As you may imagine, there’s no shortage of topics to research in the rapidly evolving IT industry. Every year, we conduct numerous studies focused on technologies, business and — most importantly — the people involved. Our analysts are dedicated to studying the issues that affect people working in IT or are touched by tech in some way. And as a not-for-profit IT professional association, CompTIA AITP is in a unique position to deliver insights from a great amount of independent and vendor-neutral data.
One CompTIA AITP study specifically, Evaluating IT Workforce Needs, has been ongoing since 2012. It builds on our other research to gain a deeper understanding of tech professionals. While it pulls from a large base of tech pros — 820 in the United States to be exact — so that you may compare yourself, it also helps us and the industry better understand the types of career and job resources IT pros value. Following are a few highlights of the research, which can be accessed in full by CompTIA AITP members.
IT Job Opportunities Abound, but Tech Aptitude and Passion Drive Career Choice
Top reasons for initially pursuing or ending up in an IT career include skills/aptitude with technology (64 percent) and passion / interest in technology (52 percent). While job opportunities (40 percent) and high pay/earnings potential (38 percent) are certainly top drivers for some, tech skills and interest are key driving forces behind seeking a career in IT.
IT as a career offers countless opportunities for new entrants as well as seasoned tech pros seeking advancement or change. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, for example, projects faster than average occupational growth for computer-related professions, at 12 percent for the 10-year period of 2014 top 2024. Moreover, within the wide array of fields available in IT, there is a track for everyone from programming/coding to business intelligence/analysis, troubleshooting to security, team leadership to consulting/business ownership, device repair to teaching, tech support to management, and the list goes on.
Tech Pros Want to Help Others, Including Their Companies
Helping others continues to be an integral thread across the wide array of fields in IT. Prospective tech pros could see themselves working in cybersecurity to help protect users or companies from viruses or hackers, or simply working to help others use technology. In their “dream job” description, some tech pros cited they are driven to help their companies succeed.
Here's a small sampling of how tech pros describe their dream job:
- “Being in a leadership role, providing a positive impact on the organization.”
- “Corporate support and more opportunities for advancement.”
- “Having the capabilities for advancement, leadership and training opportunities to expand my current knowledge base.”
- “Helping making life beneficial and easier for others.”
- “CTO of a hospital that uses emerging technology to address not only clinical technologies, but patient life space technologies. The hospital can be extended beyond the walls of the building and into patients’ homes and workspaces.”
Tech Pros Have a Deep Desire for Continued Learning and Welcome Challenging Work
This study continues to find that tech professionals want and could use more employer support for doing their jobs more efficiently and effectively, especially additional training resources and career guidance. Their top wish list item for improving job efficiency? More than half cite more resources for training/professional development (53 percent).
Furthermore, a substantial portion of IT pros disagree that their employer adequately supports their professional development efforts (40 percent at least partly disagree) or that they have the resources and tools necessary to do their job well (also 40 percent net disagree). These two matters may be quite frustrating for tech pros, especially given their hunger for continued learning. Though many organizations may support IT employee training and professional development to some degree, it’s simply not enough. (See CompTIA’s Assessing the IT Skills Gap report, available to CompTIA AITP members.)
Looking ahead, just over half of tech pros claim to have a good idea of their desired career path during the next five years (55 percent). The remaining may especially find value in getting some type of support to help them figure out the right path for them. Only about half of IT pros report being involved in a professional society, trade or alumni association, business or tech group/community. Regardless of whether they’ve participated, the great majority believe involvement in such a group would benefit their IT career. Cue the many resources available to members of CompTIA AITP.To get more research like this, join CompTIA AITP today.