Database Administrator (DBA): responsible for the planning, implementation, configuration, and administration of relational database management systems. Database administrators are normally proficient with one or more popular database software packages, such as Oracle or Microsoft SQL Server, and are normally familiar with one or more database query languages, such as SQL or MySQL. Database administrators sometimes hold certifications such as Certified Oracle Database Administrator.
Database Analyst: responsible for designing and developing an organization's data flow models and database architecture. Although a database analyst may sometimes share administrative responsibilities with database administrators, analysts are normally responsible for designing the database schema which an organization will use to store and move business-critical data.
Hardware Engineer: responsible for the specification and design of computer and communications hardware components. Hardware engineers normally use specialized Computer-Aided Design (CAD) tools and powerful modeling software to create specifications and designs for new or improved computer and communications components, such as the Intel Pentium III processor or the microprocessor which powers a cellular telephone. Hardware engineering normally requires a significant background in electrical or electronics engineering, computer science, or materials engineering and training in the use of CAD equipment to model hardware designs.
Help Desk Technician: responsible primarily for supporting end-user software applications, normally done remotely via telephone. Help desk techs within an organization are often called upon to perform duties similar to those of PC Support Specialists, as well. Help desk technicians are normally trained to support specific software applications, but may sometimes receive a general certification from an organization like the Help Desk Institute for more general computer-user support functions.
Information Systems Manager: responsible for managing an organization's overall internal information technology architecture. IS managers (also called IT managers, for Information Technology managers) are responsible for the day-to-day management of an organization's information systems, including databases, operating systems, networks, technical support, and PC and server maintenance. They normally supervise the other members of the IS staff, including the network administration teams, database administration teams, PC support and tech support specialists, and programmers. They are also responsible for the budgetary and financial aspects of running the IS group, and often interface with vendors and consultants to purchase hardware, software, and services.
Inter-networking Engineer: responsible for managing and maintaining the networking architecture for an organization's Web site and Wide Area Network (WAN) connectivity. Also called an Internet Engineer for short, inter-networking engineers oversee the maintenance and design of an organization's links between it's Local Area Network, Wide Area Network and Intranet and the Internet. Internet engineers are normally focused on specialized networking hardware and software like routers, bridges, and firewalls, and may have a certification such as the Cisco Certified Inter-networking Expert.
Multimedia Developer: responsible for developing rich multimedia content for delivery over the World Wide Web or via a software application. Multimedia developers use programming and development tools like Macromedia Flash, Dreamweaver, and Authorware to build interactive content composed of animation, audio, video and text, and often have a background in graphic design. The applications they develop can be delivered as part of an interactive web site, a computer-based training module, or a software demo, for example.
Network Administrator: responsible for managing and maintaining an organization's Local Area Network (LAN). Network administrators normally focus on making sure an organization's LAN is tuned for optimum performance, delivering required information to end-users, and interacting properly with Wide Area Networks (WANs) like the Internet. Network administrators must be proficient with a wide variety of software and hardware, and normally hold specialized technical certifications like Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer, Certified NetWare Engineer, and Cisco Certified Networking Associate.
Network Engineer: responsible for the planning, design, and implementation of Local and Wide Area Networks (LANs and WANs). Network engineers usually design and implement large heterogeneous networks, and are required to have significant expertise in designing and administering network hardware and software from vendors like Microsoft, Cisco Systems, Nortel Networks, and CheckPoint. It is not uncommon for network engineers to hold certifications such as Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer, Cisco Certified Internetworking Expert, or Certified NetWare Engineer. These certifications are software revision/hardware type based and might need to be re-certified upon changes in software/hardware.
Network Security Analyst: responsible for designing, implementing and maintaining an organization's network and computer security policies. Network security analysts normally work side-by-side with network administrators and engineers to determine areas of weakness in an organization's security architecture, and often specify and implement solutions for controlling those weaknesses. Network security analysts are also called upon to shore up resources and track down hackers when security breaches occur, and must be proficient in a number of different operating systems and protocols to accomplish these tasks. Many hold additional certifications in security like SANS certified security specialist.
PC Support Specialist: responsible for assisting end-users, either remotely or in person, with personal computer maintenance, troubleshooting, and management. PC support specialists utilize broad skills and knowledge to perform everything from hardware maintenance to software upgrades, and normally hold certifications such as CompTIA's A+ designation.
Programmer/Analyst: responsible for designing and implementing computer information systems, and for using computer programming languages to write software applications for those systems. Programmer/analysts often work together with system analysts to design complex computer systems, and then use programming languages like C++, Visual Basic, or Java to write applications with which end-users can access those systems.
Programmer: responsible for developing computer programs which allow end-users to interface directly with computer operating systems and hardware. Programmers also play a large role in developing computer programs which enable computer-to-computer communication, sometimes called scripts. Programming is a specialized skill which requires training in various types of programming languages as well as problem-solving and logic. Programmers often use languages like Java, C++, and Visual Basic to write the programs, and sometimes hold certifications like Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer or Sun Certified Java Developer.
Software Engineer: responsible for designing and programming large-scale computer systems and applications. Similar to a systems analyst, software engineers primarily design and build complex system software, such as operating systems, protocol architectures, or databases upon which application software programs will run. Software engineers often make use of complex methodologies like Object-Oriented Modeling and Design and rapid application development (RAD) tools like Rational Rose to build these large-scale systems; as a result, software engineering normally requires formal training in computer science.
Systems Analyst: responsible for researching, planning and recommending software and systems choices to meet an organization's business requirements. Systems analysts are normally responsible for developing cost analyses, design considerations, implementation timelines, and generally feasibility studies of a computer system before making recommendations to senior management.
System Administrator: responsible for managing an organization's computer and operating systems. System administrators, or sys admins, normally manage and maintain several large-scale operating systems, such as UNIX and Microsoft Windows 2000, and are responsible for making sure that those operating systems work together, support end-users' business requirements, and function properly. Sys admins are also responsible for the day-to-day maintenance of an organization's operating systems, including backup and recovery, adding and deleting user accounts, and performing software upgrades. Sys admins sometime hold technical certifications like Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer or Sun Solaris Certified Engineer.
Technical Writer: responsible for authoring hardware and software documentation either for an organization's internal computer systems or for third-party vendors. Chief among a technical writer's responsibilities is producing user documentation files, sometimes called "Help" files, which ship with many popular end-user applications. Technical writers must demonstrate solid understanding of technology, good writing and thinking skills, and proficiency with authoring tools like FrameMaker and RoboHelp.
Webmaster: responsible for the implementation and administration of a World Wide Web site. Sometimes called Web administrators, webmasters normally have very broad responsibilities which may include designing an information architecture, designing and developing web pages, web scripting and programming, and overseeing the management of e-commerce capabilities. Webmasters sometimes hold certifications such as Certified Internet Webmaster and may share many of the same skills common to systems administrators.