How do you decide which Information Technology career is right for you?

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IT jobs fall within the full spectrum of computer technology and busi­ness. Because the field of Infor­mation Technology covers such a broad range of job roles, it’s a good idea to first explore the differences in the career paths you can take in IT, such as:

  • A computer support specialist (which requires only a certificate or an associate degree, and some­times a bachelor’s degree), or
  • Computer programmer, software developer, or various other IT ca­reers which usually require a bach­elor’s degree (sometimes an asso­ciate degree on an exception basis)

Then you’ll need to take a closer look at the qualities that are essen­tial to those considering a career in IT – and valued by those who make IT hiring decisions. As we spotlight the essential qualities for a successful career in IT, you learn how to assess where you career goals and interests fit, and determine what level of edu­cation you need for the IT roles that interest you most.

Computer Support Specialist

Computer support specialists work within the broad spectrum of information technology, assisting all types of information technology needs, including working with devel­opers, analysts, administrators, and end-users. Alternatively, help desk technicians assist those not in the IT fields who need assistance with their computer or computer systems.

Typical Duties – Technical Support Specialist or Computer Network Sup­port Specialist

  • Watch over existing network sys­tems
  • Conduct required maintenance on networks
  • Troubleshoot (LAN, WAN, and In­ternet) systems3

Typical Duties – Help Desk Techni­cian or Computer User Technician

  • Actively listen to users as they de­scribe their computer issues
  • Ask the right questions to help di­agnose computer issues
  • Explain step-by-step solutions to the user
  • Install software and maintain com­puter equipment and related de­vices
  • Assist users with new computer hardware or software
  • Evaluate and record issues custom­ers have4

Education: Vary for entry into com­puter support positions. A bachelor’s degree is not required, but postsec­ondary certification is often sufficient

Information Systems Manag­ers (IT managers)

IT Managers direct teams and run projects for computer related needs in an organization. In addition, they help identify IT goals and implement required computer systems in order to meet those goals.

Education: Typically have a Bach­elor’s in Information Science or a Bachelor’s in Computer Science with vendor certifications like ITIL, MCSE (Cloud), VCP etc.

Database Administrators

Database Administrators are soft­ware specialists who focus on the ap­plications and services responsible for organizing and storing data (like fi­nancial records or shipping addresses or health records) for an organization. They also ensure the security of data and its availability to intended users.

Education: Usually, Database Ad­ministrators also needed certification from Microsoft or others.

Information Security Analysts, Computer Network Architects

All three types of these IT profes­sionals use information technology (IT) to move an organization closer to its business goals. Security analysts are in charge of keeping information safe from cyber-attacks. Network ar­chitects are in charge of creating the internal networks that all employees of an organization use.

Education: Typically, a Bachelor’s in Computer Science or Information Science is required. Knowing a variety of script is also important.

Network and Computer Sys­tems Administrators

System Admins are in charge of the day-to-day functioning of a com­pany’s computer network including organizing, installing, and supporting computer systems, networks, intranets, and other data com­munication systems.

Education: Post­secondary education is often sufficient with a right mix of professional certifica­tion.

Software Devel­opers

Software Developers create the applications (software) that run on computers or other IT devices like smart phones. Some software devel­opers focus more on the underlying computer systems that run devices or networks.

Education: In general, a Bachelor’s in Computer Science is required, as well as strong programming skills.

Important Qualities

Here are some of the important skills and qualities that you will need to develop in order to be successful in information technology. Get real ex­perience, and earn credit, from West­ern Community College that focus on these skills.

  • Good communication skills
  • Organized
  • Follow and implement a plan
  • Problem solving
  • Strong analytical skills
  • Ability to focus for a long period of time

If you answer yes to most of these questions, there’s a good chance that a career in information technology is the right match for your skills – and that you do have what it takes to make you successful in IT.

Western Community College Inc.

Unit 201, 12899 80 Ave

Surrey, BC, Canada

Office (604) 594 3500

Fax (604) 594 3505

www.westerncommunitycollege.ca