What Does the Computer Term "IT" Stand For?

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In the fields of technology and computer programming, the abbreviation "IT" stands for "information technology." IT encompasses the training and specialization required to meet the computing needs of a municipality or a business.

The concept of IT was first developed in 1958 by two men named Harold J. Leavitt and Thomas L. Whisler, who published information about their concept in the Harvard Business Review. In creating the concept of IT, the men added a fourth phase to the definition of IT. Their findings built on earlier phases in the field of IT, which included methods and techniques for processing, simulating high-level thinking through computer programming and applying mathematical and statistical methods to decision-making. The fourth phase that Leavitt and Whisler adopted was the electronics phase of IT. This phase began around 1940 and still continues. Other phases in IT include the premechanical period, which lasted from 3000 B.C. to 1450 A.D., the mechanical phase, which started in 1450 A.D. and lasted through 1840, and the electromechanical period, which began in 1840 and lasted until 1940.

Modern IT

In modern times, the term "IT" encompasses many smaller components. The phrase refers to skills and activities related to computer technology, such as hardware, software, the Internet and networking. It also includes people who work with any of those technologies. IT is an important part of the business world, and many entities have their own IT departments to handle computer technology issues that arise. Employees in the IT department are responsible for managing the company's network and tending to other technical components of the business.

IT Careers

Given its prominent role in many aspects of society, there is a high demand for people who have specialized training in the IT field. Individuals who work in the field of IT use technologies like computers and software to store and manage data. People who work in IT can be web developers, who create and design websites; database administrators, who are responsible for compiling and organizing data and making it available to people who need it; and network operators or administrators, who manage networks to ensure that they run smoothly on a daily basis. While the jobs that they perform are identical, the title of a person in the IT sector may vary from one company to the next. A person who is called a programmer, for instance, might be titled a developer in another company.

Because many IT skills are transferable from one job to the next, individuals working in the IT sector usually apply for a variety of positions when they are searching for work in the field. Regardless of position, job growth in IT is strong and shows potential to continue, as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Between 2012 and 2024, there may be as much as 12 percent growth in the IT field, the BLS notes. It adds that by the end of 2024, the IT field may create up to 488,500 new jobs. The expanse of the IT field is attributed in large part to the Internet of Things, which refers to the fact that mobile applications have made the Internet and computer technologies integral to many parts of daily life, creating an interconnected network of devices. Normal tasks like watching a baby monitor or brewing coffee, for instance, can now be performed through technology.