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Information Technologist: Job Description and Education Requirements

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become an information technologist. Get a quick overview of the requirements as well as details about education and job possibilities to find out if this is the career for you.

Information technologists work in many different types of companies supporting their computer systems. They require knowledge of computers, technology, databases and security. This career field looks to be a promising one, with a positive job outlook predicted by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Essential Information

Information technologists help businesses and offices remain competitive and active in a technology-oriented world. By performing routine database and computer security duties, an information technologist helps keep all the computers in an office running efficiently. This career requires a bachelor's degree in computer science, information technology or a related field; some employers may accept an associate's degree accompanied by work experience.

Required Education Bachelor's degree in computer science, information technology or a related field
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024) 15% for computer and information system managers*
Median Annual Salary (2016) $54,352 for information technologists**

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **PayScale.com

Information Technologist Job Description

Information technologists can be employed by any business or organization that uses computers on a wide scale. Some even work for independent companies, being hired by smaller companies to come in and assist with computer problems. Information technologists can work by themselves or in groups, but generally they report to a senior project manager. The senior project manager regularly assigns specific duties to an information technologist. These duties are divided between normal daily routines and specific long-term projects.

Technical issues that are less complex typically fall to the information technologist to take care of. This can include updating security policies and procedures, maintaining information databases, and creating reports on them for the senior project manager. Information technologists also handle addressing everyday concerns by co-workers or answering their computer related questions when they arise.

Education Requirements

Employers prefer information technologists that possess a bachelor's degree in a computer science related field, although some might accept an applicant with an associate's degree if they also have work experience. While there are many majors that fit this criteria, the information technology major is an ideal one that matches up with this career. Other useful majors, minors, or specializations include computer information systems or computer information security.

The coursework for these programs are similar, covering the skills necessary to be successful in information technology. Information technologists can expect to take classes like database design, server administration, database implementation, operating systems, computer essentials and fundamentals, information security, and project management. Information technologists also familiarizes themselves with common programs and approaches to information technology in other classes, learning how to use Oracle or structured query language (SQL). Internship or externships present an excellent opportunity to students interested in acquiring work experience.

Salary Info and Job Outlook

According to PayScale.com, the majority of information technologists earn between $32,941 and $103,019 per year with a median salary of $54,352, as of January 2016. Although the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov) does not provide information specific to the field of information technology, the BLS did project that the employment of computer and information systems managers, a related position, will likely grow by about 15% between 2014 and 2024, which is faster than the average predicted for all occupations.

Information technologist are typically required to have at least a bachelor's degree in a related field. While enrolled in school, students may look for internships to help gain the necessary experience to enter the field, where information technology positions have a median annual salary around $54,000.


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