Consider a Career in IT Support

By this point, we have probably all experienced for ourselves just how difficult it is to get a job these days. Gone are the days when you could get a high school degree and start working in a full-time job that would provide you with a middle-class lifestyle. Also gone are the days when you could go to college and have your pick of whatever career you wanted. Today you have to pick a career path that has specialized skills in a sector with a lot of demand. One of the most in-demand skills today is inthe field of information technology, generally referred to as simply IT.


What is Information Technology?

Information technology refers to a large, diverse industry. Its most basic description is that it is the practice of using computers and their constituent software programs to manage, process, and transmit information. You may also hear this practice referred to as “management information services,” but it essentially falls under the umbrella of information technology. In a large company, the information technology people will store the company’s information and protect it from hackers and other unwanted intruders. In addition, they process new information and transmit that new information to interested parties. If necessary, the information technology department is also responsible for retrieving new information from outside sources.


The Evolution of the Industry

In the past, an information technology department would have been just one person, the computer operator. The computer was probably located in the basement and took up the entire room. Data was probably stored on a magnetic tape and then placed in boxes. Over time, the integrity of these magnetic tapes would degrade and the information could no longer be retrieved. Most of what the company “knew” and most of the information a company possessed resided in the heads of its employees. This was highly inefficient. Today, information technology department perform far more complicated tasks. In addition to computers, they have servers, systems for managing large amounts of data, and encryption software. Each department has several people and the bigger departments have a CIO, or chief information officer. This executive position is a relatively new phenomenon that reflects our full immersion in the information age.

Jobs in IT

If you are interested in a career that involves some sort of IT support, you probably want to get a degree in computer sciences from a four-year university. While you are completing your degree, you will learn all about things like computer networking, business intelligence, Linux, and information security. Linux is the basic operating system that all IT specialists use, although you will be expected to know how to use other more popular operating systems as well. You will also be expected to know at least one programming language. In addition to your degree, you will probably need some sort of special certificate to show that you are specialists in your field. The most common certifications are from Cisco, Oracle, Microsoft, and Information Security. Once you get your degree and your certifications take care of, you should have no trouble getting a good job, provided that you are willing to move. The good news is that most desirable places to live have a lot of information technology jobs.

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