An information technology (IT) specialist is a computer support and security administrator who assists companies and organizations with managing hardware, software, networking and solving problems. These professionals go by a range of titles, including information security analyst and network administrator. They can find work in a wide variety of industries, like business, government and manufacturing. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), network and computer systems administrators earned a median salary of ,070 in May 2018.
A bachelor's degree is commonly required, but some employers prefer a master's degree in computer science, information science or a related field. Employers also want to see at least 3 years of IT experience, with 5 to 10 years of experience for upper-level positions. The skills needed as an IT specialist include analytical, organizational, leadership, communication and decision-making skills. You need familiarity with project management software, customer management software, server operating systems, and web platform development software. You should also be capable of using computer equipment, such as servers and network analyzers. While certification is voluntary, it is common within the field.
Steps to Becoming an IT Specialist
The following are steps you can take to become an IT specialist:
Step 1: Earn a Bachelor's Degree
The BLS maintains that a bachelor's degree in a computer-related field is the most common requirement for becoming an IT specialist. Relevant majors include computer science, information systems and software engineering. Students in bachelor degree programs generally start by gaining a solid foundation in mathematics, science and engineering. They build a broad knowledge of computer science subjects in courses in data structures, numerical analysis, data management and programming languages.