·     State of IT sector in the Balkan region

 

 

 IT world has taken everyone and everything. It’s a sheer force that nobody can meddle with. 

 Countries such as the USA, Russia, China, Japan, etc. have become giants in that area. Seems that nobody can stop them and that it's them, who set the standard and trends for the rest of the world. 

 Our question of today is, what do “little” countries have to offer? More precisely, what do Bosnia and Herzegovina offer to the rest of the world, and what did the IT system bring to BiH and the Balkan region?

 Those questions and many more will be answered throughout this blog. 

 

 

 

 What is the general state of IT in Balkan?

 

 

 When you think about IT, we know that your mind doesn’t automatically think about the Balkans;

 Somehow, poetically, we’re glad that’s the general opinion because the reality of the IT sector in the Balkans is surprisingly (for you, maybe) going great! 

 

 “With a yearly growth rate of 25%, the flourishing global business process and technology outsourcing (BPTO) market offers the Western Balkans many opportunities for economic development. Although India captures close to 60% of this market share, the Western Balkans has emerged as a strong contender in three segments: software development, back-office development, and call centers. Its cost competitiveness, proximity to the EU market, as well as strong language skills of its workers positions the region strongly in the competition to attract BPTO providers. 

(https://bit.ly/3vrqTkQ)”

 

 As we can see in the study shown above, the Balkan region is a strong contender that has no intention of stopping. 

 Although Balkan has potential, the key of the problem is in that word ‘has’:

 Traditional schooling and education do not provide a sense of direction towards IT.

 The complex, bureaucratic, and political nature of the education system in the Balkans means that curricula are slow and difficult to change.

 

 

 IT sector in Bosnia and Herzegovina

 As Bosnia and Herzegovina faced many challenges throughout history, the aftermath of such a reality was Bosnia and Herzegovina falling back massively over other countries.

 IT sector was not an exception: Recent increase in such may talk differently, but considering that the number of needed technology capable people are in thousands, Bosnia and Herzegovina still has a long way to go. Another thing that doesn’t help is countries demographics: Young people, as well as middle-aged people, are constantly leaving for other foreign countries, in hope that they will find a better tomorrow. 

 But to breakdown the numbers, and get more of a realistic picture of how Bosnia and Herzegovina look like, we’ll go through some statistics: 

 According to data collected in the research of the consulting company PwC from 2018, the most represented industries in which domestic IT companies perform activities are banking and financial services (8%), E-commerce and web (10%), health (7%), manufacturing (9%), public administration (9%), retail (7%), transport (7%), education (9%).

 -In 2017, 557 companies were registered within the IT sector. That number increased to 632 in 2018, and to 701 in 2019. In the period from 2017 to 2019, the number of IT companies in BiH increased by 144.

 -In 2019, out of the total number of companies in the IT sector, 75.2% generate revenue of up to half a million KM, 20.7% of companies up to 5 million KM, and 4.1% of companies more than 5 million KM.

 -The number of workers in the IT sector has grown significantly and amounts to 1569 or 35% in the last three years.

 -The average monthly gross salary of workers in companies in the IT sector in 2019 amounted to 2,722.00.00 KM or 1,391.00 EUR. This means that workers in accounting companies are paid an average of 16 KM per hour or 8 EUR per hour.

 -Monthly income per employee is 108,897.00 KM or 55,678.00 EUR. The average hourly income per employee is 54 KM or 28 EUR.

 -Total sales revenue in 2018 increased by 84 million KM compared to 2017. The trend of revenue growth continues in 2019 and amounts to 181 million KM. Which means it has doubled over the previous year. Sales revenue growth also increased by 62% in the period 2017-2019.

 -The total annual profit of the IT sector in BiH has been constantly growing in the last 3 years. More precisely, in 2019, an increase of 54% was recorded compared to 2017.

 

 In conclusion, what BiH fights the most with is the IT workers deficit, but the fact that nobody with a degree in the IT sector is fighting unemployment helps a lot. We are aware that BiH has still a long way to go, but judging with all the factors included and the statistics above, it’s going there surely and firmly. 

 

 Pros and cons of IT’s system 

 

 With the rapid growth of the IT sector in BiH, a dynamic pace assures but the question is, is that system self-sustainable? Is it like the crash game where the upright measure is growing but only to be doomed to crash? As every system with a competitive line, it brings its own pros and cons. Let’s look into them:

 

 Pros: 

 -Improve current products and/services.

