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Information Technology Specialists

Significant Points

Information Technology includes systems and services used in the automated acquisition, storage, manipulation, management, movement, control, display, switching, interchange, transmission, assurance, or reception of information. Also included are computers, network components, peripheral equipment, software, firmware, services, and related resources. Positions performing two-grade interval work for which the paramount requirement is knowledge of Information Technology (IT) principles, concepts and methods are covered by the GS-2210 series. The work of this position involves participating in the planning, designing and maintaining of information technology systems. It also includes the installation, configuration, upgrade and troubleshooting of the numerous hardware and software components in use in the state; presentation of formal and informal training and assisting customers resolve a variety of information technology user-related issues.

Information Technology Specialists serve as technical experts for the development, implementation, management, and support of systems and networks. IT specialists plan and carry out exciting, complex assignments and develop new methods and approaches in a wide variety of IT specialties. They evaluate new and enhanced approaches to delivering IT services; test and optimize the functionality of systems, networks, and data; and define technical requirements. These positions require knowledge of IT principles, concepts, and methods; systems testing and evaluation principles, methods, and tools; IT security principles and methods; COTS products; Internet technologies; and/or emerging information technologies. The 2210 series includes individuals whose functions require the regular and recurring application of knowledge of IT principles, concepts, and methods.

For example, positions responsible for functions such as those listed below are excluded from the 2210 series because these functions do not require the regular and recurring application of knowledge of IT principles, concepts, and methods.

  • monitoring the operation of small networked systems;
  • adding network users;
  • updating passwords;
  • installing or assisting users in installing COTS software programs (e.g., database or spreadsheet programs);
  • configuring hardware and software according to instructions;
  • running scheduled backups;
  • troubleshooting minor problems; and
  • responding to less complex user questions.
  • The basic titles for this occupation are:

    IT Project Manager – Work that involves directly managing information technology projects to provide a unique service or product. The title also applies to supervisory project manager positions evaluated under the General Schedule Supervisory Guide. (Note – See Interpretive Guidance for Project Managers for evaluation criteria and information regarding this work.)

    Information Technology – Specialist or IT Specialist –Work that involves developing, delivering, and supporting IT systems and services is Information Technology Specialist or IT Specialist. Use the parenthetical specialty titles defined below with the basic title to further identify the duties and responsibilities performed and the special knowledge and skills needed.

    Perhaps no other occupation has experienced the dramatic changes that have affected the IT occupation in recent years. The growing use of information technology throughout our economy has resulted in an unprecedented explosion in the demand for skilled IT workers. This phenomenon affects virtually every aspect of the IT human resources management process from recruitment to retirement. The position classification function is no exception. Continuous, significant developments in the technology and its application dramatically influence the occupation, with a particular emphasis on information security. As more and more information, products, and services become widely available to customers by way of shared resources, the need to assure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of systems, networks, and data has become increasingly important.

    Parenthetical titles, as defined below, are used with the basic title of the position to further identify the duties and responsibilities performed and the special knowledge and skills needed. Use the basic title without a parenthetical specialty title for positions with no established specialty or emphasis area or for positions involving work in more than two of the established specialties.

    Sometimes two authorized parenthetical specialty titles (e.g., Applications Software/Systems Analysis) are combined when the two specialties are significant to the position. OPM has prescribed eleven parenthetical titles for the Information Technology Management series, 2210, covered by this Job Family Standard (JFS):

  • Policy and Planning - develop, implement, and ensure compliance with plans, policies, standards, infrastructures, and architectures that establish the framework for the management of all IT programs.
  • Network Services - test, install, configure, and maintain networks including hardware (servers, hubs, bridges, switches, and routers) and software that permit the sharing and transmission of information.
  • Enterprise Architecture - analyze, plan, design, document, assess, and manage the IT enterprise structural framework to align IT systems with the mission, goals, and business processes of the organization.
  • Data Management - develop and administer databases used to store and retrieve data and develop standards for the handling of data.
  • Security - plan, develop, implement, and maintain programs, polices, and procedures to protect the integrity and confidentiality of systems, networks, and data.
  • Internet - provide services that permit the publication and transmission of information about agency programs to internal and external audiences using the Internet.
  • Systems Analysis - consult with customers to refine functional requirements and translate functional requirements into technical specifications.
  • Systems Administration - install, configure, troubleshoot, and maintain hardware and software to ensure the availability and functionality of systems.
  • Applications Software - translate technical specifications into programming specifications; develop, customize, or acquire applications software programs; and test, debug, and maintain software programs.
  • Customer Support - provide technical support to customers who need advice, assistance, and training in applying hardware and software systems.
  • Operating Systems - install, configure, and maintain the operating systems environment, including systems servers and operating systems software on which applications programs run.

