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What is Information Technology?
California is the United States' largest single economy. In fact, it's been listed as the 20th largest economy in the world. The state is a leader in many ways. It dominates the entertainment, technology, and even agri-business sectors. Hollywood is synonymous with film and television, Silicon Valley is the home of high tech, and the ever-fertile Central Valley provides food for us all.
A computer information technology professional is a high-tech worker who can address any number of issues related to computing. Though there is often a distinction made between computer science and IT, the boundary is blurry at best. That is because CIT students learn to program, work on networks, and to address hardware issues. Depending on the individual department, some IT students receive an education that looks very similar to their CS peers.
Nevertheless, computer information technology professionals spend their working days on computer terminals where they may troubleshoot problems for other employees, monitor network traffic, or manage their firm's databases. Some work exclusively in offices but increasingly CIT workers may work from remote locations. There are also IT professionals who work as consultants, some of whom work at their client's physical offices and others who access their client's systems from afar.
It may come as little surprise that real estate is the top industry in California. Oceanfront property values alone could perhaps rival the GDP of several small nations. The state is also #1 nationally in its #2 industry, business and professional services. Other California sectors also lead the nation, including manufacturing (#3 statewide), information (4th in California), and social services such as education and healthcare which round out the top 5 industries in the Golden State.
One thing that these industries have in common is a reliance on high technology, especially the high-tech firms in Silicon Valley, who need internal people in their computer information technology departments. After all, top software engineers should be able to focus on their projects and have someone else ensure that their networks, databases, and security matters are taken care of. The need for CIT professionals extends even into the central valley, where farm machinery is increasingly computerized.
Thus, California has a vested interest in ensuring that its companies and government agencies all have the best information technology professionals possible. The legislature does this by making sure that the state's colleges and universities have budgets that can pay for the best IT faculty possible.