 -Develop new products and/or services.

 -Hire, train and retain good employees.

 -Attract new customers.

 -Have more opportunities to form beneficial partnerships.

 Cons:

 -Pressure to grow could cause business owners to overlook resource availability

 -Productivity and quality are likely to drop if management and staff cannot cope with the extra work

 -Hasty staffing may lead to poor job fit and high turnover

 -A fast growth may also cause a loss of customer intimacy

 -The business may become too busy and self-absorbed to notice the changing competitive landscape and customer behavior.

 

 With the technology developing, infrastructure may be the one that will be the first for an update. Therefore, the IT sector is signaling, even now that it is the time for a change. A change tailored towards that sector because IT has been so influential that the only thing that has been left to question is its ethics as the development continues. 

 

 

 

 Is IT open to the public?

 

 BiH is a young country, compared to the other tech giants. Even so, it promises and shows great potential. Although, it has still few more obstacles to pass before it even enters the beta-phase:

 Traditional schooling in BiH doesn’t give out much direction towards IT but luckily, there are software companies who are doing those things instead of it.

 They’re promoting and creating IT-related content on their social media, they’re organizing contests, workshops, courses, and many more things, all in favor of attracting people to IT.

 It's an unconventional thing for B, for sure, but with the help of software companies, it paves its way towards an uprise in tech education. 

 

 

 

 

 

How to get an internship in IT?

 

 You worked your way up the world, countless nights of not sleeping but learning: blood, sweat, and tears – all it was. Now you’re asking yourself – what’s next?

 You decide to go for the internship but are not sure how to get one. Luckily, we’re here to help you through that. 

 

 What’s an internship anyway?

 An internship is a professional learning experience that offers meaningful, practical work related to a student's field of study or career interest. An internship gives a student the opportunity for career exploration and development, and to learn new skills. The internship offers regular feedback to the student intern.

 

 How long does the internship last?

 So how long is an internship typically? The truth is,there is no easy way to determine an internship duration. In general, employers should consider the duration of the internship as a crucial starting point for potential employment later. Here are a few guidelines regarding the length of internships.

Internships are typically longer than externships, but shorter than temporary jobs. Internship lengths are measured to aspects of the job, the number of hours the intern works every week, and the number of weeks they agree to work. 

They can also be part-time or full-time. For many required internships, such as a medical internship, the intern will work full-time and even get a full-time salary. Others might be part-time, working about 5-20 hours every week. Sometimes, there is no set time at all and you can instead simply assign projects to your interns. When they are finished with their assignments, they can leave. 

A key factor in determining proper internship length is that it should be long enough so that an intern can get into the rhythm of the position and complete deliverables that are valuable to both the student or recent graduate as well as the employer. Most companies and schools will agree that an average internship of 3-4 months, with 20-35 hours a week, coinciding with a student’s typical summer period is reasonable. But if a position is only for 5-10 hours a week, you might want to consider a 6-8 month internship.
Source: https://ceri.msu.edu/_assets/pdfs/recruiting-trend-2017-18/Recruiting-Trends-2017-Brief-5-Internships-Co-ops.pdf

 

How to get an internship?

 1. Use Campus Resources

If you’re a student, go to your campus career center and figure out how to attend career fairs and take part in on-campus recruiting. There may also be job boards for students at your university. These employers are specifically looking for students from your school! Make the most of that university connection and take advantage of how convenient it is to have employers come to you.

2. Go Online

Searching online can be overwhelming, so it’s best to go in with an idea of what you’re looking for, such as a “product management internship” or “editorial internship.”

It’s counterintuitive, but the more you narrow your search, the more manageable it’ll be. You can always stay open to other opportunities as the process unfolds but start with a clear goal.


3. Look at Your Favorite Organizations

If you’re not sure exactly what kind of internship you want to pursue, another direction you can go in, is to check out the company first. Go directly to your target company’s website and see what kind of internship programs and opportunities it offers. If you find one that might be a good fit, apply! After all, a major benefit of an internship is helping you figure out what you want to do post-graduation.

 Bonus tips:

1.TALK TO SOMEONE IN THE FIELD

2.GET YOUR SCHOOL'S HELP

3.ATTEND A JOB FAIR

4.SEEK OUT VALUABLE EXPERIENCE 

5. KEEP ON TOP OF DEADLINES

6.TAKE ADVANTAGE OF ON-CAMPUS RESUME HELP

7.KNOW THE COMPANY 

8.ASK QUESTIONS AT THE INTERVIEW

 

 

 

 

 

ITO – Where your future changes with our present.

