7 IT Roles Every Modern Company Needs to Stay Competitive
Your IT team is the backbone of your organization — keeping employees productive and information available. But IT roles are also some of the hardest jobs to fill.
From daily user support to complex systems integration, IT drives your business forward. And because technology changes constantly, you need well-equipped IT staff to meet the growing demands of a mobile-first consumer base and outpace the competition.
But how do you know which IT roles you need to stay competitive?
Top IT Roles You Need to Hire
Being an expert in everything is impossible. IT is an expansive industry with countless niches and specialties. You don’t just need IT support — you need a well-rounded team of IT professionals who can strategically implement technology to carry out your vision.
From help desk management, maintenance and security to development and data mining, modern businesses require sophisticated, targeted IT roles to scale and grow. According to our 2019 State of IT Training report, 63% of decision-makers planned to maintain or increase investments in information technology
Here are seven critical IT roles to focus your hiring efforts on:
Hardware technicians repair and manage servers and computers. They’re responsible for a wide range of computer and network maintenance including installation, upgrades, troubleshooting, security and support to maintain high-quality networks and computer systems.
Although hardware technicians handle basic tasks like systems updates, don’t overlook their importance. Many debilitating attacks like Spectre and Meltdown originated from outdated patches.
HELP DESK ANALYST AND HELP DESK SUPPORT
Help desk analysts are the most visible IT roles in a company. They’re the frontline of IT support — answering, troubleshooting and resolving technical issues to keep employees productive and customers happy.
Help desk analysts are the gatekeepers who identify and escalate any immediate problems or security threats. Depending on your needs, they may also troubleshoot more complex systems and applications.
While they both focus on networks, network administrators and engineers have slightly different roles. Network engineers focus on designing and developing networks, while administrators maintain them.
Network administrators and engineers have a clear understanding of your organization’s IT structure and network needs. They not only maintain and monitor networks, but also design them to support future growth. Typical responsibilities include designing and implementing physical and wireless networks, ensuring performance and integrating new technologies.
Experience: 2-5+ years
Salary Range: $55,000-$70,000
Suggested Training: There is a range of training courses and certifications available depending on your preferred IT vendor and needs:
- Cisco CCNA Certification
- Cisco CCNP Certification
- Red Hat
- CompTIA A+ Certification
- CompTIA Network+ Certification
- CompTIA Security+ Certification
- Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA)
- Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE)
- VMware Certified Professional on Network Virtualization (VCP-NV)
Business analysts are the link between business people and IT teams in an organization. They leverage data, processes and information to solve business problems and ensure IT projects run smoothly.
While the specific deliverables vary depending on your organization’s needs, business analysts are responsible for reviewing processes and procedures, identifying and documenting improvements and sharing them effectively across an organization.
For example, they may help implement new IT solutions or create an IT framework to scale your business. They’ll also analyze your current IT and business environment to identify new opportunities to increase efficiency and reduce costs.
Experience: 2-5 years
Salary Range: $55,000-$90,000
Suggested Training: Certified Business Analysis
IT PROJECT MANAGER
Project managers execute IT projects that provide value to your organization.
They bridge the gap between vision and execution, breaking down high-level strategies into actionable steps. IT project managers coordinate across departments to ensure projects align with business goals. They oversee every aspect from budget and scope to task management.
In addition to project management skills and certifications, IT project managers need an understanding of technical platforms and methodologies relevant to your organization.
MANAGER OF SYSTEMS ENGINEERING
IT systems are no longer self-contained. They’re robust, complex to manage and increasingly reliant on third-party vendors, applications and cloud services providers. That’s where a great systems engineering manager provides value.
Systems engineering managers oversee IT systems and infrastructure. They monitor performance, make recommendations and work with IT teams and project managers to achieve department goals. They also manage development systems designs and architecture.
Experience: 7+ years
Salary Range: $65,000-$100,000
Suggested Training: VMware Certified Professional on Network Virtualization (VCP-NV)
IT DIRECTOR, VICE PRESIDENT, CIO/CTO
Aligning IT with business value is challenging. IT teams and executive leadership often operate in separate silos, missing opportunities to reduce costs, maximize efficiency and achieve business goals.
The IT director bridges that gap.
Typically the most senior IT role in the company, IT directors, vice presidents or chief technology officers lead your IT strategy and report directly to the CEO.
The IT director ensures that IT and computer systems support your business goals. While their responsibilities vary depending on the organization, they typically delegate daily tasks to IT managers and focus on high-level IT strategy and growth.
In high-profile director and CIO positions, soft skills matter — sometimes even more than technical certifications. A Career Builder survey found that 71 percent of HR professionals and hiring managers valued emotional intelligence over IQs in employees. Leaders with high emotional intelligence tend to handle pressure better, make more thoughtful, thorough decisions and successfully lead large teams.
Experience: 10+ years
Salary Range: $95,000-$175,000+
Suggested Training: Leadership and development courses
How to Hire the Right IT Roles
The right IT role has a significant impact on your organization. Depending on your organizational objectives, your business might benefit from even more strategic hires, including:
- Cybersecurity roles: Information security analyst, cybersecurity architect, cybersecurity engineer
- IoT roles: IoT developer, IoT architect, IoT product manager
- DevOps roles: DevOps manager, automation architect, security engineer, software developer
- Artificial intelligence roles: Machine learning engineer, data scientist, business intelligence developers
Now that you know what you need, here are a few hiring tips:
- Know your business goals. It sounds simple. But after reviewing hundreds of résumés, your original hiring objectives can get lost. Why are you hiring this position? Measure each candidate against these objectives and other cultural criteria. Your business goals should drive your IT strategy and the technical roles you hire.
- Evaluate experience and training. IT training and certifications show the candidate has a solid technical foundation and strong work ethic. It’s proof they have the skills to perform the job.
- Grow from within. Promoting employees is a win-win for them and your organization. It boosts retention, increases job satisfaction and saves on hiring costs. IT training courses are a great way to train employees for new roles.