Научная электронная библиотека
Монографии, изданные в издательстве Российской Академии Естествознания

Unit 4. CAREERS IN INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

READING ACTIVITIES

1. Work in groups of three. Read your text A, B or C and complete the table. You may not find information for each section of the table.

 

A

B

C

1. Job title

     

2. Nature of work

     

3. Formal qualifications

     

4. Personal qualities

     

5. Technical skills

     

6. How to get started

     

7. How to make progress

     

Text A. How to become a programming expert

The primary requirements for being a good programmer are nothing more than a good memory, an attention to detail, a logical mind and the ability to work through a problem in a methodical manner breaking tasks down into smaller, more manageable pieces.

However, it’s not enough just to turn up for a job interview with a logical mind as your sole qualification. An employer will want to see some sort of formal qualification and a proven track record. But if you can show someone an impressive piece of software with your name on it, it will count for a lot more than a string of academic qualifications.

So what specific skills are employers looking for? The Windows market is booming and there’s a demand for good C, С++, Delphi, Java and Visual Basic developers. Avoid older languages such as FORTRAN and COBOL unless you want to work as a contract programmer.

For someone starting out, my best advice would be to subscribe to the programming magazines such as Microsoft Systems Journal. Get one or two of the low-cost ‘student’ editions of С++, Visual Basic and Delphi. Get a decent book on Windows programming. If you decide programming is really for you, spend more money on a training course.

Text B. How to become a Computer Consultant

The first key point to realise is that you can’t know everything. However, you mustn’t become an expert in too narrow a field. The second key point is that you must be interested in your subject. The third key point is to differentiate between contract work and consultancy. Good contractors move from job to job every few months. A consultant is different. A consultant often works on very small timescales – a few days here, a week there, but often for a core collection of companies that keep coming back again and again.

There’s a lot of work out there for people who know Visual Basic, С++, and so on. And there are lots of people who know it too, so you have to be better than them. Qualifications are important. Microsoft has a raft of exams you can take, as does Novell, and in my experience these are very useful pieces of paper. University degrees are useless. They merely prove you can think, and will hopefully get you into a job where you can learn something useful. Exams like Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer are well worth doing. The same goes for Novel Linux Certification. However, this won’t guarantee an understanding of the product, its positioning in the market, how it relates to other products and so on. That’s where the all-important experience comes in.

Here’s the road map. After leaving university you get a technical role in a company and spend your evenings and weekends learning the tools of your trade – and getting your current employer to pay for your exams. You don’t stay in one company for more than two years. After a couple of hops like that, you may be in a good position to move into a junior consultancy position in one of the larger consultancy companies. By the age of 30, you’ve run big projects, rolled out major solutions and are well known. Maybe then it’s time to make the leap and run your own life.

Text C. How to become an IT Manager

IT managers manage projects, technology and people. Any large organization will have at least one IT manager responsible for ensuring that everyone who actually needs a PC has one and that it works properly. This means taking responsibility for the maintenance of servers and the installation of new software, and for staffing a help-desk and a support group.

Medium to large companies are also likely to have an IT systems manager. They are responsible for developing and implementing computer software that supports the operations of the business. They’re responsible for multiple development projects and oversee the implementation and support of the systems. Companies will have two or three major systems that are probably bought off the shelf and then tailored by an in-house development team.

Apart from basic hardware and software expertise, an IT manager will typically have over five years’ experience in the industry. Most are between 30 and 45. Since IT managers have to take responsibility for budgets and for staff, employers look for both of these factors in any potential recruit.

Nearly all IT managers have at least a first degree if not a second one as well. Interestingly, many of them don’t have degrees in computing science. In any case, the best qualification for becoming a manager is experience. If your personality is such that you’re unlikely to be asked to take responsibility for a small team or a project, then you can forget being an IT manager. You need to be bright, communicative and be able to earn the trust of your teams. Most of this can’t be taught, so if you don’t have these skills then divert your career elsewhere.

2. Now share information from your text with others in your group to complete the table for each of the occupations described.

3. For which of the careers described are these statements true? More than one career may match each statement.

You may work for only a few days or a week for a company

 

It’s a good idea to buy books on languages such as С++

 

You are responsible for developing and implementing the software a company needs to run its operations

 

You need to be able to break down a problem into a number of smaller tasks

 

It’s worth paying for a training course if you get serious about this career

 

Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer is a useful qualification for your career

 

Your objective is to become self-employed

 

It’s important you have the right personality to lead a team

 

4. Study these job requirements. Then try to match the requirements1-6 to the following list of jobs A-F.

A

B

C

D

E

F

           

A. Visual Basic Developer

B. IT Engineer (Network & Database)

C. Web Developer

D. Network Support

E. E-commerce Consultant

F. Team Leader

1

• at least 5 years (2 at senior level) in: Unix, SYBASE or ORACLE or Windows OS, Terminal Server, TCP/IP, Internet

• strong project management (2 years)

