Careers in Information Technology
IT professionals work on the hardware (computers and other external devices), software programs and telecommunications systems that make businesses run. There are several careers available in IT, including computer support specialist.
Computer Support Specialist
Computer support specialists are on the front lines of IT as they troubleshoot and answer questions about software, hardware and network issues. They also assist with larger-scale hardware and software rollouts. They often work with end-users who have minimal or no technical knowledge and help them overcome their challenges. Consequently, this career path is ideal for those with customer service skills and an inquisitive nature. Patience and strategic problem-solving skills are also essential for this position.
Professionals in this field handle inquiries from users by telephone, email or live chat. They also write instructions, troubleshoot software and hardware problems and provide training to users. Depending on their role, they may carry out office automation feasibility studies, workflow analysis and space design.
To become a computer support specialist, it is helpful to earn an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in information technology or a similar field. An online bachelor’s degree like Maryville’s online Bachelor of Science in Computer Science can provide the foundation you need to excel in this exciting and rewarding career. The program teaches you the fundamentals of computer science, including networking, programming and software development. To learn more about the program and its career prospects, contact an admissions adviser today.
Creating computer programs takes a mix of coding skills, logical planning ability and creativity. Software developers are tasked with designing and building software applications for a variety of industries.
Developers are often responsible for testing and ensuring the quality of software. This helps to reduce user frustration and the risk of product failure or a negative public image. Developers may also be required to spend significant time working on technical support issues or problem resolution.
The software development field can be an ideal career choice for those with a strong aptitude for math and science. Obtaining a two or four-year degree in computer and information technology or computer engineering can help develop the necessary skill set. Many students choose to attend a coding boot camp in order to quickly gain the skills necessary for employment in this lucrative field.
As with most careers in information technology, it is possible to create a career path that allows for professional growth and advancement. For instance, it is not uncommon for computer support specialists to move into network administration or cybersecurity roles after gaining experience in the field. In addition, it is often possible for software developers to become project managers. Continuing education and attending industry conferences are also common ways for professionals to stay up-to-date on new trends and practices in the software development world.
Network administrators are responsible for the daily operations of an organization’s data communication networks. They are also tasked with creating and installing new networks and keeping existing ones running smoothly. They are at the top of an organization’s IT staff and often have specialized certification or bachelor’s degree in their field of expertise.
They also spend a lot of time in server rooms and network closets, which can be noisy environments. In order to protect themselves from hearing loss and other health hazards, they may use earplugs or safety glasses. In addition, they may have to travel to other locations for maintenance or repairs.
As a network administrator, you need to have good interpersonal skills in order to communicate with other members of your team and other departments. This includes the ability to translate technical information for a non-technical audience and convey status updates in a timely manner. You will need excellent problem-solving abilities as well since you are tasked with finding solutions for the many issues that could arise throughout the day.
You will need to have a good understanding of the different hardware and software that your company uses. This is important so you can be a resource when other employees encounter problems with these systems. You will also need to know how to configure and troubleshoot the various networking components.
Information technology involves more than just computers and digital interfaces. The field also encompasses hardware (computer monitors, keyboards, mouses and printers), software programs like word processors, internet browsers and operating systems, telecommunications networks and security systems that protect against cyberattacks.
An information security analyst monitors a company’s network to detect and prevent attacks on data. They work in many industries, from healthcare, where they help safeguard patient records, to retail, where they protect customer credit card numbers and other financial information. They may be asked to create and implement firewall technology to protect computer systems, as well.
A career as a cybersecurity analyst requires several technical and soft skills, such as reverse engineering, identifying vulnerabilities and making informed decisions. They also need to be able to understand and explain complex information technology concepts to non-technical stakeholders.
Security analysts should be able to think creatively and find solutions that address problems before they become serious threats. They must also have excellent organizational skills to keep up with the constant stream of alerts they receive and to triage them to determine which require immediate action. Moreover, they need to be detail-oriented as they often document their work for compliance and auditing purposes.