Studies & Degrees in Information & Communication Technology
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Information and Communications Technology (ICT), more commonly and preferably called Information Technology (IT), is a course that has everything to do with the latest communications technology such as computers and mobile phones. To be more specific, ICT is the study, development, implementation, support, and management of these technology-based information and communication systems. The IT industry is one of the biggest—and still growing—industries today because of the continuing advancement of technology. Many people, however, do not know that Information Technology has existed even before computers came to be.
Even in the pre-mechanical age—3000 B.C. to 1450 A.D.—there were information that needed to be passed around and kept for future reference. The earliest information were written down using petroglyths then Phoenician alphabet; while the earliest technology was rocks and leaves which, after some years, developed into fabric then to paper. Probably the most advanced information technology that humans developed during the pre-mechanical stage was the abacus.
The abacus, and the development of the numbering systems, fueled the innovative minds of humans that, in the mechanical stage dated 1450 to 1840 many technologies were conceived and developed. The early inventors, some of them you might know like Blaise Pascale (invented Pascaline) and Charles Babbage (considered the “Grandfather of Modern Computing”) made what would be the ancestors of the modern computers.
1840 – 1940 was the Electromechanical Age, brought about by the discovery of the ways to harness electricity. It was during this age that information was converted to electrical impulses to pass it more easily through the different telecommunication technologies invented. Telegraph, Morse Code, Telephone and Radio were the most significant inventions then. It was also during this age that the earliest traces of what would later become the ancestors of the modern computer were developed by Herman Hollerith and IBM.
Today, we are in the Electronic Age which has begun with the early developments of the computers we use now; and Information and Communications Technology—which had first started as just keeping all the written records of information—has become an industry that is not only big, but necessary.
Information and Communications Technology course has many specializations, each dealing with one feature or development of the latest communication technology yet: the computer.
One specialization focuses on the study and development of the applications of a computer. Students that want to specialize in application development will learn the different programming languages like Java, PHP, C/C++, PL-SQL, and many more. In addition to this, students will also learn how to use Oracle, MySQL, MS Access, PostgreSQL, and other database engines.
Students taking Information and Communications Technology can also specialize in network systems where they can learn about network design and management of files. Designing and implementing local area networks or LANs and wide area networks or WANs; configuring network devices (e.g. routers, firewalls, VOIP phones, etc.); learning and using internet services like DNS, web, mail, DHCP, and others; and understanding and using network management tools like Nessus and MRTG are but few of the things a student specializing in network systems will learn.
Information and Communications Technology also has a specialization on mobile computing and embedded systems. Mobile phones are also communication technologies that need development and students specializing in this are will learn the basics of electronics and computer organization and architecture. Basic knowledge in applications development can be helpful especially in developing embedded systems for mobile phones. Low-level programming like C and Assembly and high-level programming (e.g. Java 2 Micro Edition) are required when specializing in this area.
Job positions for Information & Communication Technology:
Modern technology and Internet have really improved the way we communicate. Talking to people continents away has not only become possible, it has become an ordinary, everyday feat. Even passing information from one person or organization to another has become as easy as click, select, send; this is because of computer networking. A computer network is a group of computers connected to each other by network routers or via the Internet. Planning and setting up a computer network is the main responsibility of an Information and Communication Technology professional that specializes in network administration.
Network Administrators have to consider both physical and logical perspectives when planning and setting up a computer network. Physical perspectives include geographic locations, physical cabling, and network elements. On the other hand, the logical perspectives, often referred as subnet or subnetwork, mean connecting computer through the internet.
Networking Administrators are expected to know how to configure and operate networking hardware and software to set up the network how the client wants it. Networking hardware include routers, network interface cards, hubs, gateways, modems, ISDN adapters, network bridges, networking cables, access points, and firewalls. Ethernet adapters and wireless networking via wireless routers have become increasingly popular among office setup network. Other hardware used for networking are datacenter equipments (file servers, database servers, and storage servers), network services (DNS, DHCP, and email), and even mobile phones and Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs).
Networking software such as Chiron FS, Cisco IOS, Intel LANSpool, LinuxPMI, and Microsoft InfoPath are installed and used so that computers connect through a network can communicate and share information. Networking Administrators should be familiar with most—if not all—networking software and should know which is best to use to cater to their client’s specific needs.
Companies and organizations—both large and small—share information that are rather confidential and should not be read by outsiders. It is the network Administrator’s responsibility to set up the network security and maintain its performance. The most common network security threats nowadays are: targeted phishing (phishing is a kind of internet fraud aiming to steal personal and valuable information like social security numbers, usernames and passwords, credit card numbers, etc.), bugs in operating systems kernels, client-side vulnerabilities (for dynamic web pages), web-based worms, spyware, targeted file attachment attacks, web-based botnets, windows file format attacks, blacklist defeats, and counter-surveillance. Network Administrators should be familiar with the network security threats and the ways to defend and remove such threats, and to repair the network if needed.
Add to the list of responsibilities of a Network Administrator is the task of preventing and repairing the network should it encounter a problem. The most common problems are: cable problems which includes cu cables, incorrect cable connections, cable shorts, interface level, and connector problem; connectivity problem which can be due to configuration changes or malfunction of a networking hardware; excessive network collisions which can be a result of bad network setup, too much information being passed, or a network card stuck in a transmit mode; software problems like DNS configuration, WINS configuration, and registry; and duplicate IP addressing which can result to irregular communications.