Jidaw Systems
(MASTERCOMPUTERS)


IT PROFESSIONS & CAREER PROFILES

The IT industry offers a wide range of positions that vary in their requirements and expectations. To start an IT career, you should have a reasonable idea of the requirements of the area you're interested in.

What you should do first is to learn about the various career options. What does the job entail? What is your background? What are the skill needs? What are the personality requirements? Answers to these questions should indicate the area that suits you. It is unwise to invest in training or certification, unless you know it's the right program and career path for you.

What I have compiled are career summaries of high demand areas in IT. It is not possible in this report to cover all the details. However, the essence is to introduce these areas to you as a newcomer. You should also do more research on areas you are interested in.

 

THE ENGINEER

The Engineering profession is one of the oldest in IT. Engineering specifically has to do with designing and supporting Computer Hardware. Computer hardware covers a wide range including: Computer Monitors, printers, scanners, keyboards, Multimedia. Engineering is not limited to the PC world. Minicomputers and Mainframe computers are included too. Furthermore, in the IT environment, engineering equipment includes Power Protection equipment such as Stabilizers, Surge protectors and Uninterrupted Power Supplies (UPS).

The Engineer designs the different parts that make up the computer equipment. Design is the major function of the Engineer - design of microprocessors, integrated circuits and circuit boards used in computer equipment. Design is complex, challenging and definitely intellectually stimulating. It is for the creative minded. The creative ability must usually be complemented by research and study efforts. It is the design aspect of engineering along with research that accounts for most of the innovations and new products in Hardware technology. Design requires a solid intellectual background, logical thinking, attention to detail and the ability to focus for long periods.

Another important function of the Engineer is Technical Support. Common titles of Tech Support personnel include: Technical Support Representative, Systems Engineer, Customer Service Representative, Help Desk Support, PC Support Specialist, PC Maintenance Professional, Sales Support Technician, Maintenance Engineer.

Technical support involves the installation, configuration, maintenance and troubleshooting of computers and related equipment. To effectively carry out preventive and curative measures, logical skills and a real understanding of how the equipment works will come into play here.

It involves a fair amount of human interaction. Tech support therefore requires patience, as well as problem-solving and strong communication skills.

 

THE SOFTWARE PROFESSIONAL

Software professionals develop software that drives the hardware. Popular titles are Programmer, Systems analyst or System Developer. These individuals create, manage and maintain software programs. To create such programs you need to learn and master the art using programming languages (code). Popular programming languages are Visual Basic, C++ and Java. It involves gathering requirements, coding and testing.

Programmers create software products based on identified market needs, and or specific user requirements. This allows a lot of room for creative ability and innovative thinking while working to specifications and standards. In performing systems analysis, you interact with users, observe their workflow and attempt to create models that will satisfy the user. It means a certain degree of conceptualization is required. To give the user what the user wants, the analyst must know the working requirements of the user, sometimes to the minute details. You need to love paying attention to details.

Analysts in some organizations may not necessarily start out with a computing background. Often people bring their previous job experience to work with the programming team in understanding user requirements. A programmer may be involved in analysis, or may strictly focus on programming, or both. This depends entirely on the working environment.

Programming, just like engineering design requires logical thinking, attention to detail and the ability to focus for long periods. Although programming routines tend to be more predictable than jobs with a fair amount of troubleshooting, it can be quite intensive with regard to self-development. You must be ready to keep learning programming languages/tools/updates because of continuous enhancements in the way programs are written.

THE NETWORK SPECIALIST

With the growth of the Internet, driven primarily by the merging of Communications and Computers, there is a growing demand for individuals skilled in the technical aspects of this unique convergence. Networking is an area of IT that is developing rapidly, especially with new developments in wireless and mobile computing. No wonder the fastest growing sector in IT now is that of Wireless networking.