  • Policy and Planning

    Work that involves a wide range of IT management activities that typically extend and apply to an entire organization or major components of an organization. This includes strategic planning, capital planning and investment control, workforce planning, policy and standards development, resource management, knowledge management, auditing, and information security management.

    Functions commonly performed by employees in this specialty may include:

  • developing and maintaining strategic plans;
  • assessing policy needs and developing policies to govern IT activities;
  • providing policy guidance to IT management, staff, and customers;
  • defining current and future business environments;
  • preparing IT budgets;
  • managing IT investment portfolios;
  • establishing metrics to measure and evaluate systems performance and total cost of ownership;
  • identifying and addressing IT workforce planning and management issues, such as recruitment, retention, and training;
  • conducting audits of IT programs and projects; and/or
  • ensuring the rigorous application of information security/ information assurance policies, principles, and practices in the delivery of planning and management services.
  • Common organizational or functional titles for positions in this specialty:

  • enterprise resource planner
  • IT policy and planning analyst
  • IT program management specialist
  • IT auditor
  • Network Services

    Work that involves 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.

    Functions commonly performed by employees in this specialty may include:

  • analyzing and defining network requirements;
  • defining and maintaining network architecture and infrastructure;
  • configuring and optimizing network servers, hubs, routers, and switches;
  • analyzing network workload;
  • monitoring network capacity and performance;
  • diagnosing and resolving network problems;
  • developing network backup and recovery procedures;
  • installing, testing, maintaining, and upgrading network operating systems software; and/or
  • ensuring the rigorous application of information security/ information assurance policies, principles, and practices in the delivery of network services.
  • Common organizational or functional titles for positions in this specialty:

  • network administrator
  • LAN/WAN administrator
  • network analyst
  • network designer
  • network engineer
  • Network architects or network engineers are the designers of computer networks. They set up, test, and evaluate systems such as local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), the Internet, intranets, and other data communications systems. Systems are configured in many ways and can range from a connection between two offices in the same building to globally distributed networks, voice mail, and e-mail systems of a multinational organization. Network architects and engineers perform network modeling, analysis, and planning, which often require both hardware and software solutions. For example, setting up a network may involve the installation of several pieces of hardware, such as routers and hubs, wireless adaptors, and cables, as well as the installation and configuration of software, such as network drivers. These workers may also research related products and make necessary hardware and software recommendations, as well as address information security issues.

    Network and computer systems administrators design, install, and support an organization’s computer systems. They are responsible for LANs, WANs, network segments, and Internet and intranet systems. They work in a variety of environments, including large corporations, small businesses, and government organizations. They install and maintain network hardware and software, analyze problems, and monitor networks to ensure their availability to users. These workers gather data to evaluate a system’s performance, identify user needs, and determine system and network requirements.

    Enterprise Architecture

    Work that involves the analysis, planning, design, implementation, documentation, assessment, and management of the enterprise structural framework to align IT strategy, plans, and systems with the mission, goals, structure, and processes of the organization.

    Functions commonly performed by employees in this specialty may include:

  • developing reference models of the enterprise and maintaining the information in the IT repository;
  • determining the gaps between the current and the target architecture and developing plans for transitioning to target architecture;
  • defining the policies and principles to guide technology decisions for the enterprise architecture;
  • identifying opportunities to improve enterprise-level systems to support business processes and utilize emerging technologies;
  • promoting and educating customers and stakeholders on the use and value of the enterprise architecture;
  • providing enterprise architecture guidance, support, and coordination to customers and IT project teams;
  • documenting the enterprise architecture infrastructure, including the business units and key processes, using modeling techniques;
  • ensuring technical integration is achieved across the enterprise by participating in test planning, validation, and reviews;
  • evaluating the impact of enterprise architecture products and services on IT investments, business operations, stakeholder satisfaction, and other outcomes;
  • coordinating and conducting governance and portfolio management activities associated with ensuring compliance with the enterprise architecture; and/or
  • ensuring the rigorous application of information security/ information assurance policies, principles, and practices to all components of the enterprise architecture.
  • Common organizational or functional titles for positions in this specialty:

  • chief or senior enterprise architect
  • enterprise architect
  • information technology architect
  • Data Management

    Work that involves the planning, development, implementation, and administration of systems for the acquisition, storage, and retrieval of data.

