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Preparing for a Career in IT: Skills and Job Types

close up of someone's hands typing on a keyboard in an IT department

In today's digital age, the demand for skilled professionals in Information Technology (IT) continues to soar. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, overall employment in computer and information technology occupations is projected to grow much faster than the average for all occupations from 2022 to 2032, with about 377,500 openings projected each year. 

Those looking to get into IT might be considering the variety of jobs available to them. Some of these positions may require more experience or skills than others, but even those who start in an entry-level position can work their way up. In this blog, we'll delve into the various types of careers available in IT, highlighting the unique roles and responsibilities each path offers. First, let us look at a few of the skills that may help bring success to your IT career.

Helpful Skills for a Career in IT

We previously reviewed some essential soft skills for jobs in tech, but now we look more towards what are considered hard skills, or skills gained through education or experience. A career in IT is diverse and multifaceted, and the skills needed can vary depending on the specific area within IT that you decide to take an interest in. However, here are a few fundamental skills that are often important for a career in IT:

  • Cybersecurity: Knowledge and skills in the realm of cybersecurity is essential when it comes to working in IT. With the increasing prevalence of cyber threats, understanding cybersecurity principles and best practices is crucial to safeguarding systems and data. Skills such as installing firewalls, data encryption, and ethical hacking are great to have if you wish to get into IT.

  • Data Analysis: Many different tasks in an IT career require professionals to have the ability to analyze data. It is important to be able to locate any security threats or signs of inefficiency in technical operations; having knowledge of SQL, Statistics, and/or Python will come in handy in these instances.

  • Programming: Although there may be positions that utilize no-code programs, much of the Information Technology field still requires its professionals to have knowledge of programming languages. Having C++, JavaScript, and/or PowerShell skills are essential for developing software, applications, and websites.

  • Machine Learning: With the continued growth of AI technologies, machine learning has evolved into a very useful and prominent skill in the IT sector. Knowledge of parametric and nonparametric algorithms and deep learning techniques will look great on your resume.

These are only a few of the skills that would be highly beneficial to a career in IT. Keep reading to learn more about the types of jobs that these skills could be applied to. 

Types of IT Jobs

1. Computer Support Specialist

Average U.S. salary: $59,660

Computer support specialists typically need an associate’s degree, though some positions may only require a high school diploma in addition to relevant IT certifications, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Overall employment of this job is projected to grow 5 percent from 2022 to 2032, which is faster than the average for all occupations.

This position might also be referred to as help desk technician, help desk analysts, desktop support technicians, and service desk technicians, among others. These specialists provide technical assistance to computer users and employees when they are having problems with networks, software, or hardware. 

2. Web Developer

Average U.S. salary: $80,730

Web developers’ educational requirements vary from just a high school diploma to a bachelor’s degree. Employment of web developers is projected to grow 16 percent from 2022 to 2032. 

Typical duties for this position include creating and maintaining websites, web applications, and user interfaces. Web developers have knowledge and skills in coding languages such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. 

3. Systems Administrator

Average U.S. salary: $90,520

Systems Administrators require a bachelor’s degree in a field related to computer or information science. Employment is expected to grow 2 percent from 2022 to 2032, about as fast as the average for all occupations. 

These professionals, sometimes called computer administrators, install, configure, and maintain operation of multi-user computer systems and servers. Systems administrators are responsible for day-to-day operation and maintenance of these IT systems, using their knowledge and skills to keep them running smoothly. 

4. Database Administrator

Average U.S. salary: $99,890

Database administrators often require a bachelor’s degree in computer and information technology or a related field. Overall employment is projected to grow 8 percent from 2022 to 2032, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

Duties for this position include creating specialized software to store and organize data as well as solving IT issues related to data infrastructure to ensure the safety and accessibility of data. Banks, hospitals, and educational institutions are a few types of organizations with large databases that employ database administrators.

5. Computer Systems Analyst

Average U.S. salary: $102,240

It is typically required to have a bachelor’s degree in a related field in order to become a systems analyst, though some organizations will hire those with a degree in business or liberal arts along with relevant skills. Employment of computer systems analysts is projected to grow 10 percent from 2022 to 2032.

Computer systems analysts study an organization’s current computer systems and design ways to improve efficiency and effectiveness. Using their knowledge of information technology, they create, test, and deploy systems to streamline business and IT operations. 

6. Software Developer

Average U.S. salary: $127,260

Software developers require a bachelor’s degree in computer and information technology or a related field, though some organizations look for individuals with a master’s degree. Projected growth is 25 percent from 2022 to 2032, much faster than the average for all occupations.

Sometimes referred to as software engineers, software developers apply their knowledge and skills to create applications or programs that operate on computers, phones, and other devices. They design software for organizations to perform various tasks and ensure functionality through maintenance and testing. 

7. Computer and Information Research Scientist

Average U.S. salary: $136,620

Computer and information research scientists typically need at least a master’s degree in computer science or a related field, though some organizations may accept a bachelor’s degree. Employment of computer and information research scientists is projected to grow 23 percent from 2022 to 2032. 

Professionals in this position use their knowledge and skills to solve IT problems for organizations by designing innovative uses for new and existing technology. They work to create software to complete tasks in the most efficient way possible. 

The field of Information Technology offers a multitude of exciting and rewarding career paths. By exploring the various types of careers in IT and identifying your strengths and preferences, you can embark on a fulfilling and successful career path in this ever-evolving industry.



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