What Is an Information Technologist? (And Expected Salaries)
Updated February 19, 2023
Information technologists are professionals that work with companies supporting their computer and technology systems. They can work in a variety of fields and may offer opportunities for technology enthusiasts. If you're considering a career in information technology, it can be helpful to learn more about being an information technologist. In this article, we explain, "What is an information technologist is?", describe their work environment, review the education and skills required for this career, and analyze their salary expectations.
What is an information technologist?
The answer to "What is an information technologist?" is an industry professional who works with computers. Information technologists set up, maintain, and repair a business's networks and technology. Their work is often essential to the operation of many businesses that use computer technology for their daily operations. Other titles for this career are IT specialist, computer information technologist IT analyst, and IT technician.
IT professionals often assume responsibility for maintenance checks that identify problems within a network and then troubleshoot for solutions. They make sure a company's technology and computers function as effectively as possible. They might also work with other co-workers, helping them understand how to use their computers, software, and hardware.
What daily responsibilities do information technologists have?
The field of IT develops rapidly, and this affects the tasks that IT professionals can expect in their job. The job may vary based on the needs of the company as well. Some tasks information technologists have in their daily work are:
Installing software: Businesses rely on a variety of software to operate, and these vary based on what the company offers. IT professionals take responsibility for installing those programs, which might include accounting software, customer data management software, e-commerce tools, and design software.
Repairing, maintaining, and installing hardware: Companies use extensive networking devices to complete their daily tasks. IT professionals install and repair these devices like computers, printers, scanners, and other devices that connect to the internet.
Troubleshooting: Information technologists often accept responsibility for troubleshooting and determining the cause of technological mishaps.
Training co-workers: Companies rely on their information technology departments to educate their coworkers on how to operate technology. This includes setting up new devices, teaching them to use company software, and helping them problem-solve and update their devices.
Updating and upgrading: Software requires updates and maintenance to stay functional. IT specialists update a company's systems and may also replace hardware and add new components to meet a business's need.
Maintaining cyber security: Cybersecurity is a major concern for companies that handle significant amounts of customer data. IT specialists work to identify challenges to data safety and research how to mitigate them with security measures.
Coordinating with company leaders: Information technologists work as part of an IT team and may collaborate with other companies to find technological solutions. Senior IT professionals might work with company leaders to provide regular updates about departmental budgets, developments, recruitment, and expansion.
Providing user support: IT professionals often focus on helping people use their company's products. They also troubleshot common issues and spend a large amount of time communicating with users through e-mail, phone, or messaging software.
Work environment for IT specialists
Information technology specialists can work in a variety of settings because data collection and computer systems are important in many industries. Professionals expect the field to continue growing as technology becomes even more ingrained into day-to-day life. Many support specialists have full-time work schedules. Professionals might expect to work non-traditional hours in order to provide support services 24 hours a day. Fields with a demand for IT professionals include:
Software publishing and development
Finance and banking
Computer systems design
Data hosting collection, and management
Entertainment and media
Education required for an IT career
The IT field's educational requirements vary based on seniority and level of responsibility. The minimum requirement for a job in IT is usually a diploma, though some companies prefer their professionals to hold a bachelor's degree. Students preparing for a career in information technology may consider these majors:
Database administration: This major focuses on overseeing database updates, storage, security, and troubleshooting.
System administration: This expertise focuses on the deployment and maintenance of computer systems and networks.
Computer science: This degree focuses on computation processes to build websites, program robots, and mine data.
IT management: This specialization focuses on using computers and software systems to create and maintain technology.
Network management: This expertise focuses on protecting corporations, small businesses, government agencies, public schools, and individuals from computer viruses and cyber-attacks.
Software engineering: This degree focuses on how to build software systems, and project management, quality assurance, and software testing.
Network engineering: This major focuses on concepts like routing, switching, server operating systems, email systems, and virtualization.
Web development: This specialization focuses on how to create, design edit, and launch internet documents, images, graphics, sound, and multimedia products.
Computer programming: This degree focuses on how to code, program, and develop web pages, apps, and games.
Many IT professionals choose to pursue a master's degree, which can give them a more extensive skill set. It might also prepare them for a specialty like cybersecurity. A master's degree can also help individuals looking for a management position.
Valuable skills for IT specialists
The field of technology is diverse, so the skills required for success vary too. There are several technological and soft skills that an IT professional can benefit from having. These skills include:
Critical thinking: Information technologists troubleshoot technological challenges almost daily. Critical thinking skills help them find consistent and sustainable solutions to those issues.
Verbal communication: IT departments frequently work with customers and coworkers to help them with technical issues. The ability to communicate well verbally helps them relate solutions and information more effectively.
Time management: Technology is a fast-paced field where the jobs often require multitasking while managing multiple updates, installations, and testing. Time management skills can help manage these tasks effectively without becoming overwhelmed.
Team building: Collaboration is a large part of jobs in information technology. IT professionals work with others to find solutions to any challenges that arise and advise other departments on how to implement technology.
Knowledge of hardware: Familiarity with common hardware, like laptops, desktop computers, printers, server equipment, smartphones, scanners, and routers, is helpful. IT involves working with this kind of hardware daily, so knowing how to interact with is important.
Database management: Database management can be a critical skill because it allows them to manage data gathering and storage. This is also helpful in maintaining security for companies and customers.
Cloud computing experience: Cloud computers have become an important part of many business operations. IT professionals with an expertise in cloud computing can help companies streamline their processes, introduce flexibility, and prepare them for growth.
Computer programming experience: IT professionals can develop their computer programing skills to help them work in fields like web design, cybersecurity, and software development.
Understanding of trending technologies: Technology changes rapidly. It's important for information technology professionals to learn about emerging and trending technologies so they can stay relevant in their field.
Knowledge of cybersecurity: An important facet of IT is cybersecurity. Knowledge of cyber threats, cyber forensics, and the mitigation strategies that help can benefit IT specialists who want to protect customer and company data.
Related: 17 Skills You Need to Work in IT
Salary expectations for IT jobs
Several factors can affect the salaries for IT professionals. These factors include experience, seniority, job title, location, and employer. Some average salary expectations for jobs in information technology include:
National average salary: $16.13 per hour
Primary duties: IT interns often ship and receive computer hardware, install and configure computers, and maintain computer images. They also might update existing software, provide user support and manage software installation. An IT intern typically reports to a specialist or manager.
National average salary: $68,635 per year
Primary duties: Information technology specialists typically take responsibility for the development, support, security, and continuous operation of a company's software. They plan, execute, monitor, and support integration strategies to keep technology functional and relevant. An IT specialist typically reports to a manager.
National average salary: $87,860 per year
Primary duties: Managers might spend their time overseeing service delivery models and planning how to use current assessments to collaborate with other companies on technology solutions. They might also advise, consult, and train coworkers on how to operate technology or work in an IT space. An IT manager typically reports to an administrator or director.
National average salary: $117,747 per year
Primary duties: Directors lead, hire, train, develop, and maintain a team of information technology professionals. They oversee the implementation of various systems and define the standards and procedures used within their department. An IT director typically reports to and works alongside other directors and administrators.
Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organization and a candidate's experience, academic background, and location.
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