Научная электронная библиотека
Монографии, изданные в издательстве Российской Академии Естествознания

Unit 4. CAREERS IN INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

WARM UP

1. What do the following people do in computing? Compare your answers with your partner.

1. Webmaster

2. Help-desk troubleshooter

3. Applications programmer

4. Security specialist

5. Systems programmer

SPEAKING ACTIVITIES

1. Read the text on job description in IT sphere and answer the following questions.

1. Information technology is a very wide field. How do positions in IT differ?

2. What basic requirements should the IT professional meet?

3. What are the responsibilities of the Systems Analyst? How do they differ from the Systems Support Person ones?

4. What does Software Engineer do?

5. What is Computer Services Engineering Technician responsible for?

6. What skills should Network Support Person have?

7. What does Applications Programmer do?

Information technology is a very wide field, and if a person is thinking of choosing a career in IT, he/she has to be very specific about what he/she actually wants to do. Several positions are available and they differ according to the responsibilities and duties of the IT professional. Moreover, these professionals are highly paid in comparison to other jobs. Certifications and trainings are even more important than basic educational qualifications such as bachelor’s and master’s degree. Furthermore, previous IT experiences also counts.

Systems Analyst studies the methods of working within an organisation to decide how tasks can be done efficiently by computers; makes a detailed analysis of the employer’s requirements and work patterns to prepare a report on different options for using information technology. Systems Analyst either uses standard computer packages or writes a specification for programmers to adapt existing software or to prepare new one; may oversee the implementation and testing of a system and acts as a link between the user and the programmer.

Software Engineer or Designer produces the programs to control the internal operations of computers; converts the System Analyst’s specification to a logical series of steps and translates it into the appropriate computer language. Software Engineer designs, tests and improves programs for computer-aided design and manufacture, business applications, computer networks and games.

Computer Services Engineering Technician is responsible for installation, maintenance or repair of computers and associated equipment. He/she installs hardware, tests by running special software, carries out routine servicing of large mainframe systems, aiming to avoid breakdowns and upgrades machines usually on customer’s premises.

Network Support Person or Computer Engineer maintains the link between PCs and workstations, uses telecommunications, software and electronic skills and knowledge of the networking software to locate and correct faults.

Computer Salesperson sells equipment to suit individual requirements, organizes the sale, delivery and, if necessary, installation and testing. He/she may arrange support, training, maintenance and consultation, must have sufficient technical knowledge.

Applications Programmer writes the programs to enable a computer to carry out particular tasks. He/she may write new programs or adapt existing ones to meet the needs of the company. When writing a new program, he/she follows a specification provided by a Systems Analyst. Applications Programmer checks programs for faults and does extensive
testing.

Systems Support Person is an Analyst Programmer who is responsible for maintaining, updating and modifying the software used by a company. He/she uses machine codes and low-level computer languages; may sort out some problems encountered by users.

Hardware Engineer researches, designs and develops computers and computerized element of appliances, machines and vehicles. He/she is also involved in manufacturing, installation and testing. Hardware Engineer has to be aware of cost, efficiency, safety and environmental factors as well as engineering aspects.

2. Work in pairs. Choose one of the IT careers from the list provided. Your partner is to find out what your job is by asking only Yes/No questions. Your partner cannot ask «Are you a programmer?» etc.

Systems Analyst

Applications Programmer

Systems Support Person

Hardware Engineer

Computer Salesperson

Computer Services Engineering Technician

Software Engineer

Network Support Person

3. Study these requirements for different jobs in computing advertised on the Internet. Then describe these jobs.

1. Systems Manager/
Programmer

2. Support Analyst:
IBM Mainframe MVS

3. Programmer

o technical specialist

o min.2 yrs work in systems programming

o plus exp. of Net view/ automation design support

o IBM MVS support technician

o 1 yr exp. of VTAM, NCP, SSP, NPM, IBM hardware

o authorized to work in the EU

o 3 yr exp. SAP Basic Technical Environment

o team player with strong analytical and problem solving skills

o ability to communicate and manage time effectively

4. Webmaster

5. Cisco Technician

6. IS Manager

o strong Unix exp

o able to use HTML, DHTML, XML, Java Script

o knowledge of Shell Script

o CCNA qualified

o min 2 yrs work in support

o excellent skills in the surrounding technologies

o knowledge of current Network Operating System

o exp of ERP systems implementation

o strong managerial skills

4. IT certifications are the way to certify and validate individual IT skills. There are many certifications available from a number of institutions. Read the text (Adapted from ‘Becoming Certified’ by David Moss, Network Pro Section of PC Pro Magazine, November 1997) and find the answers to the following questions.

