Information Technology

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Information Technology is rightfully regarded as an exciting field that offers great flexibility and great career prospects as well as excellent remuneration.

Information Technology encompasses everything from designing hardware to writing complex software. IT graduates are well rounded, and as a result, they can either specialise or work in a general capacity such as as a company’s in-house IT officer.

IT is increasingly referred to as ICT (Information and Communications Technology) because of the vast developments in internet and communications technologies.

As it is such a broad area, IT can suit people with very different skills and personalities. Anyone with an interest in computers, communications and technology should consider a qualification in this field. An IT degree is also an excellent starting point for many careers outside the technology sector. For example, Business Information Systems prepares students for a wide rage of business management positions.

Education

There is a vast array of IT options. Courses may offer a diverse range of subjects that lead down markedly different career paths. Therefore, students should study the options carefully before deciding. Course titles include Business Information Systems, Computer Engineering, Computer Networking, Computer Science, Computer Systems, Computing, Information Systems, and Information Technology.

There are also plenty of undergraduate and PLC course options available, though the CAO points required vary considerably. Furthermore, students may need a good standard of Leaving Cert maths for some courses.

Most courses feature similar basic IT subjects. These include:

  • Computer Systems
  • Mathematics
  • Programming
  • Internet Development
  • Software Development
  • Operating Systems
  • Computer Architecture
  • Digital Communications

Students will also have the option of specialising in their own particular area of interest. Possible specialist subjects include:

  • E-Commerce
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • IT Security
  • Database Technology
  • Network Management

These are just a few! It is a good idea to check an institutes websites and prospectuses carefully before reaching a decision.

The Work

IT workers typically specialise in a particular area or skill, some of which are outlined below.

People who loves troubleshooting and problem solving make great systems administrators. A system administrator keeps a company’s IT system running. This can involve fixing problems with printers and eradicating a computer virus as well as installing a whole new system.

Network engineers enable employees to access information within a company, as well as from vast databases worldwide. They install and manage the company network along. That means setting up new users, maintaining network security and planning future developments, as well as providing technical support for users.

Computer hardware designers and engineers design and develop computer hardware. This includes chips, robotics, storage drives, as well as video and sound cards, circuit boards, and peripherals such as keyboards, printers, modems, and other ICT devices.

Systems analysts help organisations get the maximum benefit from their ICT equipment, personnel, and business processes. They assess an organisation’s computer system, identify areas for improvement and design IT solutions.

All IT professionals need to continually update their skills. This is because technology rapidly changes. The good news is that many employers help their IT employees to upskill.

Did you know?

Chess world champion Gary Kasparov beat IBM’s Deep Blue computer in a chess match in 1996. The next year the computer roundly won against Kasparov. The dramatic reversal was attributed to Deep Blue’s development in the intervening period. As a result, IBM’s stock rose by 15 per cent.

Further Resources

Irish Computer Society

Wired Magazine

Silicon Republic


Whichcollege.ie

Whichcollege.ie is a national database of universities, colleges, institutes and providers of third level and PLC courses in Ireland. We operate a national search database of courses at certificate, diploma and degree level as well as providing information about career paths and directions.
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