• willingness to travel abroad

4

• minimum 4 years lifecycle development experience

• demonstrable skills using VB, SQL, RDBMS

• able to develop core s/w

• excellent communication skills

2

• able to manage, lead and develop a team

• knowledge of C, С++, Delphi

• experience of object-oriented design within a commercial environment

• ability to deliver software projects against agreed schedules and within agreed estimates

5

• minimum of 18 months commercial experience of Web development

• knowledge of HTML, Java, ASP

• full portfolio of URLs as examples

3

• proven track record in the delivery of e-solutions in banking environment

• knowledge of Unix, Windows1 and Oracle

• willingness to travel internationally

6

• experience of Windows OS, Exchange, Monitoring Software, SQL Server, Verta, TCP/IP

• solid grasp of networking

• 2 to 5 years experience in a network environment

5. Read the text and answer the following questions.

1. Why is an IT Certification so important for both experienced and non experienced workers?

2. What are the best IT certifications for 2012?

BEST IT CERTIFICATIONS FOR 2012

Certifications give experienced workers a chance to master their skills and knowledge. Certifications prove how dedicated a professional is to be in the field they work in. For fresh graduates, it gives a hiring advantage over the competitors. It is a given IT industry fact, that an inexperienced but certified professional, is a better choice than a non-certified one. A certificate can be used as a proof of competency.

Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) tests the skills and expertise in a specific technology. For example, the MCTS ASP.NET certification focuses on the .NET 3.5 ASP.NET suites. There are currently 20 specializations, with 5 broad subject categories which are Office, .NET framework, SQL Server, Windows and business intelligence. This is the first level of certification exams for Microsoft.

Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCTIP) is useful for experienced professionals. It tests the ability to use Microsoft technologies in performing an IT job, like database administrator or server administrator. To have this exam, one or more compulsory MCTS certifications are to be obtained first.

CompTIA A+ is a vendor neutral certification that covers multiple operating systems and technologies. It ensures basic knowledge of software and hardware components. It is intended for professionals, with at least 500 hours of hands-on experience, as the questions are based on practice, not theory. The A+ certification is especially used as a bench mark for computer support technicians, as the key exam areas are installation, networking, maintenance and troubleshooting of computer systems.

Apple Certified Technical Coordinator (ACTC) targets entry-level system administrators, who provide support and maintain Mac OS X client server environment.

Red Hat Certified System Administrator (RHCSA) is the best Linux certification. It carries out practical exams. It deals with basic system administration. It is the mandatory base exam for higher Red Hat certifications like RHCE.

Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) is a certification from the nonprofit International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium (ISC2). It deals with information and network security. It is highly regarded as an information systems standard. It requires a minimum of 5 years, full-time, security work experience.

Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) is an ethical hacker or penetration tester employed by a company to penetrate or hack into the network or computer systems, so that weaknesses in the security system can be exposed. As illegal hacking is rapidly becoming a serious threat in any organization, ethical hacking is gaining popularity as a popular testing method for network security.

Global Information Assurance Certification (GIAC) is information security certification. GIAC measures an individual’s specific knowledge areas in the field of information security, for nearly 20 job specific responsibilities, like firewall analyst, intrusion analyst or security expert to name a few.

Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) is an advanced certification for experienced professionals in the field of information security. A CISM certificate exam validates an individual’s management skills and know-how of large enterprise-level information security handling. It has been accredited by the ANSI and requires at least 5 years of work experience in IT security.

Project Management Professional (PMP) certifies the management know-how and skills of an IT professional in handling projects and tasks at a managerial level within a budget and time limit.

6. Match the certification titles 1-5 and its description A-E.

1

2

3

4

5

6

           

1.

Red Hat Certified System Administrator

A

… certifies the management know-how and skills of an IT professional at a managerial level.

2.

CompTIA A+

B

…. is the first level of certification exams for Microsoft.

3.

Certified Ethical Hacker

C

… is Linux certification.

4.

Project Management Professional

D

… is especially used as a bench mark for computer support technicians.

5.

Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist

E

… is a popular testing method for network security

7. Complete the sentences according to the information in the text.

1. A certificate can be used as a …

– proof of high salary

– proof of competency

– proof of knowledge.

2. IT Certification is important for …

– both experienced and non experienced workers

– experienced workers only

– fresh graduates.

3. Microsoft Certified IT Professional is useful for …

– non-experienced workers

– experienced professionals

– fresh graduates.

4. Apple Certified Technical Coordinator targets …

– top-level system administrators

– both top and entry-level system administrators

– entry-level system administrators.

5. Certified Information Security Manager is a certification in …

– the field of information security

– the field of installation of computer systems

– the field of network security.

WRITING ACTIVITIES

COVER LETTER AND CURRICULUM VITAE (CV)

A resume or CV is a summary of your educational qualifications and work experience. A cover letter or a letter of application is the letter that accompanies your resume when you send it to a company. Both of the documents are vitally important in the job application process.

