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What Are the Different Types of IT Careers?

By Page Coleman
Updated May 17, 2024
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The information technology (IT) field offers numerous types of careers. People who like to work with their hands, others, or technical concepts and words can all find careers that match their interests. Those who aspire to management can also find opportunities in IT careers.

PC technicians often perform hands-on repair and build computers. Technicians may work for large organizations with teams devoted to this work or for a computer repair company. These computer jobs frequently require a related two-year degree or industry certification.

Desktop support staff usually assist customers with software, hardware, or website use questions. Along with good technical skills, desktop support staff also need to be able to simplify technical instructions and remain calm when working with stressed customers. Education and certification requirements vary with different roles.

Software development provides many different types of IT careers. Some common careers are that of requirements analyst, systems analyst, programmer, and quality analyst. The role of requirements analyst is often less technical than the others, but may require business knowledge.

Systems analysts often design the software or system. Programmers use the work of the requirements and system analysts to code the application or system. Quality analysts test it to ensure it meets requirements. Any of these development positions generally require at least an undergraduate degree, and certification in specific technologies can be helpful.

An IT career may revolve around system data needed for organizations to run their operations. Data analysts discover and define the data, whereas a database administrator manages databases and may assist with software programming when it requires database interaction. These roles often require at least undergraduate degrees.

Networking and connecting PCs, servers, and other systems is a critical service in many organizations. Network engineers frequently design and configure networking systems. Once set up, networking systems may be installed and maintained by network technicians. Network engineers frequently have at least an undergraduate degree, and many seek certification. Technicians may have a two year degree, and may also strive for certification.

Another area of IT careers is that of Web design and development. Although designers frequently have graphic design skills, they must also know some Web coding languages. Web developers design and code applications for websites. Organizations frequently look for Web design and development staff with two or four years degree. For these IT jobs, a portfolio can also be useful when seeking work.

Technical writers and communicators use their communications skills to instruct users of varying technical backgrounds how to use software and hardware. Writers in this computer career often have an undergraduate degree. Particularly for freelancers, portfolios of past work are helpful.

Project managers frequently direct the work of software and systems development teams. They may also manage hardware installation projects. Organizations may require technical experience, an undergraduate or advanced degree, experience, and industry certification.

IT careers also provide management opportunities. Management roles usually requires experience and at least an undergraduate degree in a related field. Hands-on technical skills become less important in management, but the ability to keep up on industry trends and a broader understanding of the organization will become more important.

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