I use to work as a computer programmer and then a computer programmer/analyst, and you're right, you spend a lot of time in a cube-plus a lot of these jobs are being outsourced. (Software programmers/engineers do similiar work, just work with different programs).
Here's the parts of IT you should avoid:
Even as an analyst you spend time talking with users about their system needs, but you still have to go back to your cube to analyze the information, and write and test the code. Even if you wanted to work with web page design or e-commerce, you have to write and test the results (These jobs aren't outsourced as much, but in some areas there's a ton of web folks after the dot com blowups). Database designers/admin also have to set up and test the structure of the data base (but this job usually has to be done onsite and pays well, so it's hard to outsource).
The best way to get out of your office and talk with people once in a while is to configure networks, or data communications; configure telecommunications or troubleshoot hardware configurations (these will be the least likely jobs outsourced, since you have to be on-site to do them):
1) Because networks are configured in many ways, network systems and data communications analysts are needed to design, test, and evaluate systems such as local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), the Internet, intranets, and other data communications systems. Systems can range from a connection between two offices in the same building to globally distributed networks, voice mail, and e-mail systems of a multinational organization. Network systems and data communications analysts perform network modeling, analysis, and planning; they also may research related products and make necessary hardware and software recommendations.
2) Telecommunications specialists focus on the interaction between computer and communications equipment. These workers design voice and data communication systems, supervise the installation of the systems, and provide maintenance and other services to clients after the systems are installed.
3) You have to careful about this position. Being on a help desk sucks if it's an "answer the phone and make something up" type of job. It's a true troubleshooter type job if you get to go to the clients/users and fix whatever the problem is:
a) Computer support specialists provide technical assistance, support, and advice to customers and users. This group of occupations includes workers with a variety of titles, such as technical support specialists and help-desk technicians. These troubleshooters interpret problems, and provide technical support for hardware, software, and systems. Support specialists may work either within a company or other organization or directly for a computer hardware or software vendor. They answer telephone calls, analyze problems using automated diagnostic programs, and resolve recurrent difficulties encountered by users.
b) Other computer specialists include a wide range of related professionals who specialize in operation, analysis, education, application, or design for a particular piece of the system. Many are involved in the design, testing, and evaluation of network systems, such as local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), Internet, and other data communications systems. Specialty occupations reflect an emphasis on client-server applications and end-user support; however, occupational titles shift rapidly to reflect new developments in technology.
4) This job may still involve a lot of time in the cube, but it's one of the hottest jobs now, and education of folks in organizations is needed as well:
In some organizations, computer security specialists may plan, coordinate, and implement the organization’s information security. These workers may be called upon to educate users about computer security, install security software, monitor the network for security breaches, respond to cyber attacks, and, in some cases, gather data and evidence to be used in prosecuting cyber crime.
5) After working as a network analyst you can become a network admin, which is still very popular, since you can't outsource and test your networks you need from off site:
Network administrators and computer systems administrators design, install, and support an organization’s local-area network (LAN), wide-area network (WAN), network segment, Internet, or intranet system. They provide day-to-day onsite administrative support for software users in a variety of work environments, including professional offices, small businesses, government, and large corporations.
Answered By: edith clarke - 2/2/2007