What is IT?

Information technology (IT) provides the means to develop, process, analyze, exchange, store and secure information. From cloud administration and app design, to data science and artificial intelligence, one of these IT fields could be just right for you. Chances are good that if a company is using technology today, they’re also going to need someone working behind-the-scenes make sure it runs smoothly.

Why work in IT?

For anyone looking to enter the IT field, it can be difficult to choose which path to take – should you go with software development or system administration? And how do you know if any of those are right for you? This guide will help walk you through what it’s like to work in IT, how to choose which path is right for you, and ways to get started on the right foot.
IT Technician Standing In Front Of Server Racks - IT Certifications and Degrees at CIAT

What is IT?

Information technology (IT) provides the means to develop, process, analyze, exchange, store and secure information. From cloud administration and app design, to data science and artificial intelligence, one of these IT fields could be just right for you. Chances are good that if a company is using technology today, they’re also going to need someone working behind-the-scenes make sure it runs smoothly.

Why Work In IT?

For anyone looking to enter the IT field, it can be difficult to choose which path to take – should you go with software development or system administration? And how do you know if any of those are right for you? This guide will help walk you through what it’s like to work in IT, how to choose which path is right for you, and ways to get started on the right foot.

Explore IT & Cloud Administration Programs

CIAT offers IT programs ranging from Certificate level to Bachelor’s degree, designed to fit the needs of students with a range of technical skillsets, prior academic background, and career goals. With stackable IT programs, students can start with a Certificate program and seamlessly transfer completed courses to earn credit towards an Associate or Bachelor’s degree. Click below to learn more about our Information Technology degrees and certifications.

Computer Technician Certificate Program

Length: 15 weeks
Best Fit If You Are: New to tech taking the first steps to build your career
Number of Certifications: 2

Our Computer Technician Certificate program provides the foundational skills required to install, configure, troubleshoot, and maintain computer systems in business environments. This program prepares students to earn up to 2 industry certifications for entry-level positions, such as Technical Support Specialist, Help Desk Technician or PC Technician. 

Cloud Administration Certificate Program

Length: 15 weeks
Best Fit If You Are: An IT professional with 12-months+ experience or prior IT certifications
Number of Certifications: 4

Our Cloud Administration Certificate program teaches you the skills to  manage a Windows Server Operating System and to operate Microsoft Azure / Amazon AWS cloud based environments. This program prepares students for mid-level IT positions specializing in IT and cloud administration with 4 in-demand certifications.

Computer Information Systems Certificate Program

Length: 10 months
Best Fit If You Are: New to tech or an early stage IT professional who has a prior degree but need industry certifications 
Number of Certifications: 5

Earning our CIS Certificate is a definitive way to show potential employers that you have specialized expertise in hardware and software support, networking, cybersecurity, and cloud administration. This program prepares students to earn up to 5 industry certifications to support a variety of successful IT career paths. 

Associate of Applied Science in Computer Information Systems

Length: <2 years
Best Fit If You Are: New to tech or an early stage IT professional with no prior degree or industry certifications
Number of Certifications: 10

Master new IT skills from PC hardware repair to server management, cloud administration, and advanced network security. Employers demand more than just a degree, and so should you. Earn up to 10 industry certifications from CompTIA, Microsoft and Amazon AWS that help you showcase your expertise to kickstart your entry into the IT field.

Applied Bachelor's Degree in Computer Information Systems

Length: 3.5 years
Best Fit If You Are: New to tech or an early stage IT professional with no prior degree or industry certifications
Number of Certifications: 16-19

CIAT delivers this degree using a 2 + 2 approach, facilitating students to earn an Associate of Applied Science in Computer Information Systems (or equivalent transferable Associates level degree) prior to taking upper division courses.

IT Jobs Are In High Demand

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that jobs for computer support specialists, application software developers, and systems analysts are growing rapidly. According to one projection, employment in computer occupations is expected to increase by 11 percent between 2019 and 2029, which is much faster than average.

In addition to these technical skills, employers say they want employees who can solve problems and offer fresh ideas to help improve their organization’s efficiency and bottom line. That kind of thinking comes with a degree in information technology or a related field.

Earning Potential

IT salaries tend to be significantly higher than in most other industries. According to one report, the average salary for IT professionals is $91,250 per year. A successful career in IT can result in six-figure salaries and bonuses.

Many people working in IT also have opportunities to earn additional income through commissions and bonuses related to sales or customer retention. 

The earning potential within IT is endless. It’s not uncommon for people to earn six-figure salaries right away when entering the industry.

 *Job title and salary information displayed are all average annual salaries sourced from paysacle.com in 2022. They represent the most up-to-date information at time of print and are not to be construed as guarantees of employment or future earnings. Some positions may require 5+ years of experience and/or a Bachelor’s degree to be eligible.

Variety of Roles

From infrastructure architects to programmers to software testers and designers, there’s a wide array of roles within IT that can offer different challenges and opportunities. You might be working on some cutting-edge projects at a high-tech startup or helping hospitals keep their computer systems secure. Wherever you find yourself, you’ll have plenty of opportunities for professional growth, creativity, and variety.

