One of the things I like the most about having a career in the technology space is the flexibility. There are so many options. Not only are there lots of different IT roles, there are also many domains to explore, since every company needs IT to function. When I was in college, I didn’t exactly realize that this career flexibility existed…but over five years later I can tell you that it does, and I’m very thankful that I have been able to take advantage of it.
Thus far in my career, I have worked in software quality assurance, development (coding), and most recently, in a business systems analyst role. On the software side, I have covered every step of the SDLC (Software Development Lifecycle) except for implementation. Having all of these roles has made me a more well-rounded IT professional. I have insight into both the positive aspects and the challenges each role faces.
To add another facet, I have also spent time in companies where the software is the sole product, and in other companies where software just plays a supporting role. There is something to be said for at least considering this distinction when choosing a next move.
I haven’t spent any time in the systems/network administration side of IT, but that is another possibility.
As far as domain knowledge, I have spent time in medical, energy, and transportation thus far. Currently I work in parking (part of the ‘transportation’ umbrella) but after almost four years in this space, it’s time to learn something new – to advantage of that flexibility IT offers! So I am moving on to a new domain – a mix of science and e-commerce. There is never any excuse to be stagnant in your learning and your career when you are in the technology field.
The best part of it all, in my opinion, is that there is no additional formal education required. In tech, real-world experience is valued more highly than a certificate. So, if you are looking for a change, all you have to do is go learn a new skill and build something with it. That’s a lot easier than paying off $30,000 in student loans!
In tech, so many doors are open to you, but it’s up to you to go find them.