Work in the information industry encompasses a range specialist jobs. Some are performed in isolation, while others require the inputs of an inter-disciplinary team. Computer professionals, like all others, acquire their expertise through appropriate training and hands-on experience.
The delineations between different specializations are changing constantly machines become ever more sophisticated, demanding skills or different combinations of existing ones. Computers are highly sensitive, and are installed dust-free, air-conditioned rooms.
Work could either be these surroundings, handling the machines and the components, or in the field, interacting with end-users other professionals. The atmosphere is congenial and hours are usually fixed, though at some levels, one might require to work in shifts or on holidays.
Major Tasks Performed
Work in the computer industry is varied. Its scope may
Functions of this area include:
RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
Usually carried out manufacturing and R&D institutes, by specialists engineering or M.Sc. electronics degrees. Main activities are the improvement and adaptation of established processes
and products or the creation of new ones.
The work is essentially laboratory based. Most engineering research is applied and aims at maximizing sales and profits. R&D investigates the better-selling product and comes up with suggestions. Research is very much a team effort.
In hardware, it includes chip and circuit design, computer architecture, and peripheral integration. In software R&D, existing operations are developed by updating, improving and refining them, or new programs are evolved for general use in the future.
Requires personnel with a diploma in electronics or a BE, B.Tech. or M.Tech. degree. Work is with a manufacturing company or vendor. In hardware, work involves production and assembly of components for computer systems and peripherals. Hardware manufacture is an established industry with fast moving research inputs.
Software work involves systems programming which makes the computer work. It combines the. application of computer science and telecommunication principles with creativity, high technology expertise and analytical reasoning.
A technical/scientific background is essential for this work, which brings together a number of specialists from various disciplines. Professional interaction is almost entirely with other highly qualified experts and there is little contact with non-computer people.
Is a job for which engineers are preferred and it could be undertaken by the manufacturing
company or other organizations. It could take the form of:
Preventive maintenance, to ensure the smooth functioning of machines. Breakdown maintenance, involving the detection and rectifying of faults.
Third Party maintenance, which is provided for a fee by a company other than the manufacturer.
This area includes:
Which is carried out in the following
Analysis involves the investigation of a system-or lack of one-existing in an organization, and recommendations for its computerization. The process takes several months. In this time, each department's operations are observed procedures and information flows are documented, and
interaction among departments is studied.
These findings are compiled in a report, based on which, conclusions are drawn as to whether, and to what extent, and computerization of the system is possible. Changes needed in current procedures are suggested, and decisions taken, on the appropriate hardware and software to be employed.
Besides specialized technical knowledge and an analytical mind, well-developed communication skills are vital for this work. Design involves the breaking up of a recommended system into a logical sequence of structured procedures, and translating them into the appropriate computer language this requires technical skill.
Construction is the physical programming of a computer this requires the entry of step-by-step sequences instructions, directly into the computer terminal, to enable the machine to perform specified tasks. Special training is needed for this work, as programs must be user friendly well documented and flexible enough to be adaptable to particular user's differing needs.
A knowledge computer languages and typing abilities are also necessary for this job. Testing of the entire system is carried out before installation. This is done by manually working out result and verifying them with computerized outputs.
Implementation includes installation of the system in the user organization, user orientation and training in the process, and assistance in resolving initial problems of operation. Software development is usually done by software houses or consultancy firms. It requires different levels of skills and training for each stage of the process.
Implies management and maintenance of corporate data, as well as control of its access. This task requires considerable experience of database systems and business needs, and is a specialist area. Database administration is generally a separate department in organizations with large information resources.
Requires the feeding of information into a computer, as per the design of the program. Typing skills
and knowledge of computer languages is essential for the task.
The scope of this area covers:
SALES AND MARKETING
Which, in this technologically advanced and highly competitive industry, is a specialist task. Effective marketing of computers requires the support of a thorough study of products and their competition, as well as trends current in the industry.
Sales people usually specialize in systems for special markets, such as those catering to commercial, scientific or educational needs. This field operates on incentives, and hard work brings frequent promotions and monetary benefits. No in-depth computer knowledge is required for the work, but a one-year diploma course in hardware maintenance, or an engineering diploma, would be an advantage.
Sales and marketing jobs are either with computer manufacturers, or with computer firms that stock products of more than one company.
Vary in content, and can range from assisting a customer with selecting the right computer, suggesting additional and more efficient application of existing systems, and end-user training, to making periodic visits on behalf of manufacturing or software houses to see that all goes well
and to keep the customer informed on new equipment and software.
This work requires an ability to communicate and establish good inter-personal relations at all levels, as well as technical expertise to keep up with technological developments.
Are an aspect of computer-related services, which provide time-sharing facilities and equipment rental
Areas of Specialization
Most functions of the information industry are in specialist areas requiring expert knowledge and skills for their execution. As IT is developing more rapidly than any other industry has ever done, making computing the fastest expanding career area today, job categories keep changing
New jobs are constantly emerging, though due to the pace technological advancement, unskilled and semi-skilled categories may be short-lived. For professionals who are flexible and prepared to continue learning new skills to face this constant challenge, the scope is immense.