1. Study the key information about a cover letter.

COVER LETTER

Start the cover letter by mentioning your address and date. Provide complete postal address so that the recruiter can easily contact you. Mention the employer’s name, designation, company’s name, and address below your details. The Recruiter has few minutes or seconds to quickly glance through your resume. Therefore, the first paragraph of your cover letter should include the details of the job profile you are looking for, your technical competencies that make you eligible for the job, the technical and interpersonal skills .

In the second paragraph of IT cover letters, mention the details of previous work experience and projects. Because you are applying for job in IT sector, you need to place emphasis of technical skills. Those applying for team lead or team consultant position need to mention their technical and interpersonal skills. Provide the details about the domain you worked on, the front end, back end you are well versed with, the web technologies you used. Provide the project you worked for and the clients you worked for. Mention details such as «Work in finance domain, developed android web software for XYZ Company» or «Worked on Perl CGI technology» or «have experience of using Tomcat server and web sphere», etc.

Fresher applying for IT jobs should mention their project and internship details. Even if you do not have much work experience, mention the software languages that you know and your proficiency level in using them. Explain your projects and the details of your contributions such as «Created the software design of the project, drafted the CLD, DFD of the system, helped in designing the interactive GUI of the website». Avoid mentioning the names of software languages that you are not well versed with. Students can mention the details of various gizmo or technical inter-college programs or competitions. Provide information regarding your participation and contribution in creating technical tools or software. If your project or presentation received any prize during any well-known inter-college competitions, then mention it in your cover letter. College students who have attended any seminar of IT experts on emerging new technologies or any other technical topic can mention about it in brief in the cover letter.

End the letter by thanking the recruiter for considering you for the job opening and mention your interest in attending the interview. Make sure you sign the letter before sending it. Provide the details of the documents enclosed in the letter. Your IT cover letters should represent your resume and should not be a copy of your resume. Your cover letter should be readable and error free. It is essential that you use a readable font style and size. The cover letter should contain 3–4 paragraphs.

2. Study the samples of cover letter for IT jobs (Appendix 1). Complete the first paragraph of the cover letter. Then write two more paragraphs, explaining the reasons for applying and describing your skills and qualities. Provide complete postal address so that the recruiter can easily contact you. Mention the employer’s name, designation, company’s name, and address below your details.

Pay attention to the Writing Tips (Appendix 3).

Dear Mr. _____,

I am writing to apply for a position of ______________, which you advertised in today’s _________. I am very excited by the opportunity you offer and believe that I have the personality and qualifications you are looking for.

3. Study the information about CV.

CURRICULUM VITAE

Your CV is a summary of your professional/academic life until now, and it usually concentrates on your personal details, education and work experience.

Your CV’s goal is to get you a job interview. To do this, your CV must be:

• clear

• well-organised

• easy to read

• concise

• relevant to the job offered

Your CV is the summary of your professional life. There are usually 5 general headings of information to include:

• personal details – name, address, email and telephone number

• objective – a headline that summarizes the job opportunity you are seeking

• work experience – your previous employment in reverse chronological order – with most detail for your present or most recent job

• education – details of secondary and university education – including the establishments and qualifications (but excluding any that are irrelevant to your career)

• personal interests – demonstrating that you are a balanced, responsible member of society with an interesting life outside work.

4. You may find it useful to study specific samples of Computer Resume for IT jobs at

http://www.bestsampleresume.com/computer-resumes.html

• Applications Programmer Resume

• Computer Operator Resume

• Computer Operator Supervisor Resume

• Computer Technician Resume

• Developmental Engineer Resume

• Director Of Information Services Resume

• Hardware Engineer Resume

• Information Analyst Resume

• LAN Administrator Resume

• Manager Of Network Administration Resume

• MIS Manager Resume

• Operations Analyst Resume

• Product Support Manager Resume

• Project Manager Resume

• System Analyst Resume

• System Engineer Resume

• Systems Programmer Resume

• Technical Engineer Resume

• Network Administrator Resume

• Network Analyst Resume

• Network Manager Resume

• IT Manager Resume

• Network Specialist Resume

• z/OS System Programmer Resume

• z/OS UNIX System Programmer Resume

• Knowledge Engineer Resume

• UNIX Engineer Resume

• Java Websphere Developer Resume

• Computer Scientist Resume

• Knowledge Manager Resume

• Kronos Programmer Resume

• Kronos Systems Administrator Resume

• VP of Information Technology Resume

• Web Producer Resume

• Computer Operator Resume

• Computer Specialist Resume

• Computer Product Sales Resume

• Computer Hardware Repair Specialist Resume

• CISCO Network Associate Resume

• Information System Officer Resume

• Female Computer Operator Resume

• Data Processor Resume

5. Study the CV of Paul W Cair (Appendix 2). Then write your own CV in the same way. For the purpose of this task, you can invent experience and assume you have passed all your examinations.


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