    Functions commonly performed by employees in this specialty may include:

  • analyzing and defining data requirements and specifications;
  • designing, normalizing, developing, installing, and implementing databases;
  • maintaining, monitoring, performance tuning, backup, and recovery of databases;
  • installing, configuring, and maintaining database management systems software;
  • analyzing and planning for anticipated changes in data capacity requirements;
  • developing and administering data standards, policies, and procedures;
  • developing and implementing data mining and data warehousing programs;
  • evaluating and providing recommendations on new database technologies and architectures; and/or
  • ensuring the rigorous application of information security/ information assurance policies, principles, and practices in the delivery of data management services.
  • Common organizational or functional titles for positions in this specialty:

  • database developer
  • database administrator
  • data analyst
  • data administrator
  • data architect
  • data storage specialist
  • data warehouse specialist
  • Database administrators work with database management software and determine ways to store, organize, analyze, use, and present data. They identify user needs and set up new computer databases. In many cases, database administrators must integrate data from old systems into a new system. They also test and coordinate modifications to the system when needed, and troubleshoot problems when they occur. An organization’s database administrator ensures the performance of the system, understands the platform on which the database runs, and adds new users to the system. Because many databases are connected to the Internet, database administrators also must plan and coordinate security measures with network administrators. Some database administrators may also be responsible for database design, but this task is usually performed by database designers or database analysts.

    Security

    Work that involves 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.

    Functions commonly performed by employees in this specialty may include:

  • developing policies and procedures to ensure information systems reliability and accessibility and to prevent and defend against unauthorized access to systems, networks, and data;
  • conducting risk and vulnerability assessments of planned and installed information systems to identify vulnerabilities, risks, and protection needs;
  • promoting awareness of security issues among management and ensuring sound security principles are reflected in organizations’ visions and goals;
  • conducting systems security evaluations, audits, and reviews;
  • developing systems security contingency plans and disaster recovery procedures;
  • developing and implementing programs to ensure that systems, network, and data users are aware of, understand, and adhere to systems security policies and procedures;
  • participating in network and systems design to ensure implementation of appropriate systems security policies;
  • facilitating the gathering, analysis, and preservation of evidence used in the prosecution of computer crimes;
  • assessing security events to determine impact and implementing corrective actions; and/or
  • ensuring the rigorous application of information security/ information assurance policies, principles, and practices in the delivery of all IT services.
  • Common organizational or functional titles for positions in this specialty:

  • information systems security analyst/specialist
  • information systems security officer
  • network security officer
  • information assurance analyst/specialist
  • Computer security specialists plan, coordinate, and maintain an organization’s information security. These workers educate users about computer security, install security software, monitor networks for security breaches, respond to cyber attacks, and, in some cases, gather data and evidence to be used in prosecuting cyber crime. The responsibilities of computer security specialists have increased in recent years as cyber attacks have become more sophisticated.

    Internet

    Work that involves the technical planning, design, development, testing, implementation, and management of Internet, intranet, and extranet activities, including systems/applications development and technical management of Websites. This specialty only includes positions that require the application of technical knowledge of Internet systems, services, and technologies.

    In most cases, the term Internet is used in this standard to refer generically to Internet, intranet, and extranet systems and services.

    Functions commonly performed by employees in this specialty may include:

  • determining overall technical design and structure of Internet services;
  • monitoring functionality, security, and integrity of Internet services;
  • troubleshooting and resolving technical problems with the design and delivery of Internet services;
  • collecting and analyzing Internet services usage and performance statistics;
  • evaluating new Internet services and technologies;
  • providing technical advice to Internet content providers; and/or
  • ensuring the rigorous application of information security/ information assurance policies, principles, and practices in the delivery of Internet services.
  • Common organizational or functional titles for positions in this specialty:

  • Web developer
  • Webmaster
  • Web manager
  • Website administrator
  • Web operations specialist
  • Internet specialist
  • Internet developer
  • Internet architect
  • Web developers are responsible for the technical aspects of Web site creation. Using software languages and tools, they create applications for the Web. They identify a site’s users and oversee its production and implementation. They determine the information that the site will contain and how it will be organized, and may use Web development software to integrate databases and other information systems. Some of these workers may be responsible for the visual appearance of Web sites. Using design software, they create pages that appeal to the tastes of the site’s users.