 

 ITO is a company that values effort & quality. Therefore, our professionally hand-picked team of developers and marketing experts is a constant which ensures further ITO’s prosperity.

 Our team has shown both effort and quality in delivering products. We have been striving for such

results and we have no intention of slowing down towards even better ones;

 Stay with us few minutes and let us show you what does it mean to let the ITO take the wheel.

 

 

 What does ITO offer that separates us from the rest?

 

 

 ITO’s sales manager, Marija Bagarić, wrote a few words to say more about the posed question:

 

 ITO is a company that builds long-term partnerships with its clients. We are guided by the idea that by achieving the business goals of our clients, we achieve our goals and become a reliable technological partner.

 Our partners achieve business goals through innovative software solutions, achieving efficient and effective business, and rapid business development.

 It is not necessary to point out what are the advantages of business digitalization, but it is extremely important to point out which partner can digitally digitize business processes. ITO is a partner with whom business goals are achieved faster and with better quality.

 

 

 ITO dedicated a huge portion of time to developing work ethics and discipline. Our way of doing stuff is sincere and genuine, providing clients with solutions and offers that are game-changers.

 

 Marija Buntić, one of our project managers along with Vesna Falak, have decided to share their experience so far with ITO and to tell you what is that what makes ITO that one special place which corresponds perfectly with the clients' demands:

 

 What sets the ITO apart from other companies is that we never take the easy way to meet the requirements. What ITO's members are constantly doing is adding value to the product. Experts from the technical department always think ahead - because trends and technologies change and improve every day, which is why our meetings in 95% of cases end with a confirmed offer.

 Every client that hired ITO felt enthusiasm that doesn't diminish as the project comes to an end. While the project lasts, the client is never neglected. The client is always up to date with the tasks performed in all iterations. After each phase and release, a meeting follows that confirms that we are on the same page. In agile development, there will always be different situations, and we approach them differently; But our practice and dedicated approach to each client and project open the door to new projects, if not from the same client, then definitely from his close associates and business acquaintances.

 -M.B.

 

 

 -

 

 The practice has proven that a friendly approach full of understanding for the client's needs is the most efficient way not only to get the client exactly what he wants but also to achieve a long-term partnership that will potentially result in more new projects. The client should be available for his inquiries and any ambiguities, which should be answered as soon as possible and in full. The client needs to be informed about the progress of the project throughout the project and present the results on time so that he can be ongoing and intervene if necessary. What sets us apart from other companies is precisely our accessibility through any type of communication channel, always with a smile and cordiality, so that the client does not feel like looking for something that is impossible, immoderate, or has any obstacles to freely express their ideas. In return will receive expert advice and guidance on a more favorable solution if needed. After the completion of the project, the client can expect continued support in such a way that, if he has any other ideas or wants changes to the existing project, he always has someone to turn to without any hesitation.

 -V.F.

 

 IT was founded on genuine principles that resonate through our work and our acts.

 We have been grinding our way to the scene where we are recognized more by our projects, bridges we crossed, and the overall picture that we’ve been painting so far.

 

 

 

 

 What has been ITO up to so far?

 

 

 ITO started as a company of a few individuals, sharing the same principles and ethics that surround and richens their work portfolio. On such a foundation, many projects have been risen and established into our history, which is by itself a non-reversal reflection of our true intentions and the picture we’re painting.

 

 

 We work with individuals, private and public sectors. As important solutions created in cooperation with the public sector, we single out the projects Renata, Municipal, Redomat, and Carmen. With these solutions, we have greatly influenced the problems of the population by automating processes that had many omissions and shortcomings - from the regulation of car license plates and traffic violations to solving the problem of long queues in some branches.

In addition to the solutions we have brought for the public sector, we are proud of the many websites and web and mobile applications we have created for our many partners around the globe. Thus significantly facilitating their business and presentation on the business scene.

 -V.F.

 

 If we’re to accentuate another achievement ITO has received, we couldn’t do that without mentioning that in 2016, the IT Department in Toronto (Canada) was awarded the Microsoft Partner of the Year Award in the Public Sector: Public and State Security category for the Renata video analytics system (Less Predict).

 

 We’re sure that more achievements are hiding behind the curtain of the future, but our mission is not to rush there, nor to aim exclusively for such, but to redefine quality work and to have our work be our biggest marketer. 

