IT Jobs


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IT Jobs

  1. 1. Central Bank of Barbados SECONDARY SCHOOLS OUTREACH PROGRAMME Information Technology Fair “Information Technology and Education - Investing in our Future” November 8 - 10, 2004 IT Jobs & Careers An overview compiled by Management Information Systems Department
  2. 2. Information technology is widely used today in almost every sector of the economy. Once you obtain a computing degree/diploma/certificate you would be an asset to many employers. Qualities that a person seeking a career in IT needs to possess are as follows: ! Academic attainment ! good oral and written communication skills ! team working capabilities ! logical and analytical problem-solving ability ! business and customer orientation ! flexibility and ability to learn ! self-reliance and ability to work independently ! capacity to gain a thorough knowledge of the relevant speciality area ! willingness to continuously update personal IT skills and knowledge Within computing, job titles and their definitions are never as clear- cut as they may seem. There may be some overlap and depending on the size of the company, some or all of the listed activities may be carried out. The following job titles are those that employers may use: 1) Software Engineer or Computer Programmer or Software Developer 2) Database Administrator 3) Information Systems Manager 4) Systems Analyst/Designer or Systems Developer or Applications Developer or Applications Systems Analyst 5) IT Analyst a. Applications Systems Analyst b. Network Analyst 6) Web Designer 7) IT Trainer 8) Network Engineer or Systems Administrator or Network Support or Systems Support 9) IT Consultant 10) Multi-Media Engineer 11) IT Sales Professional 12) IT Technical Support Officer
  3. 3. 13) Technical writer 14) IT Auditor 15) IT Security Officer 16) Tester 17) IT Educator/Lecturer 18) Business Analyst 1.) Software Engineer/Computer Programmer/Software Developer Two main types of software are: 1. systems software - runs the computer’s operating systems; 2. applications software – end-user programs used to create spreadsheets, documents etc. and specialized programs to achieve specific outputs, e.g. accounting or banking applications. Typical work activities can include: ▪ using various computer programming languages; ▪ designing, coding, testing and implementing new software programs; ▪ modifying existing systems by analysing areas to be changed; ▪ maintaining systems by correcting software defects; ▪ investigating new trends and technologies; ▪ creating specification and test documents; ▪ writing user documentation; ▪ working closely with other employees, e.g. project managers, graphic artists, systems analysts; ▪ consulting users concerning maintenance and performance of software systems. For many years, most manufacturing and commercial functions have relied on IT systems. Some computer programmers have moved away from developing new systems from scratch and now usually create an environment by 'bolting together' existing software products. In other words, merging incompatible platforms by creating code and providing appropriate interfaces. 2.) Database Administrator All information systems rely on data. A bank, for example, securely stores hundreds of thousands of account numbers, names, balances and
  4. 4. transactions. An air traffic control centre stores flight paths, airplane codes, arrival and departure times, speeds, heights, directions, weather information etc…- All this data needs to be stored in a database and be correct and available for assessment and complex calculations. Database administrator jobs will vary according to each organisation and the level of responsibility associated with the post. Typical work activities can include: ▪ controlling access, tuning and performance monitoring; ▪ ensuring that the database(s) is updated regularly and accurately; assisting development team with application design; ▪ identifying and resolving users' problems; ▪ developing and implementing maintenance procedures; ▪ collaborating in the database’s design and development to meet new user requirements and respond to/anticipate technological innovations; ▪ facilitating the increasing demand for access to data (via an organisation's intranet or website); ▪ devising, developing and implementing disaster recovery and archiving procedures; ▪ giving users support by guiding them through a solution to a problem; ▪ working closely with IT project managers, web developers and database programmers; ▪ planning and co-ordinating database security measures; ▪ communicating regularly with technical and applications employees to ensure database integrity and security; ▪ installing new applications. 3.) Information Systems Manager Typical work activities can include: ▪ evaluating user requirements and system functionality; ▪ ensuring that IT facilities meet user and project requirements; ▪ planning, developing and implementing the IT budget; ▪ scheduling upgrades and security backups of hardware/software systems; ▪ researching and installing new systems; ▪ ensuring that all IT systems work successfully; ▪ ensuring that all software is licensed;
