In recent years, the information technology (IT) professional’s job has become increasingly more crucial. Nearly every organization relies on information technology to perform important business functions, while nearly every employee relies on some form of mobile, handheld, and/or wearable technologies. It’s created an around-the-clock engagement with technology. The good news is, as society intensifies its obsession with technology, great jobs become available for those who want to be part of this fast-growing industry.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment is projected to grow 12% from 2014 to 2024, faster than the average for all occupations. The growth is in part due to a greater emphasis on cloud computing, the collection and storage of big data, more everyday items becoming connected to the Internet, and the continued demand for mobile computing.*
5 Great Tech Jobs
- Computer Systems Analyst: As problem solvers, computer systems analysts combine their knowledge of information technology and business in order to help organizations operate more efficiently and effectively. They learn about the company’s processes and procedures and also research how the company uses its current computer system. Not only do computer systems analysts propose solutions but they also troubleshoot problems when they occur.†
- Software Developer: Software developers are the inventors and creative minds behind the apps, games, and other programs used by billions of people around the world every day. In high demand, software developers write code to create something new or maintain and improve code for already-launched programs. Responsible for fixing bugs that arise, software developers need to be able to think analytically, creatively, and outside of the box. They also need to be able to work independently and collaborate with other developers or stakeholders.‡
- Data Scientist or Data Analyst: Big data abounds and companies that value information about their customers, employees, and prospects employ data scientists and analysts to interpret large amounts of data, usually by applying a good amount of statistical expertise along the way. Data analysis helps companies to gain insights and make fact-based decisions. §
- Systems Administrator or Network Administrator: Responsible for a company’s computer network, a critical part of daily business operation, systems or network administrators maintain the workflow of the organization and keeps the lines of communication open throughout the network. Whether it’s dealing with wiring, servers, hardware, or software, they work hard to make sure everything is operating and quickly respond to issues. Computer administrators train users how to use the network components and increasingly set up telecommuting systems for companies with employees working remotely.§
- Information Security Analyst: In an age of cyberattacks and data breaches, protecting a company’s networks and computer systems is considered mission critical by many firms. They often install firewalls to protect the network and carry out the company’s security policies.
IT Degrees for a Competitive Advantage
If you’re a chief information officer (CIO) or just beginning your career, there are some common characteristics among IT professionals, including a love of technology, the ability to interpret data, a passion for learning and problem-solving, the capacity to translate tech-specific information to a general audience, and an understanding of how technology and business interact. Some of these are inherent but others are learned from experience and education. A bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorate degree in information technology could help digital natives and those switching careers to secure a lucrative position.
When deciding on which program to pursue, choose an information technology degree that provides a solid foundation and can help you develop essential programming, networking, and database management and development skills. Look for one that’s accredited by ABET—the internationally recognized accreditor for college and university programs in applied science, computing, engineering, and engineering technology, such as the online BS in Information Technology from Walden University. Walden has also been designated by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education.
*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014–2015 Edition, Computer and Information Technology Occupations, on the Internet at www.bls.gov/ooh/home.htm.
†U.S. News & World Report, Computer Systems Analyst, on the Internet at http://money.usnews.com/careers/best-jobs/computer-systems-analyst.
‡U.S. News & World Report, Software Developer, on the Internet at http://money.usnews.com/careers/best-jobs/software-developer.
§U.S. News & World Report, Computer Systems Administrator, on the Internet at http://money.usnews.com/careers/best-jobs/network-and-computer-systems-administrator.
Walden’s BS in Information Technology is accredited by ABET, the internationally recognized accreditor for college and university programs in applied science, computing, engineering, and engineering technology. This accreditation reaffirms the quality of Walden’s information technology program and support services, as well as its commitment to continuous assessment and improvement.