IT or information technology refers to the development, maintenance, and use of computer software, systems, and networks. It includes their use for the processing and distribution of data. Data means information, facts, statistics, etc., gathered together for reference, storage, or analysis.
IT involves installing, organizing, and maintaining computer systems. It also involves designing and operating databases and networks.
The most basic information technology definition is that it’s the application of technology to solve business or organizational problems on a broad scale. No matter the role, a member of an IT department works with others to solve technology problems, both big and small.
BRANCHES OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
Programmers write code for computers and turn software designs into reality.
Computer programmers usually earn a Bachelor’s in Computer Science; some, however, are hired with an associate degree. In college, most programmers learn only a few computer languages, but develop the skills necessary to learn new computer languages. As a result, computer programming requires a commitment to lifelong learning in order to stay current with changing technology.
Computer Systems Analysts
System analysts evaluate a company’s current computer systems and business processes at a detailed level. They will make recommendations for more efficient and effective business and IT usage and interaction. Typically they act as a bridge between business and IT.
Education: Computer Systems Analysts must have a bachelor’s degree, usually a Bachelor’s in Computer or Information Science. Other bachelor’s degrees, such as those in business or liberal arts are considered if the individual is familiar with computers and programming.
Computer and Information Systems Managers (IT managers)
IT managers direct teams and run projects for computer related needs in an organization. In addition, they help identify IT goals and implement required computer systems in order to meet those goals.
Education: Typically have a Bachelor’s in Information Science or a Bachelor’s in Computer Science. Many IT managers also have a graduate degree such as a Master’s in Information Science or even a PH.D. in Computer Science.8
Database administrators are software specialists who focus on the applications and services responsible for organizing and storing data (like financial records or shipping addresses or health records) for an organization. They also ensure the security of data and its availability to intended users.
Education: Usually, Database Administrators must possess a Bachelor’s in Information or Computer Science.
Information Security Analysts, Web Developers, Computer Network Architects
All three types of these IT Professionals use information technology (IT) to move an organization closer to its business goals. Security analysts are in charge of keeping information safe from cyber attacks. Web developers help provide the look and feel of an organization to others. Network architects are in charge of creating the internal networks that all employees of an organization use.
Education: Typically, a Bachelor’s in Computer Science or Information Science is required. Knowing a variety of programming languages is also important.
Network and Computer Systems Administrators
SysAdmins are in charge of the day-to-day functioning of a company’s computer network including organizing, installing, and supporting computer systems, networks, intranets, and other data communication systems.
Education: Typically a Bachelor’s in Computer Science or Information Systems is required. Sometimes, however, you can be hired with an associate degree or professional certification if you possess related work experience.
Software Developers create the applications (software) that run on computers or other IT devices like smart phones. Some software developers focus more on the underlying computer systems that run devices or networks.
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN COMPUTER SCIENCE AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
Computer scientists are, in fact, scientists. They are focused with the theory of computational applications. That means they understand the “why” behind computer programs. Using algorithms and advanced mathematics, computer scientists invent new ways to manipulate and transfer information. Computer scientists are generally concerned with software, operating systems and implementation.
Like Neo in The Matrix, computer scientists can see and make sense of code. Computer science students will learn the fundamentals of different programming languages, linear and discrete mathematics, and software design and development. Computer scientists study the machine itself and understand how and why various computer processes operate the way they do.
Simply put, computer scientists can talk to computers. The field is based in mathematicsäóîthe language of computers. Computer scientists understand why computers work and can create a program or operating system that does what you want it to do.
Careers in Computer Science
Computer science is a rapidly growing field and is expected to see large increases in employment opportunities. High salaries are generally associated with computer science careers. If you’re pursuing a computer science degree, the following career paths are open to you:
- APPLICATION SOFTWARE DEVELOPER:As the creative minds behind applications and programs, software developers design and build programs and applications for computers and technological devices. Angry Birds? A software developer made that. Microsoft Office? That would be software developers again. The median salary for a software developer is $98,260.
- SYSTEMS ENGINEER: Operating systems provide the foundation for computers and devices to function. Microsoft Windows, Linux, and iOS are examples of types of operating systems. Systems engineers design and create those types of systems for use in personal computers, phones, and even cars. According to PayScale, the median pay for systems engineers is $76,593.
- WEB DEVELOPER Web developers are not graphic designers. Graphic designers create the images you see on websites; web developers program the code that makes a website function. Web developers integrate the graphics, audio, and video into the site and monitor the site’s traffic, performance, and capacity. The median salary for a web developer is $64,970.
To put it bluntly, computer engineers make computer parts work together. Computer engineers are responsible for the research, design and development of computer equipment like circuit boards, microchips, routers, video cards, etc. Some universities may treat this discipline as an off-shoot of electrical engineering.
It is beneficial for computer engineers to have a grasp of computer science. Computer engineers often deal with hardware-to-software integration, meaning they have to design and build processors and hardware that can support a given program. As technology advances and our devices become smaller and smaller, a main goal of computer engineers is to create microchips and microprocessors that work economically and efficiently.
