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Technology Industry is Looking for People Like You

By Experience

There's good news for bright, young job-seekers looking for careers in a field that values ideas and enthusiasm: the technology industry is run by people just like you.

Technology has grown into an indispensable part of everyday life. It has spawned jobs of every type: engineering, sales and marketing, communications, design, writing, maintenance--you name it. The industry behind all the innovation is booming like no other, and all estimates say it will continue to grow and prosper long into your career. Your challenge is finding the best tech job that has your name on the business card.

The Big Picture

We have good news for bright, young job-seekers looking for careers in a field that values ideas and enthusiasm: the technology industry is run by people just like you. It's a challenging, dynamic, and rewarding environment that thrives on youthful energy and spirit. The ups and downs can be dramatic, but imaginative, dedicated professionals often find long-term career satisfaction. Here's a roundup of some of the industry's best and worst features:

Progressive Outlook

The overriding sense of excitement in most sectors of the industry comes from the knowledge that tech professionals are making changes that affect many aspects of our lives, especially work, play, and communication. Even in your first job, you may be part of a team that is developing and employing new tools and techniques to further the technological revolution--all that, and you'll be part of a revolution in corporate culture, too. Not bad for your first year out of school.

Five Casual Days a Week

Tech companies put power ties and shiny shoes in their proper place--well behind ingenuity, expertise, responsibility, and talent. Relaxed environments, casual dress, personal respect, and unaffected friendliness are the norms. A well-made suit is still a well-made suit, but if your style runs toward jeans and sweatshirts, you can work comfortably in companies throughout the industry wearing exactly what you like.

Equality and Community

The youthful iconoclasm at the heart of the industry calls into question traditional business roles and hierarchies. Old notions of business etiquette rarely bind?tech companies, which focus on change and meritocracy rather than stability and bureaucracy. It's not uncommon to find the CEO of a tech company having a one-on-one lunch with an intern. Execs hang out with receptionists, and men are a minority in many boardrooms. Office politics give way to community spirit, so everyone can have fun together while getting hard work done.

Youth is King

Technology moves quickly, and hiring managers see youth as an asset. Employers understand that recent graduates, who have been immersed in the latest technological developments, may know as much about the state of the art as 20-year industry veterans do. Some hot and profitable technology companies have been run entirely by people under 30. Companies value work experience, but deep knowledge of the latest programming languages and a unique approach to thinking and problem solving can be just as important. In high tech, what you can do is more important than where you've done it before.

High Tension and Relentless Change

Your office environment may be laid back, but the industry at large certainly isn't. When companies can rise and fall over one new product feature, the pressure to stay ahead of the game gets intense. Pressure from hungry competitors pushes people to work long hours on tight schedules and sets the tone for an industry where success depends on constant evolution. Start-up firms dominate the industry, but many last just long enough to steal their competitors' businesses. "Here today, gone tomorrow," used to describe the last generation of a product or the most recent up-start company, is the unofficial motto of this world.

Lots of Workday Perks

Companies help their workers deal with stress by allowing lots of play time. Free bagels, Friday afternoon happy hours, foosball tables, volleyball nets, and other stress-relieving measures are standard at tech companies. People in the industry understand that flexibility and the right mix of work and play breed innovation.

Demand for Skills

The number of skilled technical professionals will fall short of the demand for them for the next few years. While the demand is increasing for systems analysts, database administrators, engineers, and programmers, the number of available qualified applicants is dwindling. Talented people at all experience levels will find a wider range of professional options to choose from.

Final Word

The tech industry holds virtually endless opportunities. The variety and number of jobs are astonishing, and job growth throughout the industry will continue to see growth. People from all backgrounds, are drawn to work in a field that reveres imagination and creativity. Tech companies thrive on an entrepreneurial spirit and a willingness to take risks--good news for bright young people trying to get their careers moving.

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