A degree may open the door to a variety of opportunities and diverse career paths. The degree programs offered at AIU will not necessarily lead to the featured careers. This collection of articles is intended to help inform and guide you through the process of determining which level of degree and types of certifications align with your desired career path.
If you work in IT and want to move into a management role, or if you have a passion for technology, then you may wonder if information technology is a good degree for you to pursue. While the answer will depend on your specific educational and professional goals, an IT degree can be a suitable choice when seeking a career path with diverse options and opportunities.
As technology continues to advance, the industry continues to grow. In the Job Outlook 2018 survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, 55.3% of employers polled said they plan to hire candidates with computer science bachelor’s degrees, while 48.5% said they plan to hire graduates from information sciences and systems programs.1
Consider the skills and experiences you may develop from an IT degree program and the jobs you may qualify for as an information technology graduate.
What Does an IT Degree Cover?
An information technology degree is designed to introduce students to the computer hardware, software, and network technology that enables modern business operations. Degrees in this field may help students apply knowledge of computing and mathematics to appropriate IT disciplines; develop integrated solutions that combine best practices in system design and implementation; and analyze professional, ethical, legal, security and social implications of computing environments on individuals, organizations and society.2
An IT program may introduce you to a range of skills to help you prepare for various workplace responsibilities. Certain programs may also offer specific IT specializations to help focus your coursework on a particular aspect of IT work, such as information assurance and security or network administration.
General core courses in an IT program may cover topics like:2
- Operating systems;
- Programming and logic;
- Database systems;
- Network infrastructure basics;
- IT security.
Potential IT Careers: A Spotlight
An increasing reliance on technology has resulted in IT jobs across professional industries, scientific and technical services, transportation equipment manufacturing and educational services and hospitals. Furthermore, since positions may involve computer technology, not all IT positions may require specific knowledge of the field or industry in which a company operates.
Consider the following IT careers you may choose to pursue after graduation:
Systems administrators install, configure and support computer networks for organizations. Employment of Network and Computer Systems Administrators is projected to grow 6% from 2016 through 2026 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which is on track with the national average.3
Responsibilities of network and computer systems administrators may include:4
- Maintaining and administering computer networks and related computing environments, including computer hardware, systems software, applications software, web servers and platforms;
- Performing data backups and disaster recovery operations;
- Diagnosing, troubleshooting and resolving hardware, software or other network and system problems;
- Planning, coordinating and implementing network security measures to protect data, software and hardware;
- Configuring, monitoring and maintaining email applications or virus protection software.
Computer Systems Analyst
Computer systems analysts design and optimize information systems for companies and organizations. Projected employment of Computer Systems Analysts is estimated at 9% from 2016 through 2026 according to the BLS.5
Responsibilities of computer systems analysts may include the following:6
- Expanding or modifying systems to meet new goals or improve workflow;
- Testing, maintaining and monitoring computer programs and systems;
- Developing, documenting and revising system design procedures, test procedures and quality standards;
- Providing staff and users with assistance solving computer-related problems.
Software developers create, develop and update the applications that allow people to complete tasks on computers or other devices. Employment of Software Developers is projected to grow faster than average at 24% from 2016 through 2026 per the BLS.7
Responsibilities of software developers may include the following:8
- Modifying existing software to correct errors, enable adaptation to new hardware or to improve performance;
- Developing and directing software system testing and validation procedures, programming and documentation;
- Conferring with systems analysts, engineers, programmers and others to design computer systems and applications used for client-facing and internal purposes;
- Analyzing user needs and software requirements to determine the feasibility of design within time and cost constraints;
- Designing, developing and modifying software systems using scientific analysis and mathematical models to predict and measure outcomes and consequences of design.
So, is information technology a good program for you to pursue? The answer depends on your goals; however, the potential roles and opportunities open to degree holders, as well as the steady growth within the field, are factors worth considering.Ready to learn more? Explore information technology degrees at AIU.
1. “Business Majors Dominate List of Top Majors in Demand.” National Association of Colleges and Employers. Retrieved from: https://www.naceweb.org/job-market/trends-and-predictions/business-majors-dominate-list-of-top-majors-in-demand/ (Visited 1/14/19). Conditions in your area may vary.
2. “Information Technology Degree at AIU.” American InterContinental University. Retrieved from: https://www.aiuniv.edu/degrees/information-technology/bachelors-general (Visited 1/28/19).
3. “Network and Computer Systems Administrators.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Retrieved from: http://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/network-and-computer-systems-administrators.htm (Visited 1/14/19). Conditions in your area may vary.
4. “Network and Computer Systems Administrators: What Network and Computer Systems Administrators Do.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Retrieved from: http://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/network-and-computer-systems-administrators.htm#tab-2 (Visited 1/14/2019).
5. “Computer Systems Analysts.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Retrieved from: http://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/computer-systems-analysts.htm (Visited 1/14/19). Conditions in your area may vary.
6. “Computer Systems Analysts: What Computer Systems Analysts Do.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Retrieved from: http://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/computer-systems-analysts.htm#tab-2 (Visited 1/14/19).
7. “Software Developers.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Retrieved from: http://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/software-developers.htm (Visited 1/14/19). Conditions in your area may vary.
8. “Software Developers: What Software Developers Do.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Retrieved from: http://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/software-developers.htm#tab-2 (Visited 1/14/19).
American InterContinental University cannot guarantee employment or salary. F or important information about the educational debt, earnings, and completion rates of students who attended these programs, go to www.aiuniv.edu/disclosures.
Classes Start December 11, 2019