Information technology, commonly referred to as IT, is the use of electronic systems for sending, storing, processing, and retrieving data. IT is often considered to be synonymous with computer technology, software, and networks, but it also encompasses telephony technologies like smartphones.
There’s no question that IT has absolutely transformed our daily lives as well as the way we do business, and IT departments often play a central role in the overall enterprise operations of most companies. IT professionals are responsible for making sure all employees have the information access they need and the ability to use and share it securely.
Yes. Online resources are available to learn a wide range of relevant IT skills on a flexible schedule from anywhere in the world, typically, at a much lower cost than an on-campus degree program or bootcamp intensives. In fact, many professionals in this fast-growing field started their careers with a self-taught education!
Learners interested in a career in IT today have access to a wealth of free options, including research libraries, video tutorials, in-browser coding projects, and non-credit courses. If you decide to pursue an IT education more seriously, Coursera offers free courses as well as for-credit and certificate courses and Specializations at a much lower cost than on-campus alternatives.
IT expertise is always in demand, as these skilled professionals are part of the backbone of almost any successful business these days. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment for computer and information technology occupations will grow 12% from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for other jobs.
That category encompasses a wide range of different roles, as you would expect for such an important area of business operations. Back office professionals responsible for making everyday IT systems are built properly and operate smoothly include IT project managers, computer network architects, database administrators, network administrators. IT security specialists and information security analysts are responsible for creating and maintaining systems to protect the data of both companies and their customers. And IT help desk technicians and other computer support specialists are critical employees to manage relationships with customers.
Typically, an IT certification refers to a qualification you receive that shows your competency in a specific field of information technology (IT). To get a certification, you generally must pass an exam that tests your capabilities in the field. Read this article about 5 Essential IT Certifications.