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What do I need to pursue a career in IT?

In everyday language, the term "information technology" (IT) is equivalent to "computer." But the definition of information technology goes far beyond what is generally understood. IT is described as "the study or use of electronic devices, especially computers, to store, access, analyze, and send information" in the Oxford Dictionary. The demand for skilled IT professionals is rising daily as a result of the IT industry's tremendous growth over the last few decades. Due to this, IT is frequently referred to as the undisputed engineering king.

Information technology (IT) careers include system analysis, computer programming, and technical support. IT specialists perform a range of tasks, such as programming, computer engineering, website design, and technical support. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for IT professionals will rise by 11% between 2019 and 2029, which means there will be more job openings for qualified candidates.

A Quick Look at IT Careers and Degrees

IT includes a broad range of computer and network support services that are required by most business and organizational types, especially in the business, manufacturing, and governmental sectors. Many IT professionals manage hardware and software systems and troubleshoot technical issues while working as network administrators and security analysts. Businesses also hire IT specialists to help with their cloud computing needs as more data is kept offsite. Bachelor's degree programs prepare students for entry-level and mid-level positions across the IT spectrum, whereas associate degree programs introduce computer concepts and languages.

Common IT job specifications

If you're interested in working in IT, the following qualifications are typical for that field:

Bachelor's degree

A bachelor's degree is the bare minimum requirement for the majority of IT jobs. Computer science, information technology, information technology management, and computer engineering are all topics of study in this field. Common academic programs include:

  • Analysis of information technology systems

  • Information security

  • Data networking

  • Information technology system risk assessment

  • Computer administration

A master's degree may be something some students choose to pursue further. To obtain senior-level IT positions, such as director of information technology, this is helpful.

Acquire a certification program

An accredited program guarantees excellent employment opportunities, pay increases, and promotions. Therefore, enroll in a certification program that will improve your skills and get you ready for your dream job. The majority of businesses also demand that IT professionals have knowledge of the vendor's software offerings. Direct certification for IT professionals is available from vendors or independent groups like CompTIA. The majority of the time, obtaining certification requires passing a credentialing exam. The following are typical IT certifications:

  • A candidate for the Certified Data Professional (CDP) designation must pass two exams to demonstrate their proficiency with data management and core information systems. In order to further specialize in data management with this certification, candidates can sit for an additional exam in areas like business analytics, database administration, data integration, or data modeling.

  • Certified information systems security professional (CISSP): Candidates for this certification need to have at least five years of experience before they can sit for the exam. Then they must pass a test that covers identity and access management, communication and network security, software development security, architecture and engineering security, and security and risk management.

  • The standard certification for IT professionals working in auditing or security is known as the Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA). The exam covers subjects like information system auditing, IT management, information system acquisitions and developments, and information system operations.

  • Project management expert: This exam assesses candidates' knowledge of project management methodologies, including Scrum, flowcharts, and other task management tools. Obtaining this certification can help you become eligible for IT management positions.

Consider obtaining a Master's degree

The most common level of education needed to become an IT specialist is a bachelor's degree, but some employers prefer to hire candidates with master's degrees in computer science or related fields. Additionally, master's degrees may open up more opportunities for those looking for higher-level positions in their fields of study. Students in master's degree programs expand on the information they learned as undergraduates and delve deeper into computer science theory and application. They could enroll in classes in computational modeling, computer vision, artificial intelligence, and algorithms. It may also be necessary to complete independent computer science study, research, and write a thesis.


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