5 Types of Careers in I.T.

5 Types of Careers in I.T.

I.T. is a massive field and the wide variety of options available to me is something I hadn’t really grasped until recently when I started working in the field. It’s unfortunate that it took me this long to get a good picture of the I.T industry so this article tries to summarise all the different fields I.T. and I did this by splitting them into 5 categories based on how similar the careers are or how similar the requirements are to get into the career.

1. Data Specialists

These are people who collect, organise, store, and analyse data. They work with database technologies like MySQL, PostgreSQL, AuroraDB, NoSQL, DynamoDB, Cassandra, MongoDB and just to mention a few. Data specialist can also work with network and cloud based storage technologies like NFS, EFS, Lustre, NAS, Amazon S3, Google Cloud Storage and Azure Cloud Storage just to name a few. Data specialists who specialise in analyzing data will make use of software and platforms like the various AWS Analytics Services, Tableau, Apache Hadoop, Sisense, etc. Examples of careers in this space include:

  • Data Analyst
  • Data Scientist
  • Database Administrator
  • Database Engineer
  • Data Warehouse Manager
  • Data Modeler
  • Storage Engineer
  • Data Engineer
  • Big Data Engineer
  • Healthcare Data Analyst
  • Data Backup and Recovery Analyst

2. Network Specialists

These are people who design, build and maintain computer networks. If, for example, you have a massive business like Standard Bank and you would like to set up a new branch in Cape Town, you would hire a Network Architect to design the new network infrastructure in the new building. Making sure that the new network is secure, has the necessary VPNs and Proxies, has acceptable performance, etc. Thanks to the rise of cloud computing, entire corporate networks can be built using virtual networks. If you have used cloud computing platforms before, you may have come across the term VPC – virtual private cloud. Examples of careers in this space include:

  • Network Architect
  • Data Centre Technician
  • Data Centre Engineer
  • Network Engineer
  • Network Administrator

3. Information Security

These people ensure that data and software is protected against unauthorised use or access. Universities usually don’t have good courses on information security and ethical hacking, however, there are quite a few certifications out there and the internet is filled with a lot of resources to get you started. Careers in this space include:

  • Information Security Analyst
  • Cyber Security
  • Security Analyst
  • Ethical Hacker
  • Penetration Tester
  • Computer Forensics
  • Digital Forensics
  • Data Backup and Recovery Specialist

4. Consultancy and Support

These careers are all about helping other people. If you are proficient in anything in I.T, you can make a career out of training and/or supporting that software, platform or framework. Consulting in IT is when you help people by giving them advice on how to approach a problem, how to design a solution for said problem and/or how to use technology to improve their business. Examples of careers in this space include:

  • Certified Trainer for {insert platform, software, framework} e.g. AWS, Azure, Linux, Red Hat, Cisco Certifications, etc.
  • Support Engineer
  • Cloud Support Engineer
  • Technical Manager
  • Technical Account Manager
  • I.T. Operations Manager
  • Software Solutions Architect
  • Cloud Solutions Architect
  • Security Consultant
  • I.T. Consultant
  • I.T. Audit Consultant
  • Business Intelligence Consultant

5. Software Developer

Software and Application developers design, implement, test and/or deploy computer applications. Most people associate the term “Software Developer” with the people who write the code to implement a software solution (and most times design the solution too). Examples of careers in this space include:

  • Systems Analyst
  • Software Analyst
  • Software Engineer
  • Mobile application developer
  • Android Developer
  • iOS Developer
  • Systems Engineer
  • Java Developer
  • Python Developer
  • Game Developer
  • Mobile Game Developer
  • Software Tester
  • Operations and QA Engineer
  • Deployment Engineer
  • DevOps Engineer
  • Site Reliability Engineer
  • Web Developer
  • Backend Developer
  • Frontend Developer
  • UI Developer
  • Machine Learning Engineer
  • Embdedded Developer

A computer science is usually a basic requirement for a lot of these roles out there but it does not at all prepare you for pretty much any of them. I.T. Is a very practical field. The only way to prepare for these roles is to study specific certifications and courses that can prepare you for such roles and/or to start building/designing applications for those platforms. Have a look at a previous article I wrote on how to hack work experience.

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