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What is Information Technology?

While is a common belief that Information Technology refers to computers and the engineering science dealing with the use of computers to gather, store, transmit and retrieve information, that is perhaps an over simplified explanation. With rapid changes in communication, it comes as no surprise that information technology is an evolving field that affects all levels of society. Information technology often combines web technology, cloud computing, bioinformatics, and global information systems with other large-scale knowledge bases to facilitate communication of media in any form. Since information technology depends upon the use of computers to process, store, transmit, and edit vast volumes of data worldwide, it is easy to see how the terms computer technology, engineering technology, and information technology are interchanged at times. Depending on the industry and resource consulted, it is likely you will find definitions for information technology ranging from simple to complex. The one area all agree upon is that information technology involves the use of computer systems, software, and computer technology to track, transmit, secure, and manage information from simple inter-office communication to complex global information exchanges.

Information Technology provides four main services vital to businesses and communities. These four main services include:

  • Automated business processing
  • Providing and sharing data in various media
  • Connecting clients, consumers, businesses or organizations
  • Increasing productivity through rapid transfer of information and communication venues

Information technology involves the use of computers and computer applications to manage, process, and distribute information however, it is important to remember that people are behind the technology at both ends of the system. Information technology is very much a part of the way we communicate between individuals, organizations, businesses, and communities. The emerging health care reform will create a demand for more information technology professionals as the health care system works to connect networks that will track, manage, and transfer important data between health care providers and team members. Other major businesses that have outsourced IT jobs overseas are beginning to bring those jobs back in house or local and are also looking for individuals with specialized information technology degrees to get the jobs done.

Though there are some information technician positions you may find that do not require a college degree, most entry-level information technology positions do require a Bachelor level information technology degree in computer science, communications, or a related field. To advance as an information technology specialist, you will need to plan on a graduate information technology degree as well as specific certifications for some positions. Most programs offering information technology degrees require several years of experience working in the IT field before you apply to pursue a Master’s degree. Not all programs offering information technology degrees are alike. It is important that you do some research to find a program offering an information technology degree that matches your field of interest. You may obtain a graduate degree online or in a traditional campus setting.

Information technology degrees offer you the opportunity to be involved in the ever-changing field of communication and computers that society depends upon now and in the future. Information technology once was limited to computers. However, with the expansion of wireless mobile devices, such as PDAs, cell phones and more, the field of wireless technology offers even more opportunities for those interested in this growing market. Computer engineers, computer software and hardware designers, and an ever-growing field of specialists are needed to support the rapid growth in the field of information technology. The list of possible technical information careers continues to grow each year. If you have a passion for technology, a curiosity about the way systems can be made to work efficiently, and the wish to be a part an evolving technology, the field of information technology may be your key to an exciting career future.