Like the technology they support, new research shows many IT professionals always have to be "on."
Specifically, a study by Emerson Network Power found that IT executive directors and administrators have the most demanding jobs in the industry.
According to the research, IT professionals in such high-level roles are working on many projects at once, most of which require an elevated level of intelligence. In addition, they often have their heads and hands in every aspect of the job: strategic, operational and technical.
In general, the study found that IT professionals need serious brainpower and are called on to wear the hats of firefighters, coaches, sprinters and marathoners, diplomats and inventors. They are required at a moment’s notice to be ready to serve, solve problems and fix mistakes. On average, IT professionals are required to be available to work 119 hours in each 168-hour week.
The research revealed a number of other demanding IT jobs, including:
- IT Procurement
- IT Manager/Director
- IT Operations
- Data Center Manager
- IT Security
- Applications/Software Development
- Database Management
IT professionals are a breed apart, according to Blake Carlson, vice president of the IT Business Segment, Avocent Products and Services for Emerson Network Power.
"They need to be smart, flexible and quick — a lot like the technology they work to support," Carlson said. "And, they must be able to handle multiple tasks at once and figure out how to get things done with limited or inadequate resources."
The study, The Most Always-On IT Jobs, was based on surveys of nearly 800 IT professionals in Asia, Europe, Latin America and the United States. They represented 17 work roles, 18 industries and businesses of every size.