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What exactly is IT? To start at the most basic level, IT stands for information technology. Broadly speaking, IT is a kind of verbal shorthand for the millions of interconnected computers, networks, and server farms - the digital infrastructure that supports the internet and makes today's nonstop information flow possible.

Women working by computer

Everything depends on IT

All major institutions - from research labs to major soccer teams - consider IT an essential part of their operations. IT is at the heart of every major industry, from banking and finance to manufacturing and retail services.

Why study IT?

The digital world is expanding so rapidly that it's creating IT job openings faster than trained people can be found to fill them. Older workers are retiring in droves, but there aren't enough high school and college graduates with the technical skills to step into their shoes. Right now there are more than 600 000 unfilled IT jobs globally in business, education, healthcare, government, all branches of the armed services, and the intelligence community. Which is why, whether you're in high school or college, now is a great time to start taking the classes that will get you into a career in IT.

Getting ahead in IT

Getting CompTIA certified is the important first step in laying the foundation for your future in information technology. This foundation will help you determine what to do next, and how to move to the next level in your technology career. Honing your digital skills - and getting proof of that with your CompTIA certification - puts you in a position to choose from a number of IT career tracks.

Group of studentsIt pays to get IT

In a digital world, digital literacy is an essential survival skill, and certification is proof that you have it. Certification makes you more competitive and more employable, which is why you should regard it as a required part of your IT education. Our research reveals that, in the competition for entry-level jobs, applicants with high school diplomas or college degrees who included IT coursework in their academic load fared consistently better in job interviews - and were hired in significantly higher numbers - than their counterparts who neglected to add a technical component to their education.

CompTIA certification gives you a foundation - and a springboard

Do you have the skills that employers are looking for? CompTIA certifications show employers that you have the fundamental knowledge they desire, making you an attractive candidate. The types and levels of technical skills required to succeed in IT will vary depending on the position you're seeking. CompTIA certifications make sure you have a broad understanding of the technology landscape as well as the duties and responsibilities of various technical jobs. And they confirm that you've acquired the education and training necessary to get that job.

CompTIA is your first step into IT

Let CompTIA help you find the most rewarding career path in information technology. CompTIA is a global non-profit trade association that certifies IT professionals. As you acquire technical skills, you need proof of those skills, and that's what CompTIA certification provides at every level. And if you're planning to earn vendor-specific certifications from Microsoft, Cisco, or other companies, CompTIA certifications are a great foundation for those, too.

Jobs in IT

There are more jobs and job categories in IT than we can possibly list in this article.
Here are just a few of them:

  • Computer Support
  • Network Administrator
  • Systems Administrator
  • Virtualization Specialist
  • Data Security Analyst
  • Systems Security Database Administrator
  • Computer Programmer
  • Technology Manager
  • Web Designer / Developer
  • Digital Media Specialist
  • Video Game Developer
  • Software Engineer

For more information on CompTIA or any of their courses, visit their website at www.comptia.co.za or call 011-787-4841/3.


Article first published in TechSmart 100, January 2012.

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