IT Professionals are commonplace in many different areas of business. Information Technology Professionals develop and design computer hardware and well as manage information networks including a business’ internet access networks. IT professionals can find opportunities for careers in a wide variety of areas, depending on their interests.
Some IT Professionals work in the operations department of a specific company, while others work for an IT company traveling to different offices to repair networks and software on an as needed basis. With the proper education, the opportunities for an IT Professional are ultimately endless.
IT Professionals can find work in the following areas:
• Network administration and design
• Software engineering
• Technical Support
• Web Development
• Enterprise systems integration and analysis
• Digital Media
• Web Administration
• Technical Writing
• Programs Engineering
Degrees and Experience Needed
The Degree required for a career position as an IT professional will depend on the line of work the candidate intends to choose. There are many different options for IT professions, and with these many choices comes a wide range of different degree programs. Jobs in the IT professional field can be found for holders of Associate’s degrees, Bachelor’s degrees, Master’s degrees, and Doctorate’s.
• Computer Science: A degree in Computer Science is required for careers as computer programmers and software engineers. This degree provides the knowledge required to develop substantial logical thinking skills and problem solving techniques. In this degree program a student will learn how to work with operating systems, software, and data structures among many other things.
• Software Engineering: these specialized degree programs give a more in depth look at the fundamentals required for software engineering.
• Human-Computer Interaction: This degree program is one of the “new school” majors offered by some schools as technology changes. With a focus on engineering, psychology, computer science, and computer interface development, this degree prepares students for careers as information architects or user-experience designers.
• Interactive Media: For IT professionals that wish to produce websites and other forms of digital media, an Interactive Media degree is ideal. The creation of advanced cell phones and games are just two of the paths an Interactive Media degree can pave the way for.
• Electrical and Computer Engineering: This degree teaches students how to design software and applications as well as circuits and products. Ideal for IT professional positions in the areas of hardware engineering and design engineering.
For success in the workplace Information Technology Professionals must have skills in the following areas:
• Up to date knowledge in all areas of technology
• Excellent interpersonal skills
• Organizational skills
• The ability to convey technological terms in “layman’s” terms to co-workers or customers.
• The ability to manage time and resources.
• A firm understanding of the architecture surrounding hardware and systems.
• The ability to troubleshoot simple and complex problems.
• The knowledge of compliance up to industry standards.
• Basic skills in fundamental areas including reading, writing and mathematics.
• The ability to work well in a team setting.
• The ability to continue learning about new technology as it becomes readily available.
How Much Does an Information Technology Professional Make?
The average annual salary of an Information Technology Professional varies depending on their particular department.
• Computer engineers make an average annual salary of $96,620. (BLS 2009)
• Computer and Information Systems Managers have an average annual salary of $120,640. (BLS 2009)
• Computer Programmers make an average salary of $74,690. (BLS 2009)
• Support Specialists make an average annual salary of $47,360. (BLS 2009)
Information Technology Professionals salaries vary depending on location as well. The highest paid IT professionals work in these ten cities: San Jose ($119K+), San Francisco($112K+), New York($105K+), Washington, DC. ($99K+), Boston ($99K+), Los Angeles ($96K+), Brooklyn (96K+), Philadelphia ($95K+), Chicago ($94K+), Dallas ($94K+).
Future Employment Prospects
The job outlook in the IT field is very good, as technology shifts and changes nearly every day. To keep up with demand, IT professionals should be ready to keep up with the changes in technology through certifications and self-study. For those asking “What is an Information Technology Professional?,” the answer just may be your next option for a great, lasting career.