How to Become an IT Specialist

IT specialists often work on network administration and security.

IT specialists often work on network administration and security.

Information technology specialist is a job title that cannot be defined by one position. IT specialists can be desktop specialists, networking engineers, developers, system specialists and project managers. The path to becoming an IT Specialist starts with education, innate skills and work place experience. IT specialists are found in almost every industry.

Earn at least a bachelor’s degree in computer or information sciences. Although you may be able to find employment as an IT specialist with just a two-year degree or program certificate, many employers prefer new hires have a four-year degree. Higher-level IT executives may also have a graduate degree in computer science or business.

Assess your skills. If your degree is in engineering, math, business or another field, that doesn’t disqualify you from becoming an IT specialist. Because there are so many different IT paths, consider your strongest skills and move in the direction of positions that foster these skills. For example, desktop specialists and network engineers typically have excellent analytical and problem-solving skills.

Pick a specific IT path within the computer science industry. From software and network assistance to programming, application design, system and Internet security and project management, there are many areas to choose to work in. Decide on a specific path and search for internships and positions in this area.

Find an entry-level IT specialist position. You may start in a job such as desktop support, answering phones and assisting users with computer issues. As a programmer, developer or network engineer, you will start in a junior position before moving up to senior level. IT managers typically have several years of experience in a specialist role before becoming a manager. IT directors often have over five years of work experience while chief information officers may have over 15 years of experience.

 

About the Author

Francine Richards is a licensed multi-state insurance agent with years of human resources and insurance industry experience. Her work has appeared on Blue Cross Blue Shield websites and newsletters, the Houston Chronicle and The Nest. Richards holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications from the University of Maryland.

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