Studies & Degrees in Information Technology
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Information Technology Study Programs
Information Technology is used to term a large growing technological industry into simple words. To basically define it, it is the analysis, design, execution, support or administration of computer-based information systems, mainly software applications and computer hardware. It deals with the use of electronic computers and computer software to convert, store, guard, manage, convey, and retrieve information. To trace the beginnings of Information Technology systems, it can be categorized into four periods: premechanical, mechanical, electromechanical and electronic. The premechanical age was defined as the time period where basic input methods were used. This included writing and the alphabet, the development of papers and pens, books and libraries as permanent storage facilities and the first numbering systems which included the abacus. This was followed by the transition into the mechanical age were the first printing press was introduced. This era also gave birth to the term computer, simple computing devices and rulers and general measurements. The electromechanical age is predominated by the discovery of electricity and its use for communication. This era gave early beginnings to the telephone, telegraph, Morse code, the first radio and the earliest electromechanical computing devices such as punch cards. The electronic age, which started from the 1940’s up to today, began with the introduction of the first computer vacuum tubes. This period includes our present advancement in computers which includes the introduction of high-speed processors, operating systems, networking options and communication software. The branches of Information Technology are data or database management, information systems, computer science and engineering, computer programming, information security, cryptography (digital signatures), networking or the use of networks as communication, digital library (storage of information in computers), pattern recognition, data management, data storage, technology assessment (improvement of corporate computer systems), information technology infrastructure library, information technology governance, and telematics (integrated on the global positioning system).
A number of skills can be acquired and developed to be able to understand and work in the field of Information Technology systems, since it is a very large field of expertise and is categorized into different areas depending on the type of programming work done. These include UNIX programming, which is the main language of the internet and a crucial skill in the field of IT. JAVA is an object- oriented programming mainly used by web developers and once learned, it can be used to run in any familiar computer platform. Linux operating system is very much like the UNIX operating system that is used by corporations and this is mastered by those who want to work as system administrators. C++ programming is another high- level skill that one can develop to be a software engineer and it is widely used commercial applications. Perl programming is used in networking and web site development by system administrators. HTML or hypertext mark-up language is greatly used by web designers and can be easily learned and mastered. These and many more skills in the field of information technology are obtained by undergoing a formal training and certifications from the different qualified institutions in the field of technology.
Job positions for Information Technology:
One of the leading careers in Information Technology systems is Network administration. A Network Administrator is a professional accountable for the maintenance and development of the computer hardware and software systems that makes up a network in a corporation or a company. This includes activities such as the operation, organization, analysis and monitoring of the active equipment being utilized.
The Network Administrator is at a higher to senior level in the technical support staff and is not primarily concerned with direct user technical issues. The Network Administrators main concern is the current status of the whole network which includes all users under it. The predominant task of the Network Administrator is to make sure that the network is secure, working at great performance level and that connectivity is maintained within the network infrastructure. As term implies, the Administrator controls the head of activities running within the network and under this officer, several technicians work to perform other small or direct user concerns. The Network Administrator also designs the network that is best suited to a corporation which means frequent rechecks and redesigning dependent on the user’s demands. Sometimes, the Network Administrator takes over the duties of a Network Engineer if the company is small and does not require much maintenance and design. The Network Administrator sees to it that there is hierarchal access to the network and security is maintained to the allowed level of access. The roles and responsibilities of Network Administrators actually vary from one company to another since there are different demands depending on the nature of work. They may be assigned to take care of authorization and authentication of access, company directory and computer-to-computer access. Often, it also includes the preservation of individual office machines and other technical facilities that have to maintain its connection to every computer involved in the work. It also deals with settings of different drivers, personal computers that vary from employee to employee and connectivity settings of the whole work area to one machine such as printers. If the network is undersized, the Network Administrator may also be in charge of the database, storage and file access.
To qualify for the job, a Network Administrator must be certified and must have undergone training in an official and recognized institution. Certificates are usually good for three years and can now allow one to apply for the job of a Network Administrator depending on the line one trained for. The aspiring Network Administrator must pass tests depending on their options and they must choose to take an exam for a professional or a specialist level. Network Administrators are usually highly compensated depending on the company, and most of them only perform administrative jobs and are considered professionals.
IT Project Manager
A career in Information Technology that requires, efficiency, experience and competence is project managing. Project managers are on a high demand, and companies or corporations are mostly in search for those who have a technical background and experience in their field of expertise. The primary job of a Project Manager is to manage resources for a large project that is needed by a company. Technically, this means large software developments for clients or the company, networking projects and projects that require coordination of resources for technology to be used in business and commerce. It is also their job to make certain that requirements set by the company are met, like time frame, funds, people and materials. It is also expected of them to meet the expected outcome quality of a project. Project Managers utilize different project management software to keep resources and project outputs coordinated.
Aspiring project managers generally have a degree, experience and expertise in their respective fields. Preferably, project managers may obtain special certifications by undergoing project management training. Most companies hire project managers that are familiar to the workload and requirements of the job, which is why project managers who have more experience are a plus. They are aware of the complicated nature of the job like time restraints, budgets, group tasking, division of responsibilities, and limitations of materials. As a project manager, one is still able to keep up with the new developments and trends in the technological advancements, since they can undergo frequent training and certifications while maintaining the management of a project in a company. Additional certifications also allow a project manager to branch into a wider network of projects and thus, give them more opportunities to gain experience for further practice of their profession. And greater opportunities mean better compensation for each project since the project manager becomes highly qualified and exceptional. The career of a project manager is divided into various levels and there is a considerable chance to be promoted for larger projects and larger responsibilities. Promotions can be as high as senior roles like Group Manager and Director and other high administrative positions. Some of the professional traits that a project manager must possess are: leadership, which includes being able to identify potential areas of improvement and being on the top in the industry. Teamwork, which means being able to perform as a team player and acknowledging the work effort of the whole team, since most projects are team- based. Client management, or to elaborate, the ability to interact with clients and be able to meet their expectations and raising their satisfaction level by the performance one has displayed. To be fully successful in this career, one must be competent in financial management, business development, communication and technical understanding. Usually an incorporation of all these would give a boost to one’s chances to get larger projects, higher compensation and eventually, a higher administrative position.