As mentioned earlier, Information Technology has many components. An I.T. professional is an expert in one area, not all. It is impossible to master all the components since each component is so huge. Therefore if you have decided to enter this profession, or if you are considering this alternative, then you must choose an area of expertise for yourself that you wish to master. Information Technology has 4 major components:
These components have given rise to the following roles in Information Technology:
A Database Administrator is responsible for managing the database. Performance tuning, managing database security, managing audit trail, installing database and tools, creating backup and restoring them is part of his duties. If you choose this role for yourself then you must also decide in which database you want to specialize. Oracle is the most popular database of this era. It possesses more than 75% market share. Therefore becoming an Oracle DBA is a good choice.
An application developer is responsible for developing front-end applications using tools or languages. It is more of a programming job. If you want to become an application developer then you have to decide in which tool or language you want to be an expert. For example you could specialize in Developer/2000 or you can be a C programmer. An application developer should also have a fair knowledge of the database because front-end applications are built in such a way that they can connect to the database to access data.
An Applications Functional Expert is responsible for implementing certain applications. It is not a programming job at all. These experts must know how the application works, and which screen is used for which purpose; and how to perform different tasks in the application. For example, Oracle Financials functional expert will know how to enter invoices in Accounts Payable module and how to run reporting in General Ledger module of the application. Although Oracle Financials is built in Developer/2000, a functional expert of Oracle Financials does not need to understand the programming of Developer/2000. Similarly the programmer of Developer/2000 does not need to understand the overall functionality of Oracle Financials. If you want to become a functional expert then you should choose for yourself an application which is in demand these days. Oracle Financials or SAP is a good choice.
Network Engineer is responsible for maintaining the network in an organization. A network engineer is specialized in one of the networking technologies like NT, CISCO or Novell. This role requires good knowledge of networking software, network protocols, and hardware involved in networking.
Operating system administrator's role is very similar to that of a database administrator. Operating system administrator manages the health of the operating system. Managing directories, managing operating system security, creating backup and restoring them, installing products are all part of his duties. This role involves working closely with database administrators (DBAs) and application developers. This role also requires basic programming skills. Sometimes operating system administrators have to write small programs to automate certain processes. If you choose this role for yourself then you must select an operating system for yourself. Windows NT/2000 and Unix are sound choices.
Project Manager is responsible for managing the I.T. project and bringing it to completion. This person possesses more soft skills than technical skills. This role requires skills of people management, resource planning, writing project plans, managing conflicts and managing time and activities of the team. If you choose this role for yourself then you do not need to possess detailed technical skills. However some basic knowledge of important software and tools would prove handy as this allows project leader to understand the language of technical programmers.