Information technology has become so pervasive in our daily lives that most of us take it for granted and rarely ask the important questions about it – what is it? What does it do? Why should I care? If you are considering information technology as a career option, this article will answer all of these questions and more in plain, non-technical language that’s accessible to anyone who reads it.
Information technology (IT) is a form of technology that involves electronic computers and computer software, as well as communication networks. It is considered an umbrella term encompassing several domains including computer hardware, software, information systems, and telecommunications. Information technology deals with either processing or storing data on machines.
IT is an application that uses computers to process data or information. Information can be stored, accessed, and transferred electronically. Examples of IT include smartphones, servers, and computer systems that control factory robots. Simply put: Anything with an on/off switch that’s connected to a network is an example of information technology.
Types of Information Technology
There are many types of IT available today. The five basic categories include hardware, software, infrastructure, applications, and services.
It refers to any piece of equipment used in a computer system such as a hard drive or monitor.
Software is an application program used by computers to complete tasks more efficiently.
Infrastructure describes the physical components that support computer systems.
Applications are used to complete tasks such as word processing or graphic design.
Services are provided by companies instead of individuals and usually focus on larger projects requiring expertise that can’t be found in one person’s knowledge set.
These five pieces combine to form what we know as IT today; now that you understand how they work separately, let’s look at some examples of how they work together…
Simple Real-World Examples
Two of these are already given in information technology. First, do you know how to use a cell phone? If so, then you use IT regularly. Second, have you ever used an ATM? Again, another example of using IT in everyday life. Now let’s take a look at some additional examples that might surprise you.
Every day, we give information (our name and age) when we go out to eat at a restaurant or fast food place or when we order something over the phone. When we give our order to a waitress/waiter or over the phone and that person then passes it along for processing, then uses IT to process it to prepare our meal or get our number right!
Professional Applications of Information Technology
Information technology has grown so much over the last few decades that now there are many fields within IT such as network administration, network security, database management systems, programming languages, operating systems, etc. Let us have a look at each field separately :
One very important application of information technology is communication. When we talk about communication then the most common application that comes into our mind is mobile phones.
But IT is ranged from mobile phones, radios, and televisions to satellite that sends the signal. It has made the world a global village. This helps you in communicating not only verbally but also visually through videos and pictures too.
The banking sector has been revolutionized due to the introduction of new technologies. Most banks nowadays use internet banking services where customers can do their banking work online without having to visit bank branches physically. Apart from these two main areas, there are numerous other applications of IT in various sectors such as health care, education, transportation, etc.
They manage networks, including monitoring, budgeting, and security issues. If you are interested in network administration as a career option or even just as a hobby, you must keep abreast of all things related to your field.
Information security deals with protecting and regulating access to systems and data to prevent unauthorized modification, destruction, denial of service, or leakage of information. It also involves protecting communications on networks from eavesdropping or service/data interception by implementing encryption mechanisms.
A database management system (DBMS) is a software application that allows you to store, modify, and retrieve data in a centralized database. For example, a DBMS might allow you to create and edit an Excel spreadsheet on your computer while storing it on a remote server so other people can access it at any time.
The world of computer programming is complex and vast. Different languages and algorithms can be used to solve specific problems or accomplish a particular task. Machine learning, game development, web, and app development, and finance software development programming languages all are different and widely used.
There is a long list of desktop and mobile operating systems. A few examples are:
Linux, Windows, Mac, BSD, Sun Solaris, AIX, HP Unix, IBM, IRIX, OS/2, BeOS, QNX, Amiga, Acorn RISC OS, VMS, OpenVMS, Minix, Plan 9, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, DragonFly BSD.
All of these different OSs have different plus and minus points.
How to Learn about IT?
Information technology (IT) professionals generally fall into two categories: Business IT, which covers desktop support, server administration, and software development; and Technical IT, which includes programming and software engineering.
If you want to learn about it, then you must read about things related to it such as what is software, what is hardware, and what different systems and computer applications can be used for government and private purposes. Learn about the Unix system which is not so commonly used or talked about but is still one of the important systems.
What are Opportunities in the IT Field?
There are plenty of opportunities in the information technology field. Whether you want to pursue a career as an IT professional or want to set up your own company in the IT industry, there are several opportunities available for you. Today the IT industry is considered one of the most developing industries across the globe.
As such it offers ample scope for growth and development in the future too. Every year there is around a 3% annual growth rate observed in the IT sector worldwide. It means that if you have an interest in computer science, electronics and programming then there will be enough chances for you to get employed with a good salary package.
What is the Salary of IT Professionals?
The average salary for an entry-level position in Information Technology ranges from $25,000-$35,000 per year. An experienced professional can earn upwards of $100,000 per year. If you become an experienced professional, you can earn $100,000 a year or more.