87 Information Technology Job Descriptionsposted by John Spacey, January 10, 2013
Have you noticed how many IT job titles have hit the market in the past 5 years?
IT job titles proliferate at an astounding rate. In the 1990s, you could sum up 90% of IT professionals with a few dozen job titles. Today, there are thousands of job titles to describe IT executives, managers, architects, developers and specialists.
The following brief job descriptions serve as a reference for IT, recruitment and business professionals. They may help clear up the age old question — what is it exactly that you do?
Chief Information Officer (CIO)
The Chief Information Officer normally heads Information Systems or Information Technology.
Chief Technology Officer (CTO)
There is a great deal of confusion between CIO vs CTO roles. Both roles are defined differently from one organization to the next.
The CTO often heads Information Technology. In many cases, the CTO focuses on technology products that are commercialized (sold to customers).
Chief Security Officer (CSO)
Variants: Chief Information Security Officer (CISO)
Typically responsible for information and physical security across an organization.
In some cases, an IT Director is responsible for information systems. In other cases, a Director may be responsible for a program (e.g. ERP) or a functional area (e.g. IT Risk and Compliance).
Director of Operations
Variants: Director of IT Infrastructure and Operations
Responsible for IT infrastructure and the service level of IT services.
Variants: Engagement Manager
At consulting firms, Engagement Directors are typically responsible for a portfolio of client relationships. Engagement Directors may also lead an internal consultancy. For example, they may lead a Project Management Office (PMO).
Director of Information Systems
Variants: Director of Applications
Plans at a tactical level working closely with c-level executives to define IS strategy. Manages budget and resources to develop, implement and maintain systems and/or infrastructure.
Information Technology Director
Responsible for managing infrastructure and infrastructure teams with a focus on service levels, security and process improvement.
Director of Delivery
Variants: Director of Program Management
Responsible for all project delivery across an organization or department. This often involves leading a team of program managers and/or project managers.
IT managers may be responsible for teams, services, applications, infrastructure or IT functions. In other words, responsibilities vary greatly role to role.
An IT manager who's responsible for an application (e.g. CRM). This includes development and implementation of strategy and new features. An application manager is also responsible for service levels and maintenance.
Software Development Managers
An IT manager who's responsible for development for a set of applications or a functional area.
Responsible for the build and release of software across development, test and production environments.
Responsible for change management processes such as administering change requests, approvals and scheduling.
Responsible for configuration management processes such as tracking and controlling changes to software.
Administers contracts including negotiation, risk management, compliance, reporting and financial management.
Data Center Manager
Manages the operation of a data center. Since data centers are usually 24x7 this is often shift work.
Quality Assurance Manager
Owns end-to-end software quality. This including tools for testing, automated test creation, test execution and quality reporting (including metrics).
Service Delivery Manager
Responsible for service delivery processes such as service level, capacity, availability and service continuity management.
Business Relationship Manager
Establishes a trusted advisor relationship between IT and business clients.
Responsible for managing an infrastructure budget and team. Builds, configures and manages infrastructure.
Manages relationships with outsourcing partners including procurement and contract management processes.
A Project Manager plans, directs and coordinates projects.
Agile Project Manager
Agile development methodologies don't speak of project managers. Instead they speak of coaches and facilitators. Nevertheless, Agile Project Manager is a fairly common job title.
Agile project managers generally act as Scrum Master for a project. Scrum masters don't lead a project but act as a buffer between the team and distracting influences.
Lead teams in adopting and achieving business value from agile principles and methodologies.
A Program Manager is responsible for managing a portfolio of projects and initiatives. In many cases, a program manager leads a team of project managers (e.g. a project management office).
A Chief Architect is responsible for IT architecture. It's common for the Chief Architect to run an IT governance program. The Chief Architect sets architectural direction including principles, strategy and roadmaps.
Chief Architect is often an executive level position with responsibilities for aligning IT spending with business strategy, goals and objectives.
Enterprise architects typically report to the chief architect. Responsibilities include IT governance, strategy, developing roadmaps and analysis of architectural gaps.
Enterprise Solutions Architect
Develops architectural solutions for programs that impact the entire enterprise (e.g. an ERP implementation). It's common for an enterprise solution architect to manage a team of solution architects.
Variants: Software Architect, SAP Architect, etc.
A Solution Architect develops architectural solutions for projects. They often specialize in a technology, product or functional area. In other words, there are hundreds of job titles that map to the solution architect role.
Variants: Infrastructure Architect
Develops architectural solutions for infrastructure such as networks. This was the first IT architecture role — the profession goes back 40 years or more. In the past, the role was most common titled Technology Architect. However, Infrastructure Architect or Cloud Architect is becoming just as common.
Translates business needs into deliverable, architecturally aligned solutions.
Designs the data assets of an organization to support business objectives. Data architects often work with solution architects to deliver project architecture.
Designs end-to-end information flows to deliver user interfaces and data models that support business goals and objectives.
Designs user interface solutions, standards and best practices.
Architects data integration including ETL, ESB, database and SOA interfaces.
Architects, designs and oversees implementation of cloud infrastructure.
Architects, designs and oversees implementation of virtualization infrastructure.
Information Security Architect
Architects, designs and oversees implementation of security solutions. Works with project teams to ensure solutions meet security requirements. Develops and implements information security strategies and assessments.
