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					                               Careers in IT
Title                             2008               Inc   Inc%       2008
Computer programmers              426.7   414.4    -12.3   -2.87   $69,620
Computer software engineers,      514.8   689.9    175.1   34.01   $85,430
Computer software engineers,      394.8   515.0    120.2   30.44   $92,430
systems software
Computer systems analysts         532.2   640.3    108.1   20.31   $75,500
Database administrators           120.4   144.7     24.4   20.26   $69,740
Network and computer systems      339.5   418.4     78.9   23.23   $66,310
Network systems and data          292.0   447.8    155.8   53.36   $71,100
communications analysts
     According to CNN Money (Oct 2011)
• The best jobs in America right now are: (% is growth rate, $ is median salary)
    1.   Software Architect (34%, $119K)
    7. Database Administrator (20%)
    17. Information Systems Security Engineer (23%)
    18. Software Engineer/Development Director (17%, $144K)
    20. Information Technology Manager (17%)
    21. Telecommunications Network Engineer (53%, $87K)
    24. Network Operations Program Manager (23%)
    26. Information Technology Business Analyst (20%)
    28. Information Technology Consultant (17%)
    30. Test Software Development Engineering (20%)*
    31. Information Technology Network Engineer (23%)
    33. Information Technology Program Manager (17%)
    35. Computer and Information Scientist (24%, $115K)
    37. Programmer Analyst (20%)
    49. Systems Engineer (13%)
    60. Information Technology Specialist
    66. System Administrator (23%)
    67. Web Developer (13%)*
    – * - Survey indicates job is relatively low stress
         Is it All About Money?
• Many people are attracted to IT fields because
  – They are analytical
  – They like problem solving
  – They are more comfortable with technology and less
    comfortable with people
  – They are proficient in math or engineering
     • or in some cases, they have decided on a computing field
       because of their interest in computer games
• It just so happens that computing fields are both
  in-demand and lucrative although it hasn’t always
  been this way
  – In the 1980s, typical computer scientists would earn
    little more than other BS grads, jobs in the mid 80s
    were often hard to come by (similarly in the late 90s)
                    IT Skills
• Obviously you need technical skills
  – Understanding computer systems/operating
    systems, software, hardware
  – Being a problem solving
  – Being a self-starter and self-learner
  – Being able to program
• There is also a need for softer skills
  – Verbal/oral communications to understand what
    your customers want, what the problems are
  – Written communications skills to draft IT policies
    and to write how-to manuals
  – Team collaboration and leadership skills
  – Understanding and ability to apply IT ethics
                System Administrator
• Installation and maintenance of computer systems, including
   – Hardware (e.g., installing new CPUs, memory, disk drives, replacing
     motherboards, etc)
   – Software installation and upgrades
   – Operating system upgrades
   – Monitoring of system performance
   – Troubleshooting system performance, backups and data recovery
   – Security
      • it may also involve the establishment of IT policies, IT infrastructure
      • the sysadmin may also be responsible for training employees
• The sysadmin might be responsible for many different types of
  computers, not just PCs/laptops but also servers, mainframes,
  minicomputers, etc
• Depending on the size of the organization, the sysadmin might
  play other roles such as network administration, web
  administration, etc,
• There are a number of certifications available such as MCSA,
             Network Administrator
• Installation and maintenance of hardware and software that
  make up a computer network
   –   Understanding of specialized hardware (routers, switches, etc)
   –   Ability to install, secure and maintain a firewall
   –   Ability to install and secure wireless access points
   –   VoIP phones
• Knowledge includes not only different operating systems
  that the organization might use, but different network
  protocols (TCP/IP, OSI)
   – You might also be expected to know wireless administration,
     network security, how to manage a DNS, etc
• Troubleshooting might entail examination of logs, software
  and physically testing hardware
• Higher level roles might include network planning
  (selecting hardware, allocation of network addresses, etc)
• Many different certifications exist here as well such as
  CCNA, CCNP, Novell CNE
                  Web Administrator
• Installation, maintenance and security of a web server,
   – Web support for web developers
   – Administrative support for companies who use your server as a
   – Possibly installation and maintenance of proxy server
       • the web server may also be involved in web site policies, hardware
         selection, server (software) selection
• Although it is unlikely that the web administrator would be
  involved in web development, it is important that the web
  administrator understand web development
   – html, css, php, perl, javascript, etc
• There is less need to understand hardware but perhaps a
  greater need for monitoring as web server performance
  might have a direct impact on the organization’s business
             Database Administrator
• Installation, maintenance and security of a
  networked/distributed database including
   – Design of the database management system
      • this is not the same as the design of the database itself, that is, the
        organization of files and relations
   – Support of the DBMS – creation of accounts, monitoring
     system performance, ensuring security, performing data
     backups, etc
      • possibly policy decisions, purchasing decisions, etc
• A DB Admin should be familiar with the most
  popular database management systems, Oracle,
  MySQL, MS SQL Server
   – For the future, it would be highly useful to understand
     databases that operate via cloud computing
               IT Management
• Management of IT staff
  – Here, the manager must understand the technology and
    have the soft skills to manage the staff under him/her
    while also being able to communicate easily with
    upper management
  – The IT manager will need to convey manpower
    requests, needs for improved hardware and software
    upgrades, when it might be necessary to outsource or
    purchase support
• The IT manager may not need to have the specific
  knowledge set of the IT staff, but should be able
  to converse and understand IT issues
  – The manager is more likely going to require
    interpersonal communication skills, leadership skills,
    an understanding of business (possibly including
    accounting, economics, finance and/or marketing)
             Computer Forensics
• Many system administrators have the skills to compile
  evidence regarding security attacks
• However, does a system administrator know what is
  and what may not be admissible in court or proper
  police procedure?
