Skip to content
Log in
Research career paths

Is technology a good career path?

Exploring career paths in the field of technology? Find out if this growing industry is right for you and review your options.

Technology is a promising career path with plenty of job opportunities. You don’t even have to be a tech whiz to get into the field — there are plenty of nontechnical jobs in tech, too.

Not convinced technology is your calling? We’re here to help. Below, we’ll explain some of the advantages of a tech career. Of course, we’re always going to give you the facts, so we also highlight some of the drawbacks.

Finally, we’ll cover some of the most in-demand careers in tech, giving you an idea of the various opportunities in this job market. We’ll also explain how to determine which IT job is right for you.

Why pursue a career in the tech industry?

Let’s start with the positives. There are some very good reasons to get into tech, from career security to high-roller salaries. Here are some of the perks.

High demand

From “i, Robot” to “The Circle” and “2001: A Space Odyssey,” plenty of scary movies serve as cautionary tales against embracing tech. But the truth is that we are increasingly finding ways to leverage tech to make our everyday lives easier.

As a result, tech is basically a future-proof career — and the demand for pros is high. This means excellent job security. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates that tech jobs will increase at a rate of 15% through 2031.

Long story short: You’ve got a reliable future as a tech professional.

Remote work

The remote work revolution is definitely upon us. Telecommuting has been gaining ground since the COVID-19 pandemic forced more people to stay home.

And guess what? Tech companies are leading the charge.

In fact, some 90% of tech companies are allowing remote work. Why? This allows them to save on expensive office spaces, especially in areas where commercial rent can be exorbitant (like the San Francisco tech bubble).

This means you get more flexibility in where you live and work.

Endless career path options

Working in tech doesn’t have to mean spending your days hunched over a computer writing code (although you can, if that’s what you love)! The tech industry offers diverse job options, even for non-techies. Examples range from product management to marketing and recruiting.

On top of that, you can often transfer your tech job to other fields. For example, a role like product manager can transfer to fields like finance and health care.

You can always make a switch if you tire of the tech world.

Excellent pay

The technology industry offers many high-paying roles. For example, a back-end developer earns $106,017 annually, while a computer network architect earns $137,429.

Even if you don’t get into a tech-specific job, you’ll probably still earn more in tech than in other fields.

Take a role like product manager, for example. The average product manager’s salary in the United States is $77,371. However, that number jumps to $95,627 for a technical product manager.

Meaningful work

People use tech in their everyday lives to help them in all kinds of meaningful ways. Health care apps help people with diabetes track their blood sugar, for example, while innovations like Be My Eyes help individuals with visual impairment navigate the everyday world.

If you work in tech, you can help shape a more positive future by contributing to these developments. Knowing you’re doing meaningful work that makes a difference can be even more rewarding than a big fat paycheck.

Are there any downsides to working in tech?

We won’t sugarcoat it: Tech isn’t all sunshine and roses. There are a few drawbacks to the technology sector, which are definitely worth considering if you’re contemplating a tech career.

Be aware of these cons so you can make the best decision for you and your future. After all, you want a career you can be proud to stand behind.

Fast pace

Tech is a fast-paced, high-pressure field. Constantly working on the cutting edge can be draining, especially as many tech companies are highly competitive (both externally and internally). This can be challenging.

There has been talk of a burnout crisis in the tech industry. A study of IT professionals found that 62% reported feeling emotionally drained, while 42% considered quitting within the next six months.

If you prefer a more relaxed pace, tech may not be for you.

Solitary work

Many tech jobs are very independent in nature. Recruiters may interact with people, but programmer jobs tend to be more isolating.

If you’re a social butterfly, nontechnical tech jobs like those in marketing might be a better fit (which is still something you can do in the tech field).

The solitary nature of tech work can be especially challenging for certain individuals, like those who are neurodivergent. Although the industry is starting to discuss this issue and how to change it, there are still hurdles.

Lack of diversity

Unfortunately, tech is plagued by diversity issues. Here are some scary stats: Black employees only hold 2.4% of tech jobs at Meta. And Black employees account for just 6.6% of the workforce at Microsoft.

A lack of ethnic, racial, and gender diversity can harm both workers and companies. The truth is that a lack of diversity can go hand-in-hand with discrimination.

For example, 57% of female tech workers report experiencing discrimination, compared to 10% of men.

Choosing the best tech career path

We’ve given you a candid list of pros and cons. Still interested in a tech career? Let’s look at some possible options. Each job listing includes a quick description, salary and educational requirements, and a list of helpful skill sets for the job.

Software developer

Software developers help create software, computer programs, and mobile and desktop apps. They use code to design and build these technical elements. They may work for tech companies, computer design firms, and electronic product manufacturers, to name a few options.

Average salary: $75,790 annually

Educational requirements: Bachelor’s in software engineering, computer science, or similar

Necessary skills:

  • Detail-oriented
  • Self-motivated
  • Analytical

Data scientist

Data scientists use quantitative and qualitative data to analyze and forecast trends and interpret information. They also use data analytics and visualization software to communicate their findings. Data scientists don’t just work for tech companies but can also work in roles at engineering and software firms.

