It is difficult to overstate the importance of information technology in the workplace because we use it for everything from checking email on our phones to crunching numbers on our laptops to organizing a teleconference over software that is hosted in the cloud. But when we talk about information technology, exactly what are we referring to?
Information Technology Definition
In an article that was first published in 1958 in the Harvard Business Review, the term “information technology” was first used. The following categories of information technology were described by the authors Harold J. Leavitt and Thomas L. Whisler:
- Techniques for the fast processing of information
- The use of statistical and mathematical models for decision-making
- The “simulation of higher-order thinking through computer programs.”
“While many aspects of this technology are uncertain, it seems clear that it will move into the managerial scene rapidly, with definite and far-reaching impact on managerial organization,” they wrote.
After sixty years, it is abundantly clear that Leavitt and Whisler were onto something extremely significant. In today’s world, “information technology” refers to anything and everything that companies do with their computers. Building a company’s internal communications networks, protecting sensitive data and information, developing and managing databases, assisting employees with troubleshooting issues with their personal computers or mobile devices, and performing a wide variety of other tasks are all examples of information technology. These tasks are performed to ensure that a company’s information systems are both effective and secure.
Examples Of Information Technology
Examples of IT careers range from small consulting firms to enormous multinational corporations, as well as from highly technical specializations to management ladders requiring strong interpersonal skills. The following are examples of possible routes:
- Computer Support Specialist – These positions require a bachelor’s degree and are good if you like answering questions about software and hardware, setting up equipment, and training computer users. This position requires knowledge of database interface programs, environment tools, and operating system software. In 2021, the median salary for this occupation will be $57,910, and the number of available jobs is projected to increase by 9% by 2030, as reported by the BLS.
- Computer Network Architect – This is an advancement for a network administrator and requires a bachelor’s degree and IT experience. They design and build intranets, LANs, and WANs (WANs). According to the BLS, median pay was $120,520 in 2021 with 5% job growth through 2030. Most of the time, network architects need to know how to use many different kinds of software, such as administration tools, development environment software, and operating system programs. Network architects must often work with customers, sales, and marketing staff to meet customer needs and set up accounts correctly.
- Computer Systems Analyst – For this job, you need to know how IT and business systems work. Most people who work in IT have a bachelor’s degree in computer science or information science, but some have degrees in business or the liberal arts. Programming, database management, and using development environment software are all important computer skills that everyone should have. People who work in this field also need to know how to use computers to keep track of production, inventory, and workflow. As more businesses use it, cloud computing will grow. In 2021, the BLS said that the median salary would be $99,270.
- Network and Computer Systems Administrator – Usually, you need a bachelor’s degree in a computer-related field, but some employers may accept an associate’s degree or certificate. In either case, these jobs are often open to newcomers. The median salary for these jobs in 2021 was $80,600, and the number is expected to grow by 5% by 2030. This job involves maintaining the hardware and software of a computer network, backing up data, and fixing network problems daily. This job requires database management, network monitoring, and web platform building skills.
- Database Administrator – This field is growing quickly and helps keep financial and shipping data safe. Most of the jobs are in service industries or industries that use a lot of data, like insurance. BLS predicts that there will be 8 percent more jobs by 2030, with a median salary of $98,860. Most employers want you to have a bachelor’s degree in a field that has to do with IT. Helpful tools include database management software, OS tools, development environment and web platform software, and ERP tools.
- Information Security Analyst – This is one of the IT jobs expected to grow the most by 2030, by 33%. Cybersecurity professionals prevent cyberattacks on company networks and systems. These jobs usually require a bachelor’s degree and IT experience. In this field, professionals need development tools, network monitoring software, and security tools. BLS says this job’s 2021 median wage was $102,600.
IT jobs are high-paying, fast-growing, as this list shows. Many of them require a bachelor’s degree. A computer science degree focuses on programming and software development, while information technology studies business-related computer systems and networks. Either can launch a successful career.
Some students choose to specialize in computer-related areas like cyber security or earn a master’s degree in IT.
Leavitt and Whisler saw IT opportunities emerging in 1958, and they’re still growing today.
Information Technology vs Computer Science
Computer science is more technically focused, while IT is more business-focused, according to Gorton. This means that IT workers generally focus on meeting an organization’s technical needs. Computer scientists focus on developing unique products or programs without considering their use after deployment.
