Are you the go-to person in your family for tech issues? Maybe you’ve been coding since kinder and love nothing more than spending the day gaming or checking out new gadgets. Or, do you find yourself wanting to fight cybercrime?
The bottom line? If you’ve got a passion for technology, you might be thinking about an IT career. But with such a huge variety of jobs and careers in the industry, it can be tricky to decide which path to follow.
Here’s some IT careers to consider, and how to decide which is right for you:
Networking and system administration
According to Chisholm Information Technology education manager Bavita Gupta, this is a great option for IT all-rounders. “Every organisation has an IT department and that’s what you would be working on,” she says.
Job roles can include network operations technician, software support technician or client support officer. Your job might involve planning, developing, installing, troubleshooting and maintaining systems and networks, as well as ensuring system security, backup and performance.
You could also find yourself working on a helpdesk or in a call centre, providing IT support for staff members or clients.
How to know if networking and system administration support is right for you?
Bavita says this is a career which suits people with good communication skills. “You’ll need to be able to communicate with people who don’t know as much about IT as you do.” You’ll also need to be a critical thinker and a problem solver.”
Courses to consider:
The Certificate IV in Information Technology (Networking and Systems Administration Support) will see you gain skills in installing and securing networks and providing system support.
Programmers and database developers
Do you love the idea of developing or maintaining websites, mobile applications, software or databases? It’s a satisfying job, playing a part in creating an effective and functional digital landscape.
She says large organisations, with a lot of data to keep track of, need database administrators.
How to know if programming and database development is right for you?
Are you someone who prefers to work behind the scenes and doesn’t mind working independently? While it’s not always the case, Bavita says programmers often work autonomously.
You’ll need to be detail-oriented and a logical thinker. If you already know you love coding, then this might be the right pathway for you.
Courses to consider:
The Certificate IV in Information Technology (Programming and Database Development) gives you a good knowledge base and skills including configuring and maintaining databases, applying intermediate programming skills and developing a user interface.
Do you like the idea of using your skills for good and stopping cyber criminals in their tracks? Consider a career in cyber security.
Australia has a skills shortage of job-ready cyber security workers, with around 17,000 more needed to ensure the country’s digital security by 2026.
Bavita says typically cyber security workers start in roles where they monitor data and look for and report anomalies. “They can then move to the next level, into a role where they deal with the incidents. They also configure and troubleshoot security infrastructure devices and identify system security requirements.”
How to know if cyber security is right for you?
A passion for IT and great networking skills are essential to work in cyber security and Bavita says programming skills can be useful too.
“You’ll need to be able to work under pressure, apply guidelines and work independently sometimes as well,” she says.
Courses to consider:
The Certificate IV in Cyber Security will see you learn network security fundamentals, incident response plans and how to analyse data and present research and can lead to roles including computer forensics, IT security administrator and penetration tester.
From there, students can go on to study the Advanced Diploma of Cyber Security, which can lead to work as a cyber-security specialist.
Still not sure which IT career path to take?
The good news is, Bavita says students don’t need to decide straight away which tech job they want to aim for.
She advises beginning with the Certificate III in Information Technology which gives students a variety of useful tech skills and “a taste of everything”. “It’s a fantastic starting point for anyone who is interested in IT allowing you to gain foundational skills in cloud computing, basic cyber awareness, digital media skills, generalist IT support services, networking, programming, systems and web development,” Bavita says. “By the end of the course students have a much clearer idea of where their passion lies and which IT career path they want to follow. They can then go on to study a Certificate IV in their chosen area.”