(tek-nol-uh-jee) (n.)

A branch of knowledge concerned with technical means and their application in daily life. Technology professionals use their knowledge to bridge gaps between life and technology to encourage higher business efficiency and quality of life.

Information technology (IT) professionals make up one segment of all technology professionals. They focus on helping businesses incorporate and maintain technology in their business practices. They must have the expertise required to ensure that business and computer resources are available and widely used in the workplace. A technology professional also provides tools and training to employees on an ongoing basis.

IT professionals must have at least a bachelor's degree in a computer-related field, such as computer engineering, and employers generally require them to be certified in some area of technology. It is common for IT professionals to be Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) certified. They may also have certificates in specialized areas, including computer networking, computer hardware or computer programming. Technology professionals typically work 40-hour weeks plus overtime. Problem-solving, communication and analytical skills are essential for success in this field. Technology professionals must also be detail-oriented, creative thinkers who work well with others. They work in small or large teams, ensuring that the company they work for has the most up-to-date software programs, networks and servers to operate as efficiently as possible.

Professionals in information technology work for private companies, government agencies, educational institutions and any other entity that relies on computers for their daily operations. They install computer servers, design computer programs, provide technical support to staff members, install networks and keep business and customer data secure. IT professionals update and manage computer networks, and they are often the first ones managers and workers contact when computers or hardware malfunction. Most companies have at least one technology professional on staff, and the job outlook for this profession is quite high.

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