 

 Does ITO fixates on software development, or is there something else? 

 

 

 Petar Lukić, our CTO, told us that we not only sell the coding service, but we as a company can contribute to their business because we will recognize their needs and market situation and according to their requirements, we will offer the best solution to implement their sales or problem within their company for easier business. Then we come to analyze our business, domain experts who can analyze the client's processes and make a solution and discuss and guide the client on the right path. It is our advantage to recognize the problem and instruct the client on how to solve it.

 Usually, the client goes to present his problem and vision of how to solve the problem and this is often at odds with the profession but this process is taken into account and then digitized.

 

 In the addition mentioned above, Petar added that it’s the right approach of listening to clients' demands and needs, and then met with our professionalism that makes the perfect combination of a successful business.

 

 

 

 What waits for ITO?

 

 Only that which corresponds with our demands and needs.

 Those demands and needs are just simply raising the bar with every project done. With you growing, we grow.

 

 CEO of our department, Marko Laco, shares his moto with the rest of the ITO and that is:

 Be always better than you were yesterday, but tomorrow, be better than today.

 

 

Difference between job positions in IT

 

 

 The wonderful world of IT brings so many variations over the “regular” world and its jobs and doings. It contains a system, relatively young, that redefines everyday 9-5 exhibitions.

 From the beginning of this new millennium, humanity has met with a system unlike others:

 Instead of the classical 9-5 system with just 30 minutes for lunch, this system brought flexible hours (Not that it was the first one to do it, rather the one to promote it the most throughout the last 20+years), instead of working through a prism that calculates and defines you and your surrounding, it brought creative freedom and many ways of expressing yourself through your work. We can romance over IT like this for an eternity, but our main idea of this introduction was to kind of define what IT may represent and what kind of surrounding it displays. With that in mind, it would be easier to answer and understand the following sections of this blog. We’re sure that if you’re already here, you know what to expect, but don’t let that affect you from not questioning it, IT world rapidly changes, everyone follows trends and we’re the trendsetters, so in an ever-evolving world, that never stops, why should IT as well? Stagnant is a word that does not define, rather kills, but IT lives and doesn’t stop like time.

 

What kind of positions you can find in IT?

 

 The colorful world is that of IT’s. 

 As such, it brings a variety of positions you may find yourself in, let’s name some:

 

 1. Frontend developer

 2. Backend developer

 3. WordPress developer

 4. Graphic designer

 5. Project manager

 6. QA analyst

 

 The list can go on, but let’s stick to those for a better and more specific insight. 

 

 How to find a perfect position for yourself?

 Okay, so far we only listed some positions which are present in IT, but what if your problem is finding the right career for you? 

 In the sea of such variations, it’s easy to get overwhelmed, to even feel like you don’t belong. But, happy news, just you trying to reason such stuff makes it worthwhile and know by that, that you’re in a right place. Everyone can feel like that, even me. I started my career after the wilderness of life took me to many corners of the world, back to the place where I truly belong. I’m trying to say that even though you feel like that, don’t be afraid to experiment and to try what soothes you the best.

 Firstly, google (or just check the blog section above ;)) for IT positions you may find interesting and write 10 of them down which seem most interesting to you.

 Afterward, ask yourself this: What am I passionate about?

 After you answer that, check which job resembles your passion the most.

 Continue that until you’re satisfied with the selection and narrow it to one item.

 Now that you have a certain subjective answer, research about that job, go to some IT company and ask if someone is willing to talk with you about that job, so you can get the general idea of everyday life you would be experiencing. Of course, google. Google as much as you freaking can. Google is your friend.

 Oh, one more thing! Googling is seriously a skill that you need to have. Knowing how to google solves 65% of your problems (I would say 99% but my university would probably take my diploma back). 

 

 What does each position do?

 

 Let’s breakdown what already listed positions do, it may give you an insight on what to expect:

 

 1. Frontend developer

Front-end development is used for designing the part of a website that a user sees. The front-end developer will turn designs created by a web designer into a functional, aesthetically pleasing user interface. Front-end web developers use HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to design web pages 

2. Backend developer

Back-end developers are responsible for creating and maintaining technology at the back end of a website (the server, database, and application). The attractive visuals created by designers, UX professionals, and front end developers couldn't exist without the technology provided by a back end developer

3. WordPress developer

A WordPress developer is a professional that specializes in the infrastructure and ecosystem of the WordPress platform. They might focus on improving the WordPress software itself or creating new products, particularly plugins and themes. ... This is a broad definition because WordPress development is such a broad field. 

