Is it time to look beyond the term ‘IT’ to describe a career in technology?

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Each time the topic of ‘IT jobs’ comes up in the media, it attracts varying degrees of speculation and debate about what vendors should be doing to meet perceived challenges. There is often alarm and concern assigned to research findings that would lead us to believe the entire industry is somehow in trouble.

CIO Magazine recently quoted Westpac chief information officer, Clive Whincup, as saying that there had been a fifty percent reduction in the number of university entrants enrolling in tertiary IT courses over the past ten years. According to Whincup, the industry is not doing enough to attract graduates in to IT roles.

But on the other hand, we saw software engineers recently take the number one spot in the Best and Worst Jobs of 2012. The survey asked respondents from 200 professions to rate their job based on five criteria: physical demands, work environment, income, stress and hiring outlook.

If you look beyond the general term ‘IT’ to specific verticals, you will see that many sectors under the ‘IT umbrella’ are progressing comfortably. In my opinion, the term ‘IT’ is too often used to describe what people who work in technology do but we run in to issues when it is used to discuss complex market trends.

Take for instance technical support call centres, these workplaces as classified as being within the IT industry, but with high staff turnover rates – could they be to blame for the supposed “IT skills shortage”?

In many ways, the research, trends and discussion around jobs in technology can be confusing and conflicting.

Should we be doing more to redefine the terminology for what we do?

Paul Goepfert

Paul Goepfert

Paul Goepfert is the Marketing Manager for ERP vendor Pronto Software. @PaulGoepfert

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