1. What advice is given for someone who is stuck in a computing support job?

2. What questions should you ask yourself if you are thinking of getting extra training?

3. What computer program is mentioned in the text?

4. Name two ways of studying mentioned in the text.

5. What two factors will be affected by your level of experience?

6. Why is it important to become used to answering exam questions?

7. What factors help you decide whether the course is suitable or cost effective?

8. What happens if you don’t upgrade your certification?

BECOMING CERTIFIED

Suppose you’re a support engineer. You’re stuck in a job you don’t like and you want to make a change. One way of making that change is to improve your marketability to potential employers by upgrading your skill-set. If you’re going to train yourself up however, whose training should you undertake? If you need certificates, whose certificates should they be? Even if you get those certificates, how certain can you be that your salary will rise as a result? One solution is the range of certifications on offer from Microsoft.

Microsoft offers a large array of certification programmes aimed at anyone from the user of a single program such as Microsoft Word, to someone who wants to become a certified support engineer. There are a myriad of certificates to study for too. If you’re the proud holder of any of those qualifications, then you’re entitled to call yourself a Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP).

Once you’ve decided which track you want to take, you should consider just how qualified you already are in terms of experience and knowledge. Will you need to go and take some courses with a training company, or are you the type who can make good use of self-study materials? How much time do you genuinely have to devote towards this? Will your employer pay for your course? Will it grant you leave to go and do the course – assuming you can find
one – on either a full-time or part-time basis?

The key question here is experience. This will not only influence the amount of work you’ll have to do to get up to speed for the exams, it could also mean the difference between passing or failing the exam.

While you’re busy learning all you need to know for your certification, the practice exams are an absolute godsend. They show you the type of questions you’ll encounter, and they familiarise you with the structure of the exam. This is essential if you want to pass: the exams have time limits, and you need to get used to answering the requisite number of questions within the allotted time. It’s as simple as that.

If you decide a training course will help you out, don’t let the title of a course alone convince you that it will be suitable or cost effective. Find out exactly what the course offers and whether there are pre-requisites for attendants. You should also find out what the training company is prepared to do if attendants don’t have the minimum knowledge necessary to be on the course.

As exams are replaced by ‘updated’ ones, you need to upgrade your certification to stay current. Ultimately it’s your responsibility to make sure you stay up to date. If you don’t, you lose your certification until you take an update.

As a support engineer, you get the satisfaction of knowing that you passed a tough test, and the happy knowledge that your network manager is sweating a bit over the fact that you could be head-hunted at any time.

5. Read the information about Microsoft certification programmes to find the answers to the question.

Which qualification would be most useful if you wanted to do each of the following:

– be an operating system expert

– troubleshoot systems

– teach computing

– design business solutions

QUALIFICATIONS

Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE)

MCSEs design, install, support and troubleshoot information systems. MCSEs are network gurus, support technicians and operating system experts.

Microsoft Certified Solution Developer (MCSD)

MCSDs use development tools and platforms to create business solutions.

Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator (MCSA)

MCSAs administer network and systems environments based on the Microsoft Windows platforms. Specializations include MCSA: Messaging and MCSA: Security.

Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT)

MCTs teach others about Microsoft products using the Microsoft Official Curriculum at Microsoft Authorised Technical Education Centres.

6. Mark the following statements as True or False. Correct the false ones.

1. Microsoft offers a large range of certification programmes to study.

2. You must get an advanced certificate before you can call yourself a Microsoft Certified Professional.

3. All Microsoft training courses involve a period of full-time study.

4. Practice exams allow you to become familiar with the structure of the exams.

5. You can decide on the suitability of a course by its title.

6. It is your responsibility to make sure that your certification is kept up to date.

7. Gaining a certificate is likely to make you more attractive to other employers.

7. IT certification is not an ordinary exam. IT certifications require a good combination of practical and technical know-how. While majority are multiple choice questions, some certifications require a practical exam or on-job experience. In the ever changing IT market of today, a certification is very important for both experienced and fresh candidates.

Surf the Internet and find some information on the IT certifications.

Suggested online resources:

http://www.it-certifications.com/

http://www.buzzle.com/articles/a-plus-certification-cost.html

http://www.buzzle.com/articles/computer-certifications-in-demand.html

http://www.cisco.com/web/learning/le3/le2/le0/le9/learning_certification_type_home.html

http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/certification/view-by-name.aspx

http://www.techtrainingonline.com/

LISTENING ACTIVITIES

1. Watch the video «Information Technology Careers» and answer the following questions.

Suggested online resource:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v = FEoUT_mXF8E

1. What are the main issues of the presentation on IT career?

2. What is IT?

3. Who needs IT?

4. What are the two main groups of IT professions?

5. Describe IT job market.

6. What are educational requirements to the IT professionals?

7. What are IT career advantages?

2. Watch the video episode 03.30:05.10 and fill in the missing numbers.

1. IT jobs comprise … of the top … fastest growing careers.

2. Network systems and Data Communications is # … fastest growing job in all categories at … Growth Rate.

3. The top … IT careers will add … jobs by ….

4. Software Engineers hourly pay is ….

3. Comment on the following statement: IT is the fastest growing careers field in the world.


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