The Information Technology (IT) industry is well known for experiencing growing pains related to the technological advancements that are the foundation of the field itself. Advancements in technology, while necessary, often force IT, professionals, to focus on a particular area of expertise in order to meet the specialized needs of different industries. This newfound emphasis on specialization has led to the creation of new positions within the IT field with expansion resulting in job diversification.
Not so long ago, IT managers and administrators were responsible for all facets of a company’s data systems, including development, accessibility, storage and security. These rising stars of the computer age were often single-handedly responsible for maintaining the systems that businesses relied upon to function. For many, budgetary free reign was allowed for software and hardware purchasing with the singular requirement that all systems continue to run smoothly and effectively. Larger organizations often had in-house IT administrators who worked alongside the employees of companies that provided implementation services. The outsourced agents were a necessity for the maintenance of massive IT installations, while their company counterparts served to relay information regarding the purchased systems to management in a jargon-free and palatable manner.
Today, the majority of small to medium-sized businesses operate completely in-house. Even larger organizations are limiting outsourced personnel to the bare minimum, preferring to hire specialized permanent employees to fill the positions that were once manned by a labour force provided by another company. Upper echelon IT managers are more likely to have business heavy education and experience credentials while their subordinates may be experts in either the software, hardware, or security side of IT infrastructures, but rarely all three. With data tampering and theft becoming a major concern in recent years, the job market for data security personnel alone has risen substantially.
As we move forward into the future of information technology, the trend for a specialized workforce in the IT sector of employment will likely continue. Even educational institutions are beginning to recognize this expansive diversification and IT degree programs with an emphasis on even the most obscure facets of the industry can now be found. While the onset of the computer age has certainly resulted in the reduction of many positions in the overall workforce, the weight of its own complexity may yield new positions that can balance those losses as we move forward.