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Why Local IT Jobs Are More Prevalent Than You Think

Oct 5, 2016 | Harrison College

Why Local IT Jobs Are More Prevalent Than You Think

The technology industry tends to look so flashy and fast-paced alongside other industries. So much so, that many people assume all the action takes place in a glamorous metropolitan areas like New York City, Chicago or the Silicon Valley.

But that assumption couldn’t be more wrong.

Yes, these large cities definitely boast some big tech companies. But that doesn’t mean you’ll have to pack up and move in order to chase your dream of working in information technology (IT). These days, nearly every company in nearly every industry needs qualified tech pros to build, maintain and protect their technology systems.

But qualified tech pros are hard to come by. In fact, a 2015 survey from CompTIA found that 93 percent of employers have a hard time finding qualified IT professionals to fill job openings. It really is an employee’s market out there—all you need to do is meet the qualifications.

The truth of the matter is that you can find an IT job right in your own backyard—no moving trucks, no higher cost of living and no new apartment lease necessary. Learn more about why these positions are so prevalent and why this industry is so appealing.

There’s a multitude of IT positions out there

Most companies can’t get away with having “the computer guy” anymore. The jack-of-all-trades has been replaced with a variety of specialized IT professionals that keep things running smoothly. This means there are several different types of IT jobs out there depending on your interests.

We used real-time job analysis software to analyze more than 2 million IT jobs posted over the past year.* The data helped us determine the five IT job titles in highest demand. Get a taste for what each of these positions entails.

1. Software developer

  • Design, develop and test software to meet predetermined user needs
  • Ensure programs are running properly through software maintenance and testing
  • Document issues within programs as a reference for future software upgrades
  • Research and recommend software upgrades for existing programs

2. Computer systems analyst

  • Consult with various stakeholders to determine an organization’s need for IT systems
  • Prepare reports and proposals to help management to determine if upgrades are needed
  • Oversee the installation of new systems and customizations that meet organizational needs
  • Write instruction manuals and train end users on new systems

3. Computer support specialist

  • Help correct issues and provide advice for people or organizations using computer equipment
  • Perform routine testing and maintenance to ensure networks are working properly
  • Troubleshoot local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs) and internet systems
  • Test and evaluate network systems

4. Network architect

  • Design and build LANs, WANs and other data communication networks
  • Upgrade hardware and software to support computer networks as needed
  • Research new networking technologies to help make recommendations for the organization
  • Understand the company’s business plan in order to help reach organizational goals

5. Web developer

  • Design and create websites to meet performance and capacity goals
  • Meet with clients or colleagues to understand the needs of the website
  • Write code for the website using languages like HTML or XML
  • Monitor website traffic and report to company stakeholders

Every industry needs IT professionals

Not only could you have your choice of IT job titles, but you can also determine what type of company you’d like to work for. This means you’re not tied down to one industry. You can experience variety by doing a similar type of work in a completely different industry.

Our analysis revealed the top industries currently in need of IT professionals. Learn more about the top five fields:

1. Software publishers

It’s a no-brainer that software publishing companies would need IT support. CollegeGrad.com writes that computer specialists make up the vast majority of occupations among software publishers and account for about 52 percent of the industry as a whole. Specific duties vary based on the company, but common responsibilities include developing software applications, designing information networks and assisting users with computer programs.

2. Insurance carriers

This one may be a bit more surprising. But in the digital age we’re living in, insurance providers depend on the same high-tech tools and techniques that other businesses use. Insurance agents use computers to collect, analyze and store sensitive client information. With so much important data to be tracked, sorted and easily accessed, these companies rely on the expertise of IT professionals to keep things running.

3. Healthcare

The introduction of electronic health records (EHR) in many hospitals and clinics means IT professionals are an absolute necessity. This digital information not only streamlines and stores patient health records, it can also be used to prescribe medicine straight to the pharmacy, bill insurance companies and simplify physician notation. In primary care, examples of healthcare-related IT include clinical decision support, computerized disease registries, electronic medical record systems, electronic prescribing and telehealth.

4. Colleges and universities

Higher education may move slower than the average industry, but it is quickly catching up to more advanced industries in its adoption of technology. Institutions are starting to embrace high-tech tactics relating to student records, class registration, campus-wide networks and security concerns. IT professionals play an invaluable role in higher education, from protecting and storing personall data to developing and designing innovative course curriculum to maintaining and repairing technical equipment around campus.

5. Employment services

Companies in this segment provide human resources support to companies in need of temporary help from contract employees. These businesses maintain extensive databases of job-seekers and employers, containing highly sensitive data from both parties. Needless to say, IT professionals play an instrumental role in safeguarding this information as well as maintaining and enhancing the systems that support it.

You can work on your own terms

If you’re looking for local IT jobs, it doesn’t get more local than your own home. It might sound too good to be true, but more and more companies are allowing IT professionals to join their teams remotely. In fact, research from Global Workplace Analytics suggests that the number of non-self-employed remote workers has grown by 103 percent in the past decade.

“Because of the increase in technology and collaboration tools, we are finding it less and less important to require employees to travel to a physical location each day,” says Sean Killian of Enola Labs. He emphasizes two major reasons for this shift.

First, Killian says allowing employees to work from home allows them to avoid lengthy commute times, giving them more time to spend doing productive work for the company. Secondly, he explains that this opens the door for companies to recruit top-tier talent from all across the country. These candidates might come with a lower price tag for the company since they live in less expensive areas.

Opportunities are out there

Now you know that local IT jobs are out there – and they’re more common than you thought! So before you rule out a career in information technology based on your location, consider all the factors that make IT pros a hot commodity in today’s workforce.

The key to becoming one of these coveted professionals is to become qualified. And who better to learn from than IT employees in your own community? This is why all of the adjunct professors in the Harrison College School of Information Technology are currently working in the IT industry.

That’s just one of the unique features of the program. To learn more, check out our article: 5 Facts You Didn’t Know About the Harrison College School of Information Technology.

 

*Burning-Glass.com (analysis of 2,784,951 information technology jobs, Sept. 01, 2015 – Aug. 31, 2016)

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