7 Types of Career Paths in Information Technology

The only 7 types of career paths in Information Technology that are openly available to not only the interested tech-savvy students or professionally talented individuals are not too hard to find and grasp for the amount of energy of the passion which is built for it. Seemingly, it sounds so easy to assume that working in information technology means working in a tech office in a big city with a lot of money involved.

Yes maybe you are right! But the truth is, over 90 percent of skills and occupations that are information technology related are housed outside of the tech sector in the US. Meanwhile, non-tech IT jobs are also growing faster than tech-sector IT jobs by over 50 percent—meaning that that gap is on trend to widen. Plus, IT skills are needed in places like hospitals, local governments, banks, and universities in smaller cities across the country.

The Information Technology world offers a variety of career paths in diverse industries. An IT professional can specialize in cybersecurity to keep computers safe, cloud computing to make information easier to access, or in help desk roles to assist in the everyday functions of an organization.

Possible Career Paths in Information Technology

Below are some of the 7 types of career paths in Information Technology that you can always choose from or professionally embark on in your journey to fulfilling your destiny and satisfying the hunger of your passion:

  • Cloud Computing

Along with cybersecurity, cloud computing was found to be the top technical area in IT seeing the most demand by Global Knowledge. A career in cloud technology generally includes some programming on cloud software platforms like Azure, AWS, or Google Cloud.  The average salary earned remains $81,435. If you want to break into cloud computing, you’ll likely want to have cloud-specific knowledge. You can earn cloud certifications or find coursework to complete.

  • Computer Support

Many in the beginning phases of their IT career work in computer support roles that support many different aspects of computer operations. From there, it’s possible to specialize in a narrower field like cybersecurity or networks, or continue in computer support to become a senior or manager.

The average salary earned remains $62,760. If you’re just starting out, getting an entry-level IT certification can bring you the skills you need.

  • Cybersecurity

Working in cybersecurity means protecting computer systems, devices, and sensitive information from malware, unauthorized access, damage, and data breaches. Cybersecurity is one of two fields in IT expected to see the most demand, according to Global Knowledge, an IT professional development company (the other being cloud computing).

The average salary earned remains $78,480. Getting a grasp of basic cybersecurity principles can help launch a career in this space. Consider building experience by earning an entry-level certification, like the CompTIA Security+ or Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) certifications.

  • Google IT Support

This is your path to a career in IT. In this program, you’ll learn in-demand skills that will have you job-ready in less than 6 months. No degree or experience required. You get to learn at your own pace, and the many skills you will build are Customer Service, Network Protocols, Cloud Computing, Encryption Algorithms and Techniques, Debugging, Binary Code, Customer Support, Linux, Troubleshooting, Domain Name System (DNS), Ipv4, Network Model, PowerShell, Linux File Systems, Command-Line Interface, Directory Service, Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP), Backup, Cybersecurity, Wireless Security, Cryptography, Network Security, etc.

  • IBM Cybersecurity Analyst

Get ready to launch your career in cybersecurity. Build job-ready skills for an in-demand role in the field, no degree or prior experience required. You also get to learn this at your own pace while you build the following skills: Information security analyst, Junior cybersecurity analyst, IT security analyst, security analyst, Malware, Cybersecurity, Information Security (INFOSEC), IBM New Collar, Cyber Attacks, networking basics, Network Security, database vulnerabilities, Sql Injection, Computer Security Incident Management, scripting, forensics, Penetration Test, network defensive tactics, threat intelligence, Application Security, Breach (Security Exploit), cyber attack, professional certificate, cybersecurity analyst, as you grow in it.

  • Networks and systems

Network IT professionals work with network-related tasks or hardware, and systems professionals work among servers and computer systems. They may have overlapping roles, particularly at smaller companies where you’re more likely to have to wear many hats. You might start as an analyst or administrator, and then work your way up to being a network or systems engineer or architect. The average salary earned remains $80,600

Several certification options exist for networks and systems, like the CompTIA Server+ or the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA). Otherwise, you can start as a generalist on the IT help desk and work your way into one of these specialties.

  • System Administration and IT Infrastructure Services

This course will transition you from working on a single computer to an entire fleet. The SysAdmin, or Systems Administrator, is the person responsible for configuring and managing a company’s entire infrastructure, including all of the hardware, software, and operating systems that are necessary to support the running of the business.

They earn a good money too anywhere in the world where their services are needed as long as it is in the information technology path.

Others Are:

  • Software Development

Software developers, or software engineers, create computer programs that are used to accomplish any number of tasks—your internet browser, music streaming service, and online video conference app are all examples of software. Software development can open paths into a variety of different industries, including finance, video game development, and tech. The salary could start from $120,730. Learning the coding languages used in software development will be key to landing a job in the field. Try starting with commonly requested ones like Python, Java, or Ruby.

  • Web development

Working in web development means you’ll be responsible for creating and maintaining websites and phone applications. Web developers can be front-end or back-end developers—that is, the front-facing interfaces or behind-the-scenes mechanics of a website, respectively—or both. These guys earn higher than most.

Whether you’re self-taught or have a degree in computer programming, web development jobs often prioritize relevant experience over credentials. Taking a course in a web programming language—like Python, JavaScript, CSS, or HTML—can get you oriented with the basics. From there, you can try building your own website or application before applying to entry-level jobs.

