What Does an IT Generalist Do?

Nick Mann

An IT generalist is a person who maintains and optimizes the functionality of a company's computer network. Essentially, these individuals are responsible for providing assistance to employees and controlling data within a network. In most cases, a person must obtain at least a bachelor's degree in information technology before getting into this field. While an IT generalist can work in numerous industries, this position has five primary job duties. These include training employees on computer programs, assisting employees when problems are encountered, monitoring security, providing disaster recovery and participating in meetings.

AN IT generalist maintains and optimizes the functionality of a company's computer network.
AN IT generalist maintains and optimizes the functionality of a company's computer network.

One of the most fundamental parts of this job involves training employees on computer programs. Since an IT generalist is an expert in his field, he is often responsible for showing company employees how to correctly use computer programs. The amount of training will usually vary depending upon employee responsibilities and complexity involved with computer programs, so an IT generalist must adapt to the needs of the company he works for. When significant changes are made to existing programs, he may also be responsible for familiarizing employees with those changes. Consequently, it's helpful for an individual to have excellent communication skills and be able to provide clear instruction.

Perhaps the biggest aspect of this job is assisting employees when problems are encountered. For example, an IT generalist might help an employee who is experiencing technical difficulties with a software program. In this case, he would identify the problem and walk the employee through the proper steps to resolve the issue. While this is sometimes done in person, he will often work remotely and communicate with employees over the phone or through online correspondence.

Along with this, it's sometimes necessary for an individual in this role to monitor network security. This might involve setting up security parameters that prevent hackers or unauthorized users from accessing information. It could also mean installing effective antivirus software to prevent malware or spyware from damaging a network. In the event of a security breach, an IT generalist may be responsible for handling the situation. This aspect of the job requires someone who can quickly make decisions and keep calm under stressful situations.

In addition, it's sometimes necessary for an IT generalist to participate in company meetings. During meetings, he may discuss the current state of the company computer network and offer potential ideas for improvement to department supervisors. Consequently, it's also helpful for an individual in this role to communicate and collaborate well with others.

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I have done my B.com degree and am pursuing a job in health industry as an quality analyst, but want to build my career in IT field. What do I need to learn to get jobs in IT fields and what are the jobs I could look for.

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