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Information Technology Eligibility

Eligibility

There's a broad range of jobs in IT, and not all positions require technical skills. "The best tech support people we had," one insider says, "had humanities backgrounds." Technical, communication, and business skills are all important to the field, and four-year college degree programs-not necessarily in computer science-are still one of the best ways to prepare for entering the IT job market.

Employers look for relevant skills and experience. A degree in computer science tends to be most important for database developers and software engineers. Certificate programs are more common for support and system administration specialists (see the "Certification" section that follows for more information). On-the-job experience can substitute for either academic credential, though for people just entering the job market, a degree is a tremendous advantage. Computer science majors and MBAs in particular might consider a minor or double major in a second field. Though not required, this additional credential can be useful, particularly when working in IT for non-IT companies. For example, biology minor will prove very handy to a software developer working with an insect database at a university research center. Because IT is part of so many industries, a secondary field can be anything that interests you-film, chemistry, history; whatever your interest, it's likely that it will complement an industry searching for IT workers.

Apart from academic qualificatuions one should be creative, inquisitive, analytical, and detail-oriented,and able to work in a team .A strong base in computer applications is an important element of the course, which facilitates component production, process planning, production planning, etc.

Certification

First-time job seekers as well as seasoned professionals may wonder whether a professional certification is worth the time and cost. Today's employers and employees generally find that certifications are valuable, though skepticism does exist. Some employers use certifications as a gating factor when hiring. Whether a certificate program is right for you depends on your career goals, the job market, and whether an employer is willing to bear some or all of the cost.

A certificate is almost always a prerequisite for a job in information security, and a number of common acronyms appear beside the names of successful security professionals: CCSE (CheckPoint Certified Security Expert), CCSA (Check Point Certified Security Administrator), CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional), or SCSE (Symantec Certified Security Engineer). Network and system administrators are also increasingly turning to certification programs like those offered by Microsoft and Red Hat. Certificates are less important for software engineers and database administrators, for whom experience and college credentials are still the most important credential. Those who can point to previous work-even a well-executed school assignment-have a competitive edge, and a degree in computer science is often a job prerequisite.

Education is not a process that ends when you land a job. Part of working in IT is learning new technologies. Since the field is constantly changing and evolving, today's hot tech skills identified by Dice. com-C++, Java, and Oracle-are just that. Next year, the list of desirable skills will change. However careful you are at selecting your skills, you'll need to update them and pick up new ones over the course of your career.

Continuing education can take many forms: classes, conferences, certificate programs, or independent research. Books, periodicals, and online discussions and boards are very useful, and most technologies have an online community of users. "I go to Jguru.com to keep on top of things," one insider says. "People post new stuff there all the time." For those who prefer the printed page, your reference library will continue to grow (and become dated). O'Reilly publishes a very highly regarded line of books that covers the gamut of information technologies. Ultimately, whether you choose to pursue a certification is less important than keeping abreast of technologies-and, of course, churning out work that proves you knows your stuff.

The roles can be divided into three main streams viz...Creative positions, Engineering positions and Support positions

Creative positions are as follows:

Technical Producer

Degree requirements: BA or MBA

Web Developer

Degree requirement: BA

Webmaster

Degree requirement: BA

Engineering Positions are as follows:

QA Engineer

Degree requirements: BS in computer science, MS preferred

Software Engineer

Degree requirements: BS in computer science (MS preferred for senior position)

Application Programmer

Degree requirements: BS in computer science

Database Administrator

Degree requirement: BS in computer science or equivalent experience

Support Positions are as follows:

Technical Support Analyst, Entry Level

Degree requirement: None (BA or BS preferred)

Software Support Engineer

Degree requirement: BS in computer science

IT Training Consultant

Degree requirements: BS in computer science, specialized training preferred

Management Information Systems (MIS)

Degree requirement: BS in computer science or electrical engineering

System Administrator

Degree requirement: BA or certificate program

Information Security Specialist

Degree requirement: BS in computer science

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