Computer engineering students will study concepts in computer science, engineering and mathematics. By combining these three fields, computer engineers are able to solve hardware problems and create state-of-the-art machines that can handle the many tasks computers perform.
Careers in Computer Engineering
There’s not a lot of diversity in job titles in the computer engineering world. Diversity in the job comes from the various industries that employ computer engineers.
- Federal government: As of 2010, the federal government employed 7 percent of all computer engineers. The median annual pay for computer engineers working for the federal government is $108,490.
- Computer and electronic product manufacturing: The majority of computer engineers work in this industry. The median salary for computer engineers in product manufacturing is $115,560.
- Computer systems design and related services: Many computer engineers also work in systems design. The median pay for computer engineers in this industry is $112,160.
- Scientific research and development services: Some computer engineers are employed by research firms. The median salary for computer engineers in research settings is $117,650.
Information technology (IT) may adopt the monikers information systems or systems administration. Essentially, IT professionals are the users of technology. IT utilizes existing operating systems, software and applications in tandem to create a larger system that solves a specific business problem. IT constructs a network from established building blocks to carry out a task, such as an automated supplies ordering service.
Due to the nature of the work, IT professionals are more likely to interact with clients and co-workers outside of their department. They may help explain to a client how to solve technology problems or work with executives and business owners to construct a technology plan that will meet their business needs.
IT students will study network and database design in depth, and receive an introduction to basic theory and applied mathematics. Successful IT candidates will possess strong critical thinking skills; IT professionals are tasked with resourcefully and cost-effectively applying the tools at their disposal.
Careers in Information Technology
At every level, from mom-and-pop shops to multinational corporations, businesses need IT. Over the next decade, career opportunities in IT are expected to grow faster than average. Depending on your level of education, a degree in IT can provide a comfortable paycheck.
- INFORMATION SECURITY ANALYST: IT security analysts work to prevent cyberattacks by monitoring their business’ network for breaches and weak spots and to create emergency plans in the event of an attack. The median annual salary for information security analysts is $90,120.
- NETWORK ARCHITECT; Sometimes called network engineers, these IT professionals design and build communication networks, such as local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), and intranets. The median annual salary for network architects is $100,240.
- COMPUTER SUPPORT SPECIALIST: Support specialists provide advice and troubleshooting help to individuals and businesses that have questions about their software. The median salary for computer support specialists is $51,470.
- DATABASE ADMINISTRATOR: DBAs use software and programs to organize and store data for businesses that range from financial firms to shipping companies. The median annual salary for this role is $81,710.
- SYSTEM ADMINISTRATOR: System administrators conduct the day-to-day maintenance and operation of a business’ networks, including LANs, WANs, intranets, and other communication systems. Salaries for this position vary by industry. The median annual pay for system administrators is $77,810.
IMPORTANCE OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
Information technology (IT) benefits the business world and it allows organizations to work more efficiently and to maximize productivity and so on. In business, people look for ways to do more work in a shorter amount of time and it should be only possible through the development of Information Technology . Faster communication, electronic storage and the protection of records are advantages that IT can have on our enterprise. IT is driven by the demands of the new, competitive business environment on the one hand and profound changes in the nature of computers in the other. Information Technology systems come in the shape of many technologically advanced devices which help deliver important information to managers and thus they use this information to make crucial decision regarding the operations of their organization. IT has to do with computer applications, on which nearly every work environment is dependent.
Since computerized systems are so widely used, it is advantageous to incorporate information technology into our organization. Information Technology creates electronic storage systems to protect our company’s valuable records. Secure maintenance of customer and patient files is vital to business integrity. Set of tools, processes, and methodologies (such as coding/programming, data communications, data conversion, storage and retrieval, systems analysis and design, systems control) and associated equipment employed to collect, process, and present information which is included in the Information Technology. Information technology plays the mainrole in students being able to keep their jobs and go to school. With the introduction of computers, the business world was changed and by using computers and software, businesses use information technology to ensure that their departments run smoothly.
Storage systems, such as virtual vaults, keep information safe by only allowing certain users within our company to access, withdraw, add or change the documents. IT security engineering systems protect our electronic information from being hacked, or wiped out during a technological disaster. Electronic security engineering means our valuable records will remain untouchable. Information technology improves our company’s efficiency by developing automated processes to take burden off our staff. In turn, our employees are free to work on other things while the computer runs their reports, creates queries, tracks projects and monitors financials.
IT systems give us remote access to our company’s electronic network, so that we can work from home or on the road. This accessibility allows us to increase our productivity because we can still get work done, even when we aren’t physically in the office. Communication is essential to the business world, and information technology gives our company the resources it needs to communicate quickly and effectively. Our IT department can hook our employees up with email, video conferencing equipment and internal chat rooms, so that they always have an efficient way to conduct business and communicate.
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