4. Graphic designer

Graphic designers create visual concepts, using computer software or by hand, to communicate ideas that inspire, inform, and captivate consumers. They develop the overall layout and production design for applications such as advertisements, brochures, magazines, and reports. 

5. Project manager

In the broadest sense, project managers (PMs) are responsible for planning, organizing, and directing the completion of specific projects for an organization while ensuring these projects are on time, on budget, and within scope. 

6. QA analyst

 QA analysts work to ensure high-quality, standard products in all sorts of industries, from food to medical devices. ... Quality assurance is a stage that occurs many times in the software engineering process to ensure that the final product is free of errors. 

 

Which positions pay the most?

 

 In a capitalistic world, this may seem like a sensitive topic. Not many people are open to sharing the numbers of their income. Luckily, there are global numbers that can create a general base of an estimate. 

 Many people tend to study and go for jobs because they heard they’re well paid; That's why IT became so popular because it is notoriously known for its salaries. 

 It’s a great sign of a quality branch, so in the culture of speaking about that, let’s see how much do list positions earn annually on average:

 

 1. Frontend developer: $75,576

 2. Backend developer: $82,166

 3. WordPress developer: $54,000

 4. Graphic designer: $45,697

 5. Project manager: $88,494

 6. QA analyst: $83,147

 

 *(Each estimate was according to PayScale (https://bit.ly/3BIL6nw), and the estimate may differ considering in which region you live in.)

 

What kind of education do I need for these positions?

 

 The general definition according to study.com - is that you need a bachelor's degree, it may be the most common level of education required to become an IT specialist, but some employers prefer to hire applicants who have earned master's degrees in computer science or related areas. As you can already see, many positions, many varieties of education are required. You are in luck as well, if you studied on your own and learned what you need, employers in IT don’t care that much for diplomas as they do for practical skills. We wrote another blog about that, so go search on our website for a blog named “Degree or skills” to see more about the topic.

 

 

Differences in everyday life for these positions and/or similarities?

 

 No matter the position, the day starts at 8 or 9, depending on your companies policy, but if you’re a senior, your day probably starts when you wake up. 

 Jokes aside, differences between listed positions are not that many as there are similarities!

 We’ve elaborated what each position does, and you can generally assume what’s the difference between positions. The main difference would be their specialty and the way they do their job. QA may have more free time because it’s dependant on the developer team, but WordPress developers could be more engaged in the project than the graphics designer. Differences are sort of subjective as the project differs in its intentions.

 But to talk about similarities, they’re present and a key on providing a successful business;

 Front-end communicates with back-end, a graphic designer with the front end, graphic designer collaborates with the WordPress developer, and all comes to QA to test and examine. The project manager organizes and obtains a radiant, productive atmosphere that provides success in a finished project.

Mental health in the workspace 

 

 These days mental health has never been more relevant. 

 We’re hearing about many conditions that can affect and are affecting people, making them prisoners in their minds. Imagine that, a prisoner in your mind, asking every day where is the key to unlock the doors and get out? If you don’t take care of your mental health, you will find a key but only to find out that the doors are gone.  

 I will be more specific here and talk about general problems of mental health and dangers that hide behind the IT workspace. I remember having an experiment in elementary school where we put cupric sulfate anhydrous in a water container - then we put a white rose inside. Over time, not in a day but a week, rose changed its color to blue. Things you’re surrounded with daily affects you and change you. You may not notice it right away, but you’ll turn your head around and, you will be blue as well as the rose did. IT workspace, as specific as that cupric sulfate anhydrous was, brings its colors. The point of this blog will be to define what those colors are, how do they color you, and what you can do on preserving your original color. 

 

 . 

 Problems with mental health treatment 

 

 One of the main issues people in general face with their mental health is that they find it too late.

 It’s like cancer, growing infection and destroying your body.  

 Another issue is that even if the person recognizes their symptoms, they don't know who to turn to for help. Counseling may be too expensive; they may be ashamed, which is a whole another problem for a whole different blog, they don't take it seriously, and that’s what makes everything super hard. 

 

 The stigma that mental health poses are a heavy and ugly one. Considering it as something trivial makes every system fall back upon its development. 

