Without doubt the world of information technology (IT) has gone through significant transformation over the last couple of decades. Like most freshmen in the university, I was oblivious of the opportunities that I could take advantage of by being a computer science undergraduate let alone chart of future as per my career post-graduation. From being in an obscured world of learning algorithms, writing codes using outdated programs in the university – did I just say that?, I suddenly found myself working in a team of professionals with varying expertise and specializations. From networks to security, database administration to hardware and infrastructure, professionals. The list seemed endless. Suddenly, I realized technology was more than writing lines of codes.
You may probably be asking yourself “what next?”, “what opportunities are out there for me to take advantage of/explore?” As daunting as this may seem, it is in reality not as complicated as it may appear at first. Critical to deciding what opportunities to explore is for you to know yourself. By that I mean understanding your strengths, work style, activities that spurs your creativity or drive etc. You need to be true to yourself in every sense…
Depending on the size of the organization you eventually work, you will have some or all of these professionals present performing varying technology related activities. Some of these are:
IT Networks: Professionals in this field are typically are in charge of the organization’s computer network infrastructure. They ensure connection to the internet and connection between different infrastructure e.g. servers within the organization’s network, permission for external system to access external systems the company’s network and vice versa. Job titles in this field include: network administrator, network engineer, network analyst etc.
IT Security: IT security professionals focus primarily on ensuring the entire technology infrastructure is secured. Like a shepherd, they watch over us even as we sleep…lol. They install our antivirus, ensure our firewalls are up, they protect us from attacks from system hackers, and educate us on how to identify threats and be security conscious amongst others. Job titles in this field include: information security analyst, cyber security engineer, security architect, penetration tester etc.
Database Administration: This team is responsible for the planning and routine maintenance of the company’s database. They ensure the company’s information is secured, up to date and available when needed. Job titles in this field include: database analyst, database administrator, database manager etc.
Hardware and Infrastructure: This team is responsible for day-to-day operations of the organization’s data centre, personal computers, servers, storage systems, operating systems, and communication systems. Job titles in this field include. Job titles in this include: Infrastructure Engineer, Hardware Asset Manager, etc
Domain and Collaboration: This role is prevalent in large companies. The professional are typically responsible for managing user access control of employees to computer systems using Active Directory. In addition, they also in charge of managing email communication both within the organization and with those of other organizations. Job titles in this field include: Active Directory Administrator, Active Directory Engineer etc.
IT Project Management: This team oversees all IT projects and deliverables. They also engage and manage vendors in cases where a project is outsourced to ensure quality and timely delivery. Job titles include: project analyst, project coordinator, project manager portfolio manager etc.
IT Applications: This team takes care of the development of applications used in an organization. The team can be further broken down into Business Analysis Team, Software Development Team, Software Testing Team, Business Intelligence and Reporting Team and Software support Team.
- The business analysis team: responsible for documenting user requirements for a new software or solution. They serve as a liaison between the technical teams and business users as they seek to ensure seamless communication between what is desired and what is delivered while managing relevant project stakeholders.
- The software development team – writes the code that makes up the application,
- The software testing team– tests the application to ensure it meets the stakeholder’s requirement are fulfilled and identify vulnerabilities or bugs in a developed application.
- The business intelligence and reporting team – The professionals in this team are typically responsible for generating insights and reports from organization data. The reports generated are typically used by executive or senior management in taking critical business decisions. Job titles include: business intelligence analyst, business intelligence developer, business intelligence administrator
- The support team – takes ownership of an application once it is deployed to the production environment. They provide end user support seeking to resolve all issues encountered by user(s) of an application. Job titles include: incident manager, application support analyst, problem manager etc.
In the end you will realise that information technology is more than just writing codes. Admittedly, it is perhaps the most talked about aspect of IT. Find your habitat, dwell in it and fulfill your dreams…