October 24, 2017
Information technologies are omnipresent, yet IT engineering remains a mystery to many. To most people, an IT engineer is a wizard behind the screen who makes sure computers work smoothly. To an extent, they might be right, but there is much more to the vocation than just installing a firewall and updating the OS.
And it is important to differentiate between career paths here, because the sector is so prolific and ever-changing, that knowing what exactly to expect from it is the key to becoming a happy IT engineer.
Firstly, IT engineers may either specialize in software development or computer hardware engineering. The first includes computer programming and smartphone apps, and the latter – designing physical products.
IT engineers may expect high salaries and good job prospects. After all, the vocation is in high demand and the market is expanding so rapidly that even better opportunities are to follow. As a matter of fact, the demand for IT engineers has increased by 22% from 2012. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, software development jobs were expected to rise 17% from 2014-2024 – way faster than average.
Hardware engineers earn $84,600 to $135,840 per annum, depending on their skill set. Applications software developers earn $102,160, on average, and systems software developers – $108,760 per annum. Job offers are diverse and abundant, both in public and private sectors. Software developers often work remotely, which allows them to keep to their lifestyle and work from pretty much anywhere in the world.
This is important to keep in mind. Online outsourcing is a rising trend, so if you’d like to turn freelance or work for an international company, the job might prove a good match. Hardware engineering is another matter entirely, and especially in large companies. Hardware engineers make sure that networks operate properly and that every employee does the job without interruptions.
Finally, there are network engineers. They work with computer networks – intranets and extranets, and typically need to be familiar with different network types (LANs, WANs, WLANs, VoIP, etc.).
What about downsides? Every job has some, and IT engineering is by no means an exception. Due to the specific job requirements, IT engineers might be required to work overtime whenever the need arises. Recent research has shown that, on average, IT engineers work approximately 25% more than 40 hours weekly. Work environment might be stressful, especially in large companies where there are many employees. Finally, to aim high, software developers and leading programmer positions may call for an advanced degree.
Being an IT engineer is, as you can see, a demanding job. Certainly it is rewarding, both professionally and salary-wise, but it may be highly stressful. So, how do you become one?
Education comes first. Although requirements vary from employer to employer, a bachelor degree in a computer-related field is expected. Of these there are many – simply choose the one that speaks your name – IT engineering, software engineering, programming, computer science, and so on. For more advanced positions, a master’s degree may be necessary.
Computer-related studies usually incorporate programming, information structures and systems, scripting languages, framework improvement and execution, and operational administration. Depending on the specific field of study, additional specializations may be available.
The tasks of an IT engineer vary greatly, depending on the company size and many other factors (predictable and unforeseen). But (speaking very broadly here!), the tasks every IT engineer is expected to be able to perform include designing system configuration, directing system installation, enforcing system standards, designing and implementing new solutions, maximizing network performance, troubleshooting network problems, securing network systems, and configuring routing/switching equipment and hosted IP voice services.
Network engineers have it especially hard, it would appear. Due to the changing circumstances that strive to meet the demand, IT engineers must have an up-to-date knowledge and understand industry needs. The often overlooked fact is that excellent communication skills are absolutely essential. IT engineers have to communicate with staff who don’t understand their field of work. Yet their work must run smoothly nevertheless. Securing the network and teaching an uninformed employee how to not send that Game of Thrones spoiler to all of their colleagues might be just the beginning. In large companies, teamwork is essential. Yet it is often the case that IT engineers must also be strong individuals capable of troubleshooting whatever issue comes their way – without any supervision. Prioritizing the workload may sometimes be the most challenging part of the job.
As for career advancements, IT engineers may improve their job prospects by becoming certified. Certification options are available through software companies, product and service vendors, and professional organizations (e.g. Cisco). Professional networking opportunities may arise from memberships in professional organizations, which often offer continuing education programs.
As stated above, IT architects often work remotely. Best professionals are, as a rule, offered high-ranked positions that often include traveling abroad (either for continuing education programs or for better career prospects). Biggest IT companies outsource IT engineers from around the globe. After all, they have a team of IT specialists that work jointly to provide uninterrupted performance.
Online outsourcing is the best thing that has happened to IT engineering in ages. Not only has it diversified the market, but it has also created numerous opportunities for professional advancement. In more ways than one, we might add. The fact that businesses can easily find IT engineers with the exact skill set they need pretty much anywhere in the world and not bother about relocation costs means a better salary in the long run. In addition, it also spells continuing education and more job offers for employees. It is a win-win solution that gets perfected by the day.
IT engineering is the future, simply put. With the world turning into a global village before our very eyes, IT engineers may expect only the finest job offers in days to come. Connecting large businesses with remote areas and developing countries is one of the biggest achievements of the interconnected world. Now every IT engineer gets the chance to pick the very finest job and do it at their own terms.
In a Global Freelance Marketplace IT engineer decides to work with computer hardware or software, employers most often require engineers to hold a minimum of bachelor’s degree. The scope of IT engineering is vast. Among those, most sought course is telecom engineering coupled with specializations. Nowadays many people ask about what is IT engineering all about? As this was not the type of major engineering course before, emerged in recent past with exponential growth in global arena of IT (information Technology). In conclusion, there are network engineers too. They work with computer networks – intranets and extranets, and usually need to be familiar with different network types (LANs, WANs, WLANs, VoIP, etc.).