There’s More To The Information Technology Industry Than Programming Careers
Published on: June 24, 2022
Information technology has become integral to the success of most businesses, but many people still believe that this career field only involves programming. This misconception is not helped by Hollywood and television shows where every person working in IT is depicted as some type of hacker with superhuman coding skills. While it is true that programming is a vital component of many jobs in information technology, there are many other options too. Students who dismiss the fast-growing field of information technology because they have no interest in programming are missing out on many exciting and challenging possibilities. Here are just some of the options that are available in the information technology industry.
Is Information Technology All About Programming?
Not everyone is enthusiastic about programming and software development as it involves a fair bit of math, coding, and theory. However, these are not typically the focus of all degrees in information technology. In fact, students with information technology degrees tend to specialize more in fields that involve hardware and servers. Those who want to focus on the programming side of things tend to hold computer science degrees instead.
Do I Need To Learn Programming To Work In The Information Technology Field?
There is some overlap between information technology and computer science in specific career paths, but generally, programming is not a requirement. Instead, skills such as customer service, project management, scheduling, information security, and technical support tend to be more important. However, programming can undoubtedly be an advantage in some fields, but there is usually less emphasis on this skill compared to computer science related jobs. In many cases, it is possible to get by with some basic scripting and programming knowledge, but in general, the focus will be more on hardware as well as business processes. In addition, some information technology degree programs teach students the basics of several computer languages, which provides them with more flexibility when choosing their career paths.
What Are The Benefits of Earning A Degree In Information Technology?
There are many career paths available in information technology, but some of the best options require a bachelor’s degree as the entry-level education requirement. However, employment in this field is projected to grow by 13 percent up to 2030, which is faster than the average for all occupations. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for occupations in this field is also higher than the median annual wage for all occupations (https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/home.htm). This means that students with a degree in information technology can have access to higher-paying jobs and will find a bigger demand for their skills than many of those with other degrees.
What Are Some of the Careers Paths In Information Technology That Does Not Require Programming?
Some career paths in cybersecurity require coding knowledge, such as information security engineering, cyber threat hunting, and penetration testing, but many others do not. Cybersecurity jobs that can be done without programming knowledge include network defense, cyber threat intelligence, vulnerability and patch management, security architecture, compliance, security audit, cybersecurity project management, and more.
Cybersecurity is also not a career path that can only be followed at technology companies. These days numerous industries rely on technology, which means there are jobs available in finance, government, education, entertainment, and healthcare. A cybersecurity career involves ensuring that the data of organizations and users are secured and minimizing the damage if any security measures are breached. Other duties may include creating training documentation and developing the security best practices for clients.
If you have strong mathematical and analytical skills but are not necessarily interested in programming, then a career as a data analyst could be a good fit. This field involves looking at data and using the information to identify key patterns and trends. Doing so can provide organizations with valuable insights into how to reduce expenses, expand their market share, increase profits, and much more.
Data analysts should have good business knowledge along with the ability to become proficient in specific tools and software. These can include data management programs, analytics software, and data visualization software.
**Technical Support Specialist**
A technical support specialist can fulfill various roles within a company depending on the industry in which it operates. While generally no coding skills are required, technical support specialists are expected to be very knowledgeable about specific systems or software and able to assist others with troubleshooting these.
Working as a technical support specialist can involve having to respond to customer inquiries, assisting with resolving technical issues involving computer hardware or software, and assisting with the creation of training materials pertaining to the correct usage of hardware or software within an organization.
While it is a job where knowing how to code can be beneficial, many businesses still use system administrators who are not programmers. System administrators are commonly referred to as sysadmins and are often tasked with everything from setting up new hardware to ensuring that the company email server stays online.
In general, sysadmins work behind the scenes to keep everything running smoothly and to ensure that the upgrading, installation, and configuration of company hardware and software occur without any hitches. As a result, it is a job where familiarity with hardware and in-depth knowledge of operating systems tend to be highly valued.
The field of information technology is filled with a lot of complex and technical information. Technical writers are able to take this information and create the documentation, instruction manuals, or supporting articles to communicate this information more easily.
Technical writers obviously need good communication skills and the ability to simplify technical information in a manner that people with nontechnical backgrounds are able to understand everything.
Coding is undeniably helpful and can help with many career paths, but the bottom line is that it is not for everyone, which is fine. Instead of being discouraged by the number of jobs that require coding skills, focus on the ones mentioned above if you still want to be part of the information technology field. An additional benefit is that many of these jobs can expose you to some coding if you want, making it easier to learn if you ever change your mind.