There’s no single career path within IT, which is why it can be so satisfying. The role you find yourself in one year could look very different from your job today or what you might be doing next year.

IT roles include help desk specialists, project managers, network administrators, developers, analysts, testers, and designers. Depending on your industry, you might also find yourself working as an IT auditor or security specialist.

Solve Problems

Working in IT means you’re constantly solving problems. Whether it’s a network issue, a server issue, or an issue with an individual user’s computer, there’s always something to fix. This can be both challenging and rewarding, but it also means that if you don’t like problem-solving, then working in IT isn’t for you.

Challenges like these can be frustrating, but they’re also part of what makes a job fun. And if you solve them, then you feel a sense of accomplishment. This is especially true when you help someone else who’s having trouble with their computer or network; it’s a rewarding feeling to know that your expertise is helping someone else. If you thrive on problem-solving and enjoy helping others, then working as an IT professional might be right for you.

Less-Rigid Education Paths

Since computer science is a relatively new and fluid field, it doesn’t have rigid certification requirements that might limit your future career options. In fact, once you’ve got a couple of years of experience under your belt, you can focus on further developing your skillset by training for specific job roles within larger companies.

Whether you want to focus on specific programming languages or areas of software development, you’ll be able to build a career that’s catered exactly to your interests and talents. With other fields like law and medicine, you might have to invest years of training and tens of thousands of dollars just to specialize in one area.

IT education paths can be from self-taught to four-year degrees. More and more IT certifications are being offered every day. In fact, some organizations will even pay for your certification if you commit to working for them after passing. This allows new graduates with little experience to get their foot in the door while learning at their own pace and then further developing their skillset once they get hired by an organization.

Work With Advancements In Technology

Information technology is a field that’s always growing and changing. No matter how long you’ve been working as an IT professional, there’s always going to be something new to learn or some other technological marvel to try out. In addition to seeing lots of interesting things, working in IT also gives you access to information before most other people do—giving you an inside edge at your job.

In addition to seeing lots of interesting things, working in IT also gives you access to information before most other people do—giving you an inside edge at your job. Accessing these kinds of resources and being on top of technological advances isn’t easy for everyone, but it is easy if you are working as part of an IT team—and those jobs are hard to turn down.

IT Shapes The Future

If you’re more of a hands-on person, there are plenty of jobs in infrastructure. Network engineers help keep computer systems and networks running smoothly by optimizing their performance. Software developers write and test new code, while database administrators build and manage databases that can handle huge amounts of information.

There are even jobs for people working with hardware, like specialized electrical engineers who might specialize in things like lighting or appliances. All of these fields have something in common: they all involve making sure technology runs as it should.

Curious about a career in IT?

Contact us today for step-by-step guidance on selecting the right education path that will help you reach your career goals. 

2022 BEST CYBERSECURITY PROGRAMS

CIAT has been awarded top ranking status two years running in Intelligent.com’s Best Cybersecurity Program review, highlighted as “Best For Industry Certifications”. Evaluated based on curriculum quality, graduation rate, reputation, and post-graduate employment.

CIRCLE OF EXCELLENCE AWARD

EC Council, the world's largest cybersecurity technical certification organization, awarded CIAT the Circle of Excellence Award two years in a row for our Certified Ethical Hacker certification training courses and career-ready curriculum.

MILITARY-FRIENDLY

We believe you deserve an education worthy of your service. CIAT welcomes military veterans, active duty service members, and spouses using the Post 9/11 GI Bill®, Veteran Readiness & Employment (VR&E), Active Duty Tuition Assistance, and MyCAA.

FULLY ACCREDITED

We have high standards and we believe you should too. CIAT has proudly earned accreditation from the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education & Training (ACCET) listed by the U.S. Department of Education as a nationally recognized accrediting agency.

2021 BEST CYBERSECURITY PROGRAMS

CIAT has been awarded top ranking status in Intelligent.com’s Best Cybersecurity Program review, highlighted as “Best For Industry Certifications”. Evaluated based on curriculum quality, graduation rate, reputation, and post-graduate employment.

CIRCLE OF EXCELLENCE AWARD

EC Council, the world's largest cybersecurity technical certification organization, awarded CIAT the Circle of Excellence Award two years in a row for our Certified Ethical Hacker certification training courses and career-ready curriculum.

MILITARY-FRIENDLY

We believe you deserve an education worthy of your service. CIAT welcomes military veterans, active duty service members, and spouses using the Post 9/11 GI Bill®, Veteran Readiness & Employment (VR&E), Active Duty Tuition Assistance, and MyCAA.

FULLY ACCREDITED

We have high standards and we believe you should too. CIAT has proudly earned accreditation from the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education & Training (ACCET) listed by the U.S. Department of Education as a nationally recognized accrediting agency.

Talk to an Advisor

Request an appointment with one of our IT expert Admissions Advisors for personalized guidance on building your education plan. You’ll be able to book an appointment instantly for a time that fits your schedule. 

Enrollment Deadline - March 6th, 2023!

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