Information Technology Jobs

Information technology, or IT, combines engineering with computers in order to process and store information in the form of pictures, numbers and text. Information technology includes many aspects related to computers, such as programming, hardware, software and information systems. Essentially, anything that renders information or data into a visual format is considered information technology.

Information technology has changed dramatically in the past few decades. In the past, an information technology department may have had only one or two computer operators storing information on magnetic tape. Now, an information technology department consists of many employees and a large variety of equipment. Computers, databases and servers all make up a modern department, as well as managers, database administrators and system administrators.

Information technology consists of four main areas: productivity tools, connecting with customers, providing information and business process automation. Information technology is always evolving. Some of the more recent developments in information technology include cloud computing, knowledge bases, next generation web technologies and global information systems.

Those in the information technology perform a wide variety of duties, with a range in skill sets. Some may perform relatively simple tasks such as installing applications, while more seasoned professionals may create computer networks or databases. Other common duties include software and database design, computer engineering, data and systems management, and networking. Many monitor databases and networks and keep them safe from crashes, viruses and information theft. Information technology is becoming more integrated into other types of devices besides computers. It is being used in television, cars and cell phones as well, increasing the number of jobs in the field. Many other popular uses of information technology include project management, business intelligence, information security, ITIL, IT governance, Linux and Unix.

There are many employment opportunities in the information technology field. Computers and information technology are used everywhere. It is rare to find a successful company that operates without computers. Therefore, those with experience in the field can work virtually anywhere. A minimum of an associate's degree is required, with a bachelor's degree being the industry standard. Students can expect to take fundamental courses such as math, science and communications, as well as computer programming, application servers, software architecture, databases, operating systems, networks, telecommunications, information systems, Internet technology, web design, computer graphics, security and e-commerce. Many programs offer concentrations so students can focus on a particular subject of interest within information technology. These may include topics such as systems administration, information security and infrastructure management. Students may be required to take written communications courses as well, such as technical writing or communication.

Since more and more companies are requiring a master's degree for more technical positions, some schools offer post-graduate degrees in information technology. A Masters In Business Administration (MBA) is often preferred by companies, especially for those pursuing management positions. These degree programs are often flexible, allowing students to pick and choose classes that fit their future career goals. Classes include applied computing, IT management, data mining, artificial intelligence, and risk management. Because technology is constantly changing, continuing education and a willingness to learn new technology are of extreme importance in order to succeed in this field.

One advantage of information technology jobs is the high salaries, and they are continuing to climb. Some of the top jobs in the industry are growing 5-9 percent per year. A lead application developer deals with many aspects of applications, such as design, testing, coding and debugging. Salaries can range from $80,000 to $108,000. An applications architect designs middleware, interfaces and other application design components. This type of information technology position requires at least eight years of experience as well as specific software skills. Many employers may also require a master's degree. The pay ranges from $87,000 to $120,000. A messaging administrator earns the same salary, but requires less experience and education. They work with e-mail and servers. They also work with operating systems and backup and recovery programs to fix computer issues. A data modeler analyzes data and creates data flow. Data management experience is required. Salaries range from $74,000 to $102,000. Network managers operate and maintain a company's network. They also implement and test network systems. Ten years of experience, several years of management experience and a certification are all requirements. Salaries range from $74,500 to $98,500. A web developer plans web-based applications and works with other teams to put applications online. They usually require at least five years of experience working with a variety of web technologies. Salaries range from $76,000 to $108,000. If you enjoy helping people and have a positive attitude, you may be the right fit for a help desk worker. They solve computer problems by phone or e-mail. However, their salaries are a bit lower than other information technology professionals, ranging from $35,000 to slightly above $46,000 annually.

Jobs in the information technology field are expected to increase by at least 20 percent in the next decade, much faster than average. Job prospects will be excellent. Demand will be spurred by companies and consumers looking for more sophisticated technology and secure networks. There will be demand for those on top of the current trends in technology, such as cloud computing and health information technology. There are many opinions about what the future will hold for information technology. Many researchers think computers will be able to do a lot more than humans. This will depend on what new innovations those in the information technology field are able to create in the coming years.

Last Updated: 06/08/2014

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