If you ask the average person what the term information technology (IT) means, they would probably respond that it has “something” to do with computers. While that response is true in a very basic sense, that level of understanding barely scratches the surface. IT touches almost every aspect of our modern lives and employs millions of people across the United States and around the globe. So what does information technology actually mean and how do you launch a career in this far-reaching field?

Kwabena Konadu is a professor of cybersecurity and information technology at Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) — and he’s also had a lifelong passion for all things IT. As a result, he’s ideally positioned to offer a fuller explanation of what exactly information technology entails.

“Information technology is the use of computing,” says Konadu. “This includes hardware, the physical devices that we can touch; software, the intangible applications that run on the systems; telecommunications, and generally anything that involves the transmission of information. Information technology also includes the management of data, whether it is in the form of text, voice, image, audio, or video.”

The internet is, of course, a vital component of the IT ecosystem ...

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