Info 103: Computer Literacy
January 26, 2010
An Exploration of Careers in Information Technology
At the beginning of my computer information course I was presented with challenge of writing a research paper. We were given several topics to choose from and I chose the topic of careers in information technology. The focus will be on the computer support specialist, the database administrator, the network and computer systems administrator, the computer, office machine and automated teller technician, the programmer, the software engineer, the cryptographer, the computer trainer, and the desktop publisher. I will explore what each profession is, the duties, the work environment, the education required to be in each profession, the earning potential and the future employment outlook of each field.
Computer support specialists may also be called technical support specialists or help-desk technicians. A computer specialist provides technical assistance, support and advice to organizations and individuals. “They resolve common networking problems and may use troubleshooting programs to diagnose problems. Most computer support specialists are hired to work within a company to provide support for other employees and divisions.” (O'Leary & O'Leary, 2008) Much like the computer support specialist a technical support specialist provides support within an organization and oversees the daily performance of their company’s computer systems. The help-desk technician works directly with the customer responding to phone and email correspondence from them to ascertain their dilemma and provide them with assistance in solving their problems. These workers typically work in well-lit office settings or in computer labs. Because many skills are needed for these positions the education requirements vary. “A college degree is required for some computer support specialist positions, but an associate degree or certification may be sufficient for others. Strong problem-solving and communication skills are essential.” (Labor, 2010) A computer support specialist can expect to earn an annual salary of $26,000 up to $76,000. “Median annual wages of wage-and-salary computer support specialists were $43,450 in May 2008. The middle 50 percent earned between $33,680 and $55,990. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $26,580, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $70,750.” (Labor, 2010) The future employment outlook for workers in this position is good and expected to rapidly increase. A slight slowing may occur due to outsourcing however the job prospects remain positive. Those possessing bachelor’s degrees and relevant experience will have an advantage with employers.
The database administrator is one who works with database management software to determine ways to store, organize, analyze, use, and present data. “They identify user needs and set up new computer databases. In many cases, database administrators must integrate data from old systems into a new system. They also test and coordinate modifications to the system when needed, and troubleshoot problems when they occur. An organization’s database administrator ensures the performance of the system.” (Labor, 2010) Their duties also include adding users and they may have to help with security measures. The work environment for these workers is ideally a comfortable well-lit office setting. With the expansion of computer networks they are often able to telecommute from home. The level of education requirement in this field largely depends on the employer. ” Workers can enter this field with many different levels of formal education, but relevant computer skills are always needed and certification may improve an applicant’s chances for employment.” (Labor, 2010) A worker in this field can expect an annual salary ranging from $39,900 to $91,850. The future employment outlook for the database administrator is...