What Does a Professional Information Technology Specialist Do?
In a nutshell, a professional IT specialist is a one-stop-shop computer guru for a company. Are you installing hardware or software? Yep. Are you repairing hardware or software? That too. Do you need computer troubleshooting? Check, check, check. A professional Information Technology specialist basically attempts to solve any and all computer-related problems for a business.
What Skills Do I Need to Have to Become an IT Specialist?
You should obviously be highly computer literate. If a long day at the computer desk sounds like a chore, this may not be the position for you.
You should also have a fair amount of people skills. Though much of your job will be spent in front of a computer screen, you’ll have plenty of interaction with other employees as you try to troubleshoot or determine an individual’s tech needs.
A big part of this is asking the right questions: remember, non-IT employees won’t speak your computer language. You need to identify the problem and find the solution in laymen’s terms. Additionally, you’ll need to know how to translate upper management’s requests into solutions — and know how to describe them to others in a way that they’ll understand.
How Much Does an IT Specialist Make?
Obviously, annual salaries vary by experience level, region of the country, and how many years a professional has spent with the company. The average salary for IT staff is around $65,000, though specialized IT professionals can expect to make much, much more.
How Much Education Does an IT Specialist Need?
Though it is possible to get hired as a professional Information Technology specialist without any formal education whatsoever, it’s becoming more and more of a rarity as time passes. Most companies prefer someone with some kind of degree that is related to computers or computer science. IT certification programs do exist, but because the range of skills required to perform IT work in the modern business world is so varied, it’s difficult to say how effective these programs are (which is why most employers prefer a computer degree, ensuring a more varied background).
If you’re looking to advance in an IT career, you may need to look into higher education options. Research the best online masters in IT programs to get a good idea of what might be required of you in the future. Some companies will even pay for you to advance your IT education, so don’t be afraid to ask!