Choose a career which you love the most. I studied computer science and selected my job as IT Pro. I learned programming languages like Basic, Fortran, COBOL, and C. But, it was my choice to be an IT Pro and IT Admin. So, there is nothing wrong with being an IT Pro career. We will discuss more IT career options in this post.
In India, I have seen students want to learn only development or programming. Most of them don’t know what IT Pro (IT Admins) and career paths are. Don’t worry, IT Pro is also a good job option.
IT Pros also get monthly paycheques 🙂 and IT admins/services could have better salaries than developers depending on skill sets. Yes, we have different skillsets in IT Pros world as well 😉
So IT Pros and IT Admins jobs are also well paid and a great career option. I’m not making any statement that Devs and Dev Ops are less critical than IP Pros. Devs and Dev Ops are great career options too. But I love to be an IT Pro.
IT Pros and AIOps – More details here
IT Career Options
Following are the three main IT career options that I’m aware of.
Career Path – IT Pros?
IT Pros are IT Administrators who don’t want to do coding (by choice). IT Pros are part of operations teams. They love to manage servers, Cloud Servers, Cloud Services, Cloud Storage, SaaS applications, Databases, Network Environment (Firewalls, Routers, Proxy, and Switches), Desktops, Laptops, Mobile, Security, and on-prem Applications. They are the folks who do the design & architecture of Data Centers, Applications, Network Infrastructure, Server Infrastructure, etc…
IT Pros has the keys to access most of the resources in their work environment. He can take control of users’ machines, servers, applications, eMails, and mobile devices. IT Pros can take remote control or access to Test, Pre Prod, and Production servers and devices. IT Pro is one of the IT career options, and I think this is the best career option for someone who doesn’t like to write any code.
IT Pros are the folks who look after Infrastructure for Developers. These are the IT operational folks in many scenarios who directly interact with end-users and end customers all the time. And IT Pros are the poor folks who work in a highly complex production environment for all the organizations.
As part of the BITPro (Bangalore IT Pro) group, we conduct in-person sessions in Bangalore. Feel free to be part of this group to learn more about IT Pro stuffs.
- NFS or iSCSI
- SNMP or Nagios
- VMWare server
- Cloud IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS
- Various Flavors of Linux
- Cisco Routing & Switching
- Office 365
- Azure AD
- Oracle SQL DBA
- Active Directory/Exchange
- Bluecoat Proxy
- IT Security Management
- F5 LoadBalancers
- Security Operations
- PEN test executive
- Data Analyst
- Data Sience
Career Path – DevOps?
DevOps is the buzzword in the modern IT world. I have seen many IT Pros consider themselves as Dev Ops. Most of them are from the Automation world (PowerShell, Linux Shell, Puppet, etc..). DevOps help developers to perform end-to-end testing of their products before it goes into preview and production release. DevOps help to automate the regular day-to-day tasks of IT Pros.
DevOps are a new career path in IT for the folks who like to automate manual tasks. This is the best career option for folks eager to become a developer as the next step of their career. DevOps also work very closely with QA and test teams. SQL IT Pros and SharePoint IT Pros treat themselves as DevOps. As per them, they do write code.
DevOps is another IT career option, and I think this is the best career option for someone who has the fire to automate everything (even self-driven Cars + Cycles ). The people who don’t like manual, repetitive tasks. They love to write code to automate manual tasks.
DevOps (development and operations) is an enterprise software development phrase that means an agile relationship between development and IT operations. DevOps is a partnership between development and operations disciplines, with the merger of people, processes, and technology to drive higher efficiency if you’re in IT operations or are a developer.
PowerShell (Core, Windows, Azure – Whatever they call it :-D)
GitHub, Bitbucket, Svn, VSTS etc
Jenkins, Bamboo, etc
Puppet, Chef, Ansible, etc
Docker, Windows Server/Hyper-V containers, etc
Kubernetes, Mesos, Swarm, etc
AWS, Azure, GoogleCloud, Openstack, etc
Career Path – Developers
Developers are the folks who do the programming/coding with different programming languages. They can write 100 lines of codes on their laptop and test them in their isolated environment. A developer is an individual that builds and creates software and applications. These people make flashy applications like WhatsApp, Facebook, Paint, Windows OS, Linux OS, Android OS, iOS, Microsoft Office, etc…
Developers write, compile, debug, and execute the source code of a software application. They design server-client applications with their limited corporate network knowledge. They are also software developers, computer programmers, programmers, software coders, or software engineers.
The developer is another IT career option, and I think this is the best career option for someone who has the fire to write thousands of lines of code.
They may not have access to an organization’s Test, Pre Prod, and Production environments in most situations. They always work in their environment and claim their software works well. This guy works in his environment. Yes, it’s changing now, but still! They rarely work directly with end-users 😉
Update – There was great discussion about IT Pro Job Description in Microsoft Tech Community
Following are the excellent points which Adrienne Andrews explained in the Tech Community post about
What IT Pro might do?
- Do you like working with people? People use technology! Sometimes they need help fixing a problem, or for someone to show them how to use tech effectively. Do you help your family or friends with their technology? Then you’ve already started down the path as a Support Specialist!
- Do you like puzzles and problem solving? Companies have lots of different technologies that they need to use together – why not help them figure out how all their technical pieces fit together? System and Network Architects keep all these services working together. Every organization has a different environment and new tools being added every day, so you’ll never run out of new challenges!
- Are you a task master and like keeping things organized and on schedule?Check out IT Project Management! Deploying new technology can be a big task that involves many people – someone needs to keep that ball rolling!