 Another problem is that people are not often genuinely empathetic towards people suffering from some mental disorders or issues which may have them behave out of the line of their normal routine. 

 As we are creatures of habits, we often feel that going against ‘our nature is not something we should strive for. 

 A problem that I defined right now is illogical. Why? Because it’s silly to be okay with someone saying that they are having problems with their bones for example, but to say that they’re depressed or anxious is taboo. That’s that ugly stigma I mentioned above. To fight this, everyone must raise the awareness of mental health as the battle for the destigmatization of mental health progresses. 

 

 

 Health problems that work in the IT industry may cause

 

 The British Interactive Media Association (BIMA - https://www.bima.co.uk/Tech-and-Inclusion-Report) recently revealed that tech workers are five times more likely to suffer from a mental health problem, compared to the wider population. Between four and 10 percent of UK adults are thought to experience depression at some point in their lives but this figure pales in comparison to the tech sector, whereas many as 52 percent of the workforce admitted to suffering from stress, anxiety, and depression at work.

Two-thirds of those surveyed stated that their work has caused high levels of stress, with 13 percent of these workers experiencing this emotional strain constantly. This work-based stress is also causing severe prolonged headaches, sleep deprivation, and anxiety attacks. Stress is also more commonly experienced by women in tech, with BIMA finding that men were just nine percent as likely to experience high levels of workplace stress. 

 

 Seems that IT affects differently, why may that be? 

 

 In another study produced by the Mental Health Foundation found that 38 percent of people would fear for their job security and prospects if they spoke up about a mental health problem. A further 17 percent worry about facing judgment from their colleagues. This highlights the need for companies and their workers to have an increased focus on educating themselves around mental health. This will help individuals to self-identify issues and enable organizations to provide proper support. 

 

 Employees working in the IT industry are prone to develop a lot of health problems due to the continuous physical and mental stress of their work. Diseases are either induced, sustained, or exacerbated by stress. The common health problem due to stress is acid peptic disease, alcoholism, asthma, diabetes, fatigue, tension headache, hypertension, insomnia, irritable bowel syndrome, psychoneurosis, sexual dysfunction, and skin diseases such as psoriasis, lichen planus, urticaria, pruritus, neurodermatitis, etc. Globalization and privatization have brought new work relationships, job insecurity, insecurity regarding future working conditions and rapid obsolescence of skills are causes of stress. 

 

 Stress at work has been linked with coronary heart disease and metabolic syndrome in retrospective and prospective studies.[https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4439723/#ref2] The biological mechanisms remain unclear.[https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4439723/#ref3] The pathophysiological mechanisms involve direct neuroendocrine effects and indirect effects mediated by adverse health behaviors.[https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4439723/#ref4 The metabolic syndrome is a cluster of risk factors that increases the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.[https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4439723/#ref7] Characteristics of the metabolic syndrome are abdominal obesity, atherogenic dyslipidemia (raised triglycerides, small low-density lipoprotein particles, and low concentrations of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol), high blood pressure (BP), insulin resistance (with or without glucose intolerance), and prothrombotic and proinflammatory states. Studies have found a social gradient in work stress and metabolic syndrome,[https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4439723/#ref9] suggesting greater exposure to working stress among less advantaged social groups. Cross-sectional studies have linked work stress with components of the syndrome,[https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4439723/#ref11] but this association is not consistent.[https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4439723/#ref12]

 Technostress is the word used to explain the phenomenon of stress arising due to the usage of computers. It is a modern disease of adaptation caused by the inability to cope with new computer technologies healthily.

 We at ITO have understood the meaning and importance of mental health in the workplace, so we’ve conducted scientific research within our company to understand even more the state of the mental health of our employees;

 

 A survey of depression conducted in the ITO found that 67% of respondents did not have depression, 23% had mild, 5% had moderate, and 5% had severe depression.

 As it turned out, most respondents are not depressed, and a small proportion of them have a mild depressive disorder that is common in the general population. Respondents may often experience some symptoms of depression, but they do not confirm the existence of a depressive disorder, i.e., depression. But such a result should not be understood as a final diagnosis, nor as a recommendation for treatment, although consultation with a psychologist in everyday life is often recommended.

 

 

 How to recognize symptoms of early mental health issues?

The same way you educate yourself about what you can eat without making you sick, that way you should be educated on what you should let in your mind and not get sick. Having let something poison you will start to show signs of sickness, and you should know what are the early signs so you can prevent it from spreading.

