Explore the vast world of Information Technology (IT) and learn about the various roles, including Network Administrator, Software Developer, IT Help Desk, and Data Analyst, that combine technology and business. Get insights into the expected IT job growth, average earnings, and the importance of IT skills across industries.
Information Technology (IT) describes job roles that combine technology and business. Some of the most common IT roles include Network Administrator, Software Developer, IT Help Desk, and Data Analyst. If you’ve always wanted to learn IT but can’t figure out how to get started, this guide is for you. Here, you’ll learn more about the various ways to learn IT, free resources to take advantage of, and the types of careers that commonly use IT.
IT stands for Information Technology. IT is an umbrella term for many job roles that combine business with technology. People who work in IT use computers and technology to solve business problems, make business decisions, and keep businesses running smoothly.
Many companies have IT departments that manage computers, networks, software applications, and other technical aspects of running a successful business. The IT department could include providing technical support to employees, server maintenance, network security, software development, data analytics, or maintaining hardware and network infrastructure.
People often think of IT as a support role. While support is a role within IT, IT has many subcategories beyond support, including data science, cybersecurity, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, augmented and virtual reality, DevOps, and blockchain. IT professionals might ensure the network is secure, analyze data to help make business decisions, or develop a new software product.
Jobs requiring IT skills are in high demand, with growth expected to continue at around 15% until 2029. IT can also be a lucrative career path: the average salary for IT professionals is around $100,000. Some IT subfields, such as cybersecurity, have a 0% unemployment rate. Training in IT could lead to an exciting career with an excellent salary.
IT describes jobs that combine technology with business, which makes it a huge field with no single job role or learning path. You’ll need verifiable technical training to become an IT professional. However, the size of IT adds a lot of flexibility to its career options and increases the number of opportunities.
Being knowledgeable about technology is critical for working in IT. You’ll need a combination of intuitive and learned tech skills to excel, especially if you choose a role that requires troubleshooting, such as a support role or cybersecurity. People often underestimate the soft skills necessary in IT jobs, such as logical thinking, problem-solving, creativity, or critical-thinking skills.
IT skills are also highly prized because they improve your work process. Some of the most in-demand IT skills include cybersecurity, cloud computing, data analytics and data science, networking, software development, machine learning, and project management. Skills in these areas can get you hired in almost any industry.
IT skills are universal since they are needed in every industry that uses technology for business. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that IT jobs will grow by around 15% by the decade's end.
Some of the fastest-growing IT professions are growing faster than that and include Data Analyst, Full Stack Developer, Cloud Engineer, Cybersecurity Analyst, and Blockchain Engineer. For example, demand for cybersecurity professionals is expected to grow by around 30% for the next seven years. Cybersecurity has also had an unemployment rate of 0% for the past several years. These fast-growing IT roles are seeing high demand across industries.
Jobs for Full Stack Developers are expected to grow around 22% by 2029. While you might think of these skills being used in the tech industry, digital transformation has made Full Stack Developer skills necessary in every industry. For example, streaming services, such as Spotify and Netflix, drive demand for software developers in the Entertainment Industry. Likewise, software developers are in high demand in the Finance Sector because financial institutions create digital account management tools and platforms, such as online banking and smartphone banking apps.
IT professionals use technology to solve business problems. The need for innovative technological solutions has driven high demand for employees trained in IT skills.
As information and technology drive more and more of our business, people trained in IT have excellent job prospects. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that IT jobs are expected to grow by more than 15%, with around 500,000 IT jobs added each year. The demand for employees with IT skills is driven by factors such as the transition to remote work during COVID-19, the rise of streaming services, and digital transformation of the market. Because technology is used in every industry, IT skills are needed in every industry.
IT is a large job category and includes many fields you might not typically associate with IT, such as cybersecurity, data science, and software development. Some of the most popular IT job titles include IT Support Tech, Web Developer, Systems Administrator, Cloud Engineer, Software Engineer, Software Developer, Full Stack Developer, Mobile Developer, Web Administrator, User Experience (UX) Designer, Database Administrator, and IT Project Manager.
IT can be a lucrative career path, with many job titles earning more than double the national average. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the current median annual salary for someone in an IT role is around $100,000. IT professionals rank high on Glassdoor’s list of Top U.S. jobs, which considers average salary, job satisfaction, and job openings. 8 of the Top 10 US Jobs listed on Glassdoor are in IT: Enterprise Architect, Full Stack Developer, Data Scientist, DevOps Engineer, Machine Learning Engineer, Data Engineer, Software Engineer, and Java Developer.
If you’re sure you want to learn IT skills, your next decision will be how you want to learn IT skills: live or on-demand.
Live classes, whether online or in-person, are the most recommended option for people serious about becoming full-time IT professionals. The level of engagement and retainment from live interaction with your instructor is critical when planning to launch a new career. Live instruction also provides opportunities for mentorship and networking that you won’t receive in the on-demand learning format.
