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Friday, September 11, 2009

IT careers ‘rewarding,’ says expert

YOU NEED not be a graduate of a computer course to land a job in the expanding field of information technology (IT), according to a technology career expert.

"IT is an ever-changing field and we should try to erase this misconception of seeing this profession [as being] exclusive to those who understand its jargon, and that it’s boring. It is not always the case," Gina S. Duminy told students at the 7th Philippine Youth Congress in Information Technology at the University of the Philippines in Diliman yesterday.

"It is wrong to generalize that IT professionals are techie gear heads with little interest in anything outside of technology. We also pursue other interests and hobbies," she added.

Ms. Duminy, president of, an online career resource for technology professionals, explained that the field is a "multifaceted discipline" that is focused in providing business solutions, adding that an ideal IT professional "is somebody who understands business."

"IT is a challenge in organizing people, solving issues and problems through better process and organization. Its emphasis is on business problem solving."

Ms. Duminy also outlined career options for future IT professionals, which include business operations, database development and administration, security and compliance, networking design and administration, technical support, and Web development and administration.

Aside from career growth, the field offers a good compensation package. Research firm ZDNet Asia’s "IT Salary Benchmark Philippines" report last year said the country’s top five IT skills received salaries ranging from P495,000 to P600,000 a year on average. These are: application development, desktops/software, web development, database management, and systems administration.

The continued growth in the business process outsourcing (BPO) sector is also an indication that demand for IT professionals is increasing, said Ms. Duminy. The Business Processing Association of the Philippines expects to corner at least 10% of the global outsourcing and IT market by 2010.

She reminded students to improve on their craft and master at least three competency skills in IT. A student should avoid being a "jack of all trades, master of none."

"This profession entails continuous acquisition of new skills and learning. You have to work hard at it."

She noted that it is sometimes hard to screen fresh graduates applying for a job due to their similar backgrounds. But what makes one stand out from the others are training and skills they acquired in college, she said.

"It shows how diligent and dedicated a student is to the field. If he has undergone good skills training then it would be a plus Employers have their own set of expectations depending on what the business is all about, the goals, the competency requirements for the job, among others."

"Still, the minimum is passion. Pursue [things] you are good at. That should be accompanied with discipline, openness to learn, and good communication skills," she said.

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