IT Specialist Career Overview & Outlook

In the age of high technology, all organizations with computers need at least one IT specialist, either on-call or on-site, to deal with possible problems. They also have to keep all of this hardware and software working correctly.

An IT specialist has countless roles to fill. Let’s scroll down to see more!

Job Description

IT specialists support organizations by ensuring all users can access and utilize computer networks all day. These professionals have experience in the IT field and a deep understanding of software and hardware technology.

IT specialists are responsible for maintaining computer systems and networks.

Some of their responsibilities include setting up networks, updating old hardware and software, implementing data security systems, etc. They must have a solid understanding of antivirus, anti-spyware, and firewalls to ensure network security.

It is an ideal position for professionals wanting to get into the IT field after getting a high school diploma or an IT certificate.

There are plenty of opportunities for on-the-job training, enabling them to get familiar with important IT concepts.

IT specialists ensure all users can access an organization’s computer networks.

Roles and Responsibilities

As an IT specialist, your responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Install new hardware and software components.
  • Ensure data storage is secure and safe.
  • Evaluate IT systems to make sure they meet all the essential demands.
  • Educate coworkers about network security and great practices.
  • Resolve all problems coworkers have with their IT software and systems.
  • Support the day-to-day operations of the computer network.

Where do IT Specialists work?

IT specialists normally work in offices.

IT specialists typically work in offices. In most cases, they work about 40 hours a week but have to work on evenings and weekends to meet the deadlines.

They have to spend a lot of time in front of computers, so they are prone to eyestrain, hand and wrist problems, and back discomfort.

Education Requirements

Many IT specialists hold a bachelor’s degree in a technical discipline, including computer science, computer engineering, information technology, and more.

Some specialists have a master’s degree in information technology, computer science, information system security, or computer engineering, demonstrating their specialized expertise and advanced knowledge.

Many also pursue specialized training through certifications, such as CISA, CCNA Security, and CompTIA Security+.

On-the-job training might be preferred or required for candidates working with special IT needs and proprietary equipment.

Entry-level specialists may have gotten previous experience from internships and practical learning opportunities while completing their undergraduate studies. Others may have one year or more of professional experience.

Specialists with experience in specific programming or systems may undertake more complex responsibilities. Those with experience in certain industries, such as finance or health care, may already have the knowledge background to be capable of duties with little or no additional training.

Essential Skills

Industry knowledge

Understanding the equipment, terminology, and other specific information will set the foundation for your success as an IT specialist. You may learn these things from your education, internships, or on-the-job experience.


Resourcefulness is essential in many roles and is a popular skill taught in STEM.

You are sometimes asked to use parts, tools, or information to make something work. If you enjoy learning on the job and using what is available to you, even if it isn’t the tools you expect, you will surely be an asset to this field.


It will be helpful if you often wonder why things work the way they do or how to troubleshoot them if they’re not performing as expected.

If you are using analytics to look at everything from a different perspective and try new tactics to get the desired result, you may use problem-solving skills. These skills can be used for both big and small tasks throughout your career in the industry.


The ability to keep working on your project until it is complete will be helpful in the IT field. Being persistent may help find solutions for any challenges.

An IT specialist may also have long-term projects that take months or years to finish. Hence, the ability to keep coming back to it and keeping an eye on it through to the end is recommended.

Project management

Being proficient in project management will be helpful if you want to move into a management or supervisory role later.

You will likely work on various projects as an expert in this field. Hence, you can learn this skill on the job or by watching how the existing project managers deal with their duties.

Plus, understanding how to set a goal, meet milestones, and communicate among a big team also benefits your job.


The IT field includes many logical components, but being creative may also be helpful in this field. It helps you generate new solutions to unforeseen issues. Creativity can also help you improve processes, workflow, and other areas of your job.


This skill can help you identify solutions to any issue you may encounter in the IT field, such as software bugs and hardware malfunctions. Moreover, it can help predict and prevent problems before they occur to keep anything smoothly.

This skill can also help you look at data sets, graphs, or charts to understand the larger implications of your project.


This skill can make you more efficient and productive in this field. As an IT specialist, you may work with many tasks or projects simultaneously.

Keeping track of your daily tasks and schedule is essential to completing projects on time and meeting other deadlines and milestones.


