Top 7 Career Paths in Technology

Written By: Eric Kimberling
Date: March 5, 2022

Technology is one of the hottest industries within today’s current climate. Opportunities only continue to grow and increase in demand and popularity. Below I highlight seven technology career paths that provide the most lucrative future opportunities to organizations.

1. Functionality & Technical Consulting

Starting in specific no order, functional and technical consulting is one career path to start with. In the world of technology, there are two types of consultants that help other organizations deploy technologies.

  1. Functional Consultants- Business-minded, still technical, but focused on helping define how technology can fit with those business processes and functions.
  2. Technical Consultants- Focused more on the development, customization, and technical aspect of consulting.

In many cases, there are hybrid roles that cover both areas.

Consulting is an immensely popular area to begin and develop a career. There are opportunities to work for small to large consulting organizations throughout the world that focus on digital transformation and technology consulting.

Examples included well-known companies like Accenture and Deloitte. There are software vendors and system-specific consulting firms that help deploy certain types of technology like SAP, Microsoft, or Oracle.

This is a broad universe of options. There are consultants that specialize in different things but consulting, in general, can be a productive place to start a career in technology.

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2. Solution Architect

 An area that is becoming increasingly popular and in-demand is Solution architects. For lack of a better word, Solution architects are people that tie together multiple systems and figure out how to piece together different technologies. In the world we live in right now, technology is proliferating at a speed beyond control. As a result, new technologies are in development by organizations, consumers, and individuals.

Solution architects can figure out how to streamline all this information and data together in one place or strategy. The demand for this skill set is exceptionally high. The beauty of being a solution architect is that it is a very technical role. It is critical to understand integration, APIs, and how data flows between systems.

On the other hand, it is also essential to know the business exceptionally well. Solution architecture can be a terrific way to dip your toes in both the technical and business aspects of technology.

3. Data Scientists

 Just as solution architects are in very high demand, there is also an expansion of data or big data. Think about phones or wearable devices, both track all this personal data. There are also organizational systems, corporate applications, and business applications that continuously capture data. From the types of products and services sold to financial information. The shop floor is constantly watched through a system, and products are moving throughout an assembly line in a warehouse are all data points.

Commonly, organizations have mass amounts of data, but it’s very difficult to interpret or create strategies. Businesses that do have actionable data management secure an extremely highly competitive advantage. That is the core reason why the discipline of data science is in such high demand right now.

People who understand data are the catalyst to making use of it. Data is the foundation of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and the internet of things. This can be a fantastic way to pursue a career in technology!

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4. Tech Sales

 For a sales-minded individual, maybe less technical or not interested in technology's hard sciences, sales can be a great career path. In other words, selling technology to other organizations or even at the consumer level. These roles earn high-end commissions on selling large corporate applications. This is also a great space for those interested in general sales.

Technology sales are also in high demand right now. The explosion of new technologies and the fact that organizations and corporations worldwide are investing heavily in new systems shows a saturated buyer marketplace. The fact that consumer technologies are changing quickly and becoming more innovative, means a more technological world is absolutely the clear future. People who can sell that technology and position technical solutions better than others will do very well in this field.

5. Supply Chain Management

 Another sought-after area within the world of tech is supply chain management. Anything to do with the supply chain is a hot trend in the 2020s. There are many bottlenecks and breakdowns that have put a stranglehold on organizations doing business with places all around the world. Fixing broken supply chains is a top priority strategy for most organizations.

Supply chain practitioners, either as a consultant or internal supply chain experts, can help improve some of these challenges. In addition, there are suppliers deploying technologies to provide their raw materials to other manufacturers or producers. A stakeholder that can consume this data from a variety of sources and optimize supply chain-based processes is extremely valuable to a business. All the different players involved in the supply chain need technology support. Process improvements, big data, vendor management, inventory structure, etc. are all data-focused initiatives involved in supply chain management.

If you are interested in supply chain management, have a knack for operations, and really enjoy that business-oriented side of things, but want to pursue a career in technology, supply chain management might be a great place to do so start.

*The reason this is included in one of the 7 career paths in technology is because supply chain management has become very technologically driven. Supply chain management technologies automate the supply chain. There is big data, which is also captured throughout the supply chain.

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6. Program Management

 As technology becomes more complex, challenging to implement, riskier, and costly - project management becomes even more critical. Technology program management, or project management, is critical to the success of any organization. Candidates who figure out how to effectively deploy technologies deliver real value.

In the past, organizations often would deploy technology just because they had to. Clear issues like, financials had to be automated as part of inventory management. It was not easy, but it was a lot more straightforward than it is now. Today, there are best-of-breed solutions like artificial intelligence, machine learning, the internet of things, and big data. And a huge variety of different components and moving parts when it comes to technological transformation.

People who have strong program and or project management skills are extremely popular within the business community. For more about project management, I have a video on my YouTube channel that talks about project management and program management. It differentiates between the two and outlines the discipline. In general, this is an area that I would consider one of the top tech careers in the 2020s.

7. Change Management

The last role on this list is something that may sound the least technical, organizational change management. Business operations and understanding how to manage organizational change effectively is a powerful skill to have. It is a deadly combination but in the most effective way.

If there are opportunities to help organizations with employee adoption, organizational design, identify any areas of resistance, etc. within a digital transformation project, I would highly suggest pursuing that career path.

An organizational change skillset is very hard to find, and it’s prevalent in today’s technology environment. That is a potent combination, that can balance technical and soft skills of organizational change management.

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Resources

I hope this has given some guidance in pursuing a career in technology, or at least some of the areas to consider. If interested in a tech career, I encourage you to submit your resume and bio toThird Stage. We are constantly growing our team, and continually adding to our team worldwide. We have four central international offices, USA, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Africa. I encourage you to please reach out to us. We would love to hear from you.

For more information on career paths in technology, I also encourage you to download our annualDigital Transformation Report. This is a report that covers digital transformation trends and best practices, as well as independent software rankings and reviews for diverse types of technologies that might help enable digital transformations.

If you have any questions regarding technology or if you have additions/feedback, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me directly. I am happy to be an informal sounding board as you move through your digital transformation career journey.

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Author:
Eric Kimberling
Eric is known globally as a thought leader in the ERP consulting space. He has helped hundreds of high-profile enterprises worldwide with their technology initiatives, including Nucor Steel, Fisher and Paykel Healthcare, Kodak, Coors, Boeing, and Duke Energy. He has helped manage ERP implementations and reengineer global supply chains across the world.
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