Overview

IT specialists are the techies that we all know and love in a business environment. Any business that relies on computer software will need an IT specialist at some point, whether they keep one in house or hire a freelancer or consultant. So, where you take your career in IT is entirely up to you and according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, this is a career that will see a 12% increase in opportunities between 2014 – 2024, with an average salary of circa $80,000, so it is an all-round good choice.

As a specialist, you will provide support to the businesses IT users, identify and rectify technology problems, manage the local network and provide relevant software and/or database development. You may also be asked to provide IT training to the system users, so as well as a great deal of technical expertise you are going to need some people skills. You must also stay up to date with technological advancements and be prepared to discuss the potential effect of these in your business with senior leaders, so confident communication skills are a plus, also.

Training and qualifications required for this role are generally not set in stone. A degree in computer sciences, information science, statistics or mathematics would stand you in good stead, but it is equally possible to be successful with a far less weighty certification in IT skills. It really depends on your natural aptitude for technology and whether you can prove you have the ability to identify and support the business needs.

Your resume needs to list your technical skills as a priority and preferably have some previous achievements that can be backed up with evidence of success. Do not forget to include the soft skills in there too. Remember this is a role that is about supporting others, so communication, presentation and the ability to lead or mentor will be a distinct advantage

Pay

The median salary for IT specialists, according to the US  Bureau of Labor Statistics is around $51,000 per year. Salary aggregator pay scale.com, puts this median figure a little higher, at just over $53,000 per year. This breaks down to around $20 an hour.

It should be noted, though, that because the tech industry can vary greatly depending on the size of the company and the responsibilities expected of the employee. For example, an entry level computer specialist may only make around $35,000 annually; however, a more senior candidate, or worker managing an IT department for a small or medium-size company can make upwards of $90,000 a year.

IT Specialist Salary Statistics

2016 Median Pay
$51,470 per year
$24.75 per hour
Typical Entry-Level EducationAssociates or Bachelors
Work Experience in a Related OccupationNot required
On-the-job TrainingOccasional
Number of Jobs, 2016766,900
Job Outlook, 2014-2024+12%
Employment Change, 2014-2024+88,800
Sources: U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics & Payscale

The IT industry is one in which years of experience can directly correlate to higher pay, and for every five years of experience and professional knowledge, one can expect an increase of nearly $10,000 a year on through 20+ years of experience.

Industry Forecast

The total expected growth rate for all occupations combined between the years of 2014 and 2024 is around 7%. Within the IT sector, different sub sectors are growing at various rates of greater than the national average for occupations.

Computer user support specialists for example, are expected to grow at around 13% from 2014 to 2024, while all computer-related occupations will average around 12%. Additionally, computer support specialists are projected to grow at around 10% and computer network support specialists are sent to grow at 8%.

As you can see, all segments of the IT industry are expected to experience robust growth for the next 10 to 15 years. As large organizations continue to grow and expand and become more wired, or wireless, depending on who you ask, so will the need for information technology specialists to facilitate this technological upgrading.

Many IT specialists work in-house, for large companies, while others will work for IT consulting firms in assisting small businesses that do not have their own IT departments to manage their technological affairs.

As businesses look to acquire the latest advancements in technology, and globalization continues to drive the American economy, resulting in more and more businesses growing, the demand for highly skilled professionals to manage corporate technologies will only increase further on into the future.

Types of IT Specialists

IT is a massively diverse industry, with literally dozens of different job descriptions all falling under the umbrella of information technology. As mentioned above, three core IT specialist roles include Computer User Support Specialists, Computer Support Specialists, and Computer Network Support Specialists. You will notice each of these has a slightly different emphasis; one being on the user, another being on the hardware and software, and another focusing on network systems.

Beyond the above-mentioned IT specialist roles there are other more senior level positions that overlap with these job titles, including IT managers, systems administrators, network administrators, IT directors, senior project managers of IT, senior systems administrators, chief information officers, and program managers.

Below is a selection of some of the other more specialized type of IT professionals that you may fall into.

Types of IT Professions

Academic Technology SpecialistBusiness Technology SpecialistDeployment SpecialistField-based Technology Specialist
Hardware SpecialistHelp desk/Customer Service TechniciansInformation System EngineersInformation System Technicians
IT ConsultantIT DirectorsIT ManagersIT Support Specialists
Information Technology AssistantsInformation Technology ProfessionalIT AnalystIT Applications Specialist
IT AssociateIT ContractorIT Network SpecialistIT Operations Specialist
IT ProgrammerIT Software DeveloperIT Sourcing SpecialistIT Technician Training
IT TechnicianManufacturing Execution Specialist (MES) SpecialistPlatform SpecialistServer Specialist
Solutions SpecialistSupport Analyst for ITSupport Engineer for ITSupport Technician for IT

Resume Example Download

Below is an example of a IT specialist resume that has been professionally written and formatted so that you can use it for a starting point when writing your own. Feel free to download it, copy it, and use whatever you please.

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How To Write Your Own

Writing information technology resumes is relatively straightforward as they do not vary greatly from other types of resumes in other industries. You still want to stick with one page, have a career objective or qualification summary at the top, followed by your professional work experiences, followed by your educational background, and concluding with additional skills and certifications you have.

