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What is Information Technology?
Information technology refers to the area of employment and study that deals with the transfer of information across internal and external systems, the security of such information, and its storage. Individuals in this field are tasked with ensuring that networks remain functional, stress free, and are able to perform the functions required by the individual, business, corporation or organization. The technical prowess necessary to setup and maintain large networks can be extremely high, requiring an in depth understanding of the various facets of such systems to ensure continued proper usage, safety, security and more. As an industry, information technology is constantly changing, growing and expanding, with new technologies constantly being developed that require the need for implementation and explanation.
A degree in information technology prepares individuals with the skills and knowledge necessary to establish and maintain network and information systems. Students will study various subjects relating to computers, learning how they connect with one another and the protocols used to secure such connections. As with most technology based degrees, a foundation of mathematics and science will be established through various courses. Degrees are available from the associate level onward, with most jobs requiring a bachelor's degree to be considered.
A curriculum in information technology may include:
- Data Structures and Algorithms
- Computer Programming
- Database Management
- Systems Organization Theory
In addition, individuals pursuing education in this field should consider continuing education courses regularly to familiarize themselves with changes in the field and to better understand burgeoning technologies. Such education may also be available from software and hardware vendors who seek to illuminate information technology specialists to the advantages of their products.
A career in information technology typically involves working with firms or corporation to establish and maintain computer and network systems in locations such as offices. Individuals will be charged with identifying problems and providing solutions with such systems. Information technologists must be up to date and proficient in the use of various systems, providing updates and upgrades as needed. This may be augmented by obtaining various certifications offered by various hardware and software companies. Continuing education is also important as technology continues to develop.
Managerial position in information technology may require individuals to pursue a master degree, often in business administration. The role of managers is to identify system wide upgrades, conceive and administer programs, conduct cost/benefit analyses, and to report to superiors in regards to needs and changes.
Job Growth, Salary and Related Fields
Careers in information technology are expected to grow over the next decade as the need for knowledgeable professionals will increase and technology becomes more complex. Job opportunities should be available to qualified individuals who can demonstrate skill, flexibility and growth within the field. As the field expands so will the need for individuals who are current in regards to systems operation and maintenance. The average salary for information technologists is approximately $70,000 per year, but can vary greatly based on location, education, experience and employer.
Individuals interested in information technology may also be interested computer science, robotics technology, or computer engineering.