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Whether you love jobs that are creative, analytic, cutting edge or challenging: your IT career can be anything you want! All you need is a passion for technology, skills and a curious mind.
IT systems support the infrastructure of virtually every industry in the world (not to mention that IT is a sector in its own right!). So there are virtually endless opportunities out there if you are thinking about a career in information technology.
Speaking about IT careers, TAFE NSW St Leonards Head Teacher of Information Technology, Sein-wai Chew said, "The IT world is so broad. It is very dynamic; it has a wide range of jobs from the creative to the technical and everything in-between. It can make you a lot of money, or you can just have a regular, stable salary. And there are lots of jobs. All businesses require IT. New jobs are being invented all the time, especially in the new frontiers of gaming, FinTech, and start-ups. It is a wonderful, creative, lucrative, financially viable area to be in".
Interested? Below you will find a snapshot into the types of IT careers that are out there, and who may be suited to them.
Blending art, design and IT, 3D animators use software to create animations, digital effects and images for use in computer games and programs, as well as in film and TV, advertising, and virtual reality.
Would suit: creative artists and model makers who have strong IT skills.
Games designers come up with the ideas for computer games, including the story, settings and characters. The games are then designed around this formative idea. Games designers know how to structure the development of the game, and how to design it so that it is efficient, gripping and well-paced. They then work with games programmers to plan, develop and launch the game.
Would suit: a creative storyteller who really loves games. They must also have strong project management skills, a serious eye for detail, a high threshold for stress, impressive technical abilities and be able to work in a team.
Games programmers code the game (which was created by a games designer) to make it a reality. They also work with games artists to import assets into the code to flesh it out. Finally, they map the terrain of a game environment, implement artificial intelligence for characters, and connect player input through the game controller into the game action.
Would suit: a logical, rational and creative problem-solving person.
Helpdesk is an entry level IT position. Helpdesk officers speak to clients who are having problems with their computers or IT systems. They tease out exactly what the problem is and then input the problem into their system. They can then either solve the problem based on their own experience and knowledge, pass the problem onto a technical support officer to solve, or refer to a database of common problems and walk the client step by step through the solution based on instructions held in the database.
Would suit: a friendly people-person, who has a logical mind, is customer-oriented, calm and methodical.
Technical support officers are well trained and use their knowledge, skills and experience to solve computer and system problems experienced by people in the organisation they work for, or for clients of software companies.
Would suit: a logical, methodical, analytical person, who is a thorough meticulous problem solver.
Web developers build the back end of websites and applications for companies, government agencies or individuals. This back end development includes programming and database creation.
Would suit: a technically minded person who has a high attention to detail. They must also be customer focused, flexible and be able to work independently.
Web designers look after the front end of website design. This includes the style, layout, graphics, and some coding of websites for companies, government agencies or individuals.
Would suit: a technically minded person with creative flair. They must also have a high attention to detail, be customer focused, flexible and be able to work independently.
Database administrators oversee databases to ensure that they are updated, current and well maintained. They also ensure that if the database is getting to big to function properly, or if user needs are not being met, that management is aware of the problem.
Would suit: a logical, methodical, analytical person, who is a thorough and meticulous problem solver.
One of the highest positions in the IT world, a network architect typically works with a business or an organisation to design platforms of IT delivery/solutions (like LANs, WANs, and company intranets). They decide what operating systems to use, what back-up and security to implement, and what training is needed. They also keep track of all the changes in the industry so they can implement the most optimised tools to run businesses. Finally, network architects need to have an exhaustive knowledge of hardware, software and trends.
Would suit: a strategic thinker who is able to take in a lot of complex information and come up with solutions, and who has great written and oral communication skills.
IT engineers work closely with network architects to design and implement IT solutions. They design computer capacity, databases and the security to keep the data and network safe.
Would suit: a very analytical person who not only loves highly technical IT problems, but is very good at them. They must also be able to communicate well with network architects.
Network administrators see to the day-to-day running of the network. They create IDs and logins for new users coming into the system and they administer the devices attached to the network (printers, scanners, servers, modems). Overall, they make sure that the system runs well without any problems or clogs.
Would suit: a methodical, problem fixer who is user focused.
Software developers primarily understand what users really need and represent these needs in the applications and software that they develop. Using their strong technical skills they then program code to create their software, and follow this with a thorough testing period where they fix any and all potential bugs in the system.
Would suit: a person with strong technical skills, and a good understanding of trends and user needs.
Would suit: a person who is analytical, thorough, insightful, and follows instruction well. They also have a high level of knowledge about industry trends.
The job of a security expert is to make sure that data and networks are safe from viruses, hackers, and disasters (flood, fire, hurricane, etcetera). Security experts design the strategy to back-up data, including how often to back up, and where back up is done (onsite or offsite). They also protect networks from attacks by identifying threats, implementing the best type of protection software and solving security issues.
Would suit: a strategic and analytical thinker who is calm and collected under pressure.
Programmers write code to develop, maintain, debug and test computer programs. Typically, they will use C++ and Java to code.
Would suit: a logical, methodical, meticulous and creative thinker.
A systems manager oversees the use of IT systems (which includes the people using the system and the devices connected to the system). Systems managers also make decisions on what to install, as well as maintenance and upgrades. They also serve as a conduit between management and IT departments within organisations.
Would suit: a level-headed, patient, methodical, people-person who understands process and has great oral and written communication skills.
Systems analysts look at how to optimise IT systems. They look at what problems, challenges and issues the system faces and then they work to anticipate and overcome them.
Would suit: a strategic thinker who is analytical and has good oral and written communication skills.
Digital media specialists are skilled practitioners in a wide range of media creation including, video, sound, animation, web and visual design, and asset creation (particularly for social media).
Would suit: a creative and entrepreneurial person who is skilled in a number of areas (digital, journalism, photography etcetera).
So there you have it, a snapshot of the careers that you could enter in the IT industry. And there are more careers being created every day. The IT industry is always changing and growing, so there's always opportunity. Why not get in now, and in just a few years you could be the next mover and shaker in your area of expertise!
If you're interested in learning more about the qualifications that you need to work in IT, check out TAFE NSW course selection.