Table of Contents
- What Is Information Technology?
- Why Is Information Technology Important?
- What Does an IT Professional Do?
- How Do You Become an IT Professional?
- 5 Best-Paying IT Jobs
We’re all witnessing an ever-growing usage of information technology for many professional and business operations to solve problems or organize data on a large scale.
If you’re interested to know more about what information technology is, why information technology is important, is an Information Technology Degree a good career path, and what the best-paying jobs for information technology professionals are, keep on reading.
What Is Information Technology?
Merriam-Webster defines information technology (IT) as the technology involving the development, maintenance, and use of software, networks, and computer systems to process and distribute data. By this, we can understand that IT, through hardware and software, ensures the storage, security, and exchange of all types of electronic data.
In a company or establishment, the IT department works in three key areas:
- Hardware and infrastructure – placing the necessary hardware, software, and infrastructure for optimal usage.
- Operations – overseeing the day-to-day functions and monitoring and correcting troubleshoots.
- Governance – framing the policies and rules according to the government’s regulations and managing security.
Types of information technology
Information technology includes a wide range of types, for example:
- Maintainance and repair
- Cloud computing
- Artificial intelligence
- Software development
- Data/database management
Why Is Information Technology Important?
Nowadays, most companies and organizations depend on information technology to store, protect, maintain, and run data. By implementing various IT functions, businesses can improve their efficiency and resource utilization. Some of these IT functions are:
- mobile and wireless infrastructure,
- data analytics,
- network bandwidth, and
- cloud technologies.
Information technology through data processing also plays an important part in many business practices, such as:
- marketing and market research,
- accounting and taxes,
- product development,
- regulatory compliance, and others.
Therefore, information technology plays a substantial role in ensuring an organization’s success through:
- Communication – employees can communicate effectively and quickly using digital communication systems.
- Security – protecting sensitive data from cyber-attacks and security breaches.
- Research – collecting data and finding patterns helps businesses in decision-making.
What Does an IT Professional Do?
IT professionals can carry out a variety of roles and responsibilities in an organization. Some can work in software engineering and others in network administration. However, at their core, IT professionals design, develop, implement, and maintain computer-based information. Some of their typical duties include:
- Reviewing system security
- Providing tech support
- Debugging and correcting errors
- Keeping up to date and implementing upgrades
- Monitoring system performance
- Managing hardware requirements
How Do You Become an IT Professional?
Although there isn’t a set path to becoming an IT professional, should you want to become one, you can follow these steps:
- Firstly, graduate from high school or an equivalent GED. If you’re still in high school and want to pursue an IT career, you should take advanced math and computer science courses to prepare.
- While completing an undergraduate degree isn’t mandatory, many employers prefer candidates with a bachelor’s degree. Our BS in Information Technology at BAU prepares students with extensive knowledge of the field and teaches them the skills necessary in the work environment.
- You should get on-the-job training or job experience at entry-level work to learn how the technology infrastructures work.
- Pursuing certifications such as CISA, CISSP, and CISM will help you advance your skills and open more opportunities.
- Although a master’s degree is optional, it can help you advance to more senior roles. Our MS in Cyber Security is perfect for students who want to learn more about security architecture, risk management, security governance, etc.
5 Best-Paying IT Jobs
With a job outlook increase of 15% and 682,800 new jobs expected this decade, becoming an IT professional is a highly promising career choice. While there are many high-paying career paths for ITs, in this article, we’ll explore the five best-paying IT jobs.
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Software engineering manager
Software engineering managers are IT professionals who perform administrative duties. Some of their duties are:
- Reporting to higher management
- Establishing and sticking to a timeline and budget
- Developing and planning projects
- Solving problems
- Supervising and directing other software engineers within projects
- Participating in programming the software
Indeed reports an average base salary of $134,718 per year or $57.71 per hour for software engineering managers.
Mobile applications developer
Mobile application developers are professionals responsible for making user-friendly applications through code. They work with other colleagues in a fast-paced environment to deliver functional apps and innovative designs. Some of the duties of mobile application developers are:
- Application coding, testing, and debugging
- Identifying and planning for new features
- Developing application programming interfaces (API) for mobile functionality
- Keeping up to date with innovations and trends in the industry
- Suggesting new mobile products and applications
- Getting feedback from users
ZipRecruiter details a national average salary of $102,768 per year or $49 per hour, with wages ranging from $36,500 to $157,500.
Information systems security manager
Information systems security managers are IT professionals who hold leadership roles; they oversee the security protocols for databases, computers, and computer networks for the company they work for. They ensure security systems are running smoothly and repelling cyber attacks or security breaches. Some of their duties include:
- Guiding and training their security teams
- Evaluating networks for any security vulnerability
- Executing strategies for improving the IT systems’ reliability
- Managing anti-virus and firewall systems
- Implementing and maintaining organizational security policies
Payscale reports an average base salary of $120,277 per year or $43.97 per hour, with the base salary ranging from $80k to $155k.
Database managers are IT professionals who deal with large volumes of data, such as financial records, credit card accounts, billing records, and all other types of customer records. They ensure databases with sensitive information are safe from hackers and breaches in security. Some of the daily duties of a database manager include:
- Troubleshooting system problems
- Installing new software and keeping up to date with innovations
- Supervising the database team
- Developing and maintaining the database of a company
Glassdoor details an average base pay for database managers of $70,420 per year, with an additional income of $11,465 per year, with salaries ranging from $64k to $106k.
Data Security Analyst
Data security analysts are IT professionals who safeguard a company’s data from cyber attacks or security breaches. They ensure that security systems are up to date and functional. Typical duties of a data security analyst include:
- Developing security policies and procedures
- Making recommendations for improving the data systems security
- Finding and rectifying security weaknesses
- Keeping up to date with the latest trends in the industry
- Installing and maintaining security software
Payscale reports an average base salary for data security analysts of $70,484 per year or $23.33 per hour, with wages ranging from $48k to $96k.
With the ever-growing dependence on technology, pursuing a career as an IT professional can be a great decision. Information technology offers a variety of options and freedom to work in numerous industries, which makes for an exciting work environment. If becoming an IT professional aligns with your life goals and genuinely interests you, you should start pursuing it today.