What is information technology? The answer depends on who you ask. Generally, information technology is the process of using computers to store or retrieves data and instructions and other information. IT is generally used in the context of network operating systems, personal computer systems, and not-for-profit organizations such as schools and libraries.
It is very important for users to understand that information technology is simply part of what they do and how they use their computers. For example, a user can be very familiar with a keyboard and mouse, but very unlikely to know much about the screen or the capabilities of a digital camera. Similarly, many people may not realize that a traditional telephone does not include a hardware device, but is instead a system of software. The hardware of course is very useful, but the functionality is only part of what makes it special. Information technology, on the other hand, encompasses the entire computer system, including its software, hardware, memory, networking, operating system, input devices, output devices, and any number of other items.
Many experts agree that the information technology field will continue to expand, and with it, career opportunities. In fact, job opportunities are among the most abundant in the world. As the world continues to grow increasingly connected, it has become even easier and cheaper for businesses and individuals to communicate with one another. In addition, it is fairly easy to find employees to fill any position. This means that those with the proper skills and knowledge about this specialized hardware can enjoy a wide variety of career paths, regardless of their technical abilities.
One of the most popular career paths involves the manufacture and maintenance of information systems. Those in charge of information systems need to understand all aspects of the hardware, software, and documentation involved in creating and maintaining the system. They must keep track of upgrades and fixes, security measures, and upgrades for the hardware itself. Those in charge of this department may work in a number of different locations. Some companies require the systems they manufacture and maintain to be located in their own facilities, while others simply have contract employees create and maintain their information systems.
Those in charge of these departments often spend their work hours in front of a variety of computers. They are expected to understand and troubleshoot hardware problems, work with software developers, and troubleshoot other technical aspects of information systems. Those in this field often take on several different jobs, depending on the nature of the software or hardware they are responsible for maintaining. If a company has several different departments that all deal with information systems, then they may have a chief information system’s official, as well as a person in charge of hardware repairs and upgrades. The exact responsibilities of each individual in charge of this department will vary, though they all must ensure the safety of the company.
Those interested in getting into this career can major in either computer science information technology, electrical engineering, or a related field. Those interested in a career that combines both technical skills and business know-how may choose to enroll in an IT college, and major in one of several computer science or business management specializations. They will get specialized training in both the technical aspects of software and hardware creation, and project management. These students should expect to perform intensive coursework, as they will be required to solve many technical problems while also performing leadership tasks in their courses.
Those who are interested in a career that combines both information security and technical skills should pursue either a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a master’s in information technology, specializing in either security or software development. Both degrees require that students have a strong combination of both information security and technical skill sets. Those with an interest in software development may choose to major in computer science and take classes such as computer software design or engineering. Those with a strong interest in security may choose a bachelor’s degree in information security, then pursue a master’s in information security or a security engineering degree. The skills gained in either of these programs will help them in their future careers, but the real test comes when these professionals are allowed to take on the most technically demanding jobs, such as those in the world of computer software design and development.
Some interesting career paths may include telecommunications, which is quickly becoming a very popular field. If you are good at programming and designing, you can easily work as an information systems technician, an information systems consultant, or a telecommunications technician. As for those interested in working with hardware, what is interesting is that information systems are slowly becoming an essential component of hardware design and manufacturing process. For example, many computers are now being created with components based on what is now being called “open source,” which means that the hardware and software are available to programmers and designers from the open source community. With the increased complexity of today’s hardware and software, information systems specialists are quickly gaining ground in this fast-paced industry. For more information on these exciting career paths, visit the Online Degree Programs page.