In the current economic environment, it is important to build a career in an industry that is not only growing, but that also has good prospects for the future. Information technology (IT) is such an industry.
One of the reasons why it is a good choice to pursue a career in IT is because it is such a broad industry – one that incorporates not only technical aspects, but also creativity, logic, and leadership.
With this in mind, let’s have a look at the top 5 career opportunities in IT:
A web developer is responsible for designing and building websites according to clients’ specifications. Since the world is going digital, most businesses now use websites to connect with – and market to – their target audiences. This means that there is a high demand for people with web development skills.
There are no fixed academic requirements for becoming a web developer. Having a relevant diploma or degree, however, will be to your advantage in the job market. To find a job in web development, you generally need good programming skills, knowledge of web design, knowledge of database management, good communication skills, attention to detail, problem-solving skills, and the ability to follow instructions.
Salary in South Africa:
According to PayScale, a qualified web developer with 1 – 2 years’ experience earns approximately R156 000 per year.
Database Administrator (DBA)
In the past, a database administrator was responsible for analysing data for companies. In recent years, however, a database administrator has become a highly specialised professional who does more than just analyse and report on information. He or she is now also responsible for tasks such as:
- Setting up database software.
- Ensuring the integrity of the data (e.g. by doing regular backups and by implementing database security).
- Ensuring that the data is accessible (e.g. by monitoring the database to make sure that it is performing properly).
A relevant diploma or degree is not necessarily a prerequisite, but will help you to find work as a database administrator. Additionally, you will need to be familiar with programming languages such as SQL, as well as with the relevant database management software programs. You will also need good communication skills, critical thinking skills, problem-solving skills, and attention to detail.
Salary in South Africa:
According to PayScale, a database administration professional with 1 – 2 years’ experience earns approximately R186 003 per year.
Data Security Expert
A data security expert is responsible for the protection of an organisation’s data (from both internal and external threats). He or she may be responsible for:
- Developing and implementing security policies.
- Monitoring and evaluating security systems.
- Responding to, and investigating, breaches of data security.
- Educating users regarding data security.
Data security experts are currently in high demand, and it is expected that the demand will increase – due to the fact that organisations are becoming more and more reliant on information technology, and also due to the fact that cybercrime is becoming more sophisticated.
To work as a data security expert, you will need a solid foundation in IT. It is therefore recommended that you study toward a degree in IT if you want to enter this field. Many employers will also require you to have a relevant certification in IT security, such as one of the certifications administered by Cisco (e.g. CCNA, CCNP).
Salary in South Africa: According to PayScale, a data security analyst with 1 – 2 years’ experience earns approximately R192 000 per year.
Mobile Application Developer
With the increasing use of smartphones and other mobile devices, it is a good time to consider a career in mobile development. Mobile application developers are currently in high demand, as they are responsible for developing customised mobile applications for smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices.
Salary in South Africa: According to PayScale, a qualified mobile app developer with 1 – 2 years’ experience earns approximately R220 022 per year.
Software engineers design, test, and improve the software application programs that are run on computers.
It is recommended that you work toward a relevant Bachelor’s degree (as some employers will only hire you if you have at least an undergraduate degree in a relevant field). However, you can also become a software engineer by studying other relevant courses. More importantly, however, you need a sound understanding of IT, and you need to be familiar with the relevant programming languages, which may include:
You also need good mathematical skills, you need to be computer literate, you need to be familiar with using different operating systems, and you need to be good at identifying and solving problems.
Salary in South Africa: According to PayScale, the average salary for a software engineer is R298 216 per year.
Note: Keep in mind that location, skills, qualifications, experience, and type of organisation all play a role in determining the salary attached to a particular job. The figures in this article should be seen as a rough indication only.
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