Open your eyes to the wider world of IT

A CIO told me recently, he would think more than twice about encouraging his children to take up a career in IT.

Information Technology is what powers the world today. The world as we know it today would grind to a halt without technology humming in the background.

Yet I know for a fact that the IT communities in Hong Kong and Singapore are constantly pining for more young IT professionals to join their aging ranks. The education authorities are having to lower entry requirements just to maintain the same level of IT graduates being churned out from their schools.

So is IT a dead career?

Under the narrow confines of IT systems, networks and the regular application developer, the prospect of a thriving and thrilling career may well be limited. In the developed markets of today, the most-rewarding and best jobs in these areas are few and far between.

But after spending four days in New Zealand, I believe more than ever that if a wider view of technology is taken and communicated to the aspiring youth, then IT and the wider term of technology then IT careers offer a far more rewarding and fulfilling life than most other fields.

They may not pay as much as banking or property but where can you make a difference in the way technology can.

I’ve witnessed truly unique technologies in the past few days – all that require extensive IT, software development and complex technology skills. Robotic legs that allow the paralysed and those without legs to truly walk again. There are other applications of robotics which help monitor and administer care to elderly and patients with chronic illnesses.

Software platforms and technology initiatives that truly promise to transform the health systems of a nation that will aim to solve the global challenge of aging populations and the growing healthcare challenge that comes with this.

At the annual Info-Security Conference a threat specialist told me the most fun he has today is when he’s working to battle the hackers and malware that emerge to threaten his and his customers’ businesses. “For the gamers in life there is no bigger thrill than playing this game to defend and protect ourselves from all the attacks today,” he said. “And the best part is I get paid to play these games!”

Making a difference or making a game out of what you do – how many careers could offer that scope and reward? So when anyone asks if IT is dead as career – open their eyes. Technology creates more opportunity for change and real reward than most people imagine.