    Webmasters or Web administrators are responsible for maintaining Web sites. They oversee issues such as availability to users and speed of access, and are responsible for approving the content of the site. Webmasters also collect and analyze data on Web activity, traffic patterns, and other metrics, as well as monitor and respond to user feedback.

    Systems Analysis

    Work that involves applying analytical processes to the planning, design, and implementation of new and improved information systems to meet the business requirements of customer organizations.

    Functions commonly performed by employees in this specialty may include:

  • performing needs analyses to define opportunities for new or improved business process solutions;
  • consulting with customers to identify and specify requirements;
  • developing overall functional and systems requirements and specifications;
  • conducting business process reengineering;
  • conducting feasibility studies and trade-off analyses;
  • preparing business cases for the application of IT solutions;
  • defining systems scope and objectives;
  • developing cost estimates for new or modified systems;
  • ensuring the integration of all systems components; e.g., procedures, databases, policies, software, and hardware;
  • planning systems implementation; and/or
  • ensuring the rigorous application of information security/ information assurance policies, principles, and practices to the systems analysis process.
  • Common organizational or functional titles for positions in this specialty:

  • systems analyst
  • business analyst
  • solutions architect
  • Systems Administration

    Work that involves planning and coordinating the installation, testing, operation, troubleshooting, and maintenance of hardware and software systems.

    Functions commonly performed by employees in this specialty may include:

  • planning and scheduling the installation of new or modified hardware and operating systems and applications software;
  • managing accounts, network rights, and access to systems and equipment;
  • managing systems resources including performance, capacity, availability, serviceability, and recoverability;
  • implementing security procedures and tools;
  • developing and documenting systems administration standard operating procedures;
  • resolving hardware/software interface and interoperability problems;
  • ensuring systems availability, functionality, integrity, and efficiency;
  • maintaining systems configuration;
  • managing the installation and integration of systems fixes, updates, and enhancements; and/or
  • ensuring the rigorous application of information security/ information assurance policies, principles, and practices in the delivery of systems administration services.
  • Common organizational or functional titles for positions in this specialty:

  • systems administrator
  • site administrator
  • UNIX/Windows systems administrator
  • Systems administrators are responsible for maintaining system efficiency. They ensure that the design of an organization’s computer system allows all of the components, including computers, the network, and software, to work properly together. Administrators also troubleshoot problems reported by users and by automated network monitoring systems and make recommendations for future system upgrades. Many of these workers are also responsible for maintaining network and system security.

    Applications Software

    Work that involves the design, documentation, development, modification, testing, installation, implementation, and support of new or existing applications software.

    Functions commonly performed by employees assigned to this specialty may include:

  • analyzing and refining systems requirements;
  • translating systems requirements into applications prototypes;
  • planning and designing systems architecture;
  • writing, debugging, and maintaining code;
  • determining and designing applications architecture;
  • determining output media/formats;
  • designing user interfaces;
  • working with customers to test applications;
  • assuring software and systems quality and functionality;
  • integrating hardware and software components;
  • writing and maintaining program documentation;
  • evaluating new applications software technologies; and/or
  • ensuring the rigorous application of information security/ information assurance policies, principles, and practices to the delivery of application software services.
  • Common organizational or functional titles for positions in this specialty:

  • programmer
  • programmer analyst
  • applications developer
  • software engineer
  • software developer
  • software quality assurance specialist
  • Customer Support

    Work that involves the planning and delivery of customer support services, including installation, configuration, troubleshooting, customer assistance, and/or training, in response to customer requirements.