  5. 5. ▪ ensuring remote users have secure network access and data is secure from internal and external attacks; ▪ providing users with appropriate support/advice; ▪ managing technical software/hardware problems; ▪ training new IT staff; familiarising oneself with latest IT trends and technologies. 4.) Systems Analyst/Designer or Systems Developer or Applications Developer or Applications Systems Analyst Typical work activities can include: ▪ being involved in systems analysis and costing; ▪ assessing the best way to implement the system; ▪ consulting with clients and collecting their requirements; ▪ defining software/hardware and network requirements; ▪ writing, designing, testing, diagnosing, installing and maintaining newly programmed systems (e.g. coding systems to control user access or a mainframe’s job schedules) ▪ investigating and creating innovative solutions; ▪ writing user documentation, progress status reports, proposals, hardware/software specifications; ▪ planning and implementing application installations; ▪ working in teams with other staff; ▪ training end users; ▪ assisting with or developing websites and networks; ▪ researching manuals and technical reports to assist with programming. 5.) IT Analyst An IT Analyst will also have similar responsibilities as the systems analyst/designer above, however they may specialise as: a) Applications Systems Analyst Typical work activities can include: ▪ data modelling to create various solution scenarios to solve user problems; ▪ analyzing system components, i.e. data flow; ▪ producing definitions, process flow documentation, rules and instructions to assist the designers and programmers;
  6. 6. ▪ drawing detailed design documents, using charts and diagrams that describe the system easily for users. b) Network Analyst Typical work activities can include: ▪ defining a network strategy that would include determining network size, capacity, configuration and equipment; ▪ analysing data flows and technical requirements; ▪ investigating physical space requirements for network equipment; ▪ liaising with network system management to ensure the user needs are met; working with network designers and programmers to build and implement network solutions. 6.) Web Designer Typical work activities can include: ▪ liaising with client at the design stage to collect requirements and other site specific questions; ▪ collecting information from the client that is needed to construct the site; ▪ designing a demo site for the client’s modifications/approval; ▪ coding with a combination of programming languages such as hypertext mark-up language (HTML), Javascript, ColdFusion, Java, Perl and Flash; ▪ using code generating programs such as Dreamweaver; ▪ testing the site for functionality in different browsers and at different resolutions; ▪ uploading the website on to the internet; ▪ maintaining a personal portfolio of work completed. 7.) IT Trainer There are two groups of IT trainers: 1. Desktop applications software trainers: off- the-shelf software e.g. word-processing and applications created by the company’s in- house developers. 2. Technical trainers: teach new software engineers/technicians Typical work activities can include: ▪ analysing training needs;
  7. 7. ▪ writing course materials and other documentation to support users; ▪ designing, organising, setting up, advertising and delivering courses to meet learner needs; ▪ assessing learner performance; ▪ monitoring, evaluating and reviewing the quality and effectiveness of training, assessment and outcomes of courses delivered; ▪ liaising with software developers and technical authors on client feedback, with external course providers, employers, clients and examining bodies; ▪ maintaining training hardware and software; ▪ keeping abreast with the latest systems, software and programming languages. 8.) Network Engineer or Systems Administrator or Network Support or Systems Support A Systems Administrator’s primary job function is to manage/maintain computer and network systems. Network Engineers, Network Support or Systems Support all share similar tasks to the Systems Administrator. Typical work activities can include: ▪ installing and supporting server software and hardware infrastructure; ▪ making sure that software/hardware systems are maintained; ▪ assigning network resources; ▪ providing technical support to users at all levels; ▪ ensuring the most cost effective and efficient use of servers; ▪ recommending and providing IT solutions to business and management problems (where applicable); ▪ ensuring IT equipment is compliant with industry standards; ▪ “trouble-shooting” problems to find a solution; ▪ implementing and monitoring network security; ▪ training users and providing written manuals; ▪ supervising other staff, for example, helpdesk technicians; ▪ working closely with other departments/organisations to analyse requirements or solve problems; ▪ planning and implementing future IT developments; ▪ managing the website and keeping internal networks running; ▪ monitoring the use of the web by employees.
