So You Wanna Break Into IT? (Part 3 – Changing Times)
Let’s face it – IT changes every day. If you can’t deal with this, you won’t do well in this field. It’s a basic personality thing. If you want variety and a job that always requires something new of you, IT may be the place for you.
I love that. I need a job that will keep me on my toes and be different tomorrow than it was today. For instance, today (a week or so before posting this entry) I came across a problem I had not previously faced regarding an Outlook 2003 form. I used my foremost internal resource (my officemate, the network administrator) to find a solution (update: the solution wasn’t implemented correctly, but the original problem just disappeared… Go figure. I love a challenge!).
Less recently, we had a difficult situation involving the (then) new Dell Optiplex 755. We could not get it to work correctly with Ghost 8.0, our imaging program. I spent about a week working on it on and off. Finally I worked through a solution with the help of a newfound Internet colleague. Shortly thereafter, I learned that our corporate office (which had just switched to using Dell) had worked through the same issue before I did. I should have called them first, but I’m glad I learned from experience! I learned a lot about editing DOS boot scenarios and creating Ghost TCP/IP boot disks. So all this to say that new problems and new solutions arise daily.
New techologies also arise daily. Just ask a programmer. I have learned a little about programming, and I find that it is a massive field with new languages constantly emerging, and new frameworks and techniques to write those languages also emerging. Check out this quote from graduatecareers.com.au:
The range of tasks and streams within an IT career is huge. It is expected that in one’s working life three separate careers might be typical, and in IT one need not leave the sector at all in order to change careers!” (Source: Australian Computer Society, via www.graduatecareers.com.au)
This is great in some ways – you will always find something to challenge you, and you can network across disciplines so as to ensure that you have another spot ready if yours gets cut. The risk of that is this – your job WILL change, and MAY disappear as the technology changes. Be prepared to learn a new aspect of the field, or a new field.