One way in which an IT resume will differ from other resumes, however, is the amount of focus you place on technical skills. It will not be just an ‘any additional skills’ section, like most resumes , but instead your skills will be liberally sprinkled throughout the entire body of the resume.

Employers have very specific roles they are looking to fill, each with its own specific set of responsibilities, so reading the job description carefully and then reflecting the desired technical skills back to the reader in your own resume will be a surefire way to both get their attention and get an interview.

Don’t be afraid to get nerdy with your language, SS industry requires a good amount of “geek speak” in order to convey technical knowledge within the industry. Of course, you still want to write your resume in a positive action oriented way that illustrates that you are both technically smart, but also human; meaning you have communication skills, critical thinking skills, and problem-solving skills.

Finally, take a step back from the technical side of things and try to numerically quantify other types of achievements whenever possible on your resume. We are talking about increasing efficiencies in percentage terms, and saving money in dollar terms. You  want to write these numbers out in number as they really jump off the page and grab the reader’s attention and also show that your value goes beyond your technical expertise and can be an overall asset to overall business growth.

Sample Bullet Points

Below is a selection of hand-picked example bullet points that you can use for inspiration, and to modify when crafting your resume.

Sample IT Specialist Bullet Points

Task
Oversee the daily performance of computer systems.
Answer user inquiries regarding computer software or hardware operation to resolve problems.
Enter commands and observe system functioning to verify correct operations and detect errors.
Set up equipment for employee use, performing or ensuring proper installation of cables, operating systems, or appropriate software.
Install and perform minor repairs to hardware, software, or peripheral equipment, following design or installation specifications.
Maintain records of daily data communication transactions, problems and remedial actions taken, or installation activities.
Read technical manuals, confer with users, or conduct computer diagnostics to investigate and resolve problems or to provide technical assistance and support.
Refer major hardware or software problems or defective products to vendors or technicians for service.
Develop training materials and procedures, or train users in the proper use of hardware or software.
Confer with staff, users, and management to establish requirements for new systems or modifications.
Prepare evaluations of software or hardware, and recommend improvements or upgrades.
Read trade magazines and technical manuals, or attend conferences and seminars to maintain knowledge of hardware and software.
Hire, supervise, and direct workers engaged in special project work, problem solving, monitoring, and installing data communication equipment and software.
Inspect equipment and read order sheets to prepare for delivery to users.
Modify and customize commercial programs for internal needs.
Conduct office automation feasibility studies, including workflow analysis, space design, or cost comparison analysis.

Career Objective

Like all resumes, you want to start things off with a bang, and this means writing a very targeted, very impactful career objective at the top of your resume.

In two or three sentences, state your experience level in that particular field in which are most knowledgeable. The goal here is to reassure the reader that you are the expert they are  looking for, in which case they will continue to read the rest of your resume, which will sell them on wanting to interview you.

If you are an entry-level candidate, mention your degree you are pursuing or have recently obtained, and perhaps an internship experience relevant to the position for which you are applying.

If you are a more senior level candidate, you can just eliminate the career objective altogether and start your resume out with the technical skills section. Here you start with a sentence or two stating years of experience, followed by a select number of your most pertinent bullet points, ranging from 6 to 10.

Again, do not give away all in opening, as you will be able to elaborate on your expertise and experiences in the body of the resume; however, opening with the technical skills section is good for senior-level candidates as they generally just have more breadth and flexibility in terms of skills acquired over the years.

Additional Skills & Certifications

Below are some hand-selected skills and traits that you should consider using and building off when crafting your own resume as they are highly pertinent to this technology field and are universally valued from startups to large multinational companies.

Useful Skills to Include

Useful IT Specialist Skills

SkillSkill Description
Active ListeningGiving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
SpeakingTalking to others to convey information effectively.
Reading ComprehensionUnderstanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Critical ThinkingUsing logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
WritingCommunicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Complex Problem SolvingIdentifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Time ManagementManaging one's own time and the time of others.
Active LearningUnderstanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
MonitoringMonitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
InstructingTeaching others how to do something.
Judgment and Decision MakingConsidering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Social PerceptivenessBeing aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
CoordinationAdjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
Service OrientationActively looking for ways to help people.
Systems AnalysisDetermining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
Learning StrategiesSelecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
NegotiationBringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.
Operation MonitoringWatching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
TroubleshootingDetermining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
Management of Personnel ResourcesMotivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.
PersuasionPersuading others to change their minds or behavior.
Operations AnalysisAnalyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.
Operation and ControlControlling operations of equipment or systems.
Quality Control AnalysisConducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
Systems EvaluationIdentifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
MathematicsUsing mathematics to solve problems.
Equipment MaintenancePerforming routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
RepairingRepairing machines or systems using the needed tools.
ScienceUsing scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
Equipment SelectionDetermining the kind of tools and equipment needed to do a job.
InstallationInstalling equipment, machines, wiring, or programs to meet specifications.
ProgrammingWriting computer programs for various purposes.
Technology DesignGenerating or adapting equipment and technology to serve user needs.
Management of Financial ResourcesDetermining how money will be spent to get the work done, and accounting for these expenditures.
Management of Material ResourcesObtaining and seeing to the appropriate use of equipment, facilities, and materials needed to do certain work.

Additional Resources