What is Information Technology?

Information technology is defined as any given technology or device that is used to store, create, manipulate, distribute, or otherwise disperse information of any kind. Commonly abbreviated as IT, information technology involves a combination of tele-communications and computing technologies, by which high-speed links deliver text, audio, or visual information from one person to another. Computers are multifunctional, programmable machines that increase human productivity and problem solving efficiency. Communication technology comes in many forms of electromagnetic devices used to transmit information at a distance. As such, examples of information technology that we use in our everyday lives include smartphones, text messaging, email, social media, telemedicine and other video calling services, databases of various kinds, all of which rely on a computer to some degree, as well as, more generally, the internet itself.

Computers are, therefore, the basis of all information technology. In the simplest terms, computers exist to turn data, raw figures and facts, into information that can be used for decision making purposes. Generally this happens through a process involving the four basic operations of a computer: input, processing, storage, and output. To understand these, consider how one creates a table in Excel. One inputs raw data, numbers perhaps, into a spreadsheet. One then organizes those numbers into a table that expresses deeper information, using labels and columns. One then saves that table on the computer, so it is not lost, and finally one has the computer output that information, perhaps by printing the table, or attaching it to a Word document or pdf. At this point, almost every computer also has a fifth basic operation: communication. To round out the Excel table example, the computer would be performing the communication operation by sending the finished table to another computer via email or a social media post by way of the internet.

These operations are performed as a product of a complex interconnection of hardware, software, various networks, and the internet. Maintaining and managing these tangled webs of physical devices, raw data, software applications, processed and stored information, networks of various sizes and security levels, and internet usages and privacy is the task of the IT specialist. Their practical work done on a daily basis pushes the field of computer science forward, causing new technological innovations, and making the relationship between humans and computers ever more productive and efficient.

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Information Technology Resources

Information technology and the computer sciences are some of the most technical and highly specialized fields in academia. Study.com provides hundreds of resources to help the aspiring IT specialist achieve success in their classes and their chosen career. From personalized tutoring to college-credit awarding courses, along with study guides and quizzes, students will find detailed data on various information technologies and computer programming to serve them well on their educational journeys.

Information Technology Courses

Study.com has computer science and IT courses available to students at every level of learning, from elementary school to college. These include introductory courses to the field, advantageous skills for specialists of any kind, and more advanced studies of IT concepts, practices, and trends. With these courses, their study guides and assignments, information technology students will gain the data and proficiency they need to work effectively in the field.

Computer Science 102: Fundamentals of Information Technology

This college-level course is an essential part of any education in computer science and information technology. Chapters discuss software and hardware, database and information support systems, the internet, artificial intelligence, security, and much more.

Computer Science 103: Computer Concepts & Applications

IT students will find this college class in computer concepts to be a necessary step in their computer science education. It covers the basics of computer hardware and software, including files, browsers, the Microsoft Office suite, and programming.

Computer Science 310: Current Trends in Computer Science & IT

Innovations and contemporary trends in the field of information technology is the focus of this college-level course. Lessons cover changes in application and database design, data visualization, artificial intelligence and machine learning, and the blockchain.

Business 104: Information Systems and Computer Applications

This course applies IT and computer science to business concerns, and offers college credit for interested students. Chapters include information on various information systems within organizations, including databases, networks, and enterprise systems.

Business 109: Intro to Computing

This is an introductory college-level course meant to teach business students the basics of effective computer use. It examines topics including hardware, software development, security, data communication, the internet, programming, and network architecture.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are three examples of information technology?

    Three examples of information technology (IT) are web-based cloud storage, email, and internet search engines. All information technology requires a computer of some kind to operate, and IT specialists ensure that they perform effectively.

  • What is an information technology degree?

    An information technology (IT) degree is a certificate that indicates years of experience spent studying and practicing the maintenance and management of computer operations. Such specialists usually find gainful employment monitoring and protecting computer systems, and attending to computer maintenance issues as they arise in various contexts.