Networking encompasses Local Area Network (LAN), Wide Area Network (WAN) and Internet. Networking facilitates communications and the sharing of resources using IT. Just like the Engineer, the Network Engineer is involved in the design, maintenance and troubleshooting of all aspects of the Network environment - Network equipment, the physical Network, Network connections, Network management and Network Software. Popular Networking names and products include Microsoft Windows, Novell Netware, Banyan, US Robotics, Appletalk, Cisco, Agere, Orinoco, 3COM and Linux.

The Network professional not only deploys networks but must also ensure reliability and consistency of the network by handling problems efficiently, and reducing the risk of network failure. You're also expected to keep abreast of the latest in computers and network technology. The job can therefore be quite demanding as you should not only be flexible enough to provide service at any time, but as a network professional you should be expect to work long hours, weekends inclusive. This is a good position for those with problem-solving and analytical thinking skills.

RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT / ACADEMICS

Research and Development is about carrying out scientific and technological investigations that contribute to knowledge for the benefit of society. Design is closely related to Engineering design mentioned earlier. However, research here is not limited to the engineering aspect of IT. Discoveries based on research are useful in virtually all spheres of human endeavour. Research in IT could be useful for mass production of scarce drugs, assisting in finding cures for diseases, Telecommunications, business optimization, Oil, Sports, etc. Today's modern tools, which are now valuable everywhere are the results of years of research.

Research can be extremely satisfying for those who want to "create" or contribute to, knowledge. But a researcher must be extremely dedicated and persistent. Research can be very challenging, as results don't usually come fast. It isn't for "rapid results" people. Research requires patience and focus. A researcher must always realize that research is not an end in itself. Research must be of value to the society. Research obviously requires a solid intellectual background.

Most researchers are also Academics. Academics are involved in teaching and assessing students in all fields of IT. The academic is usually the first expert, aspiring professionals will encounter as they begin their career. Research can be flexible, and could be combined with office, business or industrial work. Obviously, the Researcher must enjoy studying, learning, testing and experimentation.

DATABASE ADMINISTRATION

In the digital world we all depend on databases for vital information. Popular database products are Oracle, Microsoft's SQL Server, IBM's DB2 and Sybase. Database experts make sure that these databases are secure, robust and functional for effective business performance.

The role a database administrator (DBA) plays is essential and can be quite complex. DBAs maintain the information the company needs to carry out its business and be successful. DBAs are responsible for setting up and maintaining corporate databases. It is the DBA's duty to ensure availability, backup, security and efficiency of the database.

Common tasks of the DBA include report generation, backup management, security management, and performance monitoring and tuning. A Database administrator is more of a data facilitator - making sure data is secure, available and is used productively.

Do you love responsibility, planning and attention to detail? Maybe you should consider becoming a DBA. Database administration requires planning and organizational skills as well as a programming background.

INTERNET / WEB DESIGN

Web sites are coming up all the time all over the world. Web professionals develop and maintain web pages and web sites on the Internet. Internet design and development is a combination of two skill sets: Programming as well as art/graphic design. Web development can be regarded as a special form of programming. Web developers are involved in creating models, graphic designs, web page designs, testing and troubleshooting.

Popular Web development tools include HTML, Macromedia's Dreamweaver and Microsoft's Frontpage.

Web development requires creativity and attention to detail. Although programming skills are important, it is also vital that the Web developer has a flair for presentation and aesthetics. Web development in addition involves a fair amount of testing and problem solving.

What I have given is a general guide. There are no hard and fast rules. As a lot depends on opportunities at your disposal and your working environment. In small organizations, the job functions tend to overlap. While larger organizations are more compartmentalized. For example, in certain places, an individual can combine the tech support and networking functions. And in some other places, the function of the programmer, DBA and web designer may be all rolled into one.

As you can see, there really are wide varieties of positions available to you in the IT world. Now it's up to you to find a category of work that fits your background, personality and desires. You may also need to get a practical feel of the job. Also be resourceful in acquiring career information.

A popular and enlightening career forum is the free IT Career seminar series (http://www.jidaw.com/itcareer.html#seminars)

But note that choosing a career path is not all that you need to succeed in IT. Attitude, knowledge and experience are all key success factors.

