- Web Development and Design
- Data Analytics
- Digital Systems and Embedded Technology
- Network Administration
As technology changes how society works, the skills that are valued in the workforce also evolve, and most in demand today are information technology specialties. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, IT jobs are projected to grow faster than average in the next eight years adding over half a million jobs across all levels from entry-level to positions requiring a master’s degree. Some of the most popular information technology concentrations are listed below.
1. Web Development and Design
This useful field of IT specializes in building websites and online applications for businesses. Some professionals do both the programming side of the projects as well as planning all the elements that go into the style and design of the site. Today, in order to be competitive, the previous standard static web page is not enough. Companies need dynamic pages that interact with users including sign-in pages and other customizations that are not available with do-it-yourself web-building programs. Plus, many of these developers also make apps for mobile devices to accompany the main site.
2. Data Analytics
These professionals usually work on a team including a lead data scientist and some statisticians. The IT component of this specialty involves developing methods of organizing the large volume of data collected and mining the specific data needed for the project from much larger databases. Cleaning data is a major part of the job and essentially involves putting data into a usable format. After the initial steps, data programmers also need to maintain and update the databases as more information is processed.
Digital forensics specialists work primarily with criminal justice investigations to help extract useful information off digital devices to solve physical crimes. Another branch of this field involves fighting and preventing cybercrimes which occur strictly online, often involving financial theft or data breeches. Identity thieves and scammers as well as ransomware, malware, and adware creators are the targets of many of these cyber investigations.
4. Digital Systems and Embedded Technology
This is one of the fastest growing information technology concentrations as it involves building all the new ‘smart’ technology. These professionals work on both the hardware and software sides of a product figuring out ways to take in information by passively sensing the surroundings and then using this data to produce a desired output without the direct control of a user. Responsive technology like voice activation as well as home automation and self-driving cars are some of the results of this work.
5. Network Administration
This is one of the most business-oriented sides of IT as it involves working on the technological infrastructure of a company or large corporation. Much of this field involves troubleshooting connection issues and planning major updates. Administrators also need to regularly assess the network’s security to prevent information breeches.
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All IT fields require a thorough understanding of programming basics as well as the difference between various types of hardware and network configurations, but certain branches of the industry require specific skills. Regardless of an individual’s particular interests, there is an information technology concentration that fits.