What is an Information Technology Specialist?

Just exactly what is an Information Technology (IT) Specialist? The term IT Specialist is actually a catch all phrase used by the industry to help easily distinguish an knowledge worker from other general professional classifications. IT specialists can take on many roles, particularly in the U.S. federal government. For instance, a quick search on the federal government's USAJOBS Web site ( returns positions ranging from database analysts to project managers, including highly paid supervisory roles or senior management positions.

Here's an excerpt from the U.S. Census Bureau's Web site that serves an excellent reference or definition of the term Information Technology Specialist:


Planning and coordinating the installation, testing, operation, troubleshooting, and maintenance of hardware and software systems. The planning, analysis, design, development, testing, quality assurance, configuration, installation, implementation, integration, maintenance, and/or management of networked systems used for the transmission of information in voice, data, and/or video formats.

Ensuring the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of systems, networks, and data through the planning, analysis, development, implementation, maintenance, and enhancement of information systems security programs, policies, procedures, and tools.

The design, documentation, development, modification, testing, installation, implementation, and support of new or existing applications software.The planning, development, implementation, and administration of systems for the acquisition, storage, and retrieval of data.

What you need to know:

IT Specialists typically have a degree in Computer Science, Information Science, or Information Systems Management or they may have a degree in a field such as Mathematics, Statistics, Operations Research or Engineering where there is a heavy concentration of computer science/information science coursework.  Candidates may also qualify based on experience in the Information Technology field.

To learn more about the various roles of an IT specialist click on any one of the IT Specialist Wiki links listed below:

Application Specialist