Written by featured author Clifford Blodgett.
Computer-based technologies have transformed the global marketplace in a thousand different ways. For people who have an aptitude for computers, information technology (IT) can be the key to a rewarding and successful career. Aspects of IT, like database programming and software applications development, are fascinating in their own right, but nowadays, almost every industry uses digital technology and the IT specialist plays a critical role within a variety of companies.
Which industries use information technology? The list would be much shorter if you asked which don’t. To name just a few: Healthcare has been changed by recent reform legislation to effect the transition from paper to electronic medical records by 2013. The online colleges model of distance learning grew 21% between 2009 and 2010, utterly transforming the field of education. Modern manufacturing relies upon as many digital as physical distribution channels.
What do IT professionals do?
IT professionals analyze the hardware and software needs of the companies they work for and oversee installation. They are responsible for ensuring that all digital processes are carried out efficiently and securely. Their interpersonal and management skills are every bit as important as their technical skills since they will be interacting with practically every individual within the company.
If IT is for you, your college search begins by finding every computer information systems school you can, reviewing their offerings and seeing whether their curriculum is the right track for your goals. One computer information systems college may be oriented toward business analysis, for example, while another one might emphasize the fundamentals of healthcare technology. Choose the computer information systems school that’s right for you.
The top IT jobs
What kinds of jobs will be available to you when you graduate from a computer information systems school? Begin your college search by taking a look at the list of IT jobs generated by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the principal fact-finding agency for the Department of Labor, to see just what your career choice entails.
- Computer and information research scientists are the theoreticians who push the new technology to its limits. Their work frequently leads to breakthroughs in new product lines and systems of management. These scientists work in a variety of environments, from schools to the R&D divisions of private companies to government agencies.
- Computer and information systems managers are the digital technology gatekeepers at their companies, charged with overseeing the hardware, software and staff who utilize and maintain technology.
- Computer hardware engineers design and develop the machines and equipment that run our modern world, from ever more efficient routers to faster computers to smart phones with more memory and more apps.
- Computer software engineers write and compile the computer programs, from spreadsheets to the SIMs, that we use for business and entertainment.
- Database administrators oversee the vast amount of information a company accumulates and references over the course of its business cycles. They are responsible for ensuring that only people with the right credentials have access to this information.
- Network systems and data communications analysts design, maintain and perform quality assurance on the sophisticated communication relays through which computers “talk” with one another.
- Computer systems analysts determine what kinds of computers will best suit a company’s specific needs.
- Network and computer systems administrators oversee the design, maintenance and installation of a company’s computer communication systems, from local area networks (LANs) to intranet and Internet systems.
- Computer support specialists are the hand holders and troubleshooters who get your computer up and running smoothly when it runs into an occasional problem.
Once you find a job description that appeals to you, tailor your college search toward finding a computer information systems college that has a solid curriculum geared toward teaching you the necessary skill set. As an IT professional in today’s workforce, you’re expected to hit the ground running, and with a degree from any computer information systems colleges, you will.