Seven Incredible Information Technology Careers and The Degrees You'll Need To Go Full Tony Stark
That’s right. You read the headline correctly…
Full. Tony. Stark.
Information technology careers are not all like the IT Crowd (thanks Hollywood). It doesn’t have to be some nonsense job where you sit at a tiny desk in a dimly lit dungeon changing out CPUs for the endlessly revolving door of the cubicle farm a few floors above you... unless you want that.
No. The Information technology careers we’re talking about are like Elon Musk creating robots. Or Dr. White accidentally creating the first warp bubble (or convincing people that he didn’t). They’re about self-driving cars, humans living on the moon, xenobots that will one day rule over us as benevolent warlords!
Only partially kidding there.
The point is that tech careers are more about pushing technological limits for civilization and preparing humanity to make the next great leap (while also providing great pay and job security). Even the “safe” jobs that have you swapping out CPUs and backing up ITAR-sensitive documents to a secure server are also about advancing civilization.
After all, Tony Stark—the real Tony Stark—isn’t a single person. The real Tony Stark is a myriad of diverse individuals, pooling their collective thoughts into a unified purpose. That’s how we are going to go Full Tony Stark.
And along the way, you get to learn things that humans for six thousand years of recorded history could only explain as magic. And you get good pay, nice perks (have we mentioned the sleep pods?), and jobs that won’t disappear in your lifetime. In fact, the median annual wage for computer and information technology occupations is significantly higher than the national career median according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
So, let’s get to it. We have done some of the homework for you. We’ve compiled our list of worthy careers in the IT world. Now, all you have to do is read on, hit your own internal “like” button on your choice, and take a leap into the next chapter in the Story of You.
Careers in Information Technology (IT)
—List and Overview
- Network Systems Administrator
- Computer Systems Analyst
- Database Administrator
- Systems, Network or Cloud Architect
- Enterprise Architect
- Computer and Information Research Scientists
- Computer and Information Systems Manager
The Expansiveness of Information Technology
In some cases, especially with smaller organizations (like the Avengers), some IT roles may overlap with others. So, you may have the help desk guy also handling cyber security while he dabbles in cloud computing and company analytics. But, in more robust organizations, the full Tony Stark is seen in the variety of individuals making up the whole Tech Team. These people specialize in everything from management of computer systems and networks to information security (cyber security) to cloud computing, to data science and analysis, to web, application, or software development.
Ok. You’ve got my attention. But if these people don’t work at a tiny desk in a dimly lit dungeon and they don’t fight Ultron, then what do they do?
Well, the reality is somewhere in the middle. There may be fight scenes (mostly digital), but, (un)fortunately, there will be fewer lasers.
But there will be ample opportunity, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, estimating a faster than average 13% growth for the information technology sector over the next decade, specifically in high-in-demand areas of cloud computing, collection and storage of big data, and information security (cyber security) sectors. So, let's get to these IT careers.
Network Systems Administrator
These administrators are responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of computer networks. They protect and prevent systems from going down, and can also fix issues that arise as an internal or customer-facing IT Technician. Technical-minded problem solvers who like helping people are perfect for this role. Because, while your trade may be in computers, your customers may often be the people you work with.
Learn more about the Network Systems Administrator career.
Computer Systems Analyst
This role typically includes being responsible for continuously analyzing an organization’s use of systems and technology for efficiency and effectiveness. This person will also be constantly identifying and vetting new, cost-effective technology solutions to enhance current or future systems and outcomes.
Learn more about the Computer Systems Analyst career.
Sometimes also known as Database Architect, this position is essentially the librarian of IT (not exactly like Noah Wyle, but it might be if you’re working for DARPA). This individual manages all the information or CRM systems that the data scientists and cybersecurity specialists analyze and protect, respectively. Databases of information need to be backed up and managed from a practical level, merged onto new platforms, swept up and kept in place for when they are needed.
Learn more about the Database Administrator career.
Systems, Network or Cloud Architect
While the average IT administrators keep things running smoothly on a day-to-day basis, the Systems and Network and Cloud Architects establish the WANs and LANs, intranets, cloud infrastructure operations, and end-to-end integrated systems. They do a lot of strategic planning with their IT managers as well as the execution of updates, and the setup, monitoring, and analyzing the hardware and software within computer network systems for a company to do its business.
Ranked #1 on Glassdoor's 50 Best Jobs in America for 2022
The Enterprise Architect, aka The Architect (like in the Matrix) is the one who makes the master IT plan. These IT Jedi have moved beyond the Padawan stage of training and into the Knight phase establishing the battle plans and methods of data concentration for an organization. The entire infrastructure for the IT platform and its success in fulfilling business needs falls on their shoulders. Their work is difficult, requiring diligent documentation, strategic planning, and discussion with various departments and leadership teams, but these are the ones with an eye on the big picture making sure information flows smoothly.