  • Data

With the ubiquity of internet-connected devices, companies have access to unprecedented amounts of data on their customers, services, and other business factors. And though data isn’t a traditional IT specialization, the increase in demand for data skills makes it a solid career option for those looking for IT-related work. Working with data can entail keeping up hardware and security as a data technician, or sifting through data to find patterns and insights as a data analyst or scientist.

If you’re interested in becoming a data technician, some background knowledge of IT support might help. If the idea of working directly with data is more enticing to you, consider getting a certification in data analytics—like the IBM Data Analyst Professional Certificate or the Google Data Analytics Professional Certificate.

  • Google Data Analytics

This is your path to a career in data analytics. In this program, you’ll learn in-demand skills that will have you job-ready in less than 6 months. No degree or experience required. You learn at your own pace

The skills you’ll have to build while you practice this are Spreadsheet, Data Analysis, SQL, Data Visualization (DataViz), Data Cleansing, Decision-Making, Problem Solving, Questioning, Data Collection, Metadata, Data Ethics, Data Integrity, Sample Size Determination, Data Aggregation, Data Calculations, Tableau Software, Presentation, R Markdown, R Programming, Rstudio, case study, Job portfolio

Best Career Path in Information Technology

Some of the best career paths in information technology are outlined here for you. Any of these has over time proved to be consistently rewarding to those who professionally practice them:

  • IT Technician

An IT technician collaborates with support specialists to analyze and diagnose computer issues. They also monitor processing functions, install relevant software and perform tests on computer equipment and applications when necessary. They may also train a company’s employees, clients and other users on a new program or function as well.

IT technicians must earn an associate degree in IT or a bachelor’s degree in computer science or networking. Technicians render services for IT companies depending on the industry they choose to work in and may need to learn more about database programming to give themselves an advantage in an entry-level role.

  • Support Specialist

Support specialists are responsible for reviewing and solving computer network and hardware problems for a business. They can work in a variety of industries to provide general support to a company’s employees or at a technology or software-as-a-service (SaaS) company to provide technical support on user experience issues that require technical assistance.

Support specialists typically obtain a bachelor’s degree in IT or computer science. Having a certificate or an associate degree paired with relevant professional experience may also be acceptable.

  • Quality Assurance Tester

Quality assurance testers are technicians or engineers who check software products to see if they’re up to industry standards and free of any issues. This role is common for gaming systems, mobile applications and other technology that needs further testing and maintenance when recommended.

Many quality assurance testers have a bachelor’s degree in software design, engineering or computer science. Testers can work on different software for IT companies, which may influence what degree or specialization they pursue. These professionals should also have excellent time management and communication skills to help document test cases.

  • Web Developer

Web developers design the appearance, navigation and content organization of a website. They use coding languages such as HTML, CSS and JavaScript to manage graphics, applications and content that address a client’s needs.

Many web developers earn an associate degree in web development or another relevant IT field. Some may pursue a bachelor’s degree in IT or another business field. Others may develop their web design skills through certificate programs or self-paced learning. To secure employment, previous experience and a portfolio of work are often required.

  • IT Security Specialist

IT security specialists work in various industries to build and maintain digital protective measures on intellectual property and data that belong to an organization. They help companies create contingency plans in case information gets hacked from their networks and servers. These professionals also create strategies to troubleshoot problems as they arise.

A bachelor’s degree or professional certification is often required. Courses may involve math, programming and operating systems and certifications offered by the Information Systems Security Certification Consortium (ISC2).

  • Computer Programmer

A computer programmer is someone who writes new computer software using coding languages like HTML, JavaScript and CSS. Video game software can be updated to improve online gameplay, which is an opportunity for programmers to troubleshoot problems experienced by gamers after the game is released to the general public.

A programmer typically completes a bachelor’s degree in computer science and an internship to build their skills. Certifications are also strongly encouraged, and there are many coding academies to choose from.

  • Systems Analyst

A systems analyst reviews design components and uses their knowledge of information technology to solve business problems. They identify ways that infrastructure needs to change to streamline business and IT operations. They can also assist technicians in training staff to implement the changes they propose.

A bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related IT field is often required. Coursework in business administration, management and finance may help these professionals better apply their IT knowledge to improving business practices.

  • Network Engineer

Network engineers work on the day-to-day maintenance and development of a company’s computer network, utilizing their skills to make the network available and efficient for all employees within an organization.

These professionals typically need a bachelor’s degree in computer science or information systems to understand the functions of a network and become familiar with potential solutions needed to maintain one. Some employers may also require a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree for those who work with other internal stakeholders of the organization to determine the best technology practices.

  • Software Engineer

Software engineers apply their knowledge of mathematics and computer science to create and improve new software. They may work on enterprise applications, operating systems and network control systems, which are all examples of software that can be used to help businesses scale their IT infrastructure.

Most computer scientists need both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree to become experts in software development and maintenance. They learn and practice skills in technical problem-solving, diagnosis, troubleshooting and programming languages.

  • User Experience Designer

A user experience (UX) designer is involved with all facets of product development regarding its purchasing, branding, usability and functionality. They collect and review user feedback to determine what a product needs to be efficient, functional and successful. They apply this feedback to the design, organization and usability. These professionals then monitor the process of testing and revising products until they meet their consumers’ high-quality standards.

UX designers may pursue an associate or bachelor’s degree program in an IT field and pursue additional coursework or training in design, business, web development and programming. Others may be self-taught in programming, design and development. Many employers do seek previous experience so an internship or portfolio may help these professionals secure employment.

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