How Can I Become an Information Technology Expert?
An information technology expert works to monitor and manage computer hardware, software and networks within an organization. This expert is known by a wide range of titles, including network administrator, information security analyst, business information technology analyst and information technology project manager. The job attracts potentially lucrative salaries and offers an array of opportunities for personal growth. Here are steps you need to take if you want to become an information technology expert.
Get the Right Degree
The minimum academic requirement needed to work as an information technology specialist is a bachelor's degree. You can pursue a degree in information technology, computer science, computer engineering or information technology management. All these programs take four years to complete and cover topics such as information technology system analysis, risk assessment, computer administration, information security and data networking.
Respected information technology specialists have great academic qualifications, so you might need to go beyond a bachelor's degree. You can enroll in a master's degree or even advance further to a doctorate degree. Common masters programs include Master in Technology Management and Master of Information Technology. A master's and doctorate degree program widens your perspective in IT and trains you on how you can apply your information technology knowledge in real-life situations.
Once you graduate, get a job, even if does not pay well. Take the job as a stepping stone towards greater things, rather than as a source of livelihood. You can begin by working as a technical support analyst or as a project management assistant. This exposure will help you learn how information technology infrastructures work and hone your troubleshooting skills. Get a company that is well recognized. This can be an IT consulting firm, government entity or even the military.
Once you acquire the right academic credentials and experience, you need to apply for certification from a recognized professional body. Nobody will take you seriously if you don't have a professional certification. The best certifications include Project Management Professional (PMP), Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA), Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) and Certified Information Security Manager (CISM). These certifications will increase your chances of getting advanced and well-paying jobs.
The information technology field is very diverse. If you don't specialize, you will not become an expert in anything. You can specialize on a particular product, on an area of information technology, such as mobile computing and data networking or on a brand such as Microsoft, Cisco or Apple. The key is to identify something that is very popular and interests you. Once you identify the area of specialization, reach out to people and make yourself the only person whom everyone comes to when they have a problem in that area.
You need to network widely to get your name out there. Without this, nobody will know that you are an information technology expert. In the end, you won't get any job opportunities. Go out there and tell people about what you do. Open a Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn account and interact with people.
Related Resource: The 25 Best Online Bachelors in Information Technology Degrees
Information technology is a highly diverse field with a lot of opportunities for job development. Experts in this field earn lucrative salaries and enjoy a lot of respect from their peers. If you want to become an information technology expert, then you need to have the right education, gain work experience, get certified, specialize and network widely.