The information technology industry employs nearly 6 million individuals across a range of industries, from technology to healthcare, finance and education. As an occupational field, information technology is projected to be one of the fastest growing in the nation, collectively producing 19 percent additional job openings nationally between 2016 and 2024. The following page serves as a high-level introduction to information technology, from the trends and drivers impacting change, overviews of career avenues and earning potential, as well as a discussion about landing a job in the industry.
What is Information Technology?
The information age has ushered in advances in computer and communication technology, advances that have sparked what has been termed the “information revolution.” At the heart of this revolution is the exponential demand for access to, management of, and transformation of information. Information technology drives the dynamic information infrastructure that has become integrated on a global scale socially, culturally, and economically. Databases. Apps. Computer software. Websites. Mobile data. Servers. Voice networks. Each part of the larger, interconnected informational ecosystem.
Broadly, information technology can be defined as the use of computing via various components (e.g. hardware, services, software) to develop, manage, transform, share and store information in different forms. Example components of information technology include the following:
Top Information Technology Careers and Average Salaries
- Computer and Information Research Scientists – $113,190
- Software Developers, Systems Software – $106,050
- Computer Network Architects – $100,710
- Software Developers, Applications – $99,530
- Information Securities Analyst – $91,600
- Computer Systems Analyst – $87,320
- Computer Programmers – $82,690
- Database Administrators – $82,280
- Network and Computer System Admins – $79,770
- Web Developers – $68,670
- Computer Network Support Specialists – $66,140
Systems deployment, support, repair
Mobile applications, network security, desktop applications
Cloud computing, Internet, telecommunications
Servers, mobile devices, network systems, computers
Careers in information technology deal with the design, creation, management and maintenance of the varied components of the system, including software, hardware, networks, systems integration and multimedia. Broadly, information technology can be divided into four central pathways: network systems, information support and services, programming and software development, and Web and digital communication. Down each career avenue exist myriad occupational opportunities, ranging from database administrator to computer systems engineer, digital media specialist to systems analyst
Careers in this field are responsible for designing, analyzing, developing and implementing network systems.
INFORMATION SUPPORT AND SERVICES
Careers in this field are responsible for deploying and managing computer systems and software, providing technical support and maintaining information systems.
PROGRAMMING AND SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT
Careers in this field are responsible for planning, designing, updating and managing computer software and systems through software programming and development.
WEB & DIGITAL COMMUNICATIONS
Careers in this field are responsible for the creation and production of interactive media, including digital and multimedia products.