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IT Specialist

Education and Training: Bachelor’s degree in computer science
Average Salary: $71,000 annually
Job Outlook: Very good

An IT Specialist is the chief of an IT department. Usually their job is to design, operate, or maintain the technology products. They are not restricted to the employment with technology companies, but they may work with any agency, business, or organization that uses technology or manages large amounts of information.

Network management, software development, and database administration all come under the duties of an IT Specialist. They provide technical assistance and advice to persons and organizations which depend upon information technology. The IT specialists design the systems and evaluate the effectiveness of present technology resources. In addition, they verify the practicality of changes and modification of systems. They work with both the in-house and the external clients and are supposed to maintain relationships through professionalism. They usually work with a team of IT professionals and are expected to carry out their specific roles in coordination with the members of the team. The IT Specialists work activities generally include:

  • Assess, suggest and install new products or upgrades

  • Examine the reviews of infrastructure designs

  • Take part in monitoring infrastructure performance

  • Work together with teammates, software developers, and users

Education and Training Requirements

For an IT specialis,t wide ranges of skills are required, therefore there are lots of paths of entry to this job. A Bachelor’s degree in computer science, computer engineering, or information systems is the requirement for the majority of the jobs; however some jobs may require only a computer-related associate degree. Strong problem-solving and communication skills are a must for this job. A number of employers will hire applicants with a college degree in any field, providing the applicant has the necessary technical skills.

An IT specialist’s training can vary from a few months in a certificate program to a doctoral degree. As per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics the majority of IT specialists have completed a bachelor’s degree program or higher. Many IT specialists keep on taking the training throughout their careers via attending professional training programs, so as to keep up with changes in the technology.

Getting the Job

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, IT specialist jobs are expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations between 2008 and 2018.

The IT specialist who has a strong background in computers and the latest skills will have the best chance of getting a job. They should have the strong problem-solving, analytical, and communication skills. Work experience in the required field will add to the scope to get better opportunities. Regular dealings with other professionals, clients, and employees require IT specialists to communicate effectively by means of e-mail, over the phone, or in person. Therefore strong writing and communication skills are a must for this job.

Job Prospects, Employment Outlook and Career Development

For IT Specialists, employment is likely to increase much faster than the average. Job prospects are good, particularly for those with a college degree and relevant technical and communication skills.

Demand for the IT Specialists will increase as more and more of the organizations will adopt the newest forms of technology. As technology becomes more complex and widespread, demand of IT specialists will be in greater numbers.

Working Conditions and Environment

IT specialists normally work in comfortable offices. Most work about 40 hours a week, but at times have to work late evenings and weekends to meet the deadlines. As they have to spend lot of time before computers, they are vulnerable to eyestrain, back discomfort, and hand and wrist problems.

Salary and Benefits

The salary for the IT specialists is dependent on the factors like the choice of industry, experience, and the location. According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Federal and state governments tend to pay the most, however average workers earn from $32,110 to $88,640 annually. As per the Salary information from Pay Scale, the newcomers without experience earn between $31,221 and $45,962 a year whereas the employees with 20 years or more can make $90,000 and above.
Benefits normally include standard benefits like paid holidays, health, life insurance, retirement plans, etc.

Where to Go for More Information

American Association for Artificial Intelligence
445 Burgess Dr.
Menlo Park, CA 94025-3442
(650) 328-3123

Computing Technology Industry Association
1815 S. Meyers Rd., Ste. 300
Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181
(630) 678-8300

IEEE Computer Society
1730 Massachusetts Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 371-0101

International Webmasters Association
119 E Union St., Ste. F
Pasadena, CA 91103
(626) 449-3709

Additional topics

Job Descriptions and Careers, Career and Job Opportunities, Career Search, and Career Choices and ProfilesComputers, IT & Telecommunications