Computer science and IT workers have industry-specific responsibilities. Explore each discipline’s responsibilities below.
Computer Science Responsibilities
- Updating existing hardware and software to make them work better and be easier to use.
- Writing code for new computer programs, websites, mobile apps, and other industry-specific systems like databases, cloud-based storage, artificial intelligence products, and more.
- Putting systems into use, which includes installing, setting up, testing, and adapting them to a new environment. This is work that is done all the time because programs are always being updated, changed, and made better.
- As part of the sales process for a new product, showing businesses the programs you’ve made. Since computer scientists know the most about how a program they’ve made works on a technical level, it’s likely that they’ll be the ones to show businesses how it works.
- Managing a team when there are many stages, parts, or stakeholders in the design of a program. This could mean that they have to take on more of a project management or facilitator role, which means helping the group through the development process.
Information Technology Responsibilities
- They work closely with the business they’re helping to understand its goals and set up the systems it needs to reach those goals.
- Integrating different systems and making sure they work well together within an organization. This could include databases, networks, clouds, storage drives, and more.
- Keeping up with updates, improvements, and new products and making sure that these systems still work as they should.
- Programming, but not nearly as much as a computer scientist would do. Gorton says that someone with a degree in information technology can “build basic programs, but not really complicated ones.”
- Working with vendors to figure out how much new products will cost and how well they will work, as well as how they can be added to existing systems to add new features or value.
- Keeping up with the rules and laws that apply to the products, such as licensing and other requirements.
Technology Computer Science vs Information Technology: Skills
Since both of these fields have a lot to do with technology, it’s easy to think that the same skills and interests can be used in both. This doesn’t always happen, though. Even though many people have the wrong idea about people who work in technology, there are a number of personal traits that, when combined with the right practical skills, can help people in either field do well.
Common Computer Scientist Traits and Skills
- Advanced programming abilities
- Strong attention to detail
- Basic communication skills
- An understanding of complex mathematics
- Ability to focus for long periods of time
- An innovative mindset
- Fascination with complex technical machines
- Knowledge of programming languages such as XML, SQL, C++, C#, Python, Java, etc.
- Complex understanding of data analytics
Common Information Technology Specialist Traits and Skills
- Coding and programming skills at a basic level.
- Leadership skills.A knowledge of how complex systems work together and how they are put together.
- A desire to learn and keep up with how technology changes.
- Strong communication skills both in writing and in person.
- Excellent interpersonal skills.
- Complex understanding of what a business needs, how it works, and how it is put together.
- Presentational abilities.
- Project management skills.
Common Job Titles and Salaries
Because CS and IT are so broad, there are many different jobs that CS and IT professionals can do. In fact, because there is a range of theoretical to practical work in technology, some of these roles overlap with both computer science and information technology. Check out the list below to learn about some of the best jobs in the technology industry, their average salaries and job prospects, and where they fall on the spectrum from computer science to information technology.
Information Technology Degree
Information technology (IT) degrees teach students how to use computers and how to store, protect, manage, retrieve, and send information. IT is made up of hardware, which is physical equipment, and software, which is operating systems and applications.
Most people who enroll in an IT program want to lead or be a part of a technical team that is in charge of a company’s IT infrastructure and assets.
With the goal of teaching people how to work with computers, the main subjects in IT programs are:
- Leading and managing teams that work from far away
- Principles of Programming
- Database Systems
- Customer Service Support
- An Analysis of Computer Systems
- Internet Technologies
- Taking care of IT projects
- IT Security Ethics in IT
Information Technology Courses
If you’re thinking about a career in IT, there’s a lot to like about it (IT). A lot of what we do every day depends on computer networking infrastructure and devices that work well to keep things running smoothly. That means that well-trained IT professionals play a big role in businesses all over the country, which is a great place to be.
Even though that’s good news for you as a future IT worker, you probably still have a lot of questions about your education and training. In the end, this is what sets the stage for a whole career.
So, what can you hope to learn in your IT classes at Rasmussen College? This article will explore IT courses from both the Information Technology Associate’s degree program and the Management of Information Technology Bachelor’s degree program in order to give you a better idea of what to expect.
5 Courses leading to an associate’s degree in information technology
You will get a preview of each class by reading the descriptions that follow; this way, you will be prepared for what to expect once you enroll. Find out more about the expertise, programs, training, and certifications that are included in each of these engaging information technology courses.
