Let’s quickly take a look at what topics this blog will cover to get you acquainted with what entails a career as an IT Engineer and how you can pursue it. It can be difficult and confusing for newbies to know where to start as well as finding the best paths that can lead them to a successful career in IT Engineering. Before we move on with the article, understand that there is no single path that will help you to enter this ever-popular and in-demand field.
Watch this video to learn about the different career paths for Software Engineers.
IT engineers are employed across diverse fields and industries and their skills are utilized to build, install, or troubleshoot software programs and technology. This is only the shortest definition of what IT Engineering includes. Let’s dive into a more comprehensive understanding of the subject matter.
What is IT Engineering?
So, what exactly is IT Engineering? It involves the study, design, development, application, management, and support of computer-based information systems (hardware and software applications, in particular). IT Engineers are there to ensure that the systems are working as required. Nearly every company, big or small, requires IT Engineering for the smooth running of its business
Technology has always played a significant role in solving various issues in the world, drastically reducing the efforts of thousands of workers through the introduction of software.
What does an IT Engineer do?
In short, IT Engineers manage and handle software, hardware, and networks in an organization. They design and build software and processes to ensure IT processing is smooth as possible. The job of an IT Engineer may vary due to both predictable or unpredictable factors. But broadly speaking, IT Engineers handle system installations, design system configurations, set and enforce system standards, design and apply customized solutions, secure networks, optimize and troubleshoot network performance, configure switching or routing devices and hosted IP voice services.
IT Engineers work in a team and may report to an IT Manager. IT Engineers can also be specialists in one area of the computer system.
IT Engineer Roles and Responsibilities
System Development – Create an IT or computer system customized to the organization’s requirements with the help of programming, scripting, planning, configuring, testing, and monitoring.
Document Work – Document system configurations, system updates, and new procedures or policies introduced. These documentations are then used by other IT teams to see what changes or creations have been made.
Manage Projects – Project Managers oversee IT teams and coordinate with vendors and internal users when implementing new systems. They also arrange meetings, present information, and order supplies and equipment for ongoing projects.
Identify and Resolve System Issues – Study the organization’s computer system, identify areas for improvements or overhauls, and introduce the necessary changes with skills in assessment techniques, design, and installation.
IT Engineer Skills
- Knowledge of IT systems, security protocols, database systems, and networking infrastructures
- Management of multiple projects at the same time
- Crafting of IT solutions by working with interdisciplinary teams
- Communication of technical and complex information to an audience with no technical knowledge
- Troubleshooting of technical issues
Most employers do not usually list them but have been seen to include the following skills as preferred.
- Program certifications in Microsoft, SQL, VMWare, and Oracle
- Skills in compiled programming languages like C++ or FORTRAN
- Web app development
How to become IT Engineer?
To become an IT Engineer, it goes without saying that you will require to have a good knowledge of computer science, mathematics, and also some English. They should know all popular programming languages. Additionally, abstract ability and analytical skills are essential in this field.
As most times, a complex project involves a team of specialists, good and disciplined teamwork can not be left out of the list.
To become successful, one has to be ready for a lifetime of learning due to the constant evolution and upheavals in the field of IT.
An IT Engineer usually holds a degree or has had an education in the IT field. However, let’s not rule out the self-taught professionals and career changers who have also been known to have successful careers in the field through demonstration of their work.
- +2: Have to graduate in the science stream
- Bachelor’s degree in Information Technology
- Master’s degree in Information Technology (Optional)
Anyone with a Bachelor’s degree in IT is almost immediately employable. From there on, one can choose to climb higher up the ladder by acquiring more experience and honing their skills. Some pursue Masters in Business Information Systems or other similar specializations. However, despite all that, IT remains a field where experience and skills trump degrees.
How to go about building a career in IT?
1. Pursue Computer Science Related Fields and Degree
A traditional way to follow a career path in IT Engineering is studying Computer Science or taking up related courses. Subjects in Computer Science include programming languages, mathematics, database system, data structures, web technology, computer networks, algorithms, etc. These subjects build a comprehensive understanding of the field.
