Tech Is More Than You Think: What Tech Workers Actually Do
By Emily Matzelle
Have you ever wondered what it's really like to work in tech? Or what kinds of jobs there are? Are they boring or exciting? How do you even get one? And most importantly: Is it something you’d want to do?
Research suggests that 92% of jobs today require at least some digital skills, but about one-third of employees don’t have those foundational skills necessary to enter and succeed in their jobs.
To help you better understand what people who work in tech actually do all day, and what it takes to get there, we've compiled a list of articles. And remember, these stories are just a few examples. There are many more tech jobs out there with organizations of all shapes and sizes—including non-tech organizations—and middle school is the perfect time for students to start thinking about a tech career.
Related Blog: Busting Tech Industry Myths: Tech Is More Than Big Tech and Coding
What Does a Help Desk Specialist Do?
Technology is wonderful, but sometimes it glitches. When somebody runs into a problem they can’t fix on their own, they ask for help. The “help desk” is a team of people who solve technology problems, and a help desk specialist is one of those people. They may answer phone calls, emails or talk on web chats to help people with common issues like resetting passwords, recovering accidentally deleted files or connecting to the internet. To be a help desk specialist, you have to know how to solve these problems.
Want to learn more? A Day in the Life of an IT Pro: Tier 1 Help Desk Specialist
What Does a Cybersecurity Professional Do?
You probably get lots of junk texts and emails, so it’s important to know what’s safe to open and what to stay away from. A cybersecurity professional is someone who knows how hackers try to trick people and how to protect against them. This is really important for organizations that collect private data like your birthdate, where you live and even your credit card number. Cybersecurity professionals perform all sorts of different roles to keep us safe from the bad guys.
Want to learn more? A Day in the Life: What Cybersecurity Pros Actually Do
What Does an Information Security Consultant Do?
Have you ever thought it would be cool to be your own boss? An information security consultant does the same thing a cybersecurity professional does, but they work for themselves. Instead of working for just one organization, a consultant works for multiple clients. These may be smaller businesses that don’t have a full-time cybersecurity professional on staff, or they may be larger organizations that have so much work to do that they need some extra help. A consultant has to be good at getting everything done on their own time.
Want to learn more? A Day in the Life of an Information Security Consultant
What Does a Penetration Tester Do?
Penetration testers—or pen testers for short—are the good guys that act like the bad guys. That means that they try to break into their own organization’s systems and steal data. Why would they do that? To see if it can be done! Pen testers test the organization’s security measures to see if they hold up. If they don’t, then they work to fix the problem before a real hacker can come around and try to steal information. To do this job, you have to know what’s at risk, how to test it and how to fix it.
Want to learn more? A Day in the Life of an IT Pro: Penetration Tester
What Does a Security Operations Center (SOC) Professional Do?
The security operations center, or SOC (pronounced “sock”), can be an exciting place to work. You might see a SOC in movies as a team of tech people racing against the clock to solve a big problem. While every day in the SOC might not be movie-worthy, IT professionals who work there are used to doing something different every day. When an incident comes up, the SOC works together to identify the issue, fix the problem and prevent it from happening again.
Want to learn more? A Day in the Life of the SOC
There are so many jobs in technology. And as we start using more technology to do different things, new jobs will be created. If you decide to learn more about technology as a career, the odds are good that you may end up in a job that hasn’t even been created yet!
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CompTIA Spark programs are designed to get young people interested and engaged in technology.