• The computer forensics specialist combines the
  knowledge of an IT specialist with that of law and
  criminal justice
   – The skills of a computer forensitician may include handling
     of computer storage, programming and software
     engineering, cryptology in addition to the IT skills
   – Career options include working directly for law
     enforcement, consulting for law enforcement, or working
     for organizations to help secure their IT systems and
     prosecuting violators
         Web Site Development
• Creating web pages and scripts for a web site
  – This will most likely include knowledge of html, css,
    various scripting languages (at a minimum, PHP and
  – It may also involve .net platform programming (C#,
    C++, J++, Visual Basic, ASP)
• The web developer will probably also have some
  knowledge of graphic design (use of color and
  layout), artwork, animation, human-computer
  – It would also be helpful for a developer to understand
    topical issues about the web and Internet
  – Other technical knowledge might be useful to
    understand efficiency so that web surfers do not suffer
    when attempting to access pages constructed by the
                    Other IT Roles
• Software developer
   – Primarily the field studied in computer science
   – This career is far more geared toward programming than any
     other IT job listed above
   – It tends to pay better than many of the other IT careers
• Computer engineer
   – Designing and developing microprocessors
• Computer technician
   – In essence, someone who can repair computers
   – Often a position for someone who has no college education or
     a 2-year technical degree
• Help desk staff
   – So you want to go into IT? Chances are you might have to
     work on help desk at some point, check out the example
     conversations in the textbook
                       IT Ethics
• It is important to understand that as an IT specialist,
  you are being put into a position whereby
   – You have access to sensitive, personal and critical data
   – You have access to all of the computer system resources
   – Monitoring the computer system may involve seeing what
     other people are doing (spying)
• It is essential that as an IT specialist, you understand
  your role, the limitations on what you are supposed
  to do
• And also on how to treat the sensitive data you have
  access to
   – Imagine the disgruntled IT specialist who compiles
     information about employees to use as blackmail, or who
     moves important data files to be held for ransom!
              Ethical Dilemmas
• Your boss has asked you to monitor employee
  web surfing to see if anyone is using company
  resources to look at or download pornography.
  – Is it ethical for you to monitor the employees?
• Your boss has asked you to examine a specific
  employee’s file space for illegally downloaded
  – Is this ethical?
• You have noticed that the email server is running
  out of disk space. You take it upon yourself to
  search all employee email to see if anyone is
  using company email for personal use.
  – Is this ethical?
• Your boss asks you to upgrade the operating
  system to a newer version which has known
  security holes.
  – Is it ethical to do so?
• You fear that your boss is going to fire you
  because of a number of absences (all of which
  you feel were justified). You decide, as a
  precaution, to set up a secret account (a
  – Is this ethicial? Is this legal?
• Your organization freely allows people to update
  their Facebook pages on site. You are worried
  that some of your employees are putting up too
  much information about themselves.
  – Is it your place to get involved?
         Developing IT Policies
• Every organization needs stated IT policies, for
  instance to make sure that employees understand
  their rights
• These policies should include
  – the role that IT plays in the company
  – proper employee usage of IT
  – the employee’s rights to privacy (if any)
  – proper usage of data
  – security and privacy of data
  – ownership of ideas developed through IT in the
    company (intellectual property)
  – how the company handles copyright protection issues
• Do you feel that you could recommend policies?
        Other Social Considerations
• Although these other considerations should really be
  understood by all, it may be the IT specialist who is in a
  position to do something about it through policy or
   – Digital divide – in our society, there is a division between those
     who have learned something about technology and are not
     techno-phobes, and their race and gender
   – Computer-related health problems – primarily repetitive stress
     injuries, but also concerns with vision, mental health (stress),
     back/neck/knee strain, proper training and ergonomics is
   – Privacy – understanding what data to make available and what
     should not be made available, for instance via social media
   – Internet addiction – can’t live without your email?
   – Obscenity and censorship – what is and what should not be
     placed on websites or stated in email

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