Businesses in the 21st century rely heavily upon computer technology to keep their activities running smoothly and efficiently. Computer programs control inventories, process shipping orders, track payroll, and provide employees’ access to the Internet. These complex systems require employees with knowledge of how these systems are built, maintained, and repaired.
The career field responsible for all this work is known as Information Technology. Individuals interested in working in Information Technology, or IT as it is known, need to have more than a basic understanding of computers. In order to succeed in IT, individuals must possess a solid grasp of computer system, hardware, software, and programming.
Where to Start
Anyone interested in a career in IT needs to assess their abilities and potential positions they would qualify for in the future. There are a number of IT related degrees available at the Bachelor’s level, making it important for students to ensure they pursue the degree that could compliment their preferred future career.
The Bachelor’s degree in Information Technology is a common degree for those looking forward to a career in IT. Specialization within a Bachelor of Information Technology is common, but different schools will offer different specializations. Some common offerings include Digital Investigation, Network Administration, Software Analysis and Development, and Information Assurance and Security. Another program that students can pursue is the Bachelor of Science in Information Technology. Common specialization offering of this program are computer science, information systems, information technology, network technology, software engineering, and web development [insidetech.monster.com].
On-campus vs. Online
Numerous degrees are now offered both online and on-campus in the 21st century and it should come as no surprise that an IT degree is one of the most popular online degree programs available. Determining whether to pursue an online or on-campus program depends on the needs of the individual. Students coming straight from high school are more likely to attend on-campus programs, while those returning from the workforce are more likely to pursue online degrees. This is most often the case because those in the workforce can’t afford to leave their job and rearrange their lifestyle to return to an on-campus program as a full-time student.
Online degrees in IT are particularly popular because the degree program is well suited to online programs. Online degree programs feature the advanced technology, giving students the opportunity to use the very systems and technologies they may need knowledge of when entering the workforce (USnewsuniversitydirectory.com/articles/).
What to Expect
Each degree program available to prospective IT students will offer different timelines and coursework. Traditional Bachelor’s programs take four years to complete, while online programs can be completed in less time. With online programs, the amount of time a student has to devote to their program will determine how quickly they can complete a program. Certain coursework is prevalent across the variety of IT degrees available. Common coursework includes mathematics, computer programming, software development, and even business and management related coursework.
The study of Information Technology remains strong in 2012 despite the weakness of the greater economy. IT related degrees are increasingly popular and Bachelor’s degrees in IT are at the center of that boom. As an example, Stanford University noted a 25% increase in Computer Science majors as of 2011-12 (USnews.com/education/).
A Bachelor’s degree in Information Technology can provide graduates the tools they need to help them launch a career working in a variety of business related fields.
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