  8. 8. 9.) IT Consultant These highly experienced IT professionals give independent advice on how to solve business problems using information technology. Some companies may recruit staff as junior consultants to be trained in specific technical and business skills. Typical work activities can include: ▪ working with clients to determine the scopes of the projects, defining the system requirements, planning timescales, analysing problems, understanding their work practices, making recommendations and implementing agreed solutions; ▪ visiting customer sites; ▪ liaising with employees at all levels of the client’s organisation; ▪ defining requirements (e.g. software, hardware, network); ▪ presenting solutions or progress via reports and oral presentations; ▪ managing the project’s design and implementation; ▪ researching and keeping abreast of the latest IT technologies and software; ▪ purchasing or designing, testing, installing and maintaining new systems; ▪ arranging user training; ▪ being involved in computer sales and support; 10.) Multimedia Programmer These types of programmers with computing backgrounds, combine sound, text, images, digital animation, video and sometimes virtual reality to create a multimedia product. This product would then be used on platforms such as the internet, in-house intranet, computer games or mobile phones. Multimedia scope includes: ▪ business software; ▪ computer games; ▪ corporate promotional materials; ▪ e-commerce; ▪ internet marketing;
  9. 9. ▪ education and business learning materials; ▪ product design, testing, simulation and demonstration, for example, use of computer aided design(CAD), 3D and virtual reality. Typical work activities can include: ▪ working in a team; ▪ keeping abreast with the latest technologies in the multimedia arena; ▪ meeting client needs effectively; ▪ ensuring that the final product is easy to use and attractive. Multimedia programmers use programming languages such as Actionscript (similar to Javascript, used in Macromedia flash), C++, Visual Basic, HTML(hyper text markup language). Programmers may also have to develop databases for customers when dealing with e-commerce projects. 11.) IT Sales Professional Typical work activities can include: ▪ gaining detailed and thorough knowledge of technical specifications and other features of employer’s systems; ▪ keeping abreast with the latest software and its features, hardware systems and peripherals; ▪ understanding business needs of the customer and tailoring the company's products to meet those needs; ▪ writing and designing sales literature to market and promote products, tenders, technical proposals and reports; ▪ conducting presentations and demonstrating products; ▪ assisting customers with technical advice on the installation and use of computer systems and networks, both before and after the sale of the systems; ▪ liaising with clients via courtesy and follow-up calls; ▪ providing customers with solutions to problems via telephone or site visits. 12.) IT Technical Support Officer Technical support officers maintain computers and sort out
  10. 10. problems, whether on a network or individual PCs in large organisations. Typical work activities can include: ▪ installing and configuring computer systems; ▪ maintaining some parts of a computer network, such as work stations, file servers, printers, scanners and other peripherals; ▪ questioning clients patiently about a problem; ▪ diagnosing and solving hardware faults; ▪ solving all problems resourcefully; ▪ replacing parts as required; ▪ following diagrams and written instructions to repair a fault or set up a system; ▪ applying logical thinking to think of solutions to problems; ▪ accepting responsibility for the quality of repair work; ▪ working under considerable pressure to achieve immediate results in all situations; ▪ responding within agreed time limits; ▪ working continuously on a task until completion or referral to third parties, if appropriate; ▪ explaining procedures to clients; ▪ dealing with several different problems at a time; ▪ establishing rapidly a good working relationship with colleagues, vendors and clients; ▪ testing/evaluating new technology; ▪ conducting electrical safety checks on computer equipment. 13.) Technical Writer A technical writer/author designs and writes documentation for users in a technical, yet comprehensible way. The writer, in effect, creates an interface between the developer and the user with the technical document. This technical information may be represented as a manual, online help, CD or web-based system. According to the Higher Education Careers Services Unit in the U.K, there is an increasing demand for persons to develop online help systems using HTML (HyperText Markup Language). Typical work activities can include: ▪ writing a technical document that is easy to use and comprehend;