 Here are some early signs for you to know when you’re experiencing problems:

 

 1. Feeling sad or down

 2. Confused thinking or reduced ability to concentrate

 3. Excessive fears or worries, or extreme feelings of guilt

 4. Extreme mood changes of highs and lows

 5. Withdrawal from friends and activities

 6. Significant tiredness, low energy, or problems sleeping

 7. Detachment from reality, paranoia, or hallucinations 

 8. Inability to cope with daily problems and stress

 9. Trouble to understand and relate to situations and people

 10. Problems with alcohol or drug use.

 11. Major changes in eating habits

 12. Sex drive changes

 13. Excessive anger, hostility, or violence

 14. Suicidal thinking

 

 Even if the mind is poisoned, it reflects well on our physical state. Therefore, symptoms of mental health issues that may appear are physical problems, such as stomach pain, back pain, headaches, or other unexplained aches and pains.

 

 

 How to tell your boss you’re experiencing issues? 

 

 It’s hard enough to deal with mental issues themselves - now you have another obstacle: Telling your boss that you need some time off because you are having a hard time. Taking stigma into account, the fear of maybe losing your job is a dangerous combination that frightens even the strongest and makes them withdraw and suffer in silence. Luckily, people in the IT sector are more “worldly” and are more familiar with topics such as mental health is. Even so, that step of telling your boss, it’s never easy. 

 Approaching your boss about this should be dealt with in honesty. If you’re not that close to your boss, you should simply say that you want a day off for mental health. If you’re close with your boss, opening up and disclosing some of your issues at the level of your comfort, according to a wide range of therapists, is something positive and makes the working relationship even stronger.

 The formula of telling such news to your boss is always dependent on your workspace and the general atmosphere: You should always take into account where you should meet your boss to tell them about this, formulate your words and problems before the meeting and just be honest. 

 

 

 

 

 How to cope with mental health issues at work?

 To be healthy is to live healthily. Healthy may be subjective at times, considering that people heal at a different pace, they deal with their issues differently. Some people when they’re down just want peace and a book, some people will go too far lengths, picking up some weights and train. Some people will play some videogames and distance themselves, some people will just sleep. It’s highly depending on what kind of a person you are. 

 But to be general, there are some things you can do even today that will help you out!

 

 IT can be a crowded place, assuring yourself with some comfortable place will put things in touch.

 Eating a healthy breakfast and drinking enough water will surely remove the physical obstacles. You know how they say, healthy body - healthy spirit.

 Make a to-do list!

 Feeling overwhelmed from a mountain of work can contribute to anxiety and depression, so making a to-do list can help people stay on track. 

 Talk to human resources because if they’re told that an employee is under emotional distress, they are required by law to address the issue.

 Also, identifying triggers can help a lot. If you’re not sure what are your triggers are, keeping a journal of the things that have led to stress to identify them, can help.

 

Degree - is it worth it?

Does the IT world still follow old rules?

 

Alright, the never-ending question: Do I need the degree?

We will break down the pros and cons of having a degree and if you still need one today.

 

 

 What kind of a degree do you need?


 First and foremost, you need to understand that there are many different IT branches, and each one of them requires a different skill set. Of course, all of them - share some similar requirements, but each overwhelms them with specific and oriented needs. Such specific needs must be taken care of with a suit measurement of skill set. For example, computer and information research scientists generally need a graduate degree. However, some employers hire candidates with only a high school diploma or associate degree. Technology jobs often emphasize skills-based training over college experience, which means professionals with any level of education can secure positions in the field.

 Computers and technology education requirements also vary by position. Individuals with various educational backgrounds can pursue jobs: including computer network architects, programmers, web developers, personal computer technicians, and demonstrators and product promoters. Computers and technology job requirements differ by position.

 Experience and education often lead to increased earning potential. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), computer support specialists(https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/computer-support-specialists.htm), who do not need a college degree, earn a median salary of $54,760 per year. The BLS reports that computer programmers(https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/computer-programmers.html), who generally have a bachelor’s degree, earn a median salary of $86,550.

 Consistent growth in the technology field can lead to job opportunities. The BLS projects employment for computer support specialists to increase 10% from 2018 to 2028. College Choice provides detailed information about degree options in the computer and technology(https://www.collegechoice.net/technology/) fields.

 Traditionally, going for a bachelor's degree in computing is the first step towards obtaining an IT job.

