The IT industry has a wide range of job titles and job roles and the same technology role can often be called different names, which can make it hard to pin down exactly what people do. This page will help you cut through the jargon and find out about the different jobs available.
Information taken from TARGETjobs IT & Technology 2017, edition 20.
Also known as application programmer, software engineer, software architect, system programmer/engineer.
The work of a software engineer typically includes designing and programming system level software i.e. operating systems, database systems, embedded systems etc. They understand how both software and hardware function. The work can involve talking to clients and colleagues to access and define what solution or system in needed. Software engineers are often found in electronics and telecoms companies.
Key Skills: technical competency, analysis, logical thinking, teamwork, attention to detail
Further information is available on the Prospects website at: www.prospects.ac.uk/job-profiles/systems-developer
Also known as product specialist, systems engineer, solutions specialist, technical designer.
Systems analysts investigate and analyse business problems and then design information systems the provide a feasible solution. They gather requirements and identify the costs and the time needed to implement the project. The job requires a mix of business and technical knowledge, and a good understanding of people.
Key Skills: a broad knowledge of hardware, software and programming, ability to extract and analyse information, good communication skills, persuasion and sensitivity.
Further information is available on the Prospects website at: www.prospects.ac.uk/job-profiles/systems-analyst
Also known as business architect, enterprise analyst, business systems analyst, management consultant.
Business analysts identify opportunities for improvement to processes and business operations using information technology. They are happy to talking with technology people, business managers and end users. The role is project based and begins with analysing a customers needs, gathering and documenting requirements and creating a business plan to design the resulting technology solution.
Key Skills: communication, presentation, facilitation, project management, problem solving.
Further information is available on the Prospects website at: www.prospects.ac.uk/job-profiles/business-analyst
Also known as helpdesk support, operations analyst, problem manager, technicians.
Technical support officers monitor and maintain the computer systems and networks of an organisation. They may install and configure computer systems, diagnose hardware and software faults and solve technical and applications problems, either over the phone or in person. They can also work for hardware manufacturers and suppliers solving the problems of business customers.
Key Skills: wide ranging tech knowledge, problem solving, communication/ listening, patience and diplomacy, logical thinking and attention to detail.
Further information is available on the Prospects website at: www.prospects.ac.uk/job-profiles/it-technical-support-officer
Also known as hardware engineer, network designer, support / security / systems engineer.
One of the most technically demanding IT jobs, network engineers are responsible for implementing, maintaining, supporting, developing and, in some cases, designing communication networks within an organisation or between organisations. They are also responsible for security, data storage and disaster recovery strategies.
Key Skills: specialist network knowledge, communication, planning, analysis and problem solving.
Further information is available on the Prospects website at: www.prospects.ac.uk/job-profiles/network-engineer
Also known as:IT consultant, application specialist, enterprise-wide information specialist.
A technical consultant works in partnership with clients, advising them how to use information technology in order to meet their business objectives or overcome problems. They provide technical expertise to, and develop and implement IT systems for external clients. They can be involved at any or all of the stages of the project life cycle: pitching for a contract; refining a specification with the client; designing the system; managing part or all of the project; after-sales support or developing the code.
Key Skills: communication, presentation, technical and business understanding, project management and teamwork
Further information available on the Prospects website at: www.prospects.ac.uk/job-profiles/it-consultant
Also known as: IT sales professional, sales manager, account manager, sales executive.
Technical sales is one of the least hands on technical roles but still requires an understanding of how IT is used in business.The work of an IT sales professional falls into the three main areas of pre-sales, sales and post-sales support of hardware and software. You may sell hardware or extol the business benefits of whole systems or services. The job could involve phone calls, meetings and conferences and drafting proposals, with targets to meet and commission when you reach them.
Key Skills: product knowledge, persuasion, interpersonal skills, drive, mobility and business awareness
Further information is available on the Prospects website at: www.prospects.ac.uk/job-profiles/it-sales-professional
Also known as web designer, web producer, multimedia architect, internet engineer.
Web developers build and maintain websites and all the infrastructure that sits behind them. Web development is pretty technical and involves some hard core programming as well as the more creative side of designing the user interfaces of new websites.
Key Skills: basic understanding of web technologies (client side, server side and databases), analytical thinking, problem solving and creativity.
Further information available on the Prospects website at: www.prospects.ac.uk/job-profiles/web-developer
Also known as test analyst, software quality assurance tester.
Bugs can have a massive impact on the productivity and reputation of an IT firm. Testers try to anticipate all the ways an application or system might be used and how it could fail. They don’t necessarily program but they do need a good understanding of code. Testers prepare test scripts and macros, and analyse results, which are fed back to the project leader so that fixes can be made. Testers can also be involved in the early stages of projects in order to anticipate pitfalls before work begins.
Key Skills: attention to detail, creativity, organisation, analytical and investigating thinking, communication.
Further information is available on the Prospects website at: www.prospects.ac.uk/job-profiles/software-tester
Information taken from TARGETjobs It & Technology 2017, edition 20.