ICT (information & communications technology) & ICT Services is also known as the tech sector or IT Industry. If you are passionate about technology and how it can change the world, think about a career in the tech sector! There are many ways to be part of it.
Did you know...
- A $160 billion industry, ICT is 5% of the entire Canadian economy.
- Over half of Canada’s 700,000 IT professionals work in the industry. (The others work everywhere else.)
- The tech sector ranges from 1-person mobile app startups to global giants with hundreds of thousands of employees.
Where the jobs are.
- Half are in “software and computer services” to organizations like banks, hospitals, and fashion retailers. They consult and advise, design and build software, and keep computer networks running and secure.
- The remaining jobs are about a third each in communication services (like Bell Canada), device and equipment manufacturing (like BlackBerry), and sales to businesses and consumers (like Dell).
- In 2008, average wages in ICT were $61,971 – nearly 50% more than the economy-wide average of $42,143!
Instead of employing their own people, organizations everywhere, whether in government, healthcare, retail or manufacturing, draw on the “services” half of the ICT sector. So the jobs in tech services range from simple and basic – like programming or network installation – to very specialized to a specific industry. In other words, you can get a job in just about any sort of careermash inside the ICT sector.
Besides these, the ICT sector has specialized jobs of its own – especially for people who design computers, mobile phones, automotive electronics, and the like.
Here are 3 of the thousands of careermashups in the tech sector.
- Social media specialist technical support - Problem Solver. Smartphone manufacturer BlackBerry hired a specialist to answer customer questions in BlackBerry online forums and Twitter. Qualifications include university or college education or equivalent experience, technology insight, and social media smarts.
- Consultant, clinical systems analysis - Innovator. Hospitals across Canada often hire computer services companies to set up e-health systems that computerize patient information. One such company, CGI, recently looked for people to design a system for radiologists and doctors in several Toronto hospitals to easily and securely share “medical images” like X-rays and ultrasounds. Qualifications for this CareerMash include medical or life science training, health informatics (i.e. IT applied to health), and strong interpersonal and communication skills.
- Cloud developer - Builder. Bell Canada now competes with the likes of Google and Amazon to provide “cloud computing” storage, software and information on demand, like electricity. The company recently hired a “cloud developer” to set up the service, make it secure and easy to use, and train Bell staff. This CareerMash requires specific technical knowhow, strong analytical skills, and “cloud knowledge.”
If you are passionate about technology and how it can change the world, think about a career in the tech sector! There are many ways to be part of it. For example:
Work on your own. Pros: choose your projects and control your lifestyle. Challenges: staying up to date and connected, keeping the projects flowing.
Start or join a growing services or software company. Pros: flexibility, can get rich if you have the magic. Challenges: getting along with people you work with.
Have a career in a big company. Pros: lots of support and learning - and you can be a great success. Challenges: you (almost) always have a boss!
Of course there is no one path in a tech career. You can start out in a big company, then strike out on your own. You can move between the tech sector and other fields. You can start out as a techie, then move into sales or become an executive. Bigger tech companies carefully move people around from one job to the next, to help them understand how things work and gain a variety of experiences.
You can also create your own big breaks. It’s surprisingly easy to get started. Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook) and Michael Dell (Dell Computers) started in their college dorms. Combine a big idea with a team of smart people, and who knows what you can do? The sky’s the limit!
- Cloud computing
- Career mashups