Learn more about the Enterprise Architect career.
But wait, what about other cybersecurity or software, application and web developer IT careers?
Don’t worry. We’ll absolutely cover that. These popular IT fields deserve their own spotlight.
Other Top Information Technology Careers
Information Security (InfoSec) and Cyber Security Careers
Careers in what you might consider the ‘dark side’ of the IT department are responsible for securing an organization and all its information, data, intellectual property, and people. InfoSec specialists are essentially Batman, being trained digital detectives that work diligently to prevent internal and external threats. Many of these white-hat heroes are also ethical hackers that work to expose weaknesses in security in order to prevent terrible things from happening... terrible things like zero-day vulnerabilities that can wreak havoc on an organization, a hacker’s (and Joker’s) dream. If you are interested in cyber security and protecting the free world, learn more here.
Software Engineering Careers
Software development and engineering careers aside from a high level can encompass a wide range of specialties and purposes from the development of algorithms and complex software designs to mobile, frameworks, and multiple programming languages. It can blanket everything from application development to artificial intelligence, data science, and more. Year after year, software developer ranks as a top career and we’ve got the scoop on why and some of the top, in-demand software engineering careers, salary information, and more here.
Requirements for Information Technology Careers
So, how does one become trained in all things information technology?
But first, you would need to acquire a highly technical and thorough education to gain the skills and knowledge needed for these jobs. And you would need to make sure that you gain this education from a reputable institution such as UAT’s Advancing Computer Science or one of three Cyber Security bachelor's degree programs.
A benefit to choosing a program through UAT, a 100% STEM University focused primarily on technology education, is that you can earn your degree in less than 3 years, which allows many to hit the job market and become income positive, sooner. Which as we all know is better than being income positive later.
And What If I Want More, But Not In An Evil Genius Way?
So, being an IT wizard isn’t enough, huh? You want to guide all the others and become the Jedi Master. Makes sense.
But wanting to be a Jedi Master doesn’t make you one. Lucky for you (or maybe because the Force is with you) UAT is there to get you the higher education needed. And coincidentally, they are called—Master’s programs.
Computer and Information Research Scientists
Of all the jobs listed here that are closest to being Tony Stark, this is it. Computer scientists look at the world of computing then look at a problem and say to computing, “Well, you’re good, but we can do better.” Then they set out to push the boundaries of what computers are currently doing and make them do brand new things or make the old things even better. These are the innovators, the creators. And who knows? You enter into this field and you might end up like these guys and win an Academy Award.
Learn more about the Computer and Information Research Scientist
Computer and Informatics Systems Manager
If you love technology AND want to manage people and processes at a higher level, this IT Management position might be a career to set your path for. This is a great career for the technically minded individual who is also a people person. Having this job won’t have you staring at code for eight to ten hours a day, but there will be times when you do elbows deep into some murky Python-filled code.
More than that, though, you’ll be managing people who do that work. Management is a whole different skill set than doing a thing like coding. Companies often make the mistake of promoting someone who is good at doing a thing to the position of managing people who do a thing. Unfortunately, though, being good at doing a thing and being good at managing people who do a thing are not the same thing.
And so, if management is really your goal, then don’t stop with your bachelor's. Put yourself in a prime position to be in management and go straight into a Master of Science (MS) in Technology Leadership, Technology Innovation, Software Engineering or Cyber Security degree program like the ones you’ll find at UAT.
With these programs, you’ll not only gain the knowledge and skills you can only find in these elite graduate programs — but you’ll also earn certificates along the way for modules you complete. Modules that you can use to prove your new expertise and put you on a growth track within your leadership team.
And, if you’re already employed, perhaps you can take advantage of an employer tuition reimbursement benefit to help you cover the costs of your investment since they’re also benefiting from your training.
Then again, if you go full-time, you could accomplish two milestone degrees, all while most of your peers are still working on their bachelor’s degrees. And, who knows, maybe you will be interviewing to be their manager when you both hit the job market.
Learn more about the Computer and Informatics System Manager career.
A UAT student uses the New Technologies (NT) Lab to work on their Student Innovation Project.
The High Road To a Highly Rewarding Career
The world doesn’t move on its own. It takes people willing to make the tough calls and do the work. IT is no different. But you have to find an institution of higher education that will build you up into an IT powerhouse. Just look at John Hawley, UAT alumnus and Sr. Informatics Analysts for Aetna. When asked about his time at UAT, he said,
“My UAT education did a great job in helping to kick off my technical career. It provided a solid foundation in logic and technical concepts that allowed for future growth in multiple fields.”
Did you catch that last part? “Future growth.” After all, that’s what it’s really about. Making an investment in yourself now, so that it pays off in the future.
So, what are you waiting for? The world won’t wait on you, but UAT will. Give us a call and get started.