What are the Main Disciplines of Information Technology?
There are several branches out of the general sphere of IT work. IT work is a very general term that is used as a blanket statement, however, you must understand the different facets of information technology services so that you can pick the path where your education is concentrated on one discipline.
The branches of information technology are computer science, database management, general IT, network management, software development, and lastly, web and multimedia management.
Many of these disciplines intersect, while others are very different. Make sure that you understand what each one means before committing to it.
Computer scientists are the people who work to find and solve complicated technical issues within a business. They are also often found in the medical industry as well as other essential industries that double as businesses.
Computer scientists work with pre-existing theoretical ideologies to adapt or apply them to the systems that a business already has. They also use these same theoretical ideologies to develop new and improved computer tech, like hardware and/or software to create new solutions to the problems that arise.
They help form and follow through technological and computing goals that business or company has.
Salary: The average salary for a computer scientist is $122,840 but can vary higher or lower depending on work experience and level of education.
Typical Entry-Level Education: Having a master's degree will help to get a higher position and so it is recommended. However, there are some entry-level positions in computer science that you can qualify for with an associate's degree.
Job Outlook: Computer science has a projected growth of 16% from 2018 to 2028.
A database manager is a person whose main job is developing new databases or bringing pre-existing ones up to date. They work with both big and small companies to help them keep their technology efficient.
Database managers do many things with the databases they are in charge of, such as troubleshooting and locating problems, maintenance, data check, and help make the accessibility of the data they are dealing with better for the rest of the company.
These workers make sure that the systems are being used and run accordingly and properly so that the rest of the employees can access and utilize all the information that is stored on the database.
Salary: The average salary for a database manager is $93,750, but can range higher or lower depending on work experience and level of education.
Typical Entry-Level Education: A bachelor’s degree is required for most positions in database management.
Job Outlook: Database management has a projected 9% growth from 2018-2028.
General Information Technology
A person who works as a general information technology consultant is typically involved with the installation, configuration, and maintenance of computer software, hardware, systems, and networks, as well as other technologies often found around in an office space, such as printers, fax machines, scanners, and tablets.
These are the people who help their coworkers with any technological issue so that they can get their jobs done and keep the company running smoothly. IT people help to prevent viruses and bugs from damaging company data or computers by installing firewalls and anti-virus technologies.
Salary: General IT positions have an average salary of $146,360 that can be higher or lower depending on work experience and education level.
Typical Entry-Level Education: Most hiring teams will pick a person with a bachelor’s degree over someone who has no degree or an associate’s degree, however, there are some lower-level positions available to people with associates degrees.
Job Outlook: IT is projected to have a 10-year growth of 11% from 2018 to 2028.
A network manager works in two different aspects.: installing, performing maintenance, and updating the company's computer servers and networks, and training other employees and staff members to be able to perform their minor technical support when things do not work on their computers.
Depending on whether the company you are working for is big or small, you may have several networks to manage.
Salary: The average salary for a network manager is $92,786, but can get up to about $160,000 with work experience and high education levels.
Typical Entry-Level Education: A bachelor’s degree is almost always required, but some companies will take associate degree holders for lower-level positions.
Job Outlook: The expected growth for network management is 5% from 2018 to 2028.
A position in software development includes many things, such as designing new software, researching new topics, using and managing software programs. Software developers are also responsible for troubleshooting software programs and implementing new solutions and fixes for bugs.
Software developers also test and evaluate new software programs to see if they would be applicable for the company to use daily. In addition to that, software developers are in charge of the creation of new software as well as modifying old software to work with newer technologies.
Salary: The average salary for a software developer is $71,428
Typical Entry-Level Education: A bachelor’s degree is almost always required
Job Outlook: There is an expected 21% growth from 2018 to 2028.
Web and Multimedia Management
Web and multimedia managers are the managers of staff who operate as technical production experts to help make and produce communications across several different platforms, such as search engines, web, social media, press and print, and graphic design.
As specialists, oftentimes these web and multimedia managers work on long-term projects and group projects to help both the marketing and communications departments within the company they work for. They are also one of the forces behind creating targeted ads and gaining more audience or customers for their company.
Salary: The average salary for a web and multimedia manager is $66,960.
Typical Entry-Level Education: A bachelor’s degree in computer science, programming, database management, or mathematics is most sought after in this field.
Job Outlook: There is an expected 13% growth in this industry from 2018 to 2028.
What are the Character Traits of an Information Technology Consultant?
There are several traits that many IT consultants exhibit throughout their lives or learn while in school for their profession. These include:
Creative problem solving to create solutions for software and technological issues
Logical and critical thinking is important for problem-solving and troubleshooting programs
Teamwork, because many IT consultants work in teams to help run all the tech in a company
Dedication to complete projects quickly with high-quality
What are the Education Requirements for Information Technology?
For the majority of higher-level jobs, employers are looking for folks who have a bachelor’s degree in some form of computer science or IT. These jobs have higher pay, more job security, and oftentimes require specialists or experts in particular fields.
For lower-level positions, an associate’s degree in some aspect of IT or computer science is occasionally applicable, but do not expect to get a more important position with an associate’s degree.
High school diploma or GED will not be applicable for a long term position at a company but could be used if an internship or apprenticeship is what you are looking for.
How to Prepare for a Career in Information Technologies?
Just like with the majority of other positions and careers, getting hands-on experience while you are still in university or college is a great way to get a leg up on any competition when applying for a job.
Start with an internship in the IT department of a company or work as an assistant to an IT manager. Generally, this can lead to a position down the line, or an apprenticeship to increase your education in this field.
In college or university, try to take courses that will fulfill the requirements for your major but also have specifics in the field of IT you want to work in.
For example, taking computer science courses and media or communications courses if being a web or multimedia manager is your goal. Try to include several different disciplines in your course load to broaden your mind and show future employers that you are unique from the rest of the IT applicants who simply have programing and computer science on their transcript.