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Career Pathway — Information Technology (IT)

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What is IT?

As a subsidiary of the overarching discipline of computing, information technology in education involves the design, implementation and maintenance of technology solutions and support for users of such systems. It focuses on crafting hardware and software solutions as applied to networks, security, client-server and mobile computing, web applications, multimedia resources, communications systems, and the planning and management of the technology lifecycle. Upon graduation, students initiating careers as information technology professionals should be able to work effectively at planning, implementing, configuring, and maintaining an organization's computing infrastructure.

Similarly, information systems involves the application of computing principles to business processes, bridging the technical and management fields. This curriculum focuses on the design, implementation and testing of information systems as applied to business processes such as payroll, human resources, corporate databases, data warehousing and mining, ecommerce, finance, customer relations management, transaction processing, and data-driven decision-making and executive support. Upon graduation, students initiating careers as information systems specialists should be able to analyze information requirements and business processes and be able to specify and design systems that are aligned with organizational goals.

Why IT?

Job growth! Employment of computer and information technology occupations is projected to grow 12 percent from 2014 to 2024, faster than the average for all occupations. These occupations are expected to add about 488,500 new jobs, from about 3.9 million jobs to about 4.4 million jobs from 2014 to 2024, in part due to a greater emphasis on cloud computing, the collection and storage of big data, more everyday items becoming connected to the Internet in what is commonly referred to as the "Internet of things," and the continued demand for mobile computing.

High wages!
The median annual wage for computer and information technology occupations was $79,390 in May 2014, which was higher than the median annual wage for all occupations of $35,540.

IT Specialties

A career in IT is right for you if you:
  • Enjoy working with computers
  • Have strong quantitative and analytic skills
  • Are willing to accept and adapt to constant change
  • Consider yourself a focused problem solver

How do I become an IT professional?

Education and certification requirements depend on the area of IT you're interested in. To see a sample career ladder/lattice for IT, click here.

Information Technology (IT)

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