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What is Information Technology?

By Laila Salaam
Updated May 16, 2024
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In the 1960s and 1970s, the term information technology (IT) was a little known phrase that was used by those who worked in places like banks and hospitals to describe the processes they used to store information. With the paradigm shift to computing technology and "paperless" workplaces, information technology has come to be a household phrase. It defines an industry that uses computers, networking, software programming, and other equipment and processes to store, process, retrieve, transmit, and protect information.

In the early days of computer development, there was no such thing as a college degree in IT. Software development and computer programming were best left to the computer scientists and mathematical engineers, due to their complicated nature. As time passed and technology advanced, such as with the advent of the personal computer in the 1980s and its everyday use in the home and the workplace, the world moved into the information age.

By the early 21st century, nearly every child in the Western world, and many in other parts of the world, knew how to use a personal computer. Businesses' information technology departments have gone from using storage tapes created by a single computer operator to interconnected networks of employee workstations that store information in a server farm, often somewhere away from the main business site. Communication has advanced, from physical postal mail, to telephone fax transmissions, to nearly instantaneous digital communication through electronic mail (email).

Great technological advances have been made since the days when computers were huge pieces of equipment that were stored in big, air conditioned rooms, getting their information from punch cards. The information technology industry has turned out to be a huge employer of people worldwide, as the focus shifts in some nations from manufacturing to service industries. It is a field where the barrier to entry is generally much lower than that of manufacturing, for example. In the current business environment, being proficient in computers is often a necessity for those who want to compete in the workplace.

Jobs in information technology are widely varied, although many do require some level of higher education. Positions as diverse as software designer, network engineer, and database administrator are all usually considered IT jobs. Nearly any position that involves the intersection of computers and information may be considered part of this field.

EasyTechJunkie is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By anon929477 — On Feb 01, 2014

Information technology is the future of human and scientific knowledge. It is the apex of all knowledge.

By anon320515 — On Feb 18, 2013

What is the use of learning c, c++,java languages?

By anon314445 — On Jan 18, 2013

Information technology deals with industries that provides solutions that are used in managing data and solutions for getting things done through information technology and that comes from the industry. It is a continuous learning process, and innovation, with a lot of things to put in place.

By nownantny — On Jan 02, 2013

Does (IT) have anything to do with CompTIA A+?

By anon290069 — On Sep 07, 2012

What are the three major types of information and communication technology?

By anon279112 — On Jul 11, 2012

What are the different ways that Information Technology can be employed by a company to achieve its strategic objectives and acquire competitive advantage over competitors?

By souris84 — On Feb 23, 2012

According to you, what is good and bad about information technology (IT) today? And what is happening in IT now?

By anon241518 — On Jan 19, 2012

I have completed a degree in graphics design. Where can I get a good job as a fresher in the IT field?

By anon225330 — On Oct 26, 2011

I have completed my computer hardware and networking courses. Where can I get a good job as a fresher in the IT field?

By anon224976 — On Oct 25, 2011

I have done my inter with commerce but I am interested in the computer field so what can I do? Someone advise me.

By anon197062 — On Jul 16, 2011

what is the connection of Information technology to our society?

By anon187208 — On Jun 17, 2011

what job can i get if i studied html ?

By anon160896 — On Mar 17, 2011

what job can i get if i studied I.T?

By anon160251 — On Mar 15, 2011

Another good definition for Information Technology is in the International Foundation for Information Technology (IF4IT) Glossary of IT terms and phrases. Their definition says that Information Technology is 3 things: 1) the solutions used to manage data, information and knowledge, 2) the Industry that provides solutions around those solutions, and 3) the organizations, within companies, that are made up of the IT professionals that come from that industry.

The IF4IT also has some strong IT learning resources.

I hope this helps.

By anon98712 — On Jul 23, 2010

IT is just like a bundle of all these things:

the water piping system; the electrical lining system; the bicycle; roads and highways; the library; the printing press; the telephone; the airplane; and many more. A career in IT is not a dead-end job; it's a continuous learning and innovating of a lot of things.

By anon95976 — On Jul 14, 2010

how can we define Information Technology in a village?

By anon80022 — On Apr 25, 2010

what job can i get if i studied Information Technology?

By anon76133 — On Apr 09, 2010

what can i get doing with structure programming language?

By anon61400 — On Jan 19, 2010

what actual work is done at it companies?

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