IT Professional: Education and Job Training Requirements for Becoming an IT Professional

Published Oct 30, 2009

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Information technology professionals, otherwise known as IT professionals, handle a wide range of computer-related duties, such as installing software, upgrading hardware and maintaining computer networks. These specialized experts work for many types of businesses and organizations, managing their information and computer operating systems.

IT Professional Career Summary

IT professionals work on behalf of many different companies, handling a business's computer and technology needs. These workers ensure that all hardware and software function properly make sure sure that networks run smoothly. Career InfoNet notes that IT professionals regularly identify and solve technological problems. Typically, IT professionals work together on a team and split up the necessary tasks among themselves. Team members often specialize; for example, IT professionals can specialize in programming, networking or database administration. They may also specialize in a specific type of software or hardware.

Education Required to Become an IT Professional

An associate's degree may suffice for entry-level information technology entry positions. However, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that employers prefer workers with a bachelor's degree or better. IT professionals looking for a bachelor's degree should consider a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science or a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering. Courses in these programs cover areas like programming paradigms, programming principles, data structures and computer architecture. IT professionals interested in managerial positions should obtain a master's or doctoral degree in an information technology subject.

Job Training and Certifications Required to Become an IT Professional

Job training for IT professionals varies depending on the company and position. According to O*Net (www.online.onetcenter.org) most organizations provide on-the-job training for workers just starting out or new to the field. Certifications are not a requirement to work, but they can provide a competitive edge during the hiring process. IT professionals normally obtain product-specific or hardware-specific certifications. Workers looking to demonstrate their talents can obtain proficiency certification, like the Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP) certification.

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