How to Find a Meaningful Career in IT
The booming tech industry has changed the world for both better and worse. If you want to join the industry but want to make sure your work has a positive impact, consider pursuing a meaningful career in IT.
In this growing field, there are IT career paths that provide valuable services, such as those in healthcare, education, and nonprofit organizations.
Here, we look at these and other significant IT career paths, and how you can land these jobs.
IT Salaries vs Sense
Job seekers often balance salary and the pursuit of their passions and values.
While computer science salaries attract many people to the field, computer science jobs also offer exciting opportunities. According to PayScale’s Meaningful Jobs survey, nearly 50% of IT managers, researchers, and systems analysts said they have a great deal of significance to their jobs.
In each of these positions, IT professionals have the opportunity to improve the way individuals and organizations use technology and information.
They help people and organizations perform better and make better decisions.
IT career paths that make the world a better place
The best IT careers are those that offer competitive salaries and personal benefits. The following list sheds light on IT career paths that enable IT professionals to make a meaningful contribution to the world.
1. Non-profit organizations
Non-profit organizations, including technology-focused organizations like NPower or mainstream organizations like Feeding America, offer many career paths in IT.
Nonprofits deal with a myriad of issues and come in all sizes. According to PayScale, the average base salary offered by nonprofit organizations is $58,000.
SEE: Non-profit tech jobs: Support a good cause
2. Non-governmental organization (NGO)
IT professionals can find NGOs that serve most passions and interests. These nonprofits tend to have an international focus, which can increase their size and salary expectations.
Oxfam and Partners in Health are among the NGOs hiring IT professionals.
3. Body B
B-Corps are organizations that meet high standards for social and environmental impacts. They create IT career paths that help underserved populations and the environment. Compared to other companies, some B-Corps like Participate Learning and Dr. Bronner’s pay more balanced ratios between highest-paid and lowest-paid professionals.
4. Clean Technology
Clean technology organizations offer IT career paths for professionals with environmental interests.
Organizations like AeroFarms and Planet use data and technology to investigate and solve environmental problems. According to PayScale, clean energy employees earn an average base salary of $83,000.
5. Educational Technology
Ideal for professionals with a passion for education, the edtech industry aims to make learning more accessible and effective. Computer science career paths can be found at organizations such as Duolingo and Apex Learning.
These professionals earned an average annual salary of $71,640 in May 2021.
6. Health Technology
Health technology is a desirable IT career path for those interested in improving healthcare and health outcomes.
Tech professionals working in health tech earn an average base salary of $86,000, according to PayScale. Organizations in this industry include Illumina and 3M Health Care.
7. Civic Technology
The civic tech industry empowers people to engage and solve socio-political issues. For professionals interested in politics and engagement, this IT path offers many opportunities, including organizations like DataMode and Clear Ballot.
The average annual salary in this field was $64,320 in May 2021.
How to Find a Meaningful Career in IT
1. Pick a cause you care about.
Finding a meaningful career path in IT starts with identifying your cause or passion. You may want to help people with specific problems, help certain populations, or help prevent particular problems.
2. Look for businesses and organizations that support this goal
From there, you can search for organizations working in those areas. You can focus on a specific industry or search across industries for organizations focused on the issues you prioritize.
Research the impact of the organization and its plans for the future. After determining if their values and orientation match yours, check to see if the organization is hiring and reach out to them.
3. Check out industry-specific job boards
To find a meaningful career path in IT, search industry-specific job search sites.
For example, if you are interested in health care or education, you can search for sites that focus on careers in those fields. You can also use issue-specific search terms, such as climate change or renewable energy, on general job boards.
To get started, check out these industry and cause specific job boards. These sites provide links to job postings from organizations in the education, health, and nonprofit sectors.
More Ways to Use Your Computer Skills to Give Back
If you are unable to find or pursue meaningful employment right now, there are other ways to give back and make a difference.
Non-profit organizations are almost always looking for volunteers. You can lend your time and talents to these organizations and industries, tackling projects for them or mentoring others in the field.
Help others in your current job
You can find meaning in any job. Try to make a difference from within by pushing your organization to get involved in social issues; creating ethical business practices; and introducing diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives.
SEE: Here’s how tech companies are diversifying recruiting and hiring
This article has been reviewed by Monali Mirel Chuatico
In 2019, Monali Mirel Chuatico earned her bachelor’s degree in computer science, which gave her the foundation she needed to excel in roles such as data engineer, front-end developer, UX designer, and computer science instructor.
Monali is currently a Data Engineer at Mission Lane. As Captain of Data Analytics at a non-profit organization called COOP Careers, Monali helps new graduates and young professionals overcome underemployment by teaching them data analytics tools and mentoring them. in their career development.
Monali is passionate about implementing creative solutions, building community, advocating for mental health, empowering women and educating young people. Monali’s goal is to gain more experience in her field, broaden her skills and do meaningful work that will have a positive impact on the world.
Monali Mirel Chuatico is a paid member of the Red Ventures Education Integrity Network.
Last revised May 4, 2022.
Unless otherwise noted, wage and employment growth data are from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics to June 20, 2022.