Average salary: $74,678 annually

Educational requirements: Bachelor’s in computer science, software engineering, or general engineering

Necessary skills:

  • Problem-solver
  • Collaborative
  • Knowledge of relevant software, like visualization tools

Quality assurance technician

Quality assurance technicians, also called quality assurance analysts, help test software products and identify possible glitches and bugs. They work for software companies, private offices, and government agencies.

Average salary: $50,387 annually

Educational requirements: Bachelor’s in computer science or software engineering

Necessary skills:

  • Project management skills
  • Good communication abilities
  • Detail-oriented

Information security analyst

Information security analysts safeguard computer networks against hackers and other threats. They identify vulnerabilities, respond to viruses, and develop protection strategies. They work for businesses of all kinds, from hospitals to financial firms.

Average salary: $69,029 annually

Educational requirements: Bachelor’s in programming, computer science, or software engineering

Necessary skills:

  • Good prediction skills
  • Analytical mindset
  • Capable of working under pressure

Web developer

Web developers create the websites you browse on the internet every day. They use code to manipulate website design, make it user-friendly, and use programming languages to ensure the website functions as needed. Web developers can work for all kinds of businesses, from graphic design agencies to marketing companies.

Average salary: $76,094 annually

Educational requirements: Bachelor’s in computer science or similar

Necessary skills:

  • Creative
  • Team player
  • Coding knowledge

Support specialist

User support specialists troubleshoot and solve computer-related issues. Companies often hire them to help employees with tech issues, though they can also work as IT support specialists in fields like telecommunications and health care.

Average salary: $56,612 annually

Educational requirements: Bachelor’s in computer science or software engineering

Necessary skills:

  • Friendly
  • Good communication skills
  • Patient

Software engineer

Software engineers help create computer, tablet, and mobile device software. They build programs from scratch using complex codes and troubleshoot and test programs after completion. Check out this interview with two real-world software engineers to learn more.

Average salary: $75,789 annually

Educational requirements: Bachelor’s in software engineering, computer science, or similar

Necessary skills:

  • Independent worker
  • Good problem-solving skills
  • Keen attention to detail

Back-end developer

Back-end developers work on the back end of websites — the parts you don’t see when you visit (front-end developers handle the parts you do see). They use programming languages, content management systems (CMS), and databases to ensure the website works as it should.

Average salary: $106,017 annually

Educational requirements: Bachelor’s in computer science or similar

Necessary skills:

  • Excellent programming skills
  • Team player
  • Clear communicator

Computer network architect

Computer network architects help plan and design internal computer networks for companies. They can work for all sorts of businesses, from insurance providers to computer system design firms.

Average salary: $137,429 annually

Educational requirements: Bachelor’s in computer science of software engineering

Necessary skills:

  • Good leadership skills
  • Excellent communication and teamwork
  • Detail-oriented

Systems analyst

Systems analysts link an organization’s IT team and non-IT employees. They help design and implement computer software, hardware, and cloud computing services. They may also help the organization stay up to date with tech trends.

Average salary: $68,140 annually

Educational requirements: Bachelor’s in computer science or similar

Necessary skills:

  • Analytical mindset
  • Multitasking ability
  • Great communication skills

Which technology companies are hiring on Handshake?

Education requirements

Plenty of entry-level opportunities in tech don’t require an extensive education. For example, you can get a nontechnical role as a customer success representative with just a high school diploma.

Here are some more job ideas that don’t require a college degree or fancy technical skills.

That said, some of the best-paying jobs may require a higher level of education. For example, jobs like network architect and back-end developer generally require at least a bachelor’s degree in a field like computer science.

A master’s degree can be helpful if you want to advance to a leadership role.

Certifications can also help boost your resume and elevate your career. Examples include certifications in specific programming languages, project management, or web development.

Industry outlook

Many huge names in tech started laying off workers in late 2022 and into 2023, including Amazon, Zoom, eBay, SAP, and IBM. Should you worry that tech isn’t as future-proof as it seems? Probably not.

In general, the outlook for the tech industry is good. As we said above, the BLS estimates that tech jobs will continue to grow at a rate of 15% through 2031. For technology professionals, the key to success is flexibility.

Technology solutions are always evolving. As a result, tech jobs may evolve, too. Being open to adaptation is key. Certain areas of tech, like artificial intelligence and machine learning, are only now becoming more mainstream.

This means new jobs may arise in these fields in the future (jobs we can’t even imagine right now)!

Is a career in tech right for you?

The tech industry has many perks for workers — from high salaries to a greater ratio of remote jobs. But tech has a dark side, including a lack of diversity and a high-pressure atmosphere. It’s up to you to decide if the pros outweigh the cons.

Opting for a job in information technology means you’ll have a lot of career options, so start looking for your dream job now. Handshake has plenty of resources to help, from our roundup of the top 10 jobs for tech majors to our list of who’s hiring in tech.

Ready to start searching for technology jobs? Create a Handshake profile today.


Find the right jobs for you. Get hired.