  11. 11. ▪ keeping abreast of the developments that may have affected the technical documentation; ▪ attending external and/or internal training; ▪ having a good understanding of the systems/applications; ▪ clarifying user needs to ensure that the technical document is accurate; ▪ researching and collecting information needed by users; ▪ using document standards, formats and styles that reflect the user organisation; ▪ cataloguing and indexing material; ▪ working in a team, e.g. in-house developers, sales specialists, supervisors; ▪ testing documentation with the system/application to ensure document accuracy; ▪ determining the order, organisation and design of information; ▪ promoting skills and services to potential clients. 14.) IT Auditor IT auditors assist with system design (to some extent) and monitor control systems to ensure that developers and designers create a system that has accurate and secure data. IT Auditors also review the use of computer facilities in the computing environment of an organisation. These auditors then report their findings and opinions of the operations of computer systems to their managers. To perform their tasks more effectively, these auditors must understand the accounting and IT implications of the computer systems. Typical work activities can include: ▪ analysing information processing systems to assess their completeness, accuracy, validity and efficiency; ▪ assessing business systems to gauge the accurateness, completeness and timeliness of transaction processing; ▪ reviewing applications systems and their business procedures in achieving desired business objectives; ▪ participating in new system design to ensure an efficient, effective and well-controlled system; ▪ evaluating the organisation's computing environment for effective systems software, development and security procedures;
  12. 12. ▪ checking software and hardware acquisition in terms of economy, efficiency and ability to deliver operationally; ▪ checking and reporting on the usage of computing facilities; ▪ working with data processing management and system users; ▪ writing reports and recommendations for improvement in computing facility management. 15.) IT Security Officer An IT security officer’s duty is to ensure that an organisation’s security architecture is aligned to security policies and tactical operating processes, procedures and standards to protect information assets and the computing infrastructure. Typical work activities can include: ▪ administering an information security program that minimises security risks; ▪ creating and fostering an information protection conscience; ▪ enhancing the quality, efficiency and effectiveness of security; ▪ defining security policies, strategies and tactical operating processes, procedures and standards to protect information assets and computing infrastructure; ▪ overseeing security administration rules; ▪ ensuring compliance with all security policies, standards and processes; ▪ evaluating new threats and implementing solutions to mitigate risks to an acceptable level; ▪ acting as technical advisor for all tactical and operational security activities; ▪ developing, installing and maintaining appropriate security mechanisms; ▪ contributing to a team effort by accomplishing other job related results as needed; ▪ working outside of normal working hours.
  13. 13. 16.) Tester Most, if not all IT and IT-related jobs involve some kind or level of testing. Testing involves many iterations of trial-error and correcting problems, inefficiencies or incorrect user requirements. 17.) IT Educator/Lecturer IT educators teach one or more specialised IT subjects, they provide instruction, assist with the planning, administering and coordinating of training. Typical work activities can include: ▪ developing course and instructional material including student handouts, training exercises, visual aids, and reference material; ▪ planning, designing and coordinating training programs; ▪ assessing and analysing training needs; ▪ conducting lectures; ▪ assessing students in various settings; ▪ maintaining student and client records; ▪ evaluating learning effectiveness in various contexts; ▪ preparing reports for management on training budgets and outcomes; ▪ liaising with experts in the areas where IT is being applied, developers and suppliers of new IT products; ▪ keeping abreast of the latest IT technologies, programming languages and teaching methods to maintain valid personal knowledge and skill. 18.) Business Analyst This type of analyst acts as a liaison between people who have a business problem and people who know how to create automated solutions using technology. Typical work activities can include: ▪ defining the scope of the project; ▪ gathering, documenting and communicating the requirements; ▪ identifying possible solution(s); ▪ verifying which is the best solution that meets the requirements.
  14. 14. References ▪ As_it_is/p!empXje ▪ Key_roles/p!elkbFp ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