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Information Technology (IT)

An information technology (IT) specialist is a computer support and security administrator who assists companies and organizations with managing hardware, software, networking and solving problems.

These professionals go by a range of titles, including information security analyst and network administrator. They can find work in a wide variety of industries, like business, government and manufacturing. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), network and computer systems administrators earned a median salary of $77,810 in May 2015.

You need familiarity with project management software, customer management software, server operating systems, web platform development software and language platforms, like Microsoft SQL, C++ and Perl. You should also be capable of using computer equipment, such as servers and network analyzers. While certification is voluntary, it is common within the field.

Career Definition for a Microsoft Certified Database Administrator

Microsoft Certified Database Administrators (MCDBA) are simply information technology professionals who have passed a specific exam in order to earn the SQL 2000-based MCDBA credential. Individuals with a Microsoft Certified Database Administrator credential typically work as SQL database administrators, database analysts, database developers or computer scientists. They are involved in database design and programming, security configuration and server maintenance.


Career and Economic Outlook

In 2015, the median annual wage for all database administrators was $81,710, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Some of the highest-paying areas include California, New Jersey and Washington, D.C. The BLS estimates that database administration employment may grow by 11% for the years 2014 through 2024.

Alternative Careers

You can also look into these career choices for computer support:

Network Administrator

For those interested in operating and maintaining network equipment instead of databases, becoming a network administrator could be the right fit. Network administrators explore communication technology needs, hook up and operate networking equipment, test and analyze operational performance, upgrade and repair machines and manage user permissions. Depending on the employer and technology, a computer certificate may be sufficient or a bachelor's degree in computer engineering may be required. Network and computer systems administrators should experience employment growth of 8% during the 2014-2024 decade, according to the BLS, and cloud technology advancements will drive some of the demand for these professionals. As estimated by the BLS in 2014, approximately 382,000 network administrators worked in the U.S. and earned $77,810 in median annual compensation for 2015. Top-paying regions for these professionals include Maryland, New Jersey, and Virginia.

Computer Systems Analyst

If exploring ways to improve an organization's computer technology and managing the installation process sounds intriguing, a career in computer systems analysis should be considered. Systems analysts examine current systems and plan ways to improve functionality. Additionally, they present recommendations to management for approval, determine what equipment should be used, manage installation activities and prepare user documentation manuals. A bachelor's degree is necessary to work in the field, but non-computer majors may be acceptable if an applicant has programming or information technology experience. However, an MBA may be required for more technically advanced positions. In 2014, approximately 567,800 computer systems analysts worked in the U.S., and earned a median annual salary of $85,800 in 2015, according to the BLS. Strong employment growth pf 21% for systems analysts is projected by the BLS from 2014-2024, with almost 119,000 new jobs opening up during this period. Individuals working in Washington, D.C., California, and Virginia receive the highest pay for this career.

MCDST Courses and Classes Overview

A Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate, or MCSA, works with Windows operating system users to solve application, software and hardware problems. MCSAs have the skills and knowledge to work with complex computer systems. Read on to find out what training an aspiring MCSA must have.

Essential Information

Individuals wishing to become an MCSA must first choose which operating system they wish to learn. Two of the most common options are Windows 8 and Windows 10. Professionals seeking certification for Windows 8 must complete two certification exams, while Windows 10 certification only requires one exam. In order to study for these tests, aspiring MCSAs may take several optional preparatory courses.

Those who complete an approved certificate program can pursue careers as technical consultants and help desk technicians. MCSAs wishing to continue their education can attain expert-level certification as a Microsoft Certified Solutions Executive, or MCSE.

The following list contains a few examples of concepts that MCSA courses often contain:

  • Device security
  • Printer access
  • User interface
  • Disks & partitions
  • Device optimization
  • Virtual applications

Help Desk Technician Jobs: Career Options and Requirements

Help desk technicians require little formal education. Learn about the degree options, job duties and certification to see if this is the right career for you.


To be successful as a help desk technician, you must be knowledgeable about computer systems, and have excellent customer service skills. This knowledge, particularly the technological aspects, can be gained through a diploma, certificate or degree program at a technical school or university. Job growth should be faster than average over the next decade, and earning a higher degree in computer science may enhance career prospects.