The vast majority of individuals who enter the high-tech workforce come to their jobs with a natural curiosity and interest in the latest gadget, device or technology. This curiosity typically doesn't go away -- it only increases as the IT professional gains more experience.
In Computerworld's 2008 Salary Survey, 84 percent of the individuals queried said that they're either "very satisfied" or "satisfied" with their decision to pursue a career in IT. A big part of IT worker satisfaction comes from the opportunity to work with the latest and greatest innovations the industry has to offer. Those employees also gain satisfaction from being able to broaden and deepen the skills they use to stay current with the fast-changing world of IT.
[ InfoWorld has put together a special package of stories to help tech workers through the current tough times. Among the highlights:
* Slideshow: Where IT jobs are headed
* Special report: 2009 IT career survival guide
* Special report: Where the tech jobs are overseas (and how to get one)
* Special report: Tech workers under fire
* Special report: IT and the financial crisis
Get sage advice on IT careers and management from Bob Lewis in InfoWorld's Advice Line blog and newsletter. ]
That's a good thing. Because as we head into 2009, IT professionals will be asked to do a lot more even if they're not paid a lot more.
Companies across virtually all industries are taking a closer look at next year's spending because of the uncertainty over how long the economic downturn will last and how deep it will be. With budgets flat or shrinking, companies will need to be more creative in maximizing their existing assets -- both people and equipment. When it comes to technology, they're trying to get more use out of their existing IT infrastructure. That will require asking more from their IT staffs. (Read ongoing coverage of the economy and its impact on IT.)
This is a time for IT professionals to shine. The smart use of technology can support businesses even in the most unfortunate economic climate. Companies that offer products and services that are truly original, save time, boost productivity, and demonstrate cost savings will prosper even in a downturn. Highly skilled, multitalented IT professionals can make that happen. The IT worker who demonstrates his value in multiple areas is the one who's most likely to be rewarded financially -- whether business is good or bad.
So which technology areas should IT workers look at when deciding which new skills to seek?
Computerworld 's survey identifies Web developers, network administrators, and information security managers as jobs that received higher-than-average pay hikes. These types of positions will continue to be in high demand -- even in a down economy.