Recently we explored how to get a job in IT without any experience, whether or not a degree in IT is worth getting, and here we’ll explain what information technology professionals really do on a daily basis.
First, let’s be clear that it’s difficult to pin down a specific set of responsibilities that the typical IT professional handles, as people working in this industry may be tasked with a wide variety of different things.
Some IT professionals find roles in software engineering, others in network administration, and still others in IT support positions; roles that require extremely different responsibilities!
Graduates from information technology programs are able to pursue a whole series of different careers in the field, pursuing whatever part of the IT process they want to specialize in, and landing jobs that are aligned with their interests and skills, like:
- Computer Programmer
- Computer Systems Analyst
- Computer Network Architect
- Information Security Analyst
- Computer and Information Systems Manager
Accordingly, we’re not going to try and explain what the typical IT worker does, but instead, we’ll tell you about what IT professionals in each of the roles listed above are responsible for doing each day.
Also, we’ll explore several other important topics in this post, including what you can do with a Bachelor’s Degree in IT, and how to choose the right school if you do decide to pursue a degree in the field.
Typical IT Roles & Responsibilities
Information technology professionals study, design, develop, implement, support, and manage computer-based information systems, including both software applications and computer hardware.
IT personnel are involved in virtually every aspect of modern computing, from designing computer systems and computer networks to helping users troubleshoot technical problems, but some of the most common IT responsibilities include:
- Analyzing technical problems and identifying computer requirements to solve those problems with appropriate IT solutions.
- Designing, implementing and evaluating computer-based systems, processes, components, and programs.
- Identifying, analyzing, and responding to user needs for the selection, creation, evaluation, and administration of computer-based systems.
As you may be able to tell from this list of responsibilities, IT staff face a wide-ranging assortment of tasks, as you might imagine, the specific things you’ll be asked to do if you get a job in IT could vary considerably depending on your specific position.
Next, let’s look at the responsibilities for some specific roles.
What Do Computer Programmers Do?
Computer programmers are responsible for writing and testing the code for computer applications and software programs.
Some programmers create code from scratch, building brand new programs and applications, while others are tasked with updating or enhancing older code to make programs faster, more stable, or more efficient.
Specific roles in computer programming vary, with some positions requiring a broad range of skills and abilities, like programming in several different languages, while others will call for specialized skills, like programming in a niche language, or developing an application capable of completing some unique, specific process.
What’s common across computer programming roles, however, is that programmers tend to be relatively well paid, with BLS reporting the median annual wage for computer programmers at $89,190 in 2020.
So, if you’re detail-oriented, organized, good at working both independently and on teams, and especially if you like to code, then you may want to consider pursuing a career in computer programming.
What Do Computer Systems Analysts Do?
Computer systems analysts are responsible for studying computer systems and designing new systems that are more efficient and effective.
Systems analysts are the IT professionals who typically handle technology upgrades, and the goals of a computer systems analyst are to help an organization add new capabilities, reduce expenses or increase profits.
Accordingly, computer systems analysts spend a great deal of time reviewing new technologies to determine whether or not they offer value to the organization, as well as analyzing the costs and benefits of making any particular technology changes.
Computer systems analysts may also be responsible for handling the actual technology updates and integrations, as well as testing new systems and even training staff on using those new systems, but those particular duties could also fall on other IT professionals, depending on how large the organization is and how it divides IT roles and responsibilities.
Computer systems analysts are relatively well-compensated for their challenging, complicated work, with BLS reporting the median annual wage for the role at $93,730 in 2020.
If you like optimizing and tinkering with technology and you want to help an organization improve its technological efficiency, then this may be the perfect role for you.
What Do Computer Network Architects Do?
Computer network architects are responsible for designing, building, and managing data and communications networks, including local area networks, wide area networks, intranets, extranets, and other network types.
This is a complex role that requires a great deal of technological expertise, as computer network architects are responsible for ensuring that an organization’s network is fast, efficient, and available full-time.
One of their primary responsibilities is ensuring that the networks they build and manage do not experience slow-downs or outages, ever.
After determining the software and hardware solutions needed to build a network, the computer network architect may also then be tasked with figuring out how all the equipment is to be installed, designing the physical plan for things like where cables will be routed, and how all the equipment will be positioned and connected within the physical space where it’s to be placed and provide coverage.
Because network architecture is so important to organizational success, and because this role requires such a great deal of complex technical knowledge, the job tends to pay quite well.
Per the BLS, computer network architects earned a median annual wage of $116,780 in 2020.
If you’re particularly interested in networking, and you’re comfortable taking on the challenge of designing organizational networks, then this could be a fantastic career opportunity for you.
What Do Information Security Analysts Do?
