IT staffing is not what it used to be.

I am back from spring break and finally gotten uncovered from everything that piled up while I was gone.  While on spring break, I had a chance to reflect on how diversified and specialized IT staffing has become.

Much has changed in the IT staffing industry the last few years.  IT skills are much more diverse than they once were.  There is a lot more in IT than just application development.  It used to be common to say that an individual worked in “computers”. Today, just about every field involves “working with computers”. Once upon a time, a single individual could do everything from gather requirements to install the application into production.  This diversity of application development for IT means that individuals that may have never thought of themselves as technically-minded can find an IT position that is interesting to them.

Some IT skills are oriented towards creative endeavors such as web site design and Internet marketing. For individuals who love integrating the human touch into their IT skills, these are great choices. Understanding IT through this lens is often times the best option for those whose personality is more artistic than technical.

Individuals who enjoy being the expert in any given situation may wish to pursue user-support as a career option. The IT skills required to be an effective help desk technician are a blend of interpersonal skills, software troubleshooting abilities and hardware knowledge. Troubleshooting software over the phone is one of the most challenging endeavors the IT world offers.

Overseeing the server operations of a company can be an intense, high-stress job but, for those who have developed the right IT skills for the task, it’s all in a day’s work. These individuals work in the most critical areas of IT, keeping the server-level software running, adding components that increase the business’s IT assets and making sure that the company is protected from the constantly-evolving threats to security.   Often these positions require an individual to work “non-standard” hours and offer some degree of flexibility.

There are some IT jobs that can seem, at times, to be downright magical. These individuals design, deploy and maintain business applications and networking technology. These are the people who can take complex tasks and automate them so just a mouse click is all that are needed.   They read server logs as if they were written in plain English, can fix just about any problem and who can design innovative solutions that allow companies to get the most out of their software and hardware investments.

A lot of these positions are performed by an outside contractor or IT consultant who comes into a business and makes everything work as if it were an orchestra being conducted by a skilled hand.