Working in IT can provide a sense of purpose, because you are helping people use technology to achieve their goals. The best way to land one of these high-paying information technology jobs is through the right educational program.
Education and Training
Whether you’re interested in computer programming, IT management or IT security, there are a variety of opportunities to pursue. Many information technology jobs require a degree and extensive training, while others allow you to start work with an associate degree or postsecondary certificate. Choosing an education and training option that best matches your career goals can help you advance quickly in the field of information technology.
IT professionals need a diverse range of skills, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Some of the more popular IT careers include software developers, eContent development specialists, multimedia developers and system administrators. Software developers use a combination of programming and logical planning skills to create and modify computer programs. eContent development specialists produce and manage online content such as websites, videos and mobile applications. Multimedia developers combine computer programming with visual artistry to design multimedia applications, such as animations, graphics, text and sound.
Computer and information service managers plan, organize and direct an organization’s information technology resources. They also ensure that all employees have the technology they need to do their jobs. The BLS reports that these positions require a bachelor’s degree in information technology or a closely related subject. In addition to management duties, information security analysts implement IT systems that protect private data from cyberattacks. They also research IT security trends and conduct simulated attacks to identify weaknesses.
Finding the right career can be a challenge for new graduates. Many seek employment that’s fulfilling, exciting and can help pay off their student loans and bills.
Information technology jobs offer all of those things and more. The field is growing at a rapid rate and the demand for qualified professionals remains high. It’s a great option for individuals who are drawn to innovation and enjoy finding new ways to solve problems.
Most industries rely on information technology to perform daily operations. Some have their own in-house IT departments while others may farm out their IT needs to companies that specialize in information technology. Regardless of the industry, these professionals can be found working together as part of teams or independently on a project-by-project basis.
Some examples of information technology jobs include: a computer systems administrator who handles the day-to-day operation of an organization’s IT infrastructure; software engineers who create computer systems and applications; support specialists who assist IT workers in troubleshooting and solving customer problems; and a network engineer who manages a company’s internet and internal servers. UX designers are another type of IT professional who create programs and websites that make it easy for people to use.
The best way to gain experience in a specific area of IT is to look for an internship, which can be done during the course of your degree program or after graduation. Internships provide valuable hands-on experience and can help you find the job that’s right for you.
The information technology field is a rapidly expanding sector with high-paying jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. For many of these roles, earning a certification can help you stand out from other candidates. These credentials show that you have the necessary skills and knowledge to work in your chosen field.
For example, if you want to be a network administrator, getting certified as a Cisco certified professional can open up more career options for you. Similarly, getting a database certification with Oracle can show that you’re well-versed in their technology.
A certificate is also a good option for those interested in becoming an IT support specialist. A course like IBM’s IT Support Professional Certificate can give you job-ready skills in networking, operating systems and cybersecurity. You’ll also learn how to troubleshoot computer hardware and software, all of which is a great foundation for an entry-level IT position.
Other IT-related certificates include the Microsoft MCTS (Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist) for applications development, which is designed for developers and programmers who work with Windows desktop application software. The CISSP (Certified Information Security Professional) offered by (ISC)2 is another credential that can open up more doors in the IT industry. This certifies you in eight areas of information security, including operational security, risk and security management, communications and network security, software development security and asset security.
There are a wide range of skills needed to work in information technology jobs. These include programming, logical planning and analytical reasoning. Other important traits are attention to detail, excellent customer service and a desire to keep up with industry trends. Some of the broader focus areas in IT include computer system engineering, data management and information technology support.
Software developers, for example, create computer programs that solve real-world problems. These professionals use a combination of programming and logical planning skills to write the code that controls these programs. They also need to test the program and maintain it on an ongoing basis.
Other IT professionals like data managers and engineers analyze gathered data and use it to improve IT systems. They may also be responsible for creating data-loss contingency plans or assessing the security of an organization’s IT systems.
IT professionals often work on a tight deadline, so they must be flexible and able to adapt to changing priorities. They often have to respond to emergencies, such as security breaches or crashed servers, at all hours of the day and night.
For young graduates, starting an entry-level IT role at a large organization is often the best way to learn about IT in practice and develop relevant skills. These positions are available at all industries and usually pay well.