1. Computer Technical Support
It’s important to be able to professionally troubleshoot and manage user issues if you want to advance your career in information technology, which is why the vast majority of IT jobs start out in technical support. During the course, you will gain an understanding of how to approach the process of troubleshooting, as well as identify best practices in help desk support services and refine your customer service skills as you address user issues.
2. Hardware and Software
The goal of this two-subject course is to make you more comfortable with and knowledgeable about the hardware and software used in professional IT organizations. This subject gives you a lot of chances to set up, configure, and connect devices while keeping track of what you’ve learned. The course gives students a number of real-life situations to deal with and solve, which will be very helpful when it comes time to use these skills in a professional setting.
3. Operating Systems
When most people think of operating systems, Microsoft Windows® might be the first thing that comes to mind. However, there are other options that are used in professional IT settings today. This course will give you the chance to compare and contrast different operating systems and use practical skills like deploying workstation images and making plans for centralized workstation maintenance.
4. Introduction to Networking
Devices that work together are the backbone of any modern business, so it makes sense that this is an important topic for IT professionals to learn. This course lays the groundwork, and the assignments cover how to install, deploy, and set up hardware for networking. Students will also learn how to use wireless networking technology and put their skills to use by designing a network for a small office that is both cost-effective and easy to use.
5. Networking Security
You don’t have to look very hard to see why network security is such an important topic in IT. Security breaches can cause a lot of damage to an organization, and IT workers at all levels need to know the basics of how to keep networks safe. In this IT class, students will learn the basics of network security, how to set up a safe network environment, how to spot common security threats, and what can be done to keep security from breaking down and limit damage if it does.
5 Next-level Information Technology Mgmt Bachelor’s degree courses
As you move through the IT courses needed for a bachelor’s degree in information technology management, you will find a variety of classes that will help you improve your business sense and your ability to handle large-scale IT projects.
1. Information Technology Business Management
You need more than just technical knowledge to lead an IT team. You also need to be able to confidently handle important business management practices. This IT class will teach students the business skills they need to plan for their organizations and run big IT projects. This means learning how to define the scope of projects, evaluate procurement options, build leadership skills, and give professional presentations of your recommendations.
2. Management of Information Systems
Taking care of the IT infrastructure needs of a large organization can be a difficult task. This class gives students the skills they need to evaluate, plan, and manage IT resources. Students will learn how to assess an organization’s current IT capabilities and make plans for meeting future needs in an efficient way. This includes finding and evaluating risk factors for different courses of action, coming up with plans for figuring out what the most important stakeholder needs are, and learning how to talk to non-technical leaders in your organization.
3. Organizational Policy
Organizations that do well need structure and policies to tell them what to do. Even though this might seem easy at first, it takes careful thought to set up an organization-wide policy structure. This course pushes students to think about the moral and legal issues that go into making IT policy. Along the way, you’ll come up with plans for putting organization-wide policy into action, auditing it, and making sure it’s followed.
4. Infrastructure and Hardware
What steps must a business take in order to migrate from its current IT setup to cloud-based services? Planning and evaluation are two essential first steps. This course equips students with the knowledge and skills necessary to manage significant network evolution. It’s important to plan for the retirement of outdated hardware, assess potential threats, and weigh the benefits and drawbacks of emerging business solutions.
5. Information Technology Systems Analysis
Business analysts play a crucial role in the IT industry because of the collaboration they facilitate between technical teams and business stakeholders. Students in this IT course will learn the skills necessary to assume such responsibilities. You will gain an understanding of how to map business processes onto IT systems, how to develop comprehensive plans in response to stakeholder input, and how to evaluate the efficacy of various project management approaches, including scrum and agile.
What Does Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Mean?
Information and Communications Technology, or ICT for short, is a term that refers to the technology that is used to handle communications processes such as telecommunications, broadcast media, intelligent building management systems, audiovisual processing and transmission systems, and network-based control and monitoring functions.
Even though information and communications technology (ICT) is frequently thought of as an extended synonym for information technology (IT), its scope is, in some respects, more broad. The term “information and communication technology” (ICT) is frequently used to refer to the convergence of multiple technologies as well as the utilization of common transmission lines that carry very diverse data and communication types and formats.
Recommended for you.
Everything About Schedule Management Plan
Kaizen and Six Sigma The Main Differences
5 Benefits of Lean Six Sigma Certification