 But, there’s another thing, a bold and amazing move from Google: Google offers a 6-month program that renders traditional degrees mute. It consists of an intense and cheap alternative that makes you ready for work immediately. Where on other hand, traditional degrees make you overwhelmed with broad knowledge with no specific use. In conclusion, a valuable and accredited diploma/certificate is what you need.

 

 

 

 

 Which IT careers need a degree the most?

 

 Luckily, the IT world has been smart enough to value actual skill more often, rather than the certificate, but some jobs in this world would require or at least want their candidates to own a degree.

 

 According to the 2021 State of the CIO survey(https://www.nascio.org/resource-center/resources/the-2021-state-cio-survey/?__cf_chl_managed_tk__=pmd_SakI6lfMZ1EQEeSyzhAbI0EBs_D9fmPnZBeb82KBURM-1634130623-0-gqNtZGzNA1CjcnBszQil), these are the jobs with the highest pain points when it comes to finding qualified candidates to match demand:

1. AI/machine learning: 20%

2. IT technician  

3. Cloud services/ integration: 11%

4. Robotic process automation (RPA): 9%

5. Internet of things/edge computing (cone ted devices, sensors): 8%

6. App dev: 8%

7. Software engineering: 8%

8. Enterprise architecture: 7%

9. Cloud architecture: 7%

10. Enterprise software (ERP, CRM, etc.): 6%

11. Multicloud management: 6%

 

 

These would be jobs that ask for the degree the most. Of course, we’re sure that with the right approach - any job can be obtained without a degree. The same way you can get an honorary doctorate because you are recognized for your knowledge and contribution, the same thing rules or should rule through the IT world. These jobs may not essentially need a degree but are considered as one of the hardest jobs you can have in IT, making them ask for as much as accreditation possible.

 

 Which IT careers don't require a degree at all? 

 

 There are great and essential jobs that do not require a certain degree - only skill, that is all.

 

 Those would be:

 1. Computer support specialist

 2. Software architect 

 3. Help desk analyst

 4. Computer programmer

 5. Web developer

 6. IT manager

 7. Computer software engineer

 

 

 Do companies value degrees over demonstrated skill?

 

 According to a recent survey of 500 U.S. recruiters and hiring managers across ten industry sectors, the answer is a resounding yes. One hundred percent of recruiters believe that candidates with a college degree have more skills than those without a degree. And although employers report that on average only 35 percent of entry-level, salaried jobs require a degree, recruiters look for them.

 That would be a general answer to such a general question. But, we’re here for the IT sector and, the situation in IT is a bit different: IT branches, as mentioned, require a specific set of skills for fulfilling their needs, therefore - it is a common practice among employers to emphasize skills, rather than to be stuck over candidates diploma. Our WordPress developer Igor has spared a few minutes to answer this and some of the following questions. When asked about degrees or demonstrated skills, 

 he answered:

 In my opinion: No. Companies need people that can start working immediately on projects that are already sold or are getting sold to their respective clients. If you can start the job immediately, it's a greater plus than having a degree.

 

 Do IT companies pay more if you have a degree?

 

 The evidence that a college degree significantly improves one’s earning potential is overwhelming. Bachelor’s degree holders are half as likely to be unemployed as their peers who only have a high school degree and, they make $1 million in additional earnings on average over their lifetime.

 Although this may not always be the case, we’re sure that over time and with positive results, salary will be reciprocal to shown knowledge and skill.

 In conclusion, yes. Yes, they pay more but over time that changes as you progress and show your skills.

 

 How to get a job without a degree?

 

 When writing this blog, I thought this question would be the one having me writing endlessly. 

 Luckily, I have an amazing colleague who answered this with resonating simplicity:

 Bring value.

 Those were the words of our WordPress developer and, I think that simple sentence speaks a lot of volume. Do you want a job? Bring value. 

 

 Are degrees a safe bet?

 

 Degrees are not a safe bet, they improve your chances tremendously, but nobody ever guarantees you anything. If we take ‘’being safe’’ at least 80% success rate for finding a job, IT degrees would be a somewhat safe bet, as the sector is highly in demand.

 

 

 As writing this, I’ve concluded that this blog shouldn't offer a definitive answer: It should offer space to think through and get the reader question what they can do, what is their exact position, and to understand that IT is a scenario with so many variations that only when they bring their variables into the code, is the time where they can get a definitive answer.

 Thank you very much for reading. Let us know what you think.

 Degrees or skills? 

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