IT professionals are basically the computer equivalent of ghostbusters.


“Hold up.” you say, “The ghostbusters fought an evil marshmallow man with a proton pack. The IT gal I know loves marshmallows. You are stretching a tenuous connection just to get people to click on your blog post.” It is true that the statistical likelihood of your local IT gal fighting marshmallows is quite low. (And we do hope talking about ghostbusters will draw you in.) However, consider this: When there is trouble with technology, who ya gonna call? That’s right: the IT gal.

Information Technologists are the computer equivalent of ghostbusters because they are the heroes of every organization. By managing and fixing computer systems, they save the day. Not convinced yet?

Here are 5 elements of being an Information Technologist that prove they are heroes:

ELEMENT 1: SPECIAL ABILITIES

Heroes typically possess unique gifts which are used for the good of mankind. Unlike many of us, IT professionals can understand, manage, and fix computers. With a degree in IT, you learn about the foundations of software, hardware, and programming. This allows you to support organizations and individuals in all their tech needs. When Mr. Johnson deletes all his files or the organization’s network is down, you swoop in and restore balance (as much as is possible). Information Technologists have specialized abilities they use to benefit others.

ELEMENT 2: CREATIVE PROBLEM-SOLVING

Heroes come up with crazy (though entertaining) plans to solve the world’s problems, so also with IT professionals. Sure, sometimes you follow a step-by-step formula, but usually solving problems requires more. IT demands outside-the-box thinking (unlike this phrase, which is totally cliché). As the IT gal, your job is to find an unusual fix to a challenging problem. You will never be bored, because you will never cease to be amazed by the pickles others get themselves into. Information Technologists get creative to get the job done.

ELEMENT 3: REMAIN CALM UNDER PRESSURE

Heroes are busiest during a crisis (which often means they are also being judged by thousands). In IT, there is always work to do, but it becomes visible to the rest of the organization when disaster strikes. This means the IT gal works with an audience as tense situations unfold. When the power goes out and everyone is worried whether their work has been undone, you have to be the cool and collected one. Information Technologists respond with composed authority in the face of panic.

ELEMENT 4: PEOPLE SKILLS

Heroes, not only have to save people, they also have to relate to them. While fixing and maintaining computer systems, Information Technologists have the important task of reassuring, explaining, and educating others. (You could even say they have dual identities as a) computer nerd and b) socially-adept rescuer.) If Mr. Johnson downloads a virus, IT professionals must tell him what happened in terms he can understand, all while being pleasant and professional. Information Technologists show kindness while saving employees-in-distress.

ELEMENT 5: FULFILLING CAREER PATH

Heroes don’t have to save the day, but they do. If you are good with computers (or want to be), you could have a techie career cut off from society. In choosing a degree in IT, you commit to making the lives of those around you a little bit easier. Helping others can be difficult, but it is truly rewarding. Information Technologists find fulfillment in protecting and rescuing people from computer problems, both big and small.

A career in IT requires skill, creative thinking, and an attitude of service. At the end of the day, you probably won’t receive cheers and applause from a crowd covered in marshmallow goo, but you will have been somebody’s hero. If a degree in IT sounds like the path for you, consider Concordia University’s Information Technology program. Our goal is to prepare you with the foundation you need to serve others in the area you choose.

— Kali Thiel is director of university communications for Concordia University Wisconsin and Ann Arbor. She may be reached at kali.thiel@cuw.edu or 262-243-2149.

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