What is Information Technology?

Published: Monday, May 6, 2013 - 09:00 | By: TechRaptor Staff

Who do you call when your server is down? What about when your wi-fi won’t connect? That’s right—you call the guys in the IT department. But of course information technology is more than a department of useful guys who configure your email.


It’s the twenty-first century, and data exists in electronic form. In the developed world and many part of the rest of the world, a vast network of devices, signals, and technologies binds us together. This network is a huge exchange of information—of tweets, stock information, emails, computer code, posts, videos, and so forth. We use computers and whatever joins them together (wires or wireless) to store, find, send, and manipulate information. Information technology is the term used to describe the industry of creating and maintaining this network. Many companies have IT departments, responsible for storing, protecting, retrieving, processing, and transmitting information, but many other companies exist as massive IT departments in themselves, juggernauts that propel the world of information technology forward.

The field of information technology is relatively new, as we know it now, but humans have been storing and transferring information for thousands of years. The first humans communicated only through speaking and picture drawings. Around 3000 BC, Mesopotamians invented the earliest known writing system. Then the Phoenicians created symbols, the Greeks added vowels, and the Romans assigned names to the alphabet we use today. Papyrus and paper, along with styluses and pens, became the media of choice for information transmission, until the invention of the printing press. Early computers functioned as number calculators or as simple data stores. The first computer to use electric vacuum tubes was the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer, the ENIAC, which still could not actually store its calculations and took up an entire room. Improvements followed and computers shrank until today. Several decades ago, IT would have consisted of storing information on few basic computers. The advent of the Internet, of course, changed everything, and every day new ways of creating and spreading information electronically are invented. We probably have little idea what awaits the IT field in the future.

Because IT is such a broad field,  there are several opportunities for those seeking training in information technology in order to acquire the necessary skills to thrive in an ever-expanding industry, and because the industry is growing, there are a multitude of jobs available.  You could get into data entry, which involves taking information from a hard copy and putting it into an electronic format. Or there’s working with databases, assembling and testing electronic equipment, developing software and programming, hardware and circuit design, maintaining networks, or assuring quality in systems. Of course, those are not all the jobs, and as innovation creates more jobs, feel free to explore and perhaps create your own information technology job. The technology of the future is brimming with possibilities, and IT is on the forefront of the revolution.

Article Contributed By:

[box type="shadow" align="alignleft" ]Jake Tesch is a Digital Marketing intern at Fluid Advertising, an Ad Agency and SEO service company in Bountiful, Utah. He is passionate about all things marketing. You can email him at Jake[at]GetFluid.com[/box]

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