Career Development

What Does an Information Technology Specialist Do?

Find out what an information technology specialist does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as an information technology specialist.

Information technology specialists are highly trained professionals who work with computer systems and networks. They may specialize in a particular area, such as networking or software development, but they all have a broad understanding of how IT systems work.

Information technology specialists commonly work with large teams of programmers, developers, and other specialists to design and implement new technologies for their organization. They may also be responsible for maintaining existing systems and resolving any issues that arise.

Information Technology Specialist Job Duties

Information technology specialists have a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Developing and implementing new technologies by creating prototypes, conducting research, and testing new ideas
  • Maintaining security of computer networks by monitoring for intrusions or other signs of danger
  • Managing the maintenance of computer networks, including troubleshooting problems in real time
  • Providing technical support for software applications to end users either by phone or in person
  • Designing and developing computer networks, including hardware, operating systems, and applications
  • Installing and maintaining software on computers and servers
  • Coordinating with clients to design and develop new computer systems or applications based on client needs and requirements
  • Documenting processes and procedures for an organization’s computer systems
  • Evaluating new technology and recommending purchase of new hardware or software

Information Technology Specialist Salary & Outlook

Information technology specialists’ salaries vary depending on their level of education, years of experience, and the company they work for. They may also earn additional compensation in the form of bonuses or commissions.

  • Median Annual Salary: $62,500 ($30.05/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $105,000 ($50.48/hour)

The employment of information technology specialists is expected to grow much faster than average over the next decade.

As businesses and governments continue to rely on computer networks, demand for these workers will increase. In addition, the need to update and maintain computer systems will create jobs for information technology specialists.

Related: In-Depth Information Technology Specialist Salary Guide

Information Technology Specialist Job Requirements

In order to become an information technology specialist, you will likely need to have the following:

Education: IT professionals are typically expected to have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in computer science, information technology, software engineering or another closely related field. Some employers may accept candidates who have a two-year associate degree or a four-year bachelor’s degree in computer science or information systems.

Training & Experience: IT specialists typically receive on-the-job training after being hired. This training may last for a few months and may include learning the company’s specific computer systems and procedures.

Certifications & Licenses: While certifications are not mandatory, they can offer information technology specialists more job opportunities and earning potential.

Information Technology Specialist Skills

Information technology specialists need the following skills in order to be successful:

Technical skills: Technical skills are the abilities to use software, hardware and other tools to complete tasks. This includes knowing how to operate and troubleshoot computer systems, software and other technology. It also includes knowing how to use and repair computer hardware, networking equipment and other technology.

Communication skills: As an information technology specialist, you may be required to communicate with clients, colleagues and other professionals. Effective communication skills can help you convey your ideas and understand the needs of others. Communication skills can also help you collaborate with others to solve problems and develop solutions.

Problem-solving skills: Problem-solving skills are essential for IT specialists, as they regularly encounter challenges in their work. They use their problem-solving skills to identify the source of the problem, research potential solutions and implement the most effective solution. This can involve working with other IT specialists, engineers and other professionals to find a solution.

Research skills: Information technology specialists use research skills to find information about new technology, software and processes. They also use research skills to find information about the best ways to implement new technology and processes.

Organizational skills: As an information technology specialist, you may be required to manage multiple projects at once. Having strong organizational skills can help you stay on top of your workload and prioritize your tasks. Organizational skills can also help you keep track of important files and documents.

Information Technology Specialist Work Environment

Information technology specialists work in a variety of settings, including corporate offices, government agencies, colleges and universities, hospitals, and non-profit organizations. They typically work full time, and some may work more than 40 hours per week to meet deadlines or solve complex problems. Many information technology specialists work in teams, so they must be able to communicate effectively with others. They may also need to travel to meet with clients or attend conferences. Information technology specialists typically work in well-lit and ventilated areas. They may sit for long periods of time, and they may use video display terminals (VDTs) for extended periods. Some jobs may require exposure to potentially harmful chemicals, fumes, or dusts.

Information Technology Specialist Trends

Here are three trends influencing how information technology specialists work. Information technology specialists will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Need for More Technical Talent

The need for more technical talent is a trend that is being driven by the increasing complexity of technology. As technology becomes more complex, businesses will need professionals who can help them to understand and manage it.

Information technology specialists are in high demand because they have the skills needed to manage and maintain complex systems. By understanding how technology works, they can help businesses to optimize their use of it and avoid potential problems.

Cybersecurity Will Be a Top Concern

As cybersecurity becomes a top concern for businesses, information technology specialists will be in high demand.

As cybercriminals become more sophisticated, businesses will need professionals who can help them to protect their data and networks from attack. Information technology specialists are well-positioned to take advantage of this trend, as they have the knowledge and experience necessary to keep businesses safe.

More Focus on Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is becoming an increasingly popular option for businesses looking to save money on IT costs. This trend is likely to continue as cloud computing becomes more reliable and secure.

As cloud computing becomes more popular, information technology specialists will need to learn how to manage and support these systems. They will also need to be able to advise businesses on which cloud services are best suited for their needs.

How to Become an Information Technology Specialist

A career in information technology (IT) can be rewarding and lucrative. It’s important to consider the many different paths you can take when planning your career in IT. You could specialize in a particular area, such as networking or programming. Or you could choose to become a generalist, with skills in a variety of areas.

No matter which path you choose, it’s important to stay up-to-date on the latest technologies and trends. Read industry publications and attend conferences and workshops. Network with other professionals in the field, and ask them for advice.

Related: How to Write an Information Technology Specialist Resume

Advancement Prospects

There are many ways to advance in the field of information technology. One of the best is to get further education, which can lead to positions that are not otherwise open to those without an advanced degree. For example, someone with a bachelor’s degree in information technology might get a master’s in business administration and become an IT manager.

Another way to advance in this field is to specialize in a particular area of information technology. For example, a network administrator might become a network security specialist or a database administrator might become a database design specialist.

Finally, many IT specialists advance by taking on more responsibility within their current position. For example, a help desk technician might be promoted to help desk manager, or a web developer might be promoted to web development manager.

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