    Functions commonly performed by employees in this specialty may include:

  • diagnosing and resolving problems in response to customer reported incidents;
  • researching, evaluating, and providing feedback on problematic trends and patterns in customer support requirements;
  • developing and maintaining problem tracking and resolution databases;
  • installing, configuring, troubleshooting, and maintaining customer hardware and software;
  • developing and managing customer service performance requirements;
  • developing customer support policies, procedures, and standards;
  • providing customer training; and/or
  • ensuring the rigorous application of information security/information assurance policies, principles, and practices in the delivery of customer support services.
  • Common organizational or functional titles for positions in this specialty:

  • technical support specialist
  • customer support specialist
  • help desk representative
  • maintenance specialist
  • Operating Systems

    Work that involves the planning, installation, configuration, testing, implementation, and management of the systems environment in support of the organization’s IT architecture and business needs.

    Functions commonly performed by employees in this specialty may include:

  • analyzing systems requirements in response to business requirements, risks, and costs;
  • evaluating, selecting, verifying, and validating the systems software environment;
  • evaluating, selecting, and installing compilers, assemblers, and utilities;
  • integrating hardware and software components within the systems environment;
  • monitoring and fine-tuning performance of the systems environment;
  • evaluating new systems engineering technologies and their effect on the operating environment; and/or
  • ensuring that information security/information assurance policies, principles, and practices are an integral element of the operating environment.
  • Common organizational or functional titles for positions in this specialty:

  • systems programmer
  • systems software programmer
  • systems engineer
  • systems software engineer
  • Sample Position Description for IT Specialist GS-2210-13

    MAJOR DUTIES

    Provides consultation on all aspects of the Information Technology (IT) program including: standardization of the LAN configuration; monitoring of technical support and service provided on hardware; software; cable-plant and data-line problems; development of software programs for local and enterprise systems; implementation of national standards; coordination of all Office renovations affecting information technology equipment to ensure all needed communications are available, and coordination with senior Field Office management areas to ensure that information technology services meet program requirements.

    Consults with senior Field Office staff on data availability for specific information needs including customized extract reports for program staff.

    Ensures national standards regarding security administration, user registration, facilities, Continuity of Operating Planning (COOP) and business resumption plans for reporting offices, coordination of the Computer Emergency Response Team functions, and use of the Field IT Procedures Guide are implemente4 within the ASC jurisdiction.

    Responsible for monitoring the LAN configuration to ensure it meets the Departmental standards, and monitoring its use to both ensure compliance with these specifications and ensure a high performance level within the Regional jurisdiction.

    Provides technical advice and assistance to Information Technology Specialists.

    Applies IT security principles and methods sufficient to develop long range plans for IT security systems that identify violations and recommend corrective actions and provide input in drafting information systems security documentation (e.g., disaster recovery plans and business continuity plans.); identify need for changes based on new security technologies or threats; and institute measures to ensure awareness and compliance.

    Supervises the local IT staff and IT staff in Field Offices. Responsible for the whole sphere of supervisory responsibilities e.g., planning work and setting priorities for subordinate staff; assigning work to subordinates based on priorities; evaluating work performance; providing advice, counselor instruction to employees on work assignments or other administrative matters; developing perfonnance standards; and addressing performance and or conduct problems of subordinate staff when needed.

    Develops mechanisms for evaluating the quality of IT services provided to clients, and continually evaluates the feedback to ensure IT functions are being operated in a manner consistent with the policies and goals of the OCIO. Based on an evaluation of feedback, makes appropriate adjustments in procedures, or recommends policy changes needed to improve the services provided to clients. Discusses procedural questions or recommended changes with the IT Directors to ensure a commonality of procedures throughout the Field establishment.

    Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement

    Training requirements vary by occupation. Workers can enter this field with many different levels of formal education, but relevant computer skills are always needed. Certification may improve an applicant’s chances for employment and can help workers maintain adequate skill levels throughout their careers.

    Education and training. Network and computer systems administrators often are required to have a bachelor’s degree, although an associate degree or professional certification, along with related work experience, may be adequate for some positions. Most of these workers begin as computer support specialists before advancing into network or systems administration positions. Common majors for network and systems administrators are computer science, information science, and management information systems (MIS), but a degree in any field, supplemented with computer courses and experience, may be adequate. A bachelor’s degree in a computer-related field generally takes 4 years to complete and includes courses in computer science, computer programming, computer engineering, mathematics, and statistics. Most programs also include general education courses such as English and communications. MIS programs usually are part of the business school or college and contain courses such as finance, marketing, accounting, and management, as well as systems design, networking, database management, and systems security.

