Information technology (IT) professionals are in high demand in the IT industry. A few fields for students to consider include networking, programming, software and graphic design, database development and technical writing. There is a high demand for IT degree holders in professional, scientific, technical, and financial industries. Other areas where demand for technology skills is high are in companies that focus on infrastructure, distribution, and governmental organizations. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), future employment for all IT occupations is expected to grow faster than average.
IT degree holders have many choices when deciding on a career in information technology. For instance, a career in IT software entails making sure computers and other electronic equipment (such as mobile phones and televisions) perform functions as they were programmed to do.
A career in IT hardware includes designing and operating computer components, chips, circuit boards, modems, and printers. A career in IT support involves customer and marketing support. A career in IT education and research includes providing educational tools, administrative support, research tools, and database information to companies. Below are some brief descriptions of common IT professional career choices by groups.
IT Software Careers
- Technical Writer – works closely with Software Designers, Help Desk Workers, and Public Relations. These IT professionals are responsible for rewording computer jargon into easily understood content. Some of the duties a technical writer performs include writing users’ manuals and instruction manuals.
- Software Designer – works side-by-side with Quality Assurance Specialists and Project Managers of a software design team. They are responsible for ensuring all requirements for software are met. This includes all software development stages from planning to building the software.
- Multimedia Programmer – works with Art Directors, Web Developers, and Project Managers. These programmers are adept at writing software for audio, pictures, animation, or video purposes. They make programs for media usage in games, flash videos, and websites.
- Applications Programmer – works closely with Software Designers, Computer Engineers and Technical Writers. These programmers create source code for software. Their work can be seen in any computer program as well as programs used on multimedia devices.
- Technical Architect – works with Data Network Designers, Security and Systems Analysts. These IT professionals are in charge of ensuring the overall behavior of a company’s infrastructure operates smoothly. This includes checking that the technical, software and networking environment needs are met.
- Systems Programmer – work closely with Technical Architects, Computer Engineers and Business Analysts. They produce code in order for computer hardware and processes to work properly. They are responsible for improving, maintaining, and optimizing computers and networks.
- Systems Analyst – works with Data Network Designers, Project Managers and Computer Engineers. They make sure that the various systems, computer system capabilities and system infrastructures are working well. They also work within other company departments to help streamline processes.
IT Hardware Careers
- Computer Engineer – works with Application, Software Developers, and Systems Analysts. Their combined knowledge of electronic engineering and computer science helps them to create microprocessors, design computer hardware, software, and code.
- Systems Administrator – works closely with Computer Operators, Data Network Designers and Technical Architects. They are responsible for supervising and maintaining computer systems that are set up in a network.
- Capacity & Performance Analyst – works with Technical Architects, Data Network Designers, and System Analysts. They work and perform speed tests on computer systems and networks to ensure they are able to handle large bundles of information quickly.
IT Support Careers
- Project Manager – works with Software Designers, Computer Engineers, and Quality Assurance personnel. Their main responsibility is to coordinate all parts of specific operations, projects and software to make sure they are running smoothly and efficiently.
- Quality Assurance Specialist – works with Software Designers, Project Managers, and System Analysts. Gives hands-on support during all phases of a project or product. They are responsible in ensuring the project/product works correctly and that it is safe to use. They handle just about any commercial product including MP3 players, televisions, and even children’s toys.
- Data Network Designer – works with Technical Architects, System Analysts and Capacity & Performance Analysts. They make sure all telecommunications, including networks, are operating efficiently as with little downtime.
- Security Analyst – Coordinates planned security measures for computer files. They check to make sure accidental, unauthorized modifications and disclosures do not happen. They also design and monitor security systems for companies or organizations.
- Information Systems Manager – works closely with Web Developers, Technical Architects, Systems Analysts, and Data Network Designers. These IT professionals ensure that companies and their employees operate cohesively with the Information Technology resources used by the company.
- Computer Operator – have many job positions in manufacturing operations, data processing service firms, financial institutions and the government. Their main responsibility is to monitor computer hardware systems, minicomputers and mainframe systems to make sure they are properly performing.
- Website Developer – works with Data Network Designers and Multimedia Programmers. Since most companies have websites, these developers create and maintain websites and its components.
- Help Desk Representative - are technical support specialists who troubleshoot and solve user hardware, software and network system issues. Issues can consist of the user’s computer setup, installation and/or configuration. Many IT professionals in this career work within an organization or for small to medium size businesses with computers.
- Web Managers – works with Web Designers and Developers, Data Network Designers and Multimedia Programmers. These IT specialists’ tasks include running an organization’s website, updating and checking links to the site.