Working in Information Technology

A person wrote to me: “I did not go to college after high school, and currently work in a small factory. I read your blog about robots and automation and worry that someday my job may disappear. I want to work in the Information Technology (IT) but could not afford to go to college. I do not know what to do. Please help.”

Answer: Information technology is a growing field with many opportunities. There are many jobs in this field and some do not require a college education. Today a college degree does not guarantee a job but knowledge and skills do. Many companies are hiring people with technical skills even without a degree. Since there is a shortage of people with IT skills, many companies are looking for anyone who could fill their needs so you may pay more attention to the job market demand. For example, some may look for people with programming skills in a specific language when others are looking for people with basic skills and willing to train them.

The basic job in Information technology is programming. This skill is what many companies are looking for when hiring. If you can learn to write code, you are in the right direction. For programming job, a company may want to hire someone who can code in several languages since many systems are built using more than just one language. The popular programming languages are Java, C++, Python, JavaScript, HTML, Ruby, and Swift. However, if you can learn one language, it is easy to learn others.

If you want to work in Information Technology industry, learning to write code is the first step. There are many good online programming tutorials on YouTube, websites, and MOOCs so you do not need to go to school to learn. The best way to learn how to write code is begin with basic instructions and learn from your mistakes. Do not get discouraged or believe that programming is difficult. Every first step is difficult but it will get easier as you are progressing. If you want to have a good job, this first step is the challenge that you must overcome. Of course, writing code also requires logical thinking, problem-solving, and having some basic knowledge of information systems so I encourage you to read more about these skills. I have written many articles about them on my blog that you could review.

Since Information Technology impacts every business, almost every company now has a need for workers with information technology knowledge, so if you are learning and build your skills now, a career in this industry could be in your future.


  • Blogs of Prof. John Vu, Carnegie Mellon University