What is information technology?

Information technology is a rapidly growing field that offers secure positions for individuals with a minimum of a bachelor's degree in an IT-related field. From engineering to support, there are a number of specializations that deal with the different components of information technology, and students with solid technical skills as well as an aptitude for gathering information and interpreting data are likely to find success in this industry.

What is Information Technology?

The field of information technology, or IT, covers the support, administration, and design of telecommunications and computer systems. Some positions in this field include system analysts, software programmers, computer scientists, computer support specialists, and network and database administrators. Most of the careers in the IT field entail operational and design tasks related to software applications, networks, and computer hardware components. Professionals work with organizations and businesses to install and support viable computer networks that will keep systems reliable and efficient. IT encompasses all software and hardware used in the creation, storing and access of information. Examples of some technologies that IT professionals may work with include the Internet, networks, media storage devices, databases, and firewalls.

Education Information for Aspiring IT Professionals

In most cases, aspiring IT professionals need a bachelor's degree in a technology-related field such as networking, programming, information systems management, or computer science. Even without a degree, experience in a help-desk position could help IT professionals further their careers with vocational training or professional certification. Students will learn about technical theory, networking, programming, and computer hardware. Depending on the specific major, students may also learn about database management, systems analysis, computer circuitry, website development, and IT management. To hold a position as a computer research scientist, students will likely be required to hold a doctoral degree.

IT Certifications

Nearly all software and hardware manufacturers offer certification options that allow IT professionals to show evidence of their proficiencies within certain areas of technology. In addition, there are a number of industry-standard IT certifications that cover advanced and fundamental understanding of communications, software and general hardware technologies. Although certification isn't always necessary to pursue a career in the field, many employers prefer applicants to demonstrate some type of proficiency. Professional certifications may include the Oracle Certified Associate, Sun Certified Java Programmer, CompTIA's A+ Certifications, Cisco Certifications, and Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert Information.

Required Skills

Individuals wishing to pursue a career in IT should develop solid critical thinking and logical skills. Support positions also require IT professionals to possess the ability to communicate, listen and maintain a calm, professional demeanor when helping others. Network, component, and computer designers such as scientists and engineers must also be able to see not only the current needs of the organization but also the growth potential of the business and its users.

Careers in this field include computer scientists, network administrators and engineers, and software developers. Occupations in the field of information technology are expected to grow quicker than the average for all occupations between 2014 and 2024, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Due to the rapid growth of the industry as well as a median salary of $82,860 in 2016, the field of information technology is quickly becoming one of the most sought-after fields for professionals with solid skills and education in computer and networking technologies.

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