IT education offers job security for the future

By Susan Pohorski

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Photo: Computer Engineering Technology student
Computer Engineering Technology is one of many IT programs offered at Wisconsin's technical colleges.

If you and your child are looking for careers with a bright future, consider the many occupations in Information Technology, or IT.

As parents, our job is to prepare our children for the future. To help them learn the skills necessary to live their lives independently. We want them to be able to support themselves by gainful employment. So, what are the careers that will be around for our children in the next 20 to 30 years?

Since the early 1980s, computers have become pervasive in every workplace and almost every home. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 12 percent growth in computer occupations over the next 10 years. Careers in Information Technology (IT) are guaranteed to grow.

Does your child enjoy analytical thinking and creative problem solving? If so, he or she could thrive in the many information technology careers available.

According to an article in Fortune, the most in-demand jobs in IT for 2015 were software engineers, computer information systems managers and network administrators. Did you know some of these jobs require only a two-year associate degree or one-year technical diploma?

Here are some of the top IT degrees offered at Wisconsin’s technical colleges:

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Photo: IT student
IT student does his work
IT- Software Developer
Job openings: Last year, employers advertised 228 positions on Wisconsin TechConnect. Wisconsin Occupational Employment Statistics predicts a 15 percent rise in job openings for software developers in the next six years.
Median salary: $42,000 six months after completing their degree

IT – Network Systems Administration
Job Openings: Last year there were 150 openings advertised on Wisconsin TechConnect. CareerOneStop predicts a 22 percent increase in job openings for Computer Systems Analysts in Wisconsin.
Median salary: $36,000 six months after completing their degree

Web and Software Developer
Job openings: One of the top 20 fastest-growing occupations for people with an associate degree. These jobs have a 20 percent predicted growth nationally between 2012-2020. In Wisconsin, experts expect 10 percent growth in coming years.
Median salary: $43,500 after six months

Information Security Analysts
Job openings: In Wisconsin demand for people with these skills will increase by 26 percent. Information Systems Security Specialists have a 100 percent graduate placement rate.
Median salary:  $50,998 after six months.

These are just a few of the more than 70 IT programs offered at Wisconsin’s technical colleges.

According to the Computerworld’s annual Forecast survey of IT executives: 37% of the 182 IT professionals who responded said they plan to increase hiring in the upcoming year — that’s a significant jump from last year, when only 24% said they planned to add new staff. Moreover, 24% of those polled this year listed “attracting new talent” as first among their business priorities for the next 12 months.

This career field just keeps on growing. As the media pointed out recently, even children’s toys have microchips in them now. What’s next?

To keep up with changes in technology, Wisconsin technical colleges provide cutting-edge training for both new students and IT professionals requiring training throughout their careers. Students can choose from two-year associate programs, many of which have credits that transfer for a bachelors of science, technical diplomas requiring one or two years of study and certificates. Many colleges also offer networking opportunities in student IT clubs.

IT graduates from Wisconsin technical colleges are finding success in many different industries. We even found one working for Apple, Inc.

If your child shows interest in computers, websites or other forms of Information Technology, talk with him or her about the many career possibilities today. The field is changing rapidly, so seek out cutting edge classes using the most up-to-date equipment and software. For those exploring higher education opportunities, consider the technical college option by calling your local college or visiting the college website.

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