You frequently hear a lot of negative things when you hear about information technology and the IT sector. You hear about monotonous work schedules, high turnover rates, machines taking jobs away from people, privacy violations, and at worst, a nightmarish future society where AI has taken control.
But this story also has a better, alternate side. Technology has always played a significant role in the evolution of human civilization, whether it is through the invention of stone tools, the wheel, the steam engine, or information technology. The entire human population benefits from technological progress. So much so that, in the majority of cases, the good significantly outweighs the bad.
Since the creation of the first programmable computer in 1940, a great deal has happened. Internet access is available to 65.6% of the world’s population as of the beginning of 2021. The field of information technology has expanded and prospered. And as a result, the world is better off.
So let’s start by discussing how developments in the IT sector have benefited society and the world at large.
A Better Standard of Living
Without IT assistance, how much worse would the COVID-19 outbreak have been? We now have better hospitals, testing facilities, laboratories, patient care, communication, and organisational capacities thanks to IT and technological advancements, which also helped raise awareness and manage massive volumes of data. Without each of these, it would have been impossible to control the pandemic.
Healthcare has improved in emerging nations as a result of the spread of IT. Any regular individual may easily access information regarding signs and treatments owing to the internet. Improved communication has made it easier to get resources and aid to those who need it. The pandemic has increased awareness of the effectiveness of technology in healthcare, although this increase has been gradual and will continue in the post-pandemic age.
IT resources have the potential to greatly increase access to education. Any student anywhere in the globe can now take classes from, say, Harvard, regardless of their location, financial situation, or social standing.
In these circumstances, remote learning has become the norm, and if technology had not advanced to the point where even people facing extreme financial hardship could acquire a smartphone, the education of millions of children from developing nations around the world would have come to an end. Access to even more distant parts of the world may become possible as the digital gap is further closed.
Numerous studies have discovered a connection between the development of information and communication technologies and the eradication of poverty in developing nations. According to one study, a 1% rise in the penetration rate of telecommunications results in a 0.3% increase in GDP.
Better chances for school and work, a simpler and more convenient living, and a boost in awareness owing to internet access are all likely contributing factors, albeit the precise causes are not laid out in depth.
Additionally, many MNCs have a strategy of extensively outsourcing low- and middle-level IT positions to developing nations. Their requirements are met by the sizable and relatively adaptable workforce there. In this sense, the expansion of the IT sector contributes to job creation and the economic development of these nations.
Increased Comfort and Convenience
The simplicity of rapid communication is one of the wave’s most significant advantages. We can connect and communicate electronically in a variety of ways, including phone conversations, emails, texts, video calls, social media, and now virtual meetings.
Anyone, everywhere on the planet, can always reach anyone who has a smartphone or internet access.
It is important to recognise the level of comfort and convenience that technology offers on a personal level. Future smart houses will assign all mundane jobs to a clever device so that you can utilise your time for more worthwhile, human endeavours.
Simple examples of how IT sector goods make our lives easier include finding directions on Google Maps, Spotify algorithms that recommend songs, writing on laptops rather than laboriously scribbling on paper, and ordering food from a restaurant at home via an app.
Information technology supports more sustainable living in a number of ways. Here are some examples of how IT benefits the environment, either directly or indirectly:
- Smart home appliances are set up to turn off when not in use and adapt as needed to conserve electricity.
- Switching from paper to digital and reducing reliance on it.
- IT must be utilised in order to find, create, and design truly renewable and dependable sources of energy. For instance, without the growth of IT, it would not have been feasible to produce nuclear fusion energy recently.
- The creation of electric automobiles to break the dependence on fossil fuels.
- Raising awareness of environmental problems worldwide.
IT Industry – A Boon for Workers
The idea that the IT sector doesn’t provide much in the way of job happiness seems to be a common one. That is not at all the case. According to statistics, 72% of IT professionals worldwide are happy with their professions.
There are a number of potential causes for this, including:
- Professional growth: People believe they can develop professionally in the IT industry, and they will have possibilities for both personal and professional growth throughout their careers. Resources for education and training abound in this place. In a way that is uncommon elsewhere, managers provide their employees complete support and promote education.
- Versatility: More than any other field, the IT industry is always evolving and moving. There is always something different to do that is sure to be more exciting if someone is not content with what they are doing. The sector contains a number of varied yet connected fields.
- Flexible Work: Many IT workers were already accustomed to working remotely before the epidemic forced it on everyone. Depending on your line of work, you may have a lot of flexibility with regard to where you work and when you work.
- Realistic Approach: The sense of accomplishment one experiences while working in information technology is yet another factor that influences job satisfaction. The consequences of a day’s effort are evident even in entry-level positions, making even the tiniest things you make or correct obvious. This aids in fostering the sense of purpose that every person needs.
The typical annual salary for IT jobs in the US is $88,240, more than twice the median salary for all other occupations. The pandemic-related unemployment rate is likewise considerably lower than the national average for all occupations, which is 6.1%, at 2.8%.
One of the very few industries—the IT sector—where experts’ average salaries rise annually is this one.
The reason for the high turnover rates in the IT industry is not due to low pay or unhappy employment; rather, it is because the IT industry promotes adaptability and gives employees the freedom to seek out more difficult jobs. Most people who do quit IT permanently do so because they decide it is not in their best interests.
There is never a need to worry that you may become obsolete or replaced thanks to information technology. Yes, you will need to keep learning and updating your skills, but IT will never go out of style. The need for IT specialists is only increasing steadily.
Only your skill set and area of expertise will establish your demand as a professional, so as long as those are legitimate, you won’t need to worry about anything else. The shortage of competent people that the IT sector is currently experiencing and it appears that it will continue for some time.
The Dark Side
Unemployment is a byproduct of the IT industry’s growth and development. Technology has made it possible for unimaginable levels of privacy to be violated, raising concerns about cybersecurity. In this highly digitised environment, interacting with others is challenging for people on an individual basis.
However, returning to a traditional way of life won’t help with the issues that innovation brings up. Instead of giving up on the mechanism, the solution is to fix it. Problems are brought about by the fourth industrial revolution just like they were by the ones that came before it, but we will find a way to solve them.