The terms “information technology” and “IT” are widely used in business and the field of computing. People use the terms generically when referring to various kinds of computer-related work, which sometimes confuses their meaning.
What Is Information Technology?
A 1958 article in Harvard Business Review referred to information technology as consisting of three basic parts: computational data processing, decision support, and business software. This time period marked the beginning of IT as an officially defined area of business; in fact, this article probably coined the term.
Over the ensuing decades, many corporations created so-called “IT departments” to manage the computer technologies related to their business. Whatever these departments worked on became the de facto definition of Information Technology, one that has evolved over time. Today, IT departments have responsibilities in areas like computer tech support, business computer network and database administration, business software deployment, and information security.
Especially during the dot-com boom of the 1990s, Information Technology also became associated with aspects of computing beyond those owned by IT departments. This broader definition of IT includes areas like software development, computer systems architecture, and project management.Information Technology Jobs and Careers
Job posting sites commonly use IT as a category in their databases. The category includes a wide range of jobs across architecture, engineering, and administration functions. People with jobs in these areas typically have college degrees in computer science and/or information systems. They may also possess related industry certifications. Short courses in IT basics can be also be found online and are especially useful for those who want to get some exposure to the field before committing to it as a career.