Information security analysts are responsible for protecting an organization’s sensitive data, and for designing, then deploying, and maintaining security measures and technologies used to prevent hackers from accessing the organization’s computer networks and systems.
This is an absolutely critical role in the modern economy, especially for organizations dealing with sensitive data, like personal privacy data, health information, or financial information, requiring innovative solutions that prevent this data from being stolen or otherwise compromised.
Three important tasks handled by information security analysts are performing risk assessments to identify the threats that the organization faces, conducting vulnerability evaluation to determine where systems could be breached, then creating the defense plan, which is used to protect data from being accessed by external parties.
Due to rises in the prevalence of cyber attacks and an increasing need to protect sensitive data, information security analysts are being hired by all sorts of different types of organizations, and the BLS reports that their employment will rise at an astonishing rate over the next several years, growing 33% by 2030, which is much faster than the average for all occupations.
As you may imagine, the position also commands a relatively hefty salary, with BLS reporting the median annual wage for information security analysts was $103,590 in 2020.
If you’re interested in cybersecurity and you want to help an organization protect its sensitive data from hackers, then this could be the perfect position for you.
What Do Computer and Information Systems Managers Do?
Computer and information systems managers are responsible for handling all computer-related activities at an organization, which could include researching, planning, coordinating, and directing teams of IT professionals, or employees of the organization.
It may be helpful to think of the computer and information systems manager as the individual in charge of everything IT-related at an organization, as they’re often responsible for overseeing a series of IT tasks, including electronic data processing, information systems, systems analysis, and computer programming activities.
Accordingly, this is an extremely challenging and important role, requiring not just a great deal of knowledge about technology, but also an intimate understanding of the organization’s business strategy, goals, and needs.
The BLS reports that computer and information systems managers are well-compensated for their work, with the median annual wage for the role reported at $151,150 in 2020.
If you’ve got excellent leadership skills, you’re willing to put in the time and effort needed to acquire a series of specialty skills, and your goal is to run all IT-related efforts for an organization, then you may want to consider pursuing a career in this field.
Is Information Technology a Good Degree to Major In?
Yes, information technology is an excellent major, as the IT industry continues to grow at a rapid pace, with the BLS reporting that employment in computer and information technology occupations is projected to grow 13% between 2020 and 2030.
Because technology changes so quickly and computers and IT systems are so vital to everyday operations for virtually every organization in the modern economy, studying IT is a great way to develop the knowledge and skills needed for a whole host of excellent jobs.
While this is a challenging, competitive industry, completing a Bachelor’s Degree in IT from an accredited program is an excellent way to improve your marketability for industry roles, increasing the chances that you can develop a life-long career in the field.
What Can You Do With an Undergraduate Degree in Information Technology?
CSU Global’s online Information Technology Bachelor’s Degree program will teach you to understand the ins and outs of cutting-edge technology, preparing you for a successful career in this exciting industry.
As a graduate from our B.S. in IT program, you’ll be prepared for a wide variety of IT jobs, including:
- Computer and Information Research Scientists
- Computer Network Architects
- Computer Systems Analysts
- Database Administrators
- Hardware Engineers
- Information Security Analysts
- Information Systems Managers
- Operations Analysts
- Software Developers
- Web Developers
The knowledge, skills, and abilities you develop during your bachelor’s program will ensure that you’re prepared to bring value to an organization’s IT department from day one.
Can I Get my Degree in IT Online?
Yes, you can get a degree in information technology online, and you should consider enrolling in online courses with us at CSU Global.
Our 100% online Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology was designed to provide as much flexibility as possible, including:
- No requirements to show up at set times or in physical locations.
- Monthly class starts.
- Accelerated eight-week courses.
If you have family or work responsibilities that you need to balance with your educational pursuits, then you should certainly think about getting your IT degree online with CSU Global.
Why Should I Choose CSU Global’s Online Bachelor’s Degree in IT?
CSU Global’s online Bachelor’s Degree program in Information Technology offers an excellent opportunity to prepare yourself for working in the IT industry by gaining the foundational knowledge, skills, and academic credentials you need to succeed as an IT professional.
Our program is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, and all of our instructors have direct, recent experience in the field.
Furthermore, our undergraduate information technology program was recently ranked the #1 Most Affordable Bachelor’s in Computer and IT Degrees Online from Great Value Colleges.
Our alumni’s real-world experiences in the job market prove that our program does a great job of preparing them to develop successful careers, with our IT graduates reporting an annual starting salary of $77,010, and a 15% pay increase one year after earning their degree, and the top job titles for graduates being Network Engineer, IT Help Desk Specialist, and Systems Administrator.
To get additional details about our fully accredited, 100% online Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology please give us a call at (800) 462-7845, or fill out our Information Request Form.
Ready to get started today? Apply now!