Web programmers are quitting their jobs in droves, and those who have not quit are already thinking about it. The reason for this quitting trend is simple. Although information technology (IT) as a whole has many upsides, it also has a fair share of downsides.
For one, it is a stressful and demanding line of work. Those who are working as freelance IT consultants find it very risky as they are likely to be underpaid, or not paid at all for their work.
What’s worse is that higher ups rarely understand the technical aspects of the job. Getting them to cooperate on a project can be a nightmare. IT is also a very competitive sector with someone who’s better qualified always ready to take your job. So, what are some good alternative career choices for programmers?
Few IT teachers exist in our colleges. So after you quit working for an organization, why not join a college as an IT tutor? After having worked in the IT industry, you are well placed to prepare students for a future in it.
However, resist the temptation to discourage them from following a career in IT by giving them negative details about it. Instead, try to make a difference in their lives by instilling your knowledge in them. If, in the future, they decide to follow your footsteps and quit IT, let it be for their own reasons, and not because of your influence.
Even if you are uncomfortable standing in front of a class full of students, you can still teach on matters related to IT. You can write. That said, be careful about your topic. Computer technology is advancing so fast that by the time many IT books go to print, they are already out of date. So, write a book or a blog on a specific software, hardware, or protocol.
If possible, let it be an instructional manual. Many computer users would love to know their way around a software or protocol. By writing a how-to book or blog on it, you will be filling a void by offering them the information they lack.
3) Research and Development (R&D)
Computer companies get ahead of the competition by investing in R&D. They are, therefore, always on the lookout for individuals with good computer skills and experience. If you are a programming veteran who has spent many years in the trenches, working as an R&D consultant might just be the job for you. You might even consider using your skills to help in launching new companies and their products, with startups hiring for engineers, your skills in computers and programming will be highly valued.
4) Auto Repair
This may sound like a strange job for an IT expert to get into, but it is not. Modern cars are becoming more and more dependent on computer technology. On-board computers control all mechanical systems from the engine to the brakes.
When they fail, the onboard computer must be hooked up to another computer just to troubleshoot and diagnose the problem. For this reason, many IT experts are now working as automobile technicians. The only catch is that they have to undergo further training before making this leap.
5) Environmental Consultant
The final career alternative for IT experts is in environmental consultancy. As strange as it may sound, there is a place for a computer geek in this field, particularly in Geographic Information Systems (GIS). GIS uses computers to analyze, process, and display geographic information on a map.
The system then uses the data to pinpoint various issues such as climate change, and crime patterns before putting them on the map for people to read. However, to work as an environmental consultant, you might have to upgrade your skills by doing an online geographic information science and technology degree. The good news is that online GIST degree choices are aplenty, so you shouldn’t have issues finding a great online school that will teach you everything you need to know.
If you are unsure of what you will do after leaving the IT field these five career alternatives are all good options.