A number of employers ask for a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science or any related field. But, it’s important to understand that relying just on a degree won’t get you far unless you have a fairly good experience on real-time projects and practical skills. Also, you will need to showcase your practical knowledge to the recruiter.
Again, to repeat what has been mentioned earlier, a Computer Science degree is not mandatory to become an IT engineer. You can also learn programming by attending online computer courses, offline classes, or coding boot camps. Bootcamps are ideal for building a basic foundation of the fundamentals and help students acquire practical skills to help them further their career as Software Developers.
2. Acquire Proficiency in Programming Languages
Without a deep understanding of any programming language, you can not move forward and hope to start developing software. Choose any programming language that you prefer and the goal should be to be proficient in it with in-depth knowledge.
You can start by learning the syntax of the language and practicing writing programs. You can then move on to study libraries, features, rules, projects, etc. Depending on a specific language, you can work on projects and concepts. You can also learn and practice from and on a lot of websites that are available.
Sign up for the C programming course offered by Intellipaat.
3. Study Data Structures and Algorithms
An algorithm is a step-by-step approach to come up with solutions to specific problems. Data structures, on the other hand, helps in organizing data. These two concepts are key to solving problems in the least amount of time and memory possible.
It is highly recommended to study data structures and algorithms, along with mathematics to help with analysis and for suitable algorithm designs. You can go through online portals and sites that can teach you these essential topics.
Have you checked out Intellipaat’s Data Structures course yet?
4. Enhance Your Skills
Understand that it is a never-ending journey and your education does not stop with your degree. While a degree helps in understanding the core concepts, knowing how to implement that knowledge practically is what will make a difference in your IT career.
Practicing and keeping yourself updated on new software, tools and technologies will get you far.
StackOverflow is a great site to browse through for programming-related queries and learning from other programmers. Sign up to relevant communities, create your network, attend meetups, watch online videos, look up informative blogs, and use practice sites. One can learn a lot over the internet.
5. Design and Build Software or Projects
Employers are interested in learning about your experience in projects. There is no point in learning all the theoretical concepts if you don’t know how to implement that practically. So, make sure to improve your skills by working on different personal or professional projects and software development.
Internships give students a lot of exposure and hands-on industry experience and in the process opening up a lot of job opportunities. Many companies offer internships to students to help them gain experience in industry projects. The interns acquire practical skills and knowledge and learn how to work in a team. It is also a great way to adapt to the work culture.
Internships, generally, last up to three or six months. It is recommended that every student take up internship programs during their college time. Sometimes, internships also later convert to full-time job opportunities in the same company.
Scope of IT Engineering
IT Engineering can be a rewarding experience in terms of salary and as a career. IT is a popular choice in the field of engineering due to the career opportunities it comes with. There are plenty of opportunities in the private sector as well as in the government sector.
IT Engineer Jobs
The IT sector generates the most number of jobs in the market today. An IT professional can start their career in IT by assuming the following job roles:
These Engineers can climb up the career ladder fairly quickly than most other professionals.
In the USA:
- There are over 36,700 IT Engineering jobs listed on Indeed
- There are over 81,590 programming job openings posted on Indeed
- 49,000+ Database Administrator positions are available on Linkedin
- There are more than 145,000 Software Engineering jobs according to LinkedIn
- 32,000+ Web Developer job openings are listed on LinkedIn
- There are 128,000+ Data Analyst openings on LinkedIn
- According to LinkedIn, there are over 11,000 jobs available for Information Security Analysts
- Over 71,500 IT Engineer job descriptions are listed on Shine.com
- 22,000+ jobs are available for programmers on LinkedIn
- According to LinkedIn, over 14,000 Database Administrator jobs are available
- Over 35,000 Software Engineering jobs are there according to LinkedIn
- On LinkedIn, 26,000+ job openings are available for Web Developers
- There are 36,000+ Data Analyst jobs on LinkedIn
- LinkedIn has over 1,000 Information Security Analysts
IT Engineer Salary
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts software development jobs to rise by 17% from 2014 to 2024 (significantly faster than average). Professionals in this field are in high demand and the market is expanding rapidly. So, if you are interested in pursuing IT Engineering, do so now as better opportunities will follow.
Make sure to check out Intellipaat’s Technology Trends Community.