Ethics and the Information Technology Industry

If you’re interested in joining the information technology industry, now is an excellent time to consider the career change. From the computer software that we use to manage information to the operating systems on our mobile phones, information technology is a vital part of our daily lives. The information technology industry uses computers and software to manage information. In businesses, information technology departments are responsible for storing, protecting, processing, transmitting, and retrieving information as necessary. In order to perform all of these tasks, information technology departments use computers, servers, cryptography, and database management systems

Opportunities for information technology careers are expected to increase significantly in the coming years, as our reliance on information technology grows. For example, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for computer software engineers are expected to increase by 32 percent from 2008 to 2018. Other information technology jobs include system administrator, database administrator, information technology manager, and computer programmer.

Why the Information Technology Industry is Important in Business

The information technology industry is important, because it enables business functions. A business that has an effective information technology system can increase its efficiency, accuracy, speed, scalability, and capacity. Information technology also helps businesses gain a competitive advantage.

Information technology professionals typically have computer science degrees or degrees in information systems. If you are pursuing a career in IT, it is essential to have a strong undergraduate background in math, computer science, and physics to qualify for most entry-level information technology positions.

Ethics in Information Technology

Several ethical issues have risen along with the growth of the information technology industry. Information technology affects a number of factors, like accountability, copyright protection, security, and intellectual freedom. The Internet and e-commerce have made protecting people’s privacy and intellectual property particularly challenging.

Technology trends that have raised issues of ethics in information technology include the doubling of computer power every 18 months, lower cost of data storage, data analysis advances, and networking advances on the Internet. Because of the doubling of computer power every 18 months, many businesses now rely on information systems for core production processes. This has created opportunities for abuse and increased our vulnerability to system errors and poor data quality. Standards for ensuring that information systems remain accurate and reliable are yet to be enforced.

The lower cost of data storage has made it easier for people to violate individual privacy. Both private and public organizations are now able to maintain detailed profiles of their employees, customers, and potential customers. Advances in data analysis techniques have made it possible for organizations to assemble and combine various pieces of information about you that are stored on computers. Networking advances on the Internet have made it easier for people to access your personal data from remote locations and copy data from one location to another.

In our so-called “Information Society,” it has become critical to establish an ethical foundation promoting fair and responsible practices that protect individual privacy and intellectual property. As the information technology industry grows, new behavioral possibilities for which current rules and laws have not been developed continue to arise. It will be your responsibility, as an information technology professional, to learn about the ethical implications of using particular kinds of technology, so that you can help your manager establish an appropriate code of ethics.

Ready to get started on your information technology career? Consider exploring the schools featured throughout our site.