lives for the better while earning your paycheck.

Speaking of paychecks, the IT industry is one of the best salaried positions in any industry, especially in an entry-level job. You might not become the richest person in the world, but you could earn a comfortable living that can bring a level of content to life that you may not have right now. There are jobs in the IT industry just waiting to be filled – are you ready to step up to the plate?

Could Computer Science Help To Solve the Wage Gap?

For decades, women have struggled to earn the same amount as men for the exact same job duties. In some career fields, such as sales, a woman may only earn as much as 68% of a man’s salary on average! In the field of computer science, however, there could be the foundation of finally changing this issue. Even though there is still a wage gap for women, the need for qualified people is great. This need gives women the power to negotiate and that power may be the final straw that helps women achieve true professional equality.

Agencies Are Recruiting Directly From Educational Programs

In Silicon Valley, the need for qualified computer science professionals is so great that agencies like Facebook, Apple, and even Google are recruiting directly from the classroom because the need for people is so great. Stock options and other financial perks are rising as fast as salaries for qualified personnel because there is basically a static pool of people from which to choose.

According to Kimber Lockhart, who works for Box as senior director of engineering, the need is so great that she can’t even do the job that she was hired to do. “It’s extremely hard to hire well-qualified engineers,” she told the Mercury News recently. “And if we could get anybody else in the pipeline, that could make it easier. If that’s women, great.”

At this very moment, four out of the top 20 jobs for women in the United States are in computer science – a place where only about 1 in every 4 employees is a woman. Computer programming, software development, IT systems management, analyst positions – they’re all in desperate need for qualified people. It is this need that women can use to shrink or eliminate the wage gap, but only if they have the skills to back up their negotiating power.

How Can These Skills Be Developed?

It ultimately boils down to passion. Many women believe that there is a lot of boredom associated with the computer science industry. The thought of sitting down at a computer all day to do their job is, at best, considered to be boring. Yet because every business needs to have some sort of internet presence in order to be successful, there is an opportunity for every woman to find success in the computer science industry in any field they have a passion to work within.

Why is this passion important? Because it is this passion that drives more consistency, value, and reliability in the work that is completed. Women who have been in charge of start-ups in this field have shown a definite competitive advantage when it comes to innovative products that consumers are using globally. Just ask Sandy Jen – she sold Meebo to Google in 2012 for a reported nine figures.

It starts with the decision to pursue computer science in a formal educational setting. That’s where recruiting is happening today… and that’s where the wage gap could finally start becoming a distant memory.

How to Keep Your Inbox Empty

At the end of the day, I get great satisfaction knowing that my inbox is empty. For the last 10 years, I have been able to stay on top of my email by following the tips I am about to share with you. Every time I get an email I go through this same process to keep my inbox empty.

1. Can I delete it?

I love deleting emails. I found most emails can be deleted with very little consequence to my work or life. I work in organizations where I am carbon copy on everything. I used to save these emails because I thought I will need it someday but this turns out to be false. Learn to embrace deleting emails and you are halfway to taking charge of your inbox.

2. If I can’t delete it right away, can I act on it in less than 2 minutes?

If it is a short email that requires a quick response, I can actually take care of it right away. If the email takes less than 2 minutes to read and act upon, you should just do it. It is a waste of time to read and re-read an email multiple times without deciding to do something about it. Most emails fall under this category. Once I have acted on the email (either by reading or responding to it, it will get deleted it or filed away for reference). After reading emails, I always take action on it. The goal is to keep my inbox free of emails.

3. Turn your inbox into a to-do list or reminder.

My inbox is sacred territory. Any emails still residing there must be important or requires my attention. For example, if an email has an action item that I need to do, I will leave it in my inbox as a reminder that I need to do something. Also, if I am waiting for a reply back from someone, I will leave the email in my inbox as a reminder.  

Start-up Hiring Trends

In 2011, the number of startup jobs jumped 23.5% from a year ago according to StartupHire.com. As you can guess, the state with the most startup jobs is California. I live in the heart of Silicon Valley. This is really ground zero for startups in America. I am surrounded by some of the most well known companies in the planet such as Apple, Google and Facebook. These giant companies were once startups too. It seems that every business park is cramped wall to wall with young companies hoping to make it big or get acquired. The amount of money being poured into new ventures is just incredible. Some of the best and brightest people in the world are coming to Silicon Valley to make their fortune. This reminds me of the Internet boom that we experienced in in the late 90′s.

This new gold rush is presenting an enormous opportunity for people with technical skills. Right now in the startup world, the jobs with the most openings are centered around the software industry. These are companies that are creating the next cool iPhone app or cloud-based service. The most common job title in 2011 was software engineer followed by senior software engineer. Not only are there more computer jobs than people but the pay is averaging closing to $100,000 annually in Silicon Valley.

There is no better time to be in the tech industry. The graph below shows some interesting information about startups.

Average Tech Worker Making $100K in Silicon Valley

Dice, an online jobs board, recently completed an annual salary survey that showed the average tech worker in Silicon Valley is making $104,195 a year. This is the first time it went above $100K since the survey began. That is a 5% increase from 2010. In addition to the increase in salary, 38% of tech workers are getting an average bonus of $12,450.

What this is telling me is that the demand for job seekers with technical skills in Silicon Valley is increasing rapidly. Due to the shortage of skilled labor, salaries are being increased to attract talented people.

There has never been a better time to work in the information technology field. Tech companies in Silicon Valley are doing very well at the moment. I recently read an article that Facebook cannot find enough good people for its job openings. I think this lack of skilled workers will persist for a long time.

Best Jobs in 2012

CareerCast.com recently listed the best jobs in 2012. The number one spot goes to software engineer. This is not surprising since the need for people with computer skills will only increase in the future. Software engineers are also some of the highest paying people in America with an average salary of $88,142. There are more jobs than qualified people to fill them. As someone who regularly hires people for tech jobs, I can tell you that it is very hard to fill these positions because we can’t find enough good people. We sometimes have to settle for whatever is out there. If you are contemplating a career change, I would highly recommend researching the information technology field.

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