While there are opportunities in all areas of IT, Technical support is usually regarded as the best area for a beginner to gain a good working knowledge of the basics of the IT profession. You may not make much to start with, but if you are serious you can enhance your value as a professional. Hands-on experience gained especially in the area of problem solving is invaluable for starting an IT Career. PCs can be seen in every sphere of life now. What this means is that it is easier for a newcomer in tech support to get experience and get a foot in the door, as opportunities are virtually limitless. This is quite unlike a newcomer with skills in more complex applications that are not commonplace.

I hope this has given you more information on important career options in the IT industry.

I wish you all the best in your IT Career,

By:

Jide Awe

Jide Awe is the Publisher of Jidaw.com.

 

 What Do you Have to Say? Post Your Comments about this article Here 

Comments

 

May 7, 2010

 

David Adekunle of New York, USA says 

 

 

Great article and very informative. I'm looking to get my certs in 10g or 11g, and was looking for info in this regard. Your article shed some light as to what I should be doing.

 

 

November 27, 2008

 

Farinmade Stephen Adedayo of Lagos, Nigeria says 

 

 

I really appreciate your Article on DBA/DB Application. I have Bsc. Economics together with OCA Certificate, I needed to work in a place where i can practice proper DB, Thank you and God bless.

 

 

October 9, 2008

 

John-Mark Unongo of Kano, Nigeria says 

 

 

Your articles are really eye opening with them as your guide through the vast world of IT you cant really miss out on what you want. KEEP THE GOOD WORK.

 

 

September 15, 2008

 

Terri of Michigan, USA says 

 

 

Thank you very much for this article, as a DBT student, I know have a clearer insight on the field of DBAs and required certs.

 

 

September 1, 2008

 

Johnny of Mississippi, USA says 

 

 

Thank you very much for this article. It gave me a lot of information.

 

 

August 7, 2008

 

Simon O. Ainoko of Abuja, Nigeria says 

 

 

Mr. Jidaw, It seems this very article is posted only to me, because it has given me all information I want. The next step is to run to any of the accredited centre and enroll immediately.

 

 

June 25, 2008

 

Phumeza in Durban, South Africa says 

 

 

Very informative, precisely every information I was looking for. I have made my mind of whether to become DBA or Not! Thanks a lot.

 

 

June 11, 2008

 

M. Sivashankar in Hyderabad, India says 

 

 

I was really impressed with your article.

 

 

June 5, 2008

 

Reddy in Texas, USA says 

 

 

It's awesome. After reading this i came to know what exactly DBA means and what it requires to be one.

 

 

May 22, 2008

 

Ifiok in Kaduna, Nigeria says 

 

 

It is just as true as you made it out. As a certified DBA1, I am determined to be on the lead with all integrity. Information is power and DBAs are not left out. Thanks.

 

 

April 21, 2008

 

Chibueze in Lagos, Nigeria says 

 

 

I'm impressed. I consider the article a balanced Overview, concise and pleasantly presented.

 

 

November 29, 2007

 

VINOTH KUMAR of FIDELITY, CHENNAI, India says 

 

 

Simply one word!!! SUPERB.

 

 

November 27, 2007

 

LC of Joliet Illinois says 

 

 

Very informative article. This has really helped in my decision on becoming a DBA.

 

August 19, 2007

 

Subu of INDIA, @ ORACLE,
Bangalore says 

 

 

Really superb. It gives you the real insight of what a dba is. It was presented well to people who pursue a career in this and for people wanting to pursue a career in this area of expertise. As you told what really matters is whether you have the time to implement what you have learnt at work. Most DBA's have a specific task and few have the oppurtunity to work in what all they have learnt. Opportunity at work is most important than learning.
Good form, keep updating this.

