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Tech Careers

What is IT/tech careers (or careers in information technology)? There are no definition of what it means just as we could look it up in dictionaries. However, from looking at 14 practitioner websites (the list is available upon request), the main characteristics of IT careers are (1) not end users of the technology, (2) good for those who love working with technology (directly or indirectly) and analytical minds and keen problem-solving skills are important to become an IT professionals, and (3) secondary education or at most bachelor degree is enough to start IT careers. The following are some findings.

Regarding the job title and responsibilities of careers in IT, U.S. Bureau of Labor categorized careers in IT into 5 categories: (1) Computer systems analysts, (2) Computer programmers, (3) Software developers, applications, (4) Software developers, systems, and (5) Computer support specialists. More information about average wage and IT jobs in different industries/services, please see http://www.bls.gov/opub/btn/volume-2/careers-in-growing-field-of-information-technology-services.htm.

Next, the more industry related organization like Gartner[1], categorized its career in IT inside their organization into 11 categories: (1) Program/Project Management, (2) Business Analysis, (3) Application Development, (4) Enterprise Architecture, (5) Quality Assurance, (6) Data Design and Architecture, (7) Systems Engineering, (8) Network Engineering, (9) Infrastructure Operations and Technical Support, (10) User Experience and Design, and (11) Multimedia Production.

Then looking at banking industry, in this case I look at US Bank, job titles under information technology category include positions that directly and indirection engage with technology. The posted job title here fall under the larger categories above by Gartner; the examples are Technical Writer/QA (Mobile), Systems Administrator, Sr. Vendor Analyst, Sr. RPG Programmer, Sr. QTP Automation Tester, and Sr. Mainframe Developer.

How about retail industry? I looked at a few retailers’ corporate websites and Target[2] is one example. Target has a very good description of what careers in IT means or what the scope of responsibility is; and it categorizes careers in IT into five areas: (1) IT strategy and operations, (2) business technology teams, (3) delivery services, (4) infrastructure and support, and (5) Client Support Center. In each area, there are example roles, and roles could be common across areas. For example, Manager, Architect, Process Analyst, and Business Analyst are roles under IT strategy and operations.

Lastly, IT careers are those who are not end user of information systems in organization, in other word, IT people are of supporting role of other functions in business organization and more or less working with technology. There one article by Julia King: “There's More to an IT Career Than Technology”[3], sort of say that IT careers is now include jobs that is not directly engage with technology, but a person with a good technical background and understanding of business process is really in needed now for IT professional positions.

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