- Want to protect and defend – virtually? IT Security Analysts are the last line of defense in a constant game of cat and mouse! They police environments to ward off and fight against attackers using their detective skills and staying one step ahead of the bad guys.
What do IT Pros do?
This is another reply to the Tech Community post by CA Callahan. And I can’t stop sharing this here. But all credits to original posters.
Well, what Developers do, generally, is use a workstation on a network, often accessing the internet, to use tools that have been installed (usually by IT) to write code to develop a product. They cannot do their job without this minimum of resources. I am simplifying, but this is it. They are responsible for creating stuff. Important stuff, but on resources made available to them somehow.
What the IT Pro does—is everything else related to computers. Make those and all other digital resources available to users, including developers.
IT is responsible for ALL the layers of the OSI model. Heck, we have to KNOW what an OSI model IS. Developers only work at the top layer, maybe the top two. We work in ALL of them (even their layers because we have to install and maintain the software they create, all the software the companies use by any creator).
IT is responsible for all digital activities in a company. Physical, Virtual, and in the Cloud.
To be a little more detailed… From the physical layer- the literal equipment used to do anything computer-related, including wiring, wiring closets (and the planning the power for them, UPS, and air conditioning), Routers, Firewalls, Switches, Access Points, VLANs, printers, VOIP phone systems, and often physical security systems such as cameras and security cards, to protocols for using those devices (like SIP, DNS, TCP/IP, and DHCP), up to the application layer. Disaster recovery for all necessary layers is a responsibility as well.
So to support the developer, for example, what workstation is he using? What are its physical specifications, its warranty, its IP address? How is that workstation getting on the network? Was it wired or Wireless? If Wireless, what is the SSID, what access point is he accessing, what are the security policies for that access, is it part of a VLAN? Is the IP address the workstation using static? If not, where is the workstation pulling its IP from? What range is it using? Are there any policies or filters applied to that range?
Does that workstation have antivirus/antimalware? Is it up to date? How is it up to date? How is it licensed? Licensing is the responsibility of IT. What are the backups for the workstations (and servers, switch/firewall/router configs, etc.)? How many types, local, cloud, offsite? How often? How long-stored? How often tested? How quickly recovered? Planned downtime based on scenarios?
Are there group policies applying to the workstation when it starts for the day (assuming it is on a domain)? Any update servers on the network? Do they have Update policies?
The developer has to have an account to log in. That’s Authentication. IT manages that, Active Directory (for example, that is not the only authentication server out there), requires IT to have a physical server (or a physical, virtual server on the network, a whole different set of skills for planning the physical server, storage, and more), on the network, with Windows Server installed, promoted to a domain controller, defining the internal domain (and the internal namespace if there are any internal web sites on offer- all domain stuff has to be planned, btw, by IT), setting up DNS, DHCP, FSMO roles (which can be moved around if there is already an existing domain), etc. A naming convention must be used for user accounts, security groups considered, password policies, group policies, access control, and the like.
For all the servers on the network, physical needs for the hardware must be accounted for; location secure, temperature-controlled, power needs to be considered, disaster protection, and recovery plan for. Does the developer need IIS to build apps? Do they need Dynamics or SharePoint? IT is responsible for finding the hardware (virtual or physical), the licensing for their OS, the deep mastery of those Servers/Server Components so they can be configured for the developer to use. Is the developer’s email on an Exchange server on-premises, or in the cloud, or hybrid? Is authentication hybrid as well, so AD is synchronized with Azure AD? Does the company have O365 subscriptions? Everything O365 is managed by IT. All workstations are planned for, purchased, set up, OS and software installed, updated, licensing recorded, and managed by IT.
And don’t forget that printer paper, cartridges, mice, keyboards, and monitors are also considered reasons to call IT.
Everything on the ground or in the cloud is managed by IT. The developers would not get there without IT; they would not have workstations and servers to develop without IT.
I think you can see why I find implying to young women that the only thing out there for women in technology is to *code* as very limiting, almost insulting when there is everything else technology needs to function in IT. From managing network hardware, network topology physically and digitally, security, licensing, system management, software management, server management, and more. IT does it all. Most beginners won’t start with everything. They’ll be hired into an existing system, maybe supporting tickets for users on one OS, using a small set of products. Or they’ll be helping the F5 (load balancers, another job of IT) guys or managing the content filters for a large school district. There are thousands of jobs for someone in IT.
So, where do they start learning? Well, if you’re going to be legit and follow the OSI, they need to take their CompTIA certification first. It teaches them hardware (never, ever disdain the physical layer) and software (particularly Operating Systems). Then take the Network+, and optionally, Security+, and all the basic Microsoft MTAs. That gives the brand new IT Pro the fundamentals, terminology, and context to understand what their coworkers are even talking about and what their bosses are asking for. It lets them see how the whole system works. Because that’s what it is. An enormous system, like an ecosystem on our planet or systems in the body. Each part was touching the other, impacting the other. And mastery of the whole thing is needed for an office to work productively. For a developer to work productively.
There’s plenty to learn in IT, to do in IT. It’s just that most offices take it for granted. It’s so ubiquitous, and it’s invisible. No one thinks about the oxygen they’re breathing. No one feels when they’re at work where exactly their internet access was coming from. They assume it’ll be there, and it is. IT does that.
Anoop is Microsoft MVP! He is a Solution Architect on enterprise client management with more than 20 years of experience (calculation done in 2021) in IT. He is Blogger, Speaker, and Local User Group HTMD Community leader. His main focus is on Device Management technologies like SCCM 2012, Current Branch, Intune. He writes about technologies like ConfigMgr, Windows 11, Windows 10, Azure AD, Microsoft Intune, Windows 365, AVD, etc.…