Career Series: Understanding IT Job Titles in This Rapidly Growing Field

With technology flourishing and global connectivity at our fingertips, Information Technology (IT) is an ever-expanding field. The need for development and integration of cloud-based products, data communication networks, and customer relationship management software, means information technology jobs are booming. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Employment of computer and information technology occupations is projected to grow 13 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations.” The tremendous speed of advancement has led to a shortage of trained IT professionals.

Industry Outlook

The digital world is revolutionizing the IT industry. According to CompTIA, “Companies are starting to grasp the disruptive nature of this new era in enterprise technology, and they are using the tools of the cloud era to redefine their organization and expand their IT capabilities.” This expansion creates a demand for professionals who are trained to advance, maintain, and monitor these capabilities. Technology is not only involved in, but critical to an increasing number of businesses and corporations. Government, health care, finance, and education all have growing IT needs.

IT Job Descriptions and Responsibilities

As information technology continues its rapid change, businesses and organizations need professionals with the right skills and training to help them meet their needs and lead technology initiatives and security measures. The skillset for an IT professional is ever-expanding and quite technical. Basic skills needed to perform IT job responsibilities include technical support and communication skills, and the desire to troubleshoot and learn new things. More specialized skills include programming, database creation and maintenance, knowledge networks, and web development and analytics. “Foundational layers like networking, security, and application development lead to more advanced tactics such as cloud architecture, risk analysis, and mobile optimization” (CompTIA , 2017).

Earning an IT degree can equip you with the knowledge and skillset for an assortment of positions. Here is a list of a few entry level IT job descriptions, mid-level IT job descriptions, and senior-level IT job descriptions:

  • IT Project Manager: Some responsibilities include establishing and communicating job expectations, planning and monitoring progress and recommending information technology strategies and procedures.
  • Information Security Analyst: As a role necessary to all organizations, responsibilities include identifying and averting cyber threats to an organization’s infrastructure and will also recommend and monitor security measures.
  • Associate Systems Designer: This role differs based on the industry, but some duties may be to design, implement, install and test hardware and software systems and also provides design skills for networking, operating or gaming systems.
  • Network Manager: This varied role leads a staff for technical support, as well as installing, updating and maintaining computer networks.
  • Application Programmer: Builds, tests and maintains multifaceted applications and software and analyzes output to improve performance.

U.S. News & World Report ranks software developer first in their lists of best 100 jobs and best technology jobs. Software developers provide the creativity and innovation behind applications, programs, and websites. They may be responsible for creating applications, maintaining established code, or monitoring software for issues. This career ranked well due to its work schedule flexibility, average stress level, and opportunities for position and salary advancements.

Earning Your IT Degree Through Penn State World Campus

Penn State World Campus offers many information technology (IT) programs. In addition to a master’s degree, bachelor’s degree, associate degree, and a certificate program, World Campus offers specialized programs in security and risk analysis, enterprise architecture, and homeland security. The range of options and courses offered allows the student to choose their own specialized plan of study. In the IT industry, continuous learning is imperative to career advancement.

David Strausser wanted a convenient way to expand his career options in the technology field. “Living in Mexico and regularly crossing the international border to work in San Diego, I needed flexibility and that’s what Penn State World Campus provided. I chose to study IST for the business aspects of gaining a working knowledge of how networks operate, and how cloud computing and data bases function. It actually got me my current position.”

Why Choose Penn State World Campus

Penn State World Campus has successful alumni all over the globe working in the IT field. “Now I have a great foundation for nearly any IT job if I choose to change fields or look for a civilian-sector position,” Chase Kelly, Navy veteran and Lockheed Martin employee, said. “The combination of my military electronics background and the IST degree from Penn State World Campus allows me to move forward in my current career or take a leap in a new field.” IT is a diverse career field with numerous paths to choose from. The Penn State World Campus programs, which are ranked among the top 10 bachelor’s degrees and grad computer information technology degrees by U.S. News & World Report, can provide you with the knowledge you need to succeed in all possible career choices in the IT field.