What is an IT Professional?


04/28/20 8:38 PM By Ascend Education

What is an IT Professional?

To better understand what an IT Professional is, you should become familiar with the skills an IT Professional needs to be successful in the field. 

IT stands for Information Technology, which at its core means, “the technology involving the development, maintenance, and use of computer systems, software, and networks for the processing and distribution of data.” Those who may be unfamiliar with IT, but have an interest in learning IT skills, may wonder what training they need or if there is a course they can take to learn the basics. There are many different careers within IT to choose from, and each career path requires distinct IT skills. 


What IT Skills Are Employers Looking For?

Many employers will look for IT Professionals that can write code. While not every IT job requires coding training, it is becoming more commonly needed across the industry. They may ask for experience with languages like HTML, C++, Python, Java, JavaScript, etc. Some are looking for professionals to manage and query company databases through a query language like SQL or programs like Microsoft Access. R is another language that is becoming more and more commonly found as a needed IT skill in job descriptions. IT jobs also extend to network and system administrator jobs as well. These jobs require training in things like cybersecurity, IP setup, modems/routers, and hardware maintenance: skills necessary for day-to-day operations of a business.

Not all of the skills required to be a successful IT Professional are as specific as the ones listed above. Some “soft” skills are key to setting yourself up for continued success. IT professionals should work on being goal oriented and open to review and feedback, communicating effectively through digital means, multitasking, and willing to do what is necessary to meet deadlines. While developing skills like this is more difficult, it is not impossible. Work on setting measurable goals for yourself and holding to a deadline. As you do, you will be preparing yourself to achieve great things in the IT industry.


Where Do I Go To Develop These Skills?

All of the technical skills listed above will require training courses. Many people look to 4-year universities to complete the necessary learning for the IT industry. However, there are many other options out there as well that may be better suited to those seeking specific IT skills. A number of tech colleges available offer a more focused education and provide relevant training courses on the ever-changing IT industry. You may find that you are not in a position financially, or time-wise, to commit to a formal school but still want to start in your career as an IT professional. This where IT certification courses come into play. These specialized courses can offer an alternative solution to required learning for a successful career in the IT industry. 

IT certification courses provide an even more focused approach to developing the exact knowledge and experience needed to start working in the IT field. Enrollees can pick from distinct singular skills and tools they want to learn and take specialized courses online. These online courses prepare students to take and pass industry certifications to those who complete them as proof they have learned and developed that particular IT skill. This system enables you to get all the training you need to meet the requirements of an IT job.


How Do I Stand Out?

Now that you have learned all the necessary IT skills, it’s time to find your dream job. IT jobs are highly competitive, so the more you can do to differentiate yourself, the better. Try learning skills that go beyond the minimum requirements for the job you are applying for. This can make your resume more attractive to hiring managers. Be sure to individualize your resume for each job that you apply for. Your experience and background should closely reflect the wording and phrasing used in the job’s description. You can also work to improve the aesthetic appeal of your resume by using any design program. There are templates and tools you can use such as Microsoft Office, the Adobe Creative Suite, and online resources like Canva. If that isn’t for you, there are many freelance resume designers out there that can assist you with that step.

Another way to show your worth over other candidates is to lock down accredited IT certifications. Here are a few examples of certifications:

 

CompTIA CySA+

CEH: Certified Ethical Hacker

MCSE: Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer

CISA: Certified Information Systems Auditor

CompTIA Cloud+

CompTIA Security+

 

These certifications will go a long way in your career and may be the catalyst in raising your base salary through promotions and raises. Any effort you make to go a step beyond your potential competition will not go unnoticed by hiring managers. 


Where Do I Go From Here?

Ascend Education can help you out! We offer many IT courses which map to industry certifications through our online learning platform which you can access from your own home. As you work through each course, you are rewarded with the knowledge to pass the relevant IT certification and prove your skills and ability to succeed in the workforce. Go at your own pace and set yourself up for a successful career in information technology.