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Information Technology

BasicBasic Registered User regular
edited December 2007 in Help / Advice Forum
What is it, exactly?

And how many schools offer it as a course? Is it a subset of Computer Science?

I am interested, and I want to know.
Please help. :(

Basic on

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    Xenocide GeekXenocide Geek Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    hardware side of things.

    not to the extent of something like computer engineering where you're making shit, but have you heard of the "IT" guy?

    networking, general computer knowledge, maintenance, installations, etc

    i'm honestly not sure to what extent it goes into, other than if you go down the networking route...

    Xenocide Geek on
    i wanted love, i needed love
    most of all, most of all
    someone said true love was dead
    but i'm bound to fall
    bound to fall for you
    oh what can i do
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    JasconiusJasconius sword criminal mad onlineRegistered User regular
    edited December 2007
    A lot of networking, a lot of company hardware management, probably some database stuff.

    Most likely tech support.

    The company I work for has two guys that share the IT load for the company. They manage our servers, our network, our equipment, and they manage e-mail accounts and hosting packages for clients, al a tech support (web company).

    Jasconius on
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    BasicBasic Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    hardware side of things.

    not to the extent of something like computer engineering where you're making shit, but have you heard of the "IT" guy?

    networking, general computer knowledge, maintenance, installations, etc

    i'm honestly not sure to what extent it goes into, other than if you go down the networking route...
    What are the requirements for IT?
    Do I need a bachelors or something?

    Basic on
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    BasicBasic Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Jasconius wrote: »
    A lot of networking, a lot of company hardware management, probably some database stuff.

    Most likely tech support.

    The company I work for has two guys that share the IT load for the company. They manage our servers, our network, our equipment, and they manage e-mail accounts and hosting packages for clients, al a tech support (web company).

    I see, but what are the requirements for being an "IT" guy?

    Basic on
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    DrFrylockDrFrylock Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    There is no one accepted definition used popularly.

    Sometimes it's used to describe the field containing wide variety of occupations that involve working with information systems (i.e., computers and computing devices). In this sense, any "computer job" would be in the field of Information Technology, whether or not you were a software developer, a system architect, or a guy working at Geek Squad.

    When talking about an academic course, IT is generally focused on the installing and maintaining technological and computing infrastructure. This includes things like installing and maintaining networks, databases, various software packages, servers, doing tech support, and so on. IT people do not generally write or design software or hardware, except perhaps the odd bash script or small Perl or Python script to assist in some maintenance task.

    Because the things you have to do are heavily dependent on knowledge of particular technologies, IT is seen (educationally) as more vocational and less 'academic' than disciplines like computer science, computer engineering, software engineering, and the like. For example, it would be unusual in a traditional CS curriculum to take a class on "Cisco routers" but this wouldn't be out of place in an IT curriculum. CS focuses on more general principles; a CS curriculum might include a course on networking in which you're exposed to how different protocols (TCP, BGP, etc.) work that are implemented by Cisco (and many other vendors') routers. However, at the end of that course, a CS person will still not know how to install a Cisco router.

    Educationally speaking, IT and CS are overlapping disciplines; one is not a subset of the other. As I said, IT is more vocational and focused on infrastructure, CS is more general and focused on the use of computing to solve different kinds of problems.

    DrFrylock on
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    Xenocide GeekXenocide Geek Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    but if you want to be a really cool computer guy, go to school for computer science and study up on the side IT

    that's basically what i'm doing, because the "IT" side of the computer world is ridiculously easy to teach yourself

    but yeah, just what other people said: IT is a discipline in itself, so you can go to a uni and get a four year degree in IT.

    Xenocide Geek on
    i wanted love, i needed love
    most of all, most of all
    someone said true love was dead
    but i'm bound to fall
    bound to fall for you
    oh what can i do
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    meekermeeker Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    I have my BS in IT and I am emplyed as a Business Analyst supporting validation, requirements gathering, protocol writing and project management.

    IT folks don't make the applications, we support them.

    meeker on
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    JasconiusJasconius sword criminal mad onlineRegistered User regular
    edited December 2007
    or Computer Engineering. So you can walk around talking about how you know how to build your own microprocessors and shit.

    Either CompSci or Computer Engineering could lead to IT.

    Jasconius on
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    BasicBasic Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Right now, I am majoring in Computer Science. But I find it so boring, and from what I have seen of IT and what IT guys do, it seems more fun than just sitting there and programming all day. Or telling people how to program in what way.

    So I guess my real question would be: Is IT considered a major? Or can I "specialize" in IT through CS, since they are overlapping disciplines?

    Basic on
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    JasconiusJasconius sword criminal mad onlineRegistered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Some schools have "IT" courses.

    I think you should probably finish your regular CompSci degree. Having a good foundation and understanding of computers in that regard will pay off.

    Jasconius on
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    DrFrylockDrFrylock Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Basic wrote: »
    Jasconius wrote: »
    I see, but what are the requirements for being an "IT" guy?

    There exist Associates and Bachelor's degrees in IT, but not from top-tier universities, since it's not considered a fully academic discipline. Anyone with the requisite skills can be an "IT guy" but many of them obtain an array of commercial certifications pertinent to the technologies they're working with. There are even commercial organizations that don't have any products, they just certify people.

