Top Cities for Information Technology Jobs: Los Angeles

Top Cities for Information Technology Jobs: Los Angeles

Information technology—and the computers, devices, and networks that it supports—is essential to our lives. At work, at home, and on the go, having reliable access to information through our technology has become critical. And as the industry continues to evolve, the world needs a capable and skilled workforce to keep it running smoothly.

But if you’re thinking about a job in IT, where should you plan to start? While the information technology industry helps support the economy nationwide, there are some cities that may be better than others for anyone hoping to begin a career as a computer support specialist, computer programmer, or network and computer systems administrator.

According to May 2018 data from the BLS, Los Angeles has mean wages well above the national averages for many IT positions! The LA metro area, which includes Los Angeles, Long Beach, and Anaheim, California, could be a great place to start an information technology career.

Want to learn more about the IT jobs that you could pursue?

The Work

IT includes a broad group of jobs and career paths. From cloud computing and computer programming to computer support and cyber and network security, IT offers a variety of opportunities for technologically savvy candidates to pursue the careers of their dreams.

While roles may vary and specific responsibilities depend on the position, most IT professionals spend their time creating, evaluating, and maintaining programs and systems; interpreting, analyzing, and troubleshooting errors; testing programs, systems, and upgrades; and training other users.

The Training

Education requirements will vary depending on the position you are seeking; computer support specialists, for instance, typically earn a certificate, diploma, or associate degree, while computer programmers and network and computer systems administrators are more likely to have a bachelor’s degree.

Students are also encouraged (or may be required) to earn additional certifications to show fluency in specific computer languages, familiarity with certain programs or products, or understanding of industry or vendor best practices.

The Employers

Most IT professionals are employed with full-time work, though whether they work a standard schedule or are required to work nights and weekends—or to be on call—depends on their role. For instance, many support specialists will need to be available at all hours to address needs or problems as they arise.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), many find work with computer systems design and related service providers, in the information and telecommunications industries, or with education, finance, insurance, manufacturing, or management employers.

The Pay

The BLS shows that the median pay for IT jobs can vary as much as the positions themselves do. While computer support specialists earned median annual pay of more than $53,000 in 2018, network and computer systems administrators earned about $82,000 and computer programmers earned just over $84,000.

LA IT professionals, meanwhile, earned mean annual wages of nearly $93,000 (or hourly wages of $44.66) for computer programmers, more than $72,000 ($34.71 hourly) for computer support specialists, and over $92,000 ($44.56 hourly) for network and computer systems administrators.

Even with those numbers, it’s best to think beyond the average paychecks. What about job growth? Fortunately for the IT industry, the projected growth rate for many of these jobs is expected to continue gaining over the next several years: for the period of 2016 to 2026, for instance, computer support specialist jobs are projected by the BLS to grow 11% nationwide—well above the average growth for all occupations.

Ready to find training in your area to begin your IT educational journey? The Imagine America Foundation has a robust network of schools to help you find computer programming, computer support specialist, network and computer systems administrator, and more IT-related programs today!

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