37 Tech Terms Everyone Needs To Know

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated December 30, 2021 | Published February 25, 2020

Updated December 30, 2021

Published February 25, 2020

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

You don't have to be an IT professional to benefit from a working knowledge of tech-related terms. From programming to marketing, advertising and sales, almost every field needs professionals who can speak the language of computers, the internet, social media and software. This article aims to serve as a glossary of the most common tech-related terms used by nearly every profession.

Top terms related to information technology

Most businesses require a certain level of technical know-how to run efficiently. From email to billing software and a vast array of technological resources in between, it's important to know how to speak the tech language fairly fluently. Listed below are some of the most universal technological terms used in everyday business, regardless of your field:

Marketing technology terms

These tech terms are all related to marketing ideas:

  • A/B testing: This marketing practice involves two versions of online content, such as email marketing, to separate test groups to track the engagement of each. This type of testing is used to gauge the timing, method or avenue of content that works best with particular audiences.

  • Bounce: A term referring to an email unable to be delivered to a specific email address. It can also refer to the rate at which visitors leave a website without clicking through to other pages.

  • Curated content: Like any collection, marketing content is carefully selected from around the internet or other sources and presented in a transformative way to reflect your message, brand and audience preferences.

  • Email marketing: Promoting your business through the use of mass email is known as email marketing. Marketing emails, or e-blasts, can include video, images, lists, invitations or any content you want to reach your audience to inform, entertain and promote your products or services. These emails are often sent to curated distribution lists and tracked through analytics software to track engagement.

  • Engagement: The interaction between your content and your audience is known as engagement. When your target audience views or receives your content, they're presented with the opportunity to engage or act in some way, whether it's clicking a link, filling out a survey or sharing the content. Engagement is measured and tracked using analytics software so you can see in quick view the amount of engagement your content garnered.

  • Impression: While engagement requires an action on the audience's part, an impression is a person simply seeing your content. For example, when you post something on social media, the number of impressions is the number of times your post shows up on other people's feed. To put it simply, one impression is equal to one person landing on your post.

  • Marketing automation: Using software or cloud-based services to schedule emails, blogs or social media content to be posted at a later time is marketing automation. The tools used for marketing automation often have built-in features to track and analyze the reach and effectiveness of each piece of content, providing reports that can be used to improve future marketing efforts.

  • Multichannel marketing: This simply refers to using more than one channel to communicate with audiences. For example, your website is one platform or channel, while Facebook is another and email is yet another. Using more than one platform to send a message increases the potential reach of the message.

  • Organic: Organic reach or organic traffic is used to define the portion of views your content, social media or website receives by way of natural, or organic, searches. For example, if you have a blog post about gardening on your website and someone finds that blog post through a search engine results page, that's organic reach. Contrarily, if that person clicked a link or ad meant to redirect them to this article, this is considered inorganic reach.

  • Search engine marketing: Using paid advertising to drive traffic to your website or social media via search engines is known as search engine marketing. The top results on a SERP usually have the word "Ad" next to the URL, allowing users to identify these placements as search engine marketing.

  • Search engine optimization: Unlike SEM, SEO is a method of online marketing using key search terms to direct traffic to your website via unpaid search results.

Related: 15 Computer Science Jobs That Pay Well

Computer and internet-related tech terms

The following terms all relate to computers and the internet:

  • Access point: Any device that allows wireless devices to connect to a wired network.

  • API: An application programming interface is a set of functions that allows software features to be accessed by applications and work together to operate as needed.

  • Back end: The operational portion of an application or web page that performs essential tasks allowing the app or page to run as it's supposed to, the back end is not visible to the end-user and can only be accessed by an administrator.

  • Bandwidth: The maximum data transfer rate of an internet connection or network, typically measured in megabytes per second.

  • Cache: A collection of temporary files stored within your web browser that facilitates a faster connection to frequently accessed websites. While it's faster, it's also possible to miss updates on a site unless you clear your cache regularly or refresh the page.

  • Cloud hosting: Rather than storing data on physical servers, a company may instead use the virtual servers of a cloud hosting service to store data. These virtual servers can only be accessed through an internet connection. A related term, cloud backup, is the transference of data from a physical device to the virtual servers on the internet. This can be set up to occur automatically at regular intervals to ensure that data is saved in the event of problems accessing the physical device.

  • Cookie: A small bit of data that is deposited onto your device when visiting most websites, used as a means of identifying you. Cookies are how your browser knows to market certain advertising to you based on the sites you've visited previously.

  • Data center: A facility housing data storage, servers and computers. These facilities are typically used for large-scale business operations, such as internet service providers or large retailers.

  • DNS: Domain name service, or a directory of IP addresses for web domain names. This service is what allows the end-user to access websites using domain names rather than IP addresses.

  • Firewall: A security system that provides protection against unauthorized access to a network.

  • LAN: A local area network allows devices to connect to a shared network to share data within the network, typically inside a home or office.

  • Machine learning: As a subset of artificial intelligence, machine learning uses algorithms, patterns and statistical models to make inferences that allow the machine to perform tasks without being explicitly instructed by a user.

  • Operating system: An OS is software that allows programs and applications to run on a computer. The computer needs an OS to manage all of its processes and is typically bought every year.

  • Server hosting: Servers, or physical devices that store ("host") all of a company's data and ensures the provision of internet service to all the peripheral devices connected with the server. Some companies have IT departments that can support their own servers, while others choose to lease remote servers from ISPs, which also offer tech-support services related to the maintenance of the servers.

  • VPN: A virtual private network is used to connect to a private network across a public network, enabling users to send and receive data securely from anywhere in the world as if they're directly connected to the private network.

Related: Technical Skills: Definitions and Examples

Technology terms related to systems and software programs

These terms are all related to software used on various technology:

  • Application: A program designed to serve a specific purpose on computers or mobile devices. There are applications designed for any function that can be thought of, from photo editing to messaging, word processing, database management or graphic design.

  • Business intelligence software: A program that allows a company to aggregate their BI (information collected about itself) into one place for users to access. This data can be vast and broad, creating the need for this software to manage it.

  • CMS: Content management systems are used to publish, edit and manage a website's content. These programs are typically cloud-based and allow users to create and format content without the need for additional coding language, such as HTML.

  • Customer relationship management software: CRM software is used by a company to collect data about its clients. This process helps the company to keep track of every client interaction, including service calls and previous purchases.

  • Distributed systems: A distributed system is a network of several connected computers used to perform daily business-related tasks or services.

  • ERP software: Enterprise resource planning software is an all-in-one solution used to manage the separate departments of a business, such as human resources, accounting and inventory management. Companies typically purchase the software with the necessary modules to meet the company's business needs.

  • Learning management system: A system encompassing employee training programs, discussion forums, video calling and other interactive elements are called learning management systems and are used in human resources planning and implementation of training as well as scoring and analyzing training scores.

  • Open source: A program with source code that is available for anyone to use and modify to their preferences.

  • Performance management software: This software is used by human resources professionals to track the performance of each employee, generate performance reviews and suggest actions like promotions, coaching and more.

  • Software as a Service: SaaS is software used and housed on the cloud and is typically available for monthly payments. SaaS can include business-related software, such as analytics delivery, project management software, payroll and much more.

  • Version control: This is a tool used to track historical changes in a program or project, facilitating more effective troubleshooting and helping to prevent overwriting versions of a document or program when a team is working together but separately on systems and programs.

Related: Job Search Guide: Product Management and Software Engineering

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