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What's Your Interest in IT Fields?

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Some jobs are boring; some are not. Some jobs in IT are boring; most are not. What is boring to one person may be a source of endless enjoyment to another. That diversity is what makes us human.The key to finding a specific IT career that keeps you satisfied for many years to come is deciding what area of technology is appropriate for you. These points will be discussed in greater detail in chapters to follow. What we are referring to here is just a general level of interest.

To the untrained, nontechnical eye, working in the IT industry may look a bit mundane-spending endless hours in front of a computer screen performing a variety of tasks, day in and day out. But those on the inside are well aware that the IT industry is anything but dull. In fact, if it were widely known how interesting it can be, there would be a stampede to the nearest training center. It is also worth mentioning that, although the common perception is that people spend countless hours staring at a screen, that is not the case for many areas of IT. In many IT roles, you are also likely to be spending time talking to other people, attending meetings, or crawling under desks.

There are other things that make IT an interesting and stimulating field. Most occupations in the computing industry require that IT professionals use, or at least have knowledge of, the latest and greatest products and programs. There is nothing dull about working in an industry that requires its workers to be on the cutting edge. Even if your chosen field means that endless hours are spent in front of a computer screen (and here's one of the big IT secrets), a lot of this time is spent playing around with cool and interesting stuff. In fact, "playing around" with cool stuff (testing new software, for example) can be a large part of the job, even if it is typically disguised as seeking a more efficient method to conduct business.



Whatever your chosen IT area, there will be times when you need to try a beta version of a program, or new features of an existing program, or maybe even new products like voice recognition software or some sort of multipurpose printer.The point is that technology progresses at an ever increasingly rapid pace, and it is, to say the least, very interesting to have access to the products and programs of the future. For many people working in IT, it is this ability to work with new products that provides the greatest satisfaction of all.

If testing and working with the most recent and innovative software and hardware does not perk your interest, do not despair; there are plenty of other interesting elements to the IT industry. Consider for a moment the on-the-job diversity that a career in IT can provide. Small to mid-sized companies that employ few IT professionals require the ones they do have to be able to perform a variety of different tasks. One day you might show up to work and need to troubleshoot a bad network connection. The next day you find yourself upgrading a PC with a larger hard drive and sound card. The next day you may be training users on a new database program. This kind of diversity provides ongoing interest, and in many cases the opportunity to try new and different things. And you never know; you may find that you enjoy a certain aspect of the job a great deal, in which case you can choose to focus on that.

Those whose interest fades when faced with the same task every day may find that they enjoy the diversity that some IT jobs provide. With some jobs, you may not know what needs to be done on any given day.

Still not convinced? Try this one. Essentially, in IT, nothing is ever assumed to be as good as it gets. All programs, from Web browser to operating system, and all hardware, from hard drives to network cards, are temporary. They are used in the interim until something else comes along, and when that something else comes along, it too is temporary. Hardware and software are replaced as soon as someone conceives and designs a better product.That someone could be you.

Portability

A career in information technology can act as a mechanism for traveling and seeing other parts of the country or even the world. Because every company worldwide has a technology infrastructure of some sort, every country can become part of your target market. Though some experience will almost certainly make things go a little smoother, there is no reason why those starting a career in IT should not be able to take advantage of out-of-town or even out-of-country opportunities.

The language of technology is international. The skills and experience you bring to a job in your hometown are valid practically anywhere else in the world, provided of course that you have the language skills to back up your technical knowledge. In fact, the addition of a foreign language to your skills set can be a valuable and worthwhile asset if you are seeking work with a large multinational corporation who may be supporting customers worldwide.

IT is unique in that many other fields require participants to have their qualifications evaluated or recognized by a certifying body in the country to which they want to go. In the IT field, this is not the case. A C++ programmer in the United States can be a C++ programmer in Australia with no such hurdles.

A further enhancement of this worldwide portability can be found with certifications, which are recognized globally. Whereas industry degrees or professional certifications often require that the holder be recertified or have his qualifications recognized by the foreign country, this problem doesn't exist in IT. Take, for example, the Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) certification, which is one of the most popular certification programs available. The MCSE is recognized in every country in which Microsoft has a presence, and even those that it doesn't. Effectively, the MCSE, as with other certification programs, has become a global standard by which technical capability can be measured. Because the testing strategy is the same the world over, employers know that a person who has gained his or her MCSE in the United States has demonstrated the same level of knowledge and understanding that a person from England has. This gives employers an advantage too because it provides them with a meaningful and relevant way to compare the skills of two people irrespective of nationality and background.
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