The study of information technology, more commonly known as IT, focuses on the use of computer networks, systems, and computer software programs to store, send and receive business information, often different types of data. So then, what can you do with a degree in information technology? This article explores that and more to help you find a school and career path that suit your future career goals.
Information Technology vs. Information Systems
Although they are remarkably similar, the studies of information technology and information systems have some slight differences. Believe it or not, someone earning an information technology degree takes different courses in college than someone pursuing a degree in information systems.
The main difference between the two is that information systems are not always computer-related. Yes, with the ever-growing increase of the use of technology, more and more electronic information systems are constantly popping up. However, IT actually falls under the category of information systems because it is the study of electronic information systems.
The study of information systems often includes but is not limited to courses in social science and management. Courses related to IT rely heavily on mathematics, computer science, and more.
Information Technology Degree Programs
Once you have decided to pursue further education in information technology, you should begin searching for a school that offers a program that best suits your interests. Consult your high school guidance counselor for ways in which you can prepare in advance for a higher education in information technology, and you should start applying to schools at the beginning of you senior year. Colleges and universities around the globe have excellent IT degree programs; it’s just a matter of finding the right one for you.
Kaplan University’s School of Information Technology provides a great way to earn your information technology degree online. If your daily schedule doesn’t permit time for you to be a full time student or spend time on a college campus on a daily basis, you should consider Kaplan’s educational programs. The university’s School of Information Technology offers students the opportunity to earn the three main types of degrees in information technology: an associates degree, a bachelors degree, and a masters degree. Working nearly anywhere via your computer, it is possible to complete the Bachelor of Science in Information Technology program in less than four years. One of the goals of this program is to educate individuals on how to build solutions to various hardware and software hardships that may arise in a company’s electronic information system or overall network. The masters degree program focuses on furthering students’ understanding of IT in order to help them learn to build stronger information systems and other programs.
Western Governors University is another school that offers an online program for undergraduate students to earn a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology. The IT bachelors degree program at Western Governors University is meant to assist students enter the field of information technology at slightly more advanced levels than individuals just graduating from high school with very little experience in the field. Not all IT jobs require an applicant to possess a degree, but it is a significantly more impressive way to boost your resume and advance sooner in the career field of your choice related to information technology. Students take online courses that cover subjects anywhere from software development to technical writing. From learning the fundamentals of IT to those of project management, graduates from Western Governors University are sure to get ahead in no time.
Those interested in in-class learning should consider attending Armstrong State University, located in Savannah, Georgia. Armstrong State University offers its students a Bachelor of Information Technology, a degree with a program that focuses on educating students in computer science fundamentals, principals, and more to assist in the design and management of information systems. The design of the program is also meant to help students understand the ever-changing field of technology and ways in which they may be able to more easily adapt to inevitable changes. The school also offers a Master of Science in Computer and Information Science, as well.
Careers in Information Technology
While you’re studying IT at an accredited college or university, you should begin to seriously consider a few choice career paths that interest you the most. Once you’ve researched different types of careers you can get with an IT degree, then you will be able to better shape your academic experience in order to prepare yourself for the career of your choice. Professors across the world are willing to help you reach your goals; all you have to do is pursue your dream in the field of information technology.
Entry Level Careers in Information Technology
Upon earning your IT degree, you may find that you qualify for one or more of the entry level career types described in this section.
Computer Support Specialist
A computer support specialist provides customer service for those who are having troubleshooting problems or other issues with their operating systems or information systems. He or she may work out of an office or travel to various businesses in need of the assistance a support specialist provides. Computer support specialists often possess at least a bachelors degree in areas such as computer science, information technology, and information systems. In addition, they possess excellent verbal and written communication skills.
Computer support specialists may earn around $48,000 annually, based on education and experience levels.
A computer programmer uses a specific type of code language to help computers recognize and read new software designs. He or she also tests programs for faults to ensure companies are producing top-quality programs to sell to other companies around the world in order to improve and increase business. Computer programmers may possess bachelor or associate degrees in anything from computer science to information technology. They are typically versed in multiple coding languages, increasing their value and, in turn, often their overall salary.
Computer programmers may earn around $70,000 annually, based on education and experience levels.
A data modeler may work to improve the transportation of data from one information system to another. He or she also focuses on making data models for information systems and study data fields and their relationships with one another. Data modelers possess bachelor degrees in everything from information technology to computer science to mathematics. They have impeccable abilities to pay strict attention to detail and are eager to learn and develop data models.
Data modelers may earn an annual salary of around $ 75,000, based on education and experience levels.
Advanced Careers in Information Technology
After earning your masters degree or doctoral degree in information technology, or once you gain a few years of experience after obtaining your IT bachelors degree, the positions described below just may be within your reach.
Computer Forensics Investigator
A computer forensics investigator spends his or her time fighting crime via computer systems. He or she may assist in cases by investigating information systems and security breaches, often to uncover evidence to be used in court to solve disputed cases. Computer forensics investigators often have at least bachelor degrees in anything from computer forensics to information technology or security. They possess excellent analytical and communication skills, as well. Computer forensics may also have background knowledge and experience in law in order to understand and use legal jargon so that they are able to communicate with officials also working to solve cases.
Computer forensics investigators may earn over $62,000 annually, based on education and experience levels in addition to the location and type of companies they work for.
Mobile Application Developer
A mobile application developer works to create and develop applications, or apps, for mobile phones as forms of entertainment or convenience. Many apps exist today that help people keep track of everything from their to-do lists to their heart rates, and the number of apps in existence is constantly growing. Mobile application developers are well-versed in multiple coding languages that they use to bring apps to life. They typically have a few years experience with coding languages and computer science and at least bachelor degrees in information technology, computer science, or other related fields. Some employers search for developers with master degrees in these fields.
Mobile application developers may earn over $85,000 annually, based on education and experience levels.
Companies that Hire People with Information Technology Degrees
The need for people with information technology degrees is rapidly growing. With more and more businesses turning to technology in search of ways to better their companies, IT is an ever-growing field with companies around the world in search of people with degrees in information technology. Below is just a brief list of examples of some places that hire people with IT degrees.
Leidos – headquarters in Reston, VA; hires positions for cyber security network engineers, IT security forensic investigators, chief cybersecurity consultants, network threat support specialists, etc.
Kingfisher Systems – headquarters in Falls Church, VA; hires positions for cyber security analysts, JAVA developers, information technology research proposal writers, IT service desk technicians, computer forensics technicians and analysts, etc.
Deloitte – headquarters in New York, NY; hires positions for technology risk advisory consultants, senior associates of data analytics, etc.
Defense Security Service – offices in Quantico, VA; hires positions for counterintelligence professionals, IT specialists, information systems security professionals, instructional systems designers, etc.
With the constant increase in need for people with IT degrees, studying information technology in college is a wise decision. If you’re interested in doing anything from providing customer support to creating new software designs, then earning a degree in information technology may just be the best way to start your IT career.