When you hear the word “IT” do you imagine a room with rows upon rows of computers perhaps like a huge library or a government building with cubicles stacked four high? Perhaps you think of a lab in some university that creates new software applications for clients on an almost constant basis. Information technology is actually the application of computers to make, manipulate, analyze, and transmit all forms of data and information electronically. IT is generally utilized within the broad context of business activities rather than personal or entertainment technology. However, IT is an important aspect of virtually every industry and therefore, it is important to educate yourself about this vital aspect of doing business today.
One of the most basic functions of IT is data entry or typing in it’s many forms. Typing data into computers is extremely time consuming and therefore information technology administrators must find other means of transferring such data quickly and efficiently. Data entry tasks include filling out forms, answering phone calls, filing documents, and typing information into computer systems. It is also used by many retail stores to capture customer information, manage sales records, and locate lost items.
As mentioned previously, there are two major components involved when information technology happens to be involved. There are the hardware components and the software components. The hardware usually refers to such things as computer servers, desktops, laptops, network adapters, printers, modems, faxes, wireless routers, etc. These are typically manufactured by companies such as Hewlett Packard, Dell, Microsoft, Sun Microsystems, Cisco, IBM, Motorola, etc.
While IT does not include physical hardware in the modern world, it certainly encompasses the concept of hardware, namely computer hardware. A good example of this would be the use of motherboards within a computer system to link together the various components of the system including input and output devices, integrated development platforms, memory, hard drives, and so on. A typical bachelor’s degree in information technology will give students the knowledge and skills necessary to oversee and maintain the hardware within a business structure.
Another type of IT job that most people are familiar with happens to be that of computer support technicians. This type of position involves addressing problems involving individual computers and their operating systems. In the most basic of terms, computer support technicians resolve conflicts involving the use and operation of computers, generally by resolving hardware or software issues. A person who would qualify to work as a technician could work in a variety of environments, including colleges, retail stores, universities, hospitals, technical centers, or offices of attorneys and law enforcement. A typical bachelor’s degree in information technology would be very helpful for anyone seeking employment in this field, as most job positions require at least a bachelor’s degree.
As briefly mentioned at the beginning of the article, information technology happens to be one of the two most essential and diverse fields in today’s society. Within this field, there exists a wide variety of job titles that are included, such as network administrators, software developers, network engineers, computer support technicians, information systems analysts, data analysts, information systems technicians, and so on. Depending upon what position is sought, the candidate may also be required to have additional skills, such as those listed above. While these two terms may not be the most definitive of definitions, they do offer a very good starting point for someone who wishes to learn more about the ins and outs of this exciting field.