Information Technology, also known as IT, is the use of digital tools and technologies to store, process, obtain, transmit, and manage useful information. IT encompasses a spectrum of tasks, including designing, implementing, and maintaining systems, networks, databases, and applications. Due to living in a technology-driven world, IT plays a major role in people’s lives whether it’s fixing a cracked screen on a phone, doing a data transfer from an old computer to another one, or repairing a PC’s hardware.
These are some common roles in the IT industry:
- Hardware Technicians: Installs, repairs, and maintains computer hardware. May also be required to troubleshoot hardware and software issues, as well as provide training and support to users on how to use the devices effectively.
- Network Engineers: Designs, plans, and implements network infrastructures ranging from local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), and intranets for businesses and organizations. Ensures the security and scalability of the networks. Analyzes the network traffic and discusses suggestions on optimizing it to fulfill the organization/business’ needs.
- Desktop Support Personnel: Typically provides tech support (e.g. restoring and backing up data to mobile devices) to customers via computer or phone. Handles a range of technical issues, including hardware and software problems.
Some IT roles require applicants to become certified. Common types of certifications include:
- CompTIA A+: Deemed to be the most popular IT certification, the curriculum focuses on topics such as networking, troubleshooting, working with operating systems, implementing strategies to lessen security vulnerabilities. To obtain this certificate, candidates are required to pass two exams.
- Cisco Certified Network Associate(CCNA): This certification focuses on topics such as networking fundamentals, IP services, security fundamentals, automation and programmability. While it has no formal prerequisites, candidates are recommended to have one or more years of experience in implementing and administering Cisco solutions.
- CompTIA Security+: Described as the most recommended certificate to start a career in cybersecurity, this curriculum focuses on topics such as cybersecurity terms, dealing with cyber threats, how to manage data safely, etc. Even though no formal requirements to take the Security+ exam, candidates are recommended to have two years of experience in IT administration with a security focus. Candidates are also required to pass one exam in order to obtain certification.
- Microsoft Certified: Azure Fundamentals: Teaches the basics of cloud computing concepts, models, and services such as private, public, and hybrid cloud, as well as infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), and software as a service (SaaS). It’s recommended for candidates to have skills and experience working with an area of IT, such as infrastructure management, database management, or software development.