On-demand courses are self-paced courses that students can take online in their own time and at their own pace. On-demand courses are typically taught using pre-recorded video lessons. There are many online resources for learning IT, including free ones. On-demand courses are great for beginners who want a better understanding of IT basics. However, there is no guarantee that the material is up-to-date or relevant to your career goals.
Read the full guide on how to learn IT.
Free online resources are a great way to explore your interests if you want to test out a few different IT career paths. You can learn some basics without making a significant financial or time commitment.
Coursera offers free online IT courses, such as the popular Crash Course in Data Science by Johns Hopkins University. Universities often have great free introductory resources, such as MIT OpenCourseWare, which you can use to familiarize yourself with basic IT concepts.
Read about more free IT videos and online tutorials.
The difficulty and cost of training in IT will vary based on your current level of experience and professional goals. If you’re already working in an IT role but want to add more in-demand skills, you might learn more quickly than someone without prior knowledge of IT.
When getting hired as an IT professional, hands-on experience and structured training are required. You’ll want IT training and experience before you apply for jobs. Taking a bootcamp is a great way to develop hands-on IT skills. Since bootcamps provide comprehensive training, you’ll be able to launch your new career as an IT professional much faster.
Choosing the IT subfield you’d like to specialize in will affect the difficulty and cost of your IT training. However, it is worth noting that the average salary for an IT professional is around $100,000 annually. However much you end up investing in your IT training will most likely be made back fairly quickly when you start your new IT career.
Read about how difficult it is to learn IT.
IT is a vast field with many job roles. One of the most significant advantages of learning IT is that the skills apply to every industry, and the job roles are nearly limitless. If you’re still unsure which IT career path you’d like to pursue, you might be interested in exploring similar options. Some fields distinct from IT but have overlapping skills include data science, computer science, and software engineering.
Data analytics is an IT career path similar to data science. Both Data Analysts and Data Scientists work with data. However, they do different things with it. A Data Analyst analyzes data to help identify trends and help businesses make good decisions. Data Scientists design new ways of working with data, such as predictive modeling and algorithms.
Computer science is another overlapping field with IT. The primary difference between computer science and IT is that IT is more business-focused, while computer science is more focused on computers and technology. Computer science is also more abstract, and IT is more practical.
Deciding the best way to learn IT depends on your goals and what you plan to use the skills for. If you’re launching a new career in IT, you’ll need more rigorous training than simply adding a few skills to your current role.
If you’re a beginner or simply exploring an interest in IT, then introductory courses and free online resources are great options. You can learn the basics of IT without a huge time or financial commitment. If you want professional IT skills that can get you hired, you’ll want to consider a bootcamp or certificate program. These are recommended because they offer comprehensive, guided training by an expert instructor. You can have confidence that you’re learning the right skills to get you hired.
IT is a large job field with many career paths and nearly limitless opportunities. There are many paths to working in IT. However, there are recommended training paths based on your goals.
To become an IT professional, you’ll need verifiable job skills. Many tech and coding schools offer IT training, but you’ll want to choose one that focuses on technology and business since IT demands skills in both. Bootcamps are highly recommended for launching a new career in IT or pivoting to a different job role because they offer comprehensive technical training in the least amount of time.
Many bootcamps offer a live online training format which is an excellent option if there are no in-person IT courses in your area. Because the class is live, it works like an in-person class. You can ask questions and interact with your instructor and classmates in real-time. You can collaborate with classmates or receive direct feedback on your work using screen-sharing software. One advantage of live online classes is that they give you the interaction of an in-person classroom without any commute time. You can train in IT skills from your home or from anywhere.
Noble Desktop is a coding, business, and design school that offers live online bootcamps and certificate programs in some of IT’s hottest career paths, including data analytics, full stack development, and cybersecurity. All their classes have guaranteed small class sizes, so you get extra guidance from an expert instructor. Noble Desktop uses a unique approach in all its classes: instructors teach a “micro-lecture” and immediately guide students through applying the concept they’ve just learned. They also have a “learn the skills guarantee,” which includes a “free retake” option in which graduates can retake a course for free to continue developing their skills.
Noble Desktop’s Data Analytics Certificate provides comprehensive training in data analysis, data visualization, business intelligence, and databases. Data Analysts use data to help businesses make good decisions. Students are guided through real-world, hands-on projects to develop skills in using Excel for data analysis, working with Python, SQL and database operations, data interpretation, business forecasting, machine learning, and using Tableau for data visualization. Graduates earn a New York State Licensed Certificate in Data Analytics which is shareable on Linkedin.
You can earn a New York State Licensed Certificate in Cybersecurity by taking Noble Desktop’s Cybersecurity Bootcamp. Students work with an expert instructor to develop skills in network security tools, evaluating network security using penetration testing, Security Operations Center (SOC) principles and practices, understanding attackers, security monitoring and logging techniques, information gathering techniques, and understanding application vulnerabilities.