So you think you want to be an IT person? Possibly an information technology program student at Minnesota School of Business-Rochester? Maybe you have a few preconceptions about what it means to be an IT person. Maybe you hear things like, “IT people don’t like other people”, or “I’ll have to work all by myself in the basement of the company,” or “there are no women in IT.”
Well, do I, Rod Wright, information technology chair, have some news for you! We actually often do like other people, there are women in IT, and we aren’t always down in a dark basement. Most stereotypes of IT people are no longer true! Just take it from one of our students, Glenn Schumann:
“After I had been in the IT program for a couple of semesters, I realized IT techs are no different than me,” Glenn says. “I can communicate in everyday language without all the slang and jargon. Contrary to popular belief, I do enjoy a few other things outside of computers. [As a] matter of fact I sometimes enjoy other things rather than living in the IT world, i.e. mastering these wild and crazy computer games. In my spare time I love to fly small piston airplanes–real ones not the computer software type–work on vehicles, especially my classic ‘63 Ford pickup, including getting bloody knuckles and grease under my fingernails, keeping it polished for car shows during the summer months. I also enjoy woodworking, power tools and completing small construction projects.”
So, what makes a good IT person? In the field of technology, it is more important than ever that we have great people skills.
We are often talking to customers and clients about problems and trying to explain complex ideas at a level everyone can understand. Oftentimes, IT people are not just chained down to a desk, and are instead out walking around to check on equipment and solve problems. Also, the notion that there are no women in this industry is not true. Although women are underrepresented, many schools are tackling this problem head on and actively recruiting women for this industry. There are scholarships available just for women who are entering this field!
So what does it take to be a great IT person? Soft skills are one of the most important attributes of an IT person. Employers tell us over and over that this is one of the most critical skills any employee should possess. IT people need to be passionate about learning new things and adapting to new technologies. This field is constantly changing and we need to adapt with it.
IT people should be willing to research and solve complex problems. In this field, curiosity is a very important part of what we do. We want to know the why and not just the how when it comes to technology. Curiosity may have killed the cat, but in our field curiosity is encouraged.
Still interested in IT? Want to learn more about the information technology program at Minnesota School of Business-Rochester? Give us a call at 507-536-9500 and we will show you just how cool this field can be!