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Information Technology IT | Business English Vocabulary

7 min read
29 January 2021
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Information Technology (IT) is a very important, specialized, and in-demand profession. Generally speaking, Information Technicians are professionals who maintain communications and ensure that computer systems are running smoothly. However, within the occupation of IT, there are many variations and specialized job roles.

To get a full grasp on vocabulary you might need in a professional setting, a business English course is really useful, but to get you started with this fantastic career, here are some of the most common roles within IT and the basic key terms you need to understand them:


Computer terminology:


An algorithm is a process based in calculations or problem-solving operations, especially in a computer. You can set a computer algorithm to generate emails based off on employees' first and last names, to calculate the interest earned on a particular investment, or any variety of tasks.



An application is a program that is designed to perform or a deliver a specific function for a user. For instance, Photoshop is an application that was created for editing photos.



A browser is a tool that allows you to use (or “browse”) the internet. Examples of browsers include Chrome, Internet Explorer, and Mozilla Firefox.



Bug is a term that is used to describe a problem or a fault in a program or a computer that prevents it from working properly.



Cookies are bits of data that a computer uses to collect information on your browsing history. This includes the times and dates you visited a website and keyword searches. In many countries, you have to authorize a website to keep cookies before you are able to use the site.



A cursor is a symbol that is used to show the current position of your mouse on your computer’s monitor.



A database is an organized set of data stored in an easily accessible manner. For example, a library might have a database of all the books stored in that library.



A file is the way in which information is stored on a computer, e.g. a Word document, picture, or video.



A folder is a virtual location where files, other folders, or computer programs can be stored. It is a means of organizing one or more digital files saved on a computer.


Hard drive

A hard drive is a memory device that is stored inside a computer and stores data and information. A hard drive is an example of hardware.



Hardware is the wiring and physical components of a computer or electronic system. This is as opposed to software, which are programs on a computer and therefore non-physical.



A icon is a small graphic that represents a program or file. Once clicked on, the icon opens or runs that program or file.



A computer network is a collection of computers that are connected together for the purpose of sharing resources, e.g. a connection to a printer or the Internet.



A server is a computer system that provides services to other computer programs and stores them all in one place. It's a useful way for computers in a similar area to share information, such as people working in the same company who need access to the same documents.



Software is all of the operating information and programs used by a computer. While hardware can be touched and physical installed, software includes the programs within the computer that are downloaded and installed electronically.


Source Code

The source code is the text collection of computer instructions that is compiled into a computer program. This is the language machinery can read, and will look like a random collections of letters and symbols to someone who hasn't been trained to read computer language!



A virus is a piece of corrupted code which destroys data and hurts a computer’s system, often corrupting programs or forcing them to shut down. The term originally described the things that make humans sick. Just as humans can catch viruses from other sick individuals, computers can catch viruses from infected attachments and downloads.


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Job titles:

Computer Analysts

A computer analyst is someone who studies computer systems and suggests where improvements and changes could be made. It is their job to create solutions to technical problems and estimate the cost of developing these solutions.


Computer Programmers

A computer programmer is someone that uses the designs made by software developers to write codes that computers can follow. The computer programmer develops a series of instructions that enable a computer to do a specific task.


Network Administrators

The Information Technology team installs computer systems for businesses and manages an organization’s network. Within this team, the network administrator must have a strong understanding of technological knowledge and is usually the highest level of the IT staff in any organization.


Software Developers

Software developers are the people who build and create applications for computers that help organizations and equipment work efficiently. They are in charge of writing and executing the source code of the software.


Web Developers

A web developer is a computer programmer that specializes in online applications, such as website designs, web publishing, and database management.


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