Information Technology has evolved since the invention of the writing system in 3000BC. In a short time span, we’ve gone from basic technologies to advanced computer programs. Now, almost every business uses computer software to make their work easier.
Companies are investing more in their information technology department. In turn, creating jobs for present and future IT professionals.
An IT department handles other office staff's difficulty using their computer. Ensuring the company maintains a high level of productivity.
An IT department develops programs essential for the company’s business and communication. They also maintain all hardware and software devices.
What is information technology, and what role do members of an IT department perform?
IT is the use of computers to retrieve, send, and manipulate data or information. Members of an IT department are responsible for automating and creating processes for daily tasks, ensuring the business runs smoothly.
An IT department handles
- Ensuring their company’s IT systems are useful, and in tune with what the organization needs. This is carried out through a combination of policies and processes.
- Setting up and maintaining servers, phone systems, routers, and personal computers.
- Providing tech support, carrying out network maintenance, device management, and security testing.
What are the skills you need to work in an IT department?
Being the person that solves a friend's computer problem doesn't guarantee you can work in IT. You need other skills like:
- Strong interpersonal communication. You will help other staff members solve problems they face using their computers. Adequate empathy allows you to understand your coworker problem and help them solve it.
- A passion for technology. Staying up-to-date with the latest technological advancement is an essential trait for success in the IT sector.
- Creative problem solving. “Are you passionate about finding creative solutions to hard problems? If the answer is yes, then you will enjoy a career in technology” according to Jeff McGehee, a senior data scientist at Very.
The skills listed above are not the core skills for getting hired by a company’s IT department. They are only necessary if you want to be effective and grow in the IT industry.
These are not skills that you learn in the four walls of a college or from an online course. They are personality traits that you nurture and develop
How to understand if you can work in IT
You do not need a college degree per se to fit into the IT department of any company. A degree in Information technology or computer sciences can help you secure a job faster. A broad and certified knowledge of computer systems is very critical to landing that IT job.
Do you understand the difference between Hardware and Software? Do you have basic knowledge of both components? These are important questions to answer. You may be configuring a hardware component but must understand how software governs those components.
More companies are looking for intuitive and sophisticated solutions they can put in place to give them an edge over their competitors. An IT department delivers the edge the company needs to outsmart their competition.
According to the Bureau of Labour Statistics, computer and information technology certificate holders' employment is expected to grow by thirteen percent from 2016 to 2026. If you are interested in working in IT, you can rest assured that there are many career opportunities for you to thrive in.
Career Opportunities in IT
By now, you have a fair understanding of the general responsibilities of an IT department. But, there are roles that each member of the department performs only or with collaboration. Some of these roles are:
- Computer system analyst: They are responsible for combining smart business solutions with IT. They are usually specialists in one industry while they work for a technology firm. They also work in finance and government industries.
- Information security analyst:their responsibility is to ensure the company’s computer networks are secured. They are also responsible for conducting tests and developing company policies about best security practices.
- Computer support specialists: they are responsible for handling software issues, computer crashes and any hardware trouble. They work on the front-lines in ensuring the company’s computer system and network are in the best shape.
- Network system administrators: Their role is to maintain its network system, security, and performance.
Career roles in IT are subject to change, as the world of technology continually evolves with new technologies. Some changes in your position may depend on the size and scope of the company. An IT professional in a small company may be responsible for only mundane tasks and may be required to be knowledgeable in different information technology areas. In contrast, an IT professional with a big company may only focus on a specific area like cyber-security.
Industries with a high demand for IT professionals
There is a need for IT in almost every industry. However, healthcare, financial services, and manufacturing companies have the most significant demand for IT professionals. The following job roles are the most in-demand in these industries:
- Business intelligence analysts
- Database developers
- Data scientists
- Cloud architects and system engineers
- Help desk and desktop support professionals
- System administrators
- Security professionals (data, information, network, cloud, systems)
Most in-demand technology certifications
- Certified Ethical Hacker ( CEH)
- Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
- Cisco Certified Network Associate Routing and Switching (CCNA)
- Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP)
- IT Service Management (ITSM)
- Project Management Professional (PMP)
- CompTIA A+
- IT Infrastructure library
Getting a job in IT is easy. Passion for the job determines how far you will go. Having the right certification determines how fast you secure a job. These are all you need to understand if you can work in IT.