Today, information technology is such an integral part of most businesses that the profession of being a computer expert has broadened into a multitude of specialized occupations, involving networking, software development, computer security, and designing graphics or interfaces.
Some professions correspond to specific courses of study, while the lack of a need for computer expertise makes certain technical occupations available to everyone. A good understanding of what each occupation basically entails can be useful for understanding their requirements, limits, and essential skills.
The last link in the chain, this group includes all people whose job is to check that information systems and networks are working properly, to help users to use new technology, and to fix any problems that they may have.
Design and development professions involve assessing a need, designing solutions, modeling them with computer assistance and implementing them, i.e. translating them into a computer language. These professions combine the ability to analyze with a creative and technical mind.
Consulting professions require a certain degree of experience, so as to be able to study existing needs and solutions within a business in order to help implement a new structure. The main fields of application are information systems and computer security.
Marketing professions, which are largely business-oriented, aim to optimize sales of a company's products and services, based on identifying and fulfilling customers' needs, finding new customers, and building customer loyalty.
Management rests on the ability to define a strategy and manage an organization's resources so as to meet goals which have been set. Such professions generally require skills in project management, human resources management, and financial management.
Professional IT may be viewed as a simple tool to improve a company's performance. For this reason, IT is found in nearly all sectors (including banking, insurance, industry, services, etc.), but it is generally divided into three distinct fields of application.
Industrial IT involves using a computing tool to manufacture industrial products, whether from a research department (computer-aided design) or in their production (computer-aided manufacturing, automation, robotics), while touching on logistics, inventory management, etc.
Technological IT, sometimes called on-board computing, involves applications embedded in electronic devices, such as mobile phones, hi-fi equipment, GPSs, etc.
Finally, scientific IT involves applying computing to basic research laboratories or to R&D (research & development) departments of business. Based essentially around the use of mathematics, it involves using computers to model, simulate, and analyze phenomena.
Management IT is the use of a computing tool to simplify the administrative management of a business, from customer tracking to employee payrolls, and touching upon relationships with distributors (billing, accounting). Management IT is directly linked to the business's information system and, for large companies, takes the form of enterprise resource planning software.
The field of telecommunications and networking refers to using computing to send information, and represents a vast sector which includes computer networks, mobile and land-line telephony, and digital television. The convergence of all these sectors via the Internet has made it a rich and dynamic market.