Both written and verbal communication is important for IT specialists.

In the IT field, you will work with various professionals outside and inside of your team. Both written and verbal communication is important since you may speak to others on the phone, write technical documentation or send emails.

Essential Tools

Here are the ten tools that can make it specialist’s life easier:

  • Performance Monitoring Software.
  • Network Security.
  • Capacity Planning.
  • Asset Management.
  • Deployment.
  • Remote Administration.
  • Helpdesk Ticketing.
  • Log Analysis.
  • Data Storage/Management.
  • Data Recovery.

Job Outlook

Job growth for IT specialists will stay strong for the coming years. The US BLS projects employment opportunities for computer support specialists to increase by 11% through 2026. It is a higher rate of increase than the average for all professions.

Organizations are increasingly adding more sophisticated hardware and software to their computer systems, leading to a growing need for IT specialists to maintain and upkeep them.

Security will continue to pose problems. As organizations store more personal data on their servers, thieves or hackers will find more ways to get into computer systems and steal private information. So more IT security analysts will get hired to combat the continuous assaults of cyberattacks.

The increasing popularity of cloud computing will also change the employment field for these specialists.

Organizations with existing IT departments are starting to outsource their computer needs to outside companies specializing in cloud computing.

The employment demand will move from organizations having internal IT staff to cloud computing specialists at outside companies.


The average annual salary for an IT specialist in the US is $54,357. It equates to $26.13 per hour, $1,045 per week, or $4,529 per month.

The majority of IT specialists’ salaries range from $41,500 to $63,000 with top earners making about $77,500 annually across the US.

Advantages and Disadvantages


  • A feeling of self-worth.
  • Great salaries and extra bonuses.
  • Remote Work and flexible hours.
  • Fast career growth and unlimited opportunities.


  • High level of pressure.
  • Long working hours.


How to Become an IT Specialist

Here are some steps required to start and advance your IT Specialist career.

Step 1: Get a Degree.

To start your IT Specialist career path, pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in computer science or any related field is essential.

We recommend focusing on industry-specific skill development during your education to be equipped for positions before applying for entry-level skills.

An IT Specialist internship is also an excellent way to gain your Bachelor’s Degree and get essential skills before entering the workforce.

Step 2: Pick a Specialty in Your Field.

IT specialists may also be required to pick a specialty within their field. Just decide which part of the IT field you feel strongest in, then continue taking steps toward growing in your selected specialty.

Step 3. Gain an Entry-Level IT Specialist Position.

Once you have gained a Bachelor’s Degree in computer science or any related field, you can start your career as an entry-level specialist.

Generally, becoming an IT Specialist is possible after completing a four-year Bachelor’s Degree in a related field.

Depending on the kind of IT Specialist role you are pursuing certification, you may explore certified solutions associated with MCSA certification.

Step 4: Advance in the IT Specialist Career.

Following entry-level, there are some career path levels to advance into. It may take two years for an entry-level position to progress to a senior position.

Each advanced position typically requires roughly five years of experience to advance your career path.

You might consider receiving additional education and an advanced degree, such as a Master’s Degree or special certifications, to advance your career path.

Step 5: Continued Education for Your Career Path.

Not all companies and organizations require continued career education to advance your career path. But gaining this degree can help you advance to a higher-earning position more quickly.

Getting a Graduate Degree in computer science may take four years to complete, but it’s worth it. IT specialists with a graduate degree typically earn more than those without it.

Can IT Specialists Work Remotely?

IT specialists can work remotely.

Yes. As a specialist, you can apply for remote work and flexible hours.

Many professionals adore the possibility of controlling their working schedule and maintaining their projects at the most suitable time.

How Long Does It Take To Become an IT Specialist?

It may take as little as half a year to become an IT specialist, while many have 4-year degrees.

Career Advice

The journey to pursuing IT-related careers has never been easy for newbies. It requires an in-depth understanding of the complex concepts of the IT field. In addition, you will need to compete with countless candidates out there to get hired.

But it doesn’t mean you will never get a job. Always strive to learn to hone your abilities. Get excited because there is nothing wrong with doing whatever you’re passionate about!

Don’t forget to develop your soft skills. Once you confirm your ability and credibility, potential employers will hire you without hesitation.