For students pursuing an information technology degree, there is no shortage of career options. The field is growing, and almost every industry and organization needs a tech specialist on site to help manage, design, and make the most of their computer systems.
In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the many jobs you could land once you graduate. We’ll give you details on what they entail, the average salary, and tips on how to apply.
What is an Information Technology Degree?
If you’re just beginning to research potential majors and specializations, then you may not realize all of the aspects that an IT degree encompasses. Most people assume that it means working on computers, but with the constant changes happening in the technology field, there are many other responsibilities that fall to IT professionals.
You could choose to specialize in a variety of skills like network systems, corporate data security, or software design. There are countless ways use put your skills to use.
In general, there are some common, core courses that every IT student will take. They include:
- Web Design and Development
- Java Programming
- Computer Programming
- Business and Network Systems
- Project Planning
- Information Security and Assurance
Many of these options are available at an associate’s degree level, and you can secure an excellent job with these skills. You may also work towards a graduate-level degree that will open the door for senior-level positions and growth in your company and industry.
Long-Term IT Career Outlook
Considering your employment options means not only looking at positions that are immediately available but also what the growth of your industry and specialization looks like over time.
In the information technology world, you can expect a career with both security and growth opportunities. As the needs for things like data collection, a robust online presence, cloud computing, and online security grows, so do the potential employment opportunities for someone with knowledge in the field.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, between 2014 and 2024 the number of people employed in an IT related position will grow by 12 percent. That’s significantly faster than the average across all fields and will produce as many as 488,000 new jobs during that 10-year period.
That’s amazing news for anyone pursuing an information technology degree as it means that you will emerge educated in a sought-after career field and can expect there to be a high demand for your skills.
Career Opportunities With an Information Technology Degree
Although it’s impossible to look into the future to see what new trends are on the horizon, we can provide a list of some of the most common opportunities that new graduates with an information technology degree pursue today.
Here, we’ve included a range of options and information on the average salary, responsibilities, and types of organizations who search for this position.
IT Support Specialist
An IT support specialist position is an excellent entry-level opportunity for people who like troubleshooting problems. Often the one that gets the call when other employees have technical questions, this job also includes tasks like configuring new hardware and software, performing backups, and maintaining hardware and software inventory for an organization.
One of the fastest growing segments in the industry, this role is expected to increase by as much as 12 percent over the next ten years. On average, IT support specialists make around $52,000 per year.
Computer System Analyst
If you have a knack for multitasking and love streamlining processes, then a computer systems analyst may be a career that appeals to you. This role works to improve the computer systems and procedures in their company by creating efficiencies and new technologies.
Another job with a growing demand, the employment rate for this position is expected to increase by 21 percent over the next decade. On average, computer systems analysts make around $82,000 per year, and entry-level positions start in the $40,000 range.
If you want a more direct role in the IT field where you work for a technology company and create new programs, then becoming a software developer may be an attractive option.
Developers work on a variety of projects and can build programs that range from business software to apps or games.
On average, they make over $97,000 per year, and the job opportunities are growing at a steady rate.
Every company wants a well-designed and maintained online presence, and as a web developer, you help meet that need. You will create and support websites and help organizations maximize their functionality and responsiveness.
You may work within an organization to manage their site or could opt to work in an agency setting where you would be responsible for building and maintaining the many pages for the clients you serve.
This is a role that requires good communication and customer service skills, and you’ll need to consistently communicate with your clients to give them the look and feel that they want for their end users.
This is another option with a tremendous growth rate that’s expected to top out at 27 percent over the next ten years. On average, employees in this field earn over $66,000 per year.
If you like the idea of working for a large corporation, then a position as a network architect might be a good fit.
This dynamic position means you’ll use your skills to manage a plethora of technology-related tasks and will design intranets and networks to improve the flow of information within your organization.
On average, employees in this position earn over $98,000 per year, but these corporate gigs can be very competitive.
If coding appeals to you, then a career as a computer programmer could be your calling. Your day to day will be spent designing, writing, testing, and troubleshooting source codes and designing user-friendly interfaces so that people without technical knowledge can also use the program.
Although the average salary of this position is just over $60,000 per year, the demand for these types of employees in the US is projected to decline by around 8 percent over the next decade. This is because many of these positions are outsourced overseas to freelancers who are less expensive, which means that the positions domestically will be very competitive to secure.
IT Research Scientist
If you’re someone who likes to be on the cutting edge of technology, then you may want to consider exploring the research field. Employees here are tasked with constantly searching for ways to improve and expand the reach and capabilities of current technologies.
On average, you’ll earn over $108,000 annually in this position.
Information Security Analyst
It seems that every day there is a new threat to data and information security, and as an information security analyst you’ll work to improve the systems that safe house information. Usually, as a member of the IT team in an organization, you may be required to collaborate with other roles, like systems analysts.
This position also has a lot of demand, and you’ll make close to $89,000 on average per year.
Large organizations employ network administrators to manage their computer systems and handle day to day tasks like repairs, troubleshooting, installation, configuration, and network security.
Another field where the employment rate is growing, projections say the demand could increase by up to 8 percent over the next ten years. Employees earn an average of around $60,000 per year in this role, and entry-level positions start approximately $38,000.
Healthcare Services IT
The healthcare field is increasingly turning to digital technology to care for patients, process insurance claims, and handle their plethora of paperwork.
Although this position is constantly evolving, you can expect to be the point person on new software implementations, software migrations, training, troubleshooting, and system configurations.
You’ll earn an average of $45,000 per year, but large healthcare systems and hospitals may pay significantly more for your services.
There is a place for entrepreneurs in the IT world, and many of them choose to open their own consulting businesses. In this role, you’ll bring on clients who you help understand and manage their complex technology systems.
Those who thrive in this role have excellent communications skills, a bit of sales knowledge, and are diverse in the ways they are technologically savvy.
You’ll earn an average of $71,900 per year as a consultant.
IT Project Manager
Professionals that enjoy both management and organization and who have a strong technology background are uniquely suited for this role.
As an IT project manager, you’ll be responsible for planning and implementing specific projects and leading a team to meet deadlines and achieve objectives through the process.
On average, these employees earn nearly $85,000 per year, and many have specialized training and advanced degrees to give them all the skills they need to be effective.
Although most people think of software-related skills when they imagine an IT career, there is also a large demand for hardware engineers in the workforce.
These professionals develop and design computer hardware, and typically work as part of a team to build the project. You may also troubleshoot outdated hardware systems and create new ways to improve their efficiency and meet updated needs.
A degree in computer or electrical engineering is a must to get into this field, and average employees make over $85,000 per year. It’s a growing opportunity, and jobs are projected to increase by over 5 percent in the next ten years.