What is Information Technology?

In today’s up-and-down job market and shaky economy, there are few career fields that are as consistent as the field of Information Technology. As a branch of engineering, Information Technology, specializes specifically in using computer technology and telecommunications technology to transmit, translate and store various types of information- although there are a ton of other types of jobs that do fall under the Information Technology umbrella.

What exactly does Information Technology entail?

Essentially information technology is all about using information as a commodity or resource, just like any other job. The information that is being translated, disseminated, stored, transmitted, etc. is usually in the forms of audio, video, textual and numerical information and is processed through the use of microelectronics and computers.

The field of Information Technology is usually used to describe a whole series of jobs, but in reality, there are tons of jobs that are called Information Technology jobs, but are actual part of a subcategory like Management Information Services and Information Services.

Once upon a time, the Information Technology center of a business would have been composed of just one guy sitting at a computer all day. But, as computer technology has advanced, and information has become more valuable, the Information Technology center grew with it. Now, a company will either have a gigantic IT center, or they may need so many specialists that they actually contract out the Info-tech needs to an entirely separate company. Now, in order to successfully run an Information Technology center, a company would need at least a database management system, a cryptographer, some system administrators, some database administrators, at least one information manager and a Chief Information Office (CIO,) who is the head honcho of the whole shabang.

The Top 10 Technical Skills Needed for a Career in Information Technology

The following is a list of the most common skills, knowledge and experience that is needed for a job in the Information Technology career field. Because Information Technology relies so much on information and keeping it secure, it is imperative to have a good grasp on things like programming languages, operating systems and management expertise.

1. Unix Operating System knowledge
2. Linux Operating System knowledge
3. Java Language Programming experience
4. C++ Language Programming experience
5. Perl Language Programming experience
6. MySQL Database Management expertise
7. Microsoft C# Language Programming experience
8. XML- Extensible Markup Language skills
9. HTML skills (advanced)
10. Project Management abilities

Information Technology Knowledge Requirements

Depending on what type of job you are looking for, you will probably need either a degree or at least some kind of technical certificate in order to land a job in the Information Technology sector. Here is a list of some of the most common degrees and technical certificates that are required in order to have a job in the field of Information Technology:

● CISSP certificate (Information Security)
● ISSAP certificate (Information Security)
● ISSEP certificate (Information Security)
● Oracle Database Administration certificate
● Microsoft Information Specialist certificates
● Cisco Information Specialist certificates
● Doctoral or Professional degree in Computer and Information Research Science (for high-level jobs)
● Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Programming (for mid-level jobs)
● Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Systems (for mid-level jobs)
● Associate’s Degree (for low-level jobs)

The Jobs and The Salary

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Information Technology field is growing faster than the average career, which means an Information Technology specialist would be in high-demand right out of school. Here are a few of the jobs, the growth of that job in the future and the average salaries you can expect for an entry-level position in that job:

Job Growth Salary
Computer and Information Research Scientist 19% /year $100,660
Computer Programmer 12% /year $71,380
Computer Support Specialist 18% /year $46,260
Computer Systems Analyst 22% /year $77,740
Database Administrator 31% /year $73,490
Information Security Analysts, Web Developers and Computer Network Architects 22% /year $75,660
Network and Computer Systems Administrators 28% /year $69,160
Software Developers 30% /year $90,530

Featured Schools

Expand your career horizons with an online degree from Everest University Online. Balance work and family while you study for your Associate's, Bachelor's, or Master's degree.

Programs:

  • Computer Information Science (Associate's)

As the largest private university in North America, University of Phoenix has locations nationwide, and is available online in most countries around the world. Whether you're seeking a college degree at an associate's, bachelor's, master's, or doctoral level, we can help you reach your academic goal and sooner than you might think.

Programs:

  • A.A. in Information Technology
  • B.S. in Information Technology
  • Doctor of Mgmt/IS and Technology

At UEI College, we want you to succeed. We’re like a family and we want you to be a part of it. From the moment you enter ourschool, to graduation and beyond, we are right there with you.

Programs:

  • Computer Systems Technician (8-Month Diploma Program)
Locations: Riverside
At Everest University you can get a higher education designed to meet the demands of employers in some of today's hottest fields.

Programs:

  • Computer Information Science
Locations: Largo

Virginia College  continues the tradition ofgiving lives new direction, fulfilling our mission statement tostudents wherever they live and offering the chance to pursue adegree while maintaining commitments to work and family.

Programs:

  • BS - Network Management
  • BS - Management Information Systems
  • AAS-Network Engineering

Earn Your Degree from U.S. News & World Report-Ranked Florida Tech – 100% Online   

Grounded in a tradition of excellence since 1958, a degree from Florida Tech puts you in good company. With a longstanding reputation of unmatched academics, Florida Tech has educated NASA scientists, CEOs of Fortune 500 companies and highly decorated military generals. Join distinguished alumni and empower yourself with a career-building degree that employers value.  

Programs:

  • MS in Information Technology /Database Administration
  • Master of Science in Information Technology
  • MS in Information Technology /Enterprise Resource Planning
  • And more...
Pursue your degree with Colorado State University Global Campus. We offer bachelor's and master's degree programs in healthcare administration and management that can be completed 100% online.

Programs:

  • BS - Information Technology
  • BS - Management Information Systems and Business Analytics

Further your education at Rasmussen College.Choose from seven schools of study including programs in business, nursing, technology, and more. You could earn your bachelor’s degree in as little as 18 months and help advance your career through our AcceleratED program.

Programs:

  • Information Technology Management Associate’s Degree -- General Path
  • Information Technology Management Diploma -- General Path
  • Information Technology Management Bachelor's Degree
  • And more...
Locations: Fargo
Florida Technical College has structured its Health Care, Technology, and Programming curricula to achieve one thing for its students: success in the real world.

Programs:

  • Information Technology Networking, Web Design and Programming - Bachelor Degree
  • Health Information Technology - Associate Degree
Locations: DeLand

Keiser University offers accredited degree programs in today's in demand careers: Healthcare, Technology, Paralegal, Business, Nursing and Legal Studies.

Programs:

  • Information Technology, AS
  • Information Technology Management, BS (Online Only)
  • Management Information Systems, BS (Online Only)
Locations: Fort Myers