Network Security Architect
Architects, designs and oversees implementation of security infrastructure and secure infrastructure solutions.
Data Migration Architect
Assesses, designs and leads data migration activities.
Architects game frameworks working closely with creative professionals and game developers. Mentors a team of game developers and sets technical direction for game products.
Business Analyst roles vary greatly (even within the same organization). At a high level, a Business Analyst translates business goals and objectives into deliverables. In practice, they often deliver business cases and requirements for projects.
Agile Business Analyst
Plays the role of Scrum Master to ensure that impediments are removed for a Scrum Team.
Designs, develops, and executes test plans and test cases to verify conformance to acceptance criteria.
Test Automation Engineer
Variants: QA Engineer
Supports and customizes automated testing tools and utilities for quality assurance.
An Operations Analyst manages daily software and infrastructure maintenance to ensure service health.
Responsible for the setup, configuration, administration and maintenance of databases.
Responsible for the setup, configuration, administration and maintenance of billing systems.
Responsible for the setup, configuration, administration and maintenance of ERP systems.
Responsible for the setup, configuration, administration and maintenance of network infrastructure.
Applies quality methods to improve business process performance. Often an expert in a quality methodology such as Six Sigma.
Performs quantitative analysis to generate reports from data sources such as databases.
Develops, deploys and customizes analytics tools. Applies analytical techniques and processes to support reporting and decision support systems.
Business Intelligence Engineer
Develops, deploys and customizes business intelligence (BI) tools. Applies analytical techniques and processes to support reporting and decision support systems.
Designs, develops and implements predictive statistical models (usually on big data sets).
Designs, develops and implements network infrastructure.
Designs, develops and implements storage infrastructure.
Disaster Recovery Specialist
Specializes in the the tools and processes for disaster recovery. Develops and implements infrastructure strategies for disaster recovery processes. Designs and implements server, storage and network infrastructure.
Specializes in the the tools and processes for build and configuration management. This role usually involves scripting, coding and support of various tools such as source control and life cycle management software.
Variants: Software Engineer, Programmer, Systems Developer, Mobile Developer, Java Developer, PHP Developer
Analyze user needs and software requirements to determine feasibility of design within time, risk, quality and cost constraints. Develop system designs, software, testing procedures and documentation.
Leads and mentors a team of developers. Provides technical consulting for project initiation, planning and requirements. Designs software and assigns work packages to developers. Oversees software development, testing and documentation activities.
Requires enthusiasm for gaming and deep programing skills. Develops game software working with a team of creative professionals to improve game play and game quality.
Variants: Oracle PL/SQL Developer
Designs, developments and unit tests database scripts.
Develops and supports code and database scripts. Creates reports using ETL tools. Administers databases.
Database Administrator (DBA)
Develops and implements database monitoring, performance, capacity and expansion strategies. Installs, configures, upgrades, monitors and performs maintenance on databases.
Variants: IT Systems Administrator, Sysadmin
Maintains, operates, administers and supports systems, software and infrastructure.
Maintains, operates, administers and supports network infrastructure.
Variants: Windows System Administrator, Unix System Administrator
Maintains, operates, administers and supports servers, operating systems and system software.
Variants: Website Administrator
Designs, develops and implements new content and web functionality. Maintains website and related server and network infrastructure.
Data Center System Administrator
Maintains physical security, information security and audit compliance. Builds, installs, configures, maintains and troubleshoots systems and infrastructure.
Service Desk Operator
Variants: Help Desk Operator
First level (level-1) support for employees or customers. Gathers information, opens tickets and performs basic troubleshooting steps to find solutions. Escalates as required to level-2 support.
Technical Support Representative
First level (level-1) of technical support for customers. Gathers the customer’s information and performs basic troubleshooting steps to find solutions. Escalates as required to level-2 support.
Desktop Support Technician
Provides support of desktop hardware, applications, desktop connectivity and mobile devices.
Application Support Engineer
Provides level-1 and level-2 support for a set of applications. May be involved in build processes and maintenance activities.
Technical Account Manager
Manages a portfolio of customers to support sales. Often involved the deployment, setup and testing of products at the customer's premises.
Provides technical support for sales information gathering, prototyping, offers, presenting and product demos.
Solution Architect (Sales)
Provides architectural consulting and technical support for sales processes. Presents technologies, develops architectural proposals, answers technical questions, provides formal estimates and responds to RFPs.
Designs web user interfaces to deliver graphics, content, markup and scripts.
An artistic role that delivers visual communications.
Creates game narratives and designs.
Designs user experiences and interactions to maximize usability and achieve business objectives.
Security, Risk & Compliance
IT Risk Manager
Manages IT security risk assessments and implements security tools, controls and standards.
Security Testing Engineer
Performs application security testing including penetration testing. Conducts vulnerability assessments.
Leads and executes IT audits of systems & infrastructure. Develops audit plans and IT risk assessments.
Information Assurance Engineer
Performs health checks, vulnerability assessments and hardening activities on infrastructure and software.
Conducts security assessments of IT environments to identify vulnerabilities and non-compliance with information security standards.
Job descriptions and associated responsibilities vary greatly from organization to organization.
For more information check out our detailed example job descriptions here.
This article is part of the ongoing series: how to win your next job.
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