    For example, an A+ certification demonstrates basic aptitude in tech support and computer maintenance. N+ demonstrates a similar level of skill in networking. These certifications are administered and maintained by an organization called COMPTIA. Microsoft has an array of certifications for their own technologies, as does Cisco, Oracle, and others. When you apply for different jobs, employers may or may not take into account (or require) certain certifications.

    You cannot generally "specialize" in IT from a CS program, although you're free to go off and take classes and obtain certifications on your own. Because there's an overlapping (and not subset) relationship between the two, education in one won't necessarily benefit you in trying to get jobs in the other. For example, software development jobs won't care if you have your A+ certification. Because a BSCS is more general, it might (or might not) carry weight in an IT environment. But you won't be able to substitute your BSCS for the requisite certifications; you'd still need those.

    As an analogy:

    IT guy : Computer Scientist :: Car Mechanic : Mechanical Engineer

    DrFrylock on
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    brandotheninjamasterbrandotheninjamaster Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    OP, I wanted to be the "IT" guy for a long time. I tried and tried and then of all things I ended up a security guard for a defense contractor. From there I moved into corporate security processing clearances. Now I finally do IT work. I'm now whats known as an ISSO (Information Systems Security Officer). Basically I do the regular run of the mill IT work, but a huge part of that job is to keep all the computers in compliance with Government requirements. Since it requires a clearance there's not a whole lot of competition and it has a bright future. The next level up is called the ISSM (Information Systems Security Manager) and in some companies can actually pull in 6-figure salaries. Look at what you wanna do, set a goal and make it happen.

    brandotheninjamaster on
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    BasicBasic Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    DrFrylock wrote: »
    Basic wrote: »
    Jasconius wrote: »
    I see, but what are the requirements for being an "IT" guy?

    There exist Associates and Bachelor's degrees in IT, but not from top-tier universities, since it's not considered a fully academic discipline. Anyone with the requisite skills can be an "IT guy" but many of them obtain an array of commercial certifications pertinent to the technologies they're working with. There are even commercial organizations that don't have any products, they just certify people.

    For example, an A+ certification demonstrates basic aptitude in tech support and computer maintenance. N+ demonstrates a similar level of skill in networking. These certifications are administered and maintained by an organization called COMPTIA. Microsoft has an array of certifications for their own technologies, as does Cisco, Oracle, and others. When you apply for different jobs, employers may or may not take into account (or require) certain certifications.

    You cannot generally "specialize" in IT from a CS program, although you're free to go off and take classes and obtain certifications on your own. Because there's an overlapping (and not subset) relationship between the two, education in one won't necessarily benefit you in trying to get jobs in the other. For example, software development jobs won't care if you have your A+ certification. Because a BSCS is more general, it might (or might not) carry weight in an IT environment. But you won't be able to substitute your BSCS for the requisite certifications; you'd still need those.

    As an analogy:

    IT guy : Computer Scientist :: Car Mechanic : Mechanical Engineer

    Thanks, this puts everything into perspective and pretty much answers all my questions. :)

    Basic on
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    Xenocide GeekXenocide Geek Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    i think it's important to note that just because top-tier universities don't offer degrees in IT, that doesn't mean you can't get a really nice job being an IT guy

    if you have some sort of specialty, like dealing with some weird program in a UNIX environment, and are obviously an uncommon specialty, you can get fast tracked to a ridiculous salary, if that's what you're looking for.

    Xenocide Geek on
    i wanted love, i needed love
    most of all, most of all
    someone said true love was dead
    but i'm bound to fall
    bound to fall for you
    oh what can i do
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    DrFrylockDrFrylock Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    i think it's important to note that just because top-tier universities don't offer degrees in IT, that doesn't mean you can't get a really nice job being an IT guy

    if you have some sort of specialty, like dealing with some weird program in a UNIX environment, and are obviously an uncommon specialty, you can get fast tracked to a ridiculous salary, if that's what you're looking for.

    This is absolutely true, and it fits well with the Car Mechanic : Mechanical Engineer analogy. While there may be a general perception that a career as a mechanical engineer is more "prestigious" somehow than being a car mechanic, income levels overlap substantially. There are plenty of car mechanics that work on exotic or expensive cars that make six figure salaries and plenty of mechanical engineers making much, much less.

    There's also a similarity in terms of upward mobility. There's just so far you can go up the food chain as a mechanic before you have to transition out of that job and into a related one (maybe the owner of a chain of repair shops) to move higher. CS and Engineering positions, in some firms, generally have a higher ceiling - you can move up further in that career path before transitioning to another one (e.g., management). For example, many firms have Vice President-level engineering jobs ("Senior Scientist" or "Chief Architect" would be a job like this) that are not in a traditional 'management' career path.

    DrFrylock on
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    VoodooVVoodooV Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    There is an Information Systems Management degree at my college, but I didn't like it because the curriculum was like...80 percent business related classes and only 20 percent actual computer related stuff.

    I always figured it was supposed to be the other way around.

    VoodooV on
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