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Information technology professionals plan, design, install, program and manage computer hardware and software. Regardless of the size of an IT department or the organization it supports, common qualities for all IT professionals include an interest in learning and motivation to keep their skills current. IT personnel plan technology solutions for business needs and keep computer and networking systems operating securely and effectively.
IT personnel install, upgrade, maintain, test and troubleshoot a company’s IT infrastructure, which includes computer equipment such as personal computers, laptops and networking equipment. IT personnel must understand computer components, such as motherboards, and networking components, such as routers and switches, in order to identify problems and introduce repairs or replacements.
Interface with Business Users
IT personnel interact with business representatives to determine the technologies required to align with the needs of the business. A clear understanding of how business users build, access, share and use data helps the IT department to design and implement solutions that can enable the business to operate effectively and efficiently. The ability to translate technical concepts into terms that make sense to business users is a critical skill that must exist within the IT department to optimize the alignment between IT capabilities and the needs of the business community it supports.
Evaluating New Technologies
IT personnel generally are skilled working with common application programs, such as those used for word processing and spreadsheets, and are well-versed in the latest technologies. These skills and qualities enable IT personnel to evaluate vendor products and services, and to build models to explore the risks and benefits of introducing new technologies into the workplace. These evaluations help the management team to build business cases supporting investments in applications, equipment and other vendor offerings, such as cloud services.
All information technology personnel members should have strong analytical and problem-solving skills. The ability to work in a team environment, to share information and to work under pressure are keys to success. A minimum of a bachelor’s degree in computer science or information technology typically is required. Some positions, such as those in security, networking and project management also require certifications.
A careers content writer, Debra Kraft is a former English teacher whose 25-plus year corporate career includes training and mentoring. She holds a senior management position with a global automotive supplier and is a senior member of the American Society for Quality. Her areas of expertise include quality auditing, corporate compliance, Lean, ERP and IT business analysis.