 

July 28, 2007

 

Hardeesh Kapula of Toronto, Canada says 

 

 

Can't thank you enough for this article and also for Difference between Oracle DBA and Oracle Developer. I am an OCA and preparing for OCP. Hoping to get a break in the industry.....

 

July 13, 2007

 

Sherene Long says 

 

 

Just finished reading the article to DBA or not and I was just curious. Is it realistic for me to believe I will get an entry level job as a DBA once I finish my courses. I plan on obtaining an associates degree in database management or should I go for a networking degree instead. Please some advise.

 

July 12, 2007

 

Philippe Lasm from Abidjan, Ivory Coast, West Africa says 

 

 

This the most explicit summarized DBA job document I've ever read in my starting oracle DBA career.

I am looking for a junior position in the local companies running oracle. People are impressed to my c.v at the first sight and give me a call to chat about it, but so far only one real interview. I've had no feedback yet. It may be a problem somewhere. I keep hope anyway.

 

July 8, 2007

 

Nitesh  from Mumbai, India says 

 

Wonderful!

 

June 7, 2007

 

Adepoju Taiwo from Olori Estate. Alimosho, Lagos says 

 

 

This piece is explicit. It's inspiring and must to raead for unstoppable achievements in the certification world especially in database administration.

 

May 8, 2007

 

Javeddildar from upe Jeddah, KSA says 

 

 

Well, it was informative, and supportive and was simple and good. and gave the inspiration for the youngster to go and get the knowledge.

 

Mar 30, 2007

 

Victor from DDD Computer Institute, Ilasamaja. Lagos says 

 

 

Thanks for your article. It is like a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path in the area of IT especially Database. I appreciate your concern. God bless you and keep up the good work. Hope to see you someday. 

 

Mar 28, 2007

 

Mikhail Ola' Adisa from Abesan Estate, Ipaja Lagos says 

 

 

Many thanks for an inspirational and an eye opening article. I just got my OCA certification early this month and I discovered that is not is just all, more still need to be done, more practicals, more reading and total dedication to the challenges ahead. I'm still in school but I hope that articles like this will help prepare a new comer like me for the future challenges of a DBA. Thanks so much for this wonderful article. I expect to read more from you. 

 

Mar 23, 2007

 

Wole from Trinidad and Tobago says 

 

 

Hi Jide, I am really inpressed with this great article. I would have loved to know you in person, and also to give my own part of contribution. please keep up the good work. I'm very sure you would have helped one or two up coming guys out there. 

 

 

Mar 3, 2007

 

STANLY JOHNSON from India says 

 

SIMPLE AND UNDERSTANDABLE. It is a nice article that you have presented to those who have aspirance in Database. 

 

 

Nov 2, 2006

 

Jidaw Systems 

 

Thanks for the observation. Corrected. 

 

Nov 2, 2006

 

Ayo Coker from UK says:

 

Point of correction pl/sql is the query language for oracle while transact-sql is for MS-SQL, There are also different types of DBA, You have a production DBA and a development DBA. 

 

May 12, 2006

Mohammed Saidu Koro from Abuja says:

I was opportune to read some comments and honest advice given to the intending Developers/DBA. I equally benefitted from the piece. I Just got my OCA-DBA and preparing to obtain OCP. As you rightly said that experience is equally important to excel, my major problem now is how to get somewhere to acquire this required experience. I am really ready to get the experience but could not lay my hand on any place for now. I am still in search of one. I shall be grateful if you can help, I don't mind to do it for free as long as I will be exposed to the Oracle environment and see physically how things work. 

 

Alfred from Accra says:

 

Very thoughftul and straight to the point. One really needs to get the experience part right. 

 

Jamie Jones from Trinidad says:

Thank you. You have answered my questions. But MySQL, what is the future?

 

Oditan Douglas from Apapa says:

You are very great and skillful in this field of IT, I was prompted to to take my Java studies seriously so as to become the great DBA, I have craved for. I am a Web design student and by February this year, I will conclude my course that will make me a web programmer.  Please, what is the difference between a DBA and a web programmer?

 

 

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