Tech Career Choices – Q&A

Wednesday, June 10, 2009 ·

Question Mark I got the OK to post parts of a Q&A from a reader. Thank you Reader!

This is a question I get often and thought others would benefit from it.

Notice I didn’t directly answer his main question, but asked him to looking at his abilities and passion first. All of these areas are growth oriented, but have different individual profiles. So it’s hard for me to say one verses the other without knowing more about the individual.


From Reader:

Hi, I am currently considering a career in the Tech field but I am unsure in which specific area to get into..  There are so many choices that it is a little daunting choosing a route to take.  I'm looking into Software Engineering, IT Security, and a few areas in Information Systems.  In your opinion what is the better choice[?]…..

Response to Reader:

Thank you for your email. You are right there are many choices and questions. It really depends on your background, your skill level and your passion. For example, in Software Engineering, logic skills and passion run handing in career success. Hard to suggest what “avenue to go down” from only reading an email, but I can give some guidelines or questions to ask yourself. 

[Reader expressed a wide variety of interests] 

Regarding your varied interests, one of the harder parts of deciding a career track is to streamline your interest, define what it is you really want to do. I’d write out on a piece of paper all the things that really interest you, don’t limit yourself, make it 6 pages if you can. Go over it again and again and cross out areas/topics that don’t fit into your career goals and see what stands out. See my blog on “Know Thyself.”

[In response to a question regarding Job security]

Remember, even with a high growth area like Tech, there is no such thing as “Job Security.” I’ve seen very good, experienced programmers, lose jobs. As long as you work for someone else you will never have “Job Security.”

Something to consider

Getting and maintaining a tech career has a lot to do with continued education in your chosen field. Ask yourself – Are you interested in going into a career where you will be required to continue to learn tools, techniques, languages, methodologies, etc.? This is critical. Do you have the ability to pay for and attend classes (now) in IT, software development and/or security? Do you have the inner fortitude to learn on your own (work on side projects on your own – with or without pay)? If you can answer YES with conviction, then I think you could move forward. As long as you have the logic skills required for the field you choose.


I Invite Questions:

Understand you are not alone in having questions and thoughts about your career direction. Please feel free to share, in most cases you will be helping others with the same concerns.


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I'm not a blogger. So consume at your own risk.
Since 1995 I've been working with software developers helping them increase their value through technical training and connecting them to great employers. This blog is dedicated to those technical professionals that want to get the most of out their career. I'll answer questions I get daily, common misconceptions and provide direction, but it's up to you to take action.
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