    For network architect and database administrator positions, a bachelor’s degree in a computer-related field generally is required, although some employers prefer applicants with a master’s degree in business administration (MBA) with a concentration in information systems. MBA programs usually require 2 years of study beyond the undergraduate degree, and, like undergraduate business programs, include courses on finance, marketing, accounting, and management, as well as database management, electronic business, and systems management and design. In addition to formal education, network architects may be required to have several years of relevant work experience.

    For Webmasters, an associate degree or certification is sufficient although more advanced positions might require a computer-related bachelor’s degree. For telecommunications specialists, employers prefer applicants with an associate degree in electronics or a related field, but for some positions, experience may substitute for formal education. Applicants for security specialist and Web developer positions generally need a bachelor’s degree in a computer-related field, but for some positions, related experience and certification may be adequate.

    Certification and other qualifications. Workers in these occupations must have strong problem-solving, analytical, and communication skills. Because they often deal with a number of tasks simultaneously, the ability to concentrate and pay close attention to detail also is important. Although these workers sometimes work independently, they frequently work in teams on large projects. As a result, they must be able to communicate effectively with other computer workers, such as programmers and managers, as well as with users or other staff who may have no computer background.

    Jobseekers can enhance their employment opportunities by earning certifications, which are offered through product vendors, computer associations, and other training institutions. Many employers regard these certifications as the industry standard, and some require their employees to be certified. In some cases, applicants without formal education may use certification and experience to qualify for some positions.

    Because technology changes rapidly, computer specialists must continue to acquire the latest skills. Many organizations offer intermediate and advanced certification programs that pertain to the most recent technological advancements.

    Advancement. Entry-level network and computer systems administrators are involved in routine maintenance and monitoring of computer systems. After gaining experience and expertise, they are often able to advance to more senior-level positions. They may also advance to supervisory positions.

    Database administrators and network architects may advance into managerial positions, such as chief technology officer, on the basis of their experience. Computer specialists with work experience and considerable expertise in a particular area may find opportunities as independent consultants.

    Computer security specialists can advance into supervisory positions, or may move into other occupations, such as computer systems analysts.

    Employment

    Computer network, systems, and database administrators held about 961,200 jobs in 2008. Of these, 339,500 were network and computer systems administrators, 120,400 were database administrators, and 292,000 were network and data communications analysts. In addition, about 209,300 were classified as “computer specialists, all other,” a residual category.

    These workers were employed in a wide range of industries. About 14 percent of all computer network, systems, and database administrators were in computer systems design and related services. Substantial numbers of these workers were also employed in telecommunications companies, financial firms and insurance providers, business management organizations, schools, and government agencies. About 7 percent were self-employed.

    Job Outlook

    Employment is expected to grow much faster than the average, and job prospects should be excellent.

    Employment change. Overall employment of computer network, systems, and database administrators is projected to increase by 30 percent from 2008 to 2018, much faster than the average for all occupations. In addition, this occupation will add 286,600 new jobs over that period. Growth, however, will vary by specialty.

    Employment of network and computer systems administrators is expected to increase by 23 percent from 2008 to 2018, much faster than the average for all occupations. Computer networks are an integral part of business, and demand for these workers will increase as firms continue to invest in new technologies. The increasing adoption of mobile technologies means that more establishments will use the Internet to conduct business online. This growth translates into a need for systems administrators who can help organizations use technology to communicate with employees, clients, and consumers. Growth will also be driven by the increasing need for information security. As cyber attacks become more sophisticated, demand will increase for workers with security skills.

    Employment of database administrators is expected to grow by 20 percent from 2008 to 2018, much faster than the average. Demand for these workers is expected to increase as organizations need to store, organize, and analyze increasing amounts of data. In addition, as more databases are connected to the Internet, and as data security becomes increasingly important, a growing number of these workers will be needed to protect databases from attack.

    Employment of network systems and data communications analysts is projected to increase by 53 percent from 2008 to 2018, which is much faster than the average and places it among the fastest growing of all occupations. This occupational category includes network architects and engineers, as well as Web administrators and developers. Demand for network architects and engineers will increase as organizations continue to upgrade their IT capacity and incorporate the newest technologies. The growing reliance on wireless networks will result in a need for many more of these workers. Workers with knowledge of information security also will be in demand, as computer networks transmit an increasing amount of sensitive data.

