To become an information technology specialist, you should plan to obtain a bachelor's degree in computer science or a related field. There are some employers who are willing to train qualified candidates, however, so if you only have an associate's degree, you may still be able to find a good job in this area. As you look for jobs in this career field, you will likely find employers looking for a wide range of experience levels. Some may only require one to five years of relevant work experience, while others may require a work history of ten or more years.
For many of these positions, you are likely to need to have certifications that are related to the information technology (IT) profession. If you want to become an information technology specialist, you should plan to have at least one certification that falls within your field, though some employers seek applicants who have earned several IT certifications. Career counselors at your school, or other professionals who already work in this field, should be able to provide you with the proper guidance for choosing the certifications that best match your career goals.
Even though many computer professionals work primarily with computer hardware and software systems, it is generally considered to be essential for those who want to become an information technology specialist to have strong interpersonal skills. This means that you should have the ability to communicate with others in a clear and straightforward yet personable manner. This enables you to convey information clearly, so that everyone can understand you, which is particularly important when trying to explain technical matters to others.
In order to become an information technology specialist, you should also be able to work independently much of the time. It is equally important, however, that you also have the ability to work as a functioning member of a team, for those occasions when you might be assigned to work on group projects. Many IT professionals believe that having this type of flexibility in the workplace is essential for continued success on the job.
Some jobs may require you to participate in a rotating schedule, if you want to become an information technology specialist. This allows you to work a shift as part of a technical support team. Depending on your employer, you may answer phone calls from employees or customers — or you may have to respond to live chat or email questions — from people who are experiencing technical problems. If you are interested in performing this type of work, you may have a better chance of finding your first job opportunity as an information technology specialist.