Information technology careersThe field of information technology evolves at the pace of innovation—and so does the threat of cyber attacks.

When the pandemic first forced organizations around the world into remote work, IT teams had to figure out how to keep important data safe yet accessible for employees across many locations. Years later, IT departments are still keeping work-from-home options secure and convenient even as new challenges emerge. One such challenge, for example, is the war in Ukraine, which heightened concerns about cybersecurity events that could affect critical infrastructure and interfere with secure communications between nations. Government agencies and private organizations need IT professionals to identify, eliminate, and prevent security threats from around the globe.

These issues, among others, fuel the demand for qualified IT professionals in many different industries and sectors. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), computer and information technology roles are set to grow by 15% between 2021 and 2031. That’s 682,800 new jobs in the IT field. Top industries hiring skilled IT professionals include government, healthcare, fintech, manufacturing, and education.

Earning Potential for Careers in IT

Job Title Median Annual Salary
Chief Information Officer (CIO) $170,266 (PayScale)
IT Director $187,830 (Salary.com)
IT Manager $159,010 (BLS)
Cloud Architect $128,418 (PayScale)
Network Architect $120,520 (BLS)
Information Security Manager $119,888 (PayScale)
Systems Analyst $99,270 (BLS)

Careers in IT

All of the top careers in IT require technical skills in cybersecurity and data management. But professionals in these roles also need excellent people management, communication, and organizational skills. With these, you can pursue leadership roles in IT for a variety of organizations, businesses, and government agencies.

1. Chief Information Officer (CIO)

The CIO oversees all internal information systems. They manage top-level strategy to meet internal user needs, maximize business growth, mitigate costs, and promote security across all internal systems. They also manage the IT departments and teams that handle internal information systems. In addition, it’s a CIO’s job to convince other leaders in the organization to prioritize cybersecurity at every level. This role requires candidates to have many years of experience in IT, cybersecurity, and similar roles. It’s also common for these executive leaders to have master’s degrees.

A CIO must understand where the biggest threats come from and anticipate where threats may emerge in order to deploy the most effective cybersecurity monitoring. One of the biggest issues they face right now is implementing more technological safeguards, like monitoring services, to identify suspicious activity on a network or from a specific user’s account.

2. IT Director

The IT director assists executives with creating and implementing IT strategies. They oversee IT managers and teams to make sure the organization is hitting its technology goals. This leader works on cost analysis for technology solutions and applies best practices for securing all information systems, databases, and devices.

An IT director must be aware of emerging trends in cybersecurity, and other technology challenges, to start identifying solutions years in advance. This way their organization is prepared for what’s next. The New York Design Factory at Pace University is an intensive, hands-on, and collaborative research opportunity where students can study emerging issues in multiple fields and work on innovative solutions for the near-future.

3. IT Manager

The IT manager handles the day-to-day activities of an IT team. They’re in charge of monitoring progress toward short- and long-term goals. They also oversee the installation, use, and maintenance of an organization’s technology and systems. This role requires keen problem-solving skills and communication abilities to implement cybersecurity initiatives from top-level leadership and address immediate security concerns.

4. Cloud Architect

A cloud architect implements and maintains an organization’s cloud-computing strategy. They manage the use of cloud computing services, like AWS, or build and maintain internal cloud computing applications. Their goal is to promote efficiency and security in data management.

Many organizations are moving to cloud computing technology as a more cost-effective and efficient way to store, manage, and access data. But it isn’t without its security risks, which is why a cloud architect must understand these risks—including misconfigurations, issues with compliance, and malware—to employ tactics to overcome them.

5. Network Architect

The network architect oversees the planning, design, management, and maintenance of an organization’s communications network. This professional also maintains and sets up software and hardware linked to a network. A network architect may be very important in creating secure and accessible systems for a remote working organization, for example.

6. Information Security Manager

An information security manager, a type of cybersecurity specialist, handles all aspects of protecting an organization’s information systems. They focus on identifying threats, establishing defensive protocols to prevent breaches, implementing security strategies, and training users on good security habits.

To be an effective information security manager, you must have an in-depth understanding of current cybersecurity trends and how to combat them. The Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems is recognized as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (CAE-CDE) by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). This designation certifies that the Seidenberg curriculum meets the NSA’s high standards for teaching best practices in modern cybersecurity.

7. Systems Analyst

Systems analysts assess an organization’s technology needs and design systems, and implement an organization’s technology strategy to meet IT needs. They analyze the impact of various technology solutions on factors like productivity or budgeting to balance IT needs and the integrity of the organization.

As more organizations maintain some form of remote work options, a systems analyst may help develop new systems or improve existing ones to make sure employees and other remote users can use the programs they need. That’s especially true of organizations using cloud computing technology or those that need extra security in data management, such as healthcare and educational institutions.

8. Database Administrator

A database administrator designs, builds, and manages an organization’s database technology to make sure data is secure, accurate, and accessible to users who need it. For example, in the commerce industry, they may oversee databases that contain customer data such as orders, financial information, shipping addresses, and more. In the healthcare industry, they may manage systems with sensitive patient data. These industries in particular, as well as others such as education, are subject to strict privacy laws and practices that database administrators must take into account as they perform their job.

How an MS in Information Technology Can Better Prepare You for a Career in IT

IT professionals at every level must be prepared to take on new and evolving challenges. Employers are looking for candidates who are skilled in managing large amounts of sensitive data and implementing best practices to keep it secure. O*NET lists top skills for IT professionals such as:

  • Cloud computing technology
  • Cybersecurity analysis
  • Risk analysis
  • Strategic planning
  • Penetration testing
  • Compliance
  • Database administration
  • Transaction security and virus protection

If you want to advance your career in IT, it’s more important now than ever to learn in-demand skills and stay on top of cybersecurity trends. With organizations putting an even greater emphasis on cybersecurity, Pace University has refined its curriculum and training opportunities so students can better meet these needs when they enter the workforce.

The online Master of Science in Information Technology at the Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems prepares students to work in management and leadership roles in the constantly evolving world of IT.

About the Online Master of Science in Information Technology at Pace University

The Pace University online Master of Science in Information Technology (MSIT) combines theoretical knowledge with hands-on practical experience in exciting lab environments that incorporate the latest technology, tools, and techniques. Choose from two in-demand concentrations: Cybersecurity and Network Administration. Both concentrations offer hands-on experience through virtual tools like Cisco Net Academy as well as options for customization through targeted electives and a capstone project.

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