    Demand for Web administrators and Web developers will also be strong. More of these workers will be needed to accommodate the increasing amount of data sent over the Internet, as well as the growing number of Internet users. In addition, as the number of services provided over the Internet expands, Web administrators and developers will continue to see employment increases.

    Growth in computer network, systems, and database administrators will be rapid in the computer systems design, data processing and hosting, software publishing, and technical consulting industries, as these types of establishments utilize or provide an increasing array of IT services. Growth will also be rapid in healthcare, as these organizations look to increase their efficiency and improve patient care through the use of information systems and other technology.

    Growth in this occupation may be tempered somewhat by offshore outsourcing, as firms transfer work to countries with lower-prevailing wages and highly skilled work forces. In addition, the consolidation of IT services may increase efficiency, reducing the demand for workers.

    Job prospects. Computer network, systems, and database administrators should continue to enjoy excellent job prospects. In general, applicants with a college degree and certification will have the best opportunities. However, for some of these occupations, opportunities will be available for applicants with related work experience. Job openings in these occupations will be the result of strong employment growth, as well as the need to replace workers who transfer to other occupations or leave the labor force.

    Earnings

    Median annual wages of network and computer systems administrators were $66,310 in May 2008. The middle 50 percent earned between $51,690 and $84,110. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $41,000, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $104,070. Median annual wages in the industries employing the largest numbers of network and computer systems administrators in May 2008 were as follows:

    Management of companies and enterprises $70,680
    Computer systems design and related services 70,490
    Wired telecommunications carriers 66,950
    Colleges, universities, and professional schools 57,380
    Elementary and secondary schools 56,320

    Median annual wages of database administrators were $69,740 in May 2008. The middle 50 percent earned between $52,340 and $91,850. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $39,900, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $111,950. In May 2008, median annual wages of database administrators employed in computer systems design and related services were $78,510, and for those in management of companies and enterprises, wages were $74,730.

    Median annual wages of network systems and data communication analysts were $71,100 in May 2008. The middle 50 percent earned between $54,330 and $90,740. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $41,660, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $110,920. These wages encompass network architects, telecommunications specialists, Webmasters, and Web developers. Median annual wages in the industries employing the largest numbers of network systems and data communications analysts in May 2008 were as follows:

    Wired telecommunications carriers $75,930
    Insurance carriers 74,910
    Management of companies and enterprises 73,720
    Computer systems design and related services 72,410
    Local government 64,230

    Sources of Additional Information

    For additional information about a career as a computer network, systems, or database administrator, contact:

    • The League of Professional System Administrators, 15000 Commerce Pkwy., Suite C, Mount Laurel, NJ 08054. Internet: http://www.lopsa.org
    • Data Management International, 19239 N. Dale Mabry Hwy. #132, Lutz, FL 33548. Internet: http://www.dama.org

    Additional information on a career in information technology is available from the following organizations:

    • Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), 2 Penn Plaza, Suite 701, New York, NY 10121-0701. Internet: http://computingcareers.acm.org
    • Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Computer Society, Headquarters Office, 2001 L St. NW., Suite 700 Washington, DC 20036-4910. Internet: http://www.computer.org
    • National Workforce Center for Emerging Technologies, 3000 Landerholm Circle SE., Bellevue, WA 98007. Internet: http://www.nwcet.org
    • University of Washington Computer Science and Engineering Department, AC101 Paul G. Allen Center, Box 352350, 185 Stevens Way, Seattle, WA 98195-2350. Internet: http://www.cs.washington.edu/WhyCSE
    • National Center for Women and Information Technology, University of Colorado, Campus Box 322 UCB, Boulder, CO 80309-0322. Internet: http://www.ncwit.org

    Information on obtaining IT Specialist positions with the Federal Government is available from the Office of Personnel Management through USAJOBS, the Federal Government's official employment information system. This resource for locating and applying for job opportunities can be accessed through the Internet at http://www.usajobs.gov or through an interactive voice response telephone system at (703) 724–1850 or  (703) 724–1850  or TDD (978) 461–8404 and   (978) 461–8404. These numbers are not toll free, and charges may result. For advice on how to find and apply for Federal jobs, download the Insider's Guide to the Federal Hiring Process” online here.

    Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition; and
    OPM's Position Classification Standards for White Collar Work

     


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