What Are the Job Duties of an Information Technology Professional?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that demand is steadily increasing for information technology (IT) professionals. There are many different career options in the IT field, including those from technical support to upper-level project management. Read this article to learn about the typical duties of an information technology professional. Schools offering Information Technology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Overview

Creative information technology (IT) careers include those in web development and programming. Administrative information technology professionals work in technical support, systems administration, and project or technical management.

Important Facts About Information Technology Professionals

Job Outlook (2014-2024) 27% growth for all web developers, 8% decline for all computer programmers, 8% growth for all network and computer systems administrators, and 12% growth for all computer support specialists
Key Skills Computer competency, attention to detail, organization, problem solving, critical thinking, clear written and spoken communication, time management, close listening
Work Environment All occupations primarily work full-time during traditional hours; however, computer support specialists may be required to work nights, weekends, and be available 24 hours a day
Similar Occupations Computer and information systems managers, computer systems analysts, database administrators, software developers

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Web Development

Web developers are responsible for the creation of company websites, layout design, writing code, and usability testing. Many work closely with graphic designers. Web developers typically work for web design firms or as independent contractors. Some businesses hire their own webmasters to maintain company websites and manage site content. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov) published that web developers earned a median of $63,490 in May 2014.

Programming

IT programmers design applications by writing the code that instructs computers to perform specific functions. Programmers may work for a software development company or within a business, executing projects that are specific to that organization's needs. They typically use object-oriented languages, such as C++, Java, or ACTOR. A programmer's median salary in 2014 was $77,550, according to the BLS.

Technical Support

Computer support specialists provide technical assistance to their clients, from troubleshooting e-mail to training individuals in new software applications. Many tech support professionals work at a help desk within an organization, while others work for companies that offer outsourced technical services. According to the BLS, the median salary for computer user support specialists in 2014 was $47,610.

Systems Administration

Systems administrators install and repair an organization's computer systems. They are responsible for maintaining communications, such as internet and intranet systems, local area networks (LAN), and wide area networks (WAN). The BLS indicates that the median salary earned by network and computer systems administrators was $75,790 in May 2014.

Project and Technical Services Management

Many IT professionals advance their careers as project or technical services managers. A project manager is responsible for overseeing individual projects, from communicating with clients to coordinating designers and programmers. Technical services managers direct the computing resources for their company. They coordinate employees and manage user services. The BLS categorizes IT managers with network and computer systems administrators, noting their median annual salary of $75,790 in 2014.

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