Computer and information technology (IT) careers include network architect, programmer, and computer system administrator. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that IT professionals earn a median annual salary of $91,250. This figure exceeds the national median salary of $41,950 for all occupations.
According to BLS projections, demand for IT jobs from 2020-2030 varies by profession. The BLS projects the need for computer and information research scientists to grow 13% during this time. However, the BLS projects the computer programming field to decrease 10%. College students should study job outlooks closely before selecting a career path.
Information technology degrees use different admission requirements, depending on school and degree type. Bachelor's program applicants should hold a high school or GED diploma. Master's programs may require a minimum undergraduate GPA and recommendation letters.
Our guide answers common questions about information technology degrees. We highlight IT program goals, benefits, and requirements. We also provide sample professional organizations and scholarships for students pursuing a degree in information technology.
Top Online Bachelor's in IT
Top Information Technology Programs 2022
What Are the Goals of an Information Technology Degree?
Aspiring IT professionals earn a bachelor's degree in information technology. The degree differs from a computer science degree in that it focuses primarily on solving problems. However, the similarity between these fields allow graduates with either degree to work as a computer systems analyst or database administrator.
An information technology program may offer specializations, such as digital investigations, network administration, and software analysis and development. All students complete core coursework in information systems fundamentals. They also take networking foundations and algorithms and logic for computer programming courses. Typical programs end with a capstone course.
Top Online Master's in IT
Why Get an Information Technology Degree?
An information technology program provides many professional and personal benefits. Graduates can achieve positive outcomes by maintaining good grades and networking with potential employers before graduation.
Professionals with an information technology degree earn a median annual salary exceeding the national average. A high salary promotes many positive benefits, such as saving for retirement.
The BLS projects that IT jobs will grow from 2020-2030. These projections suggest that graduates should enter a strong job market.
Workers with a degree in information technology enjoy many avenues for professional growth, including certifications and continuing education courses. Like a master's degree, these opportunities may lead to career advancement.
IT workers take great pride in their work. They ensure their company's hardware and software infrastructure works as expected and remains secure.
An information technology program prepares students for many career tracks. Examples include computer support specialist, computer system administrator, and web developer. Learners can work with a college counselor to refine their career goals.
What Are the Requirements for an Information Technology Degree?
Although admission requirements differ by school, bachelor's program applicants need a high school or GED diploma. Other criteria may include professional IT experience or adequate transfer credit. Master's programs may require a bachelor's degree in a STEM field and two years of work experience.
Typical information technology program graduation requirements include a capstone course in the final semester. Students work with a professor to develop an independent project demonstrating their proficiency with IT topics. Learners produce a project proposal and perform original research. Then, they write a report detailing how their project helps a specific company or organization.
Featured Online IT Programs
Professional Organizations for Information Technology Students
Information technology students join professional organizations to network with potential employers. They can also sign up for mentor programs and apply for exclusive scholarship opportunities. Other benefits include professional development resources and a job board. Organizations like those below charge degree-seekers a low annual membership fee.
Scholarships for Information Technology Students
Even the most affordable online information technology degrees may charge tuition some degree-seekers cannot afford without financial aid. Instead of turning to loans, students should research scholarship opportunities. Many scholarships cater exclusively to future IT professionals, like the examples below.
Who Can Apply: Niche offers this scholarship opportunity monthly to high school seniors and college students at least 18 years old. Learners apply by creating an online account. Niche allows scholarship recipients to use the award for education-related expenses besides tuition.
Who Can Apply: The Foundation for IT Education awards this competitive scholarship to undergrads with at least a 3.0 GPA. Other eligibility criteria include attempting at least 12 credits per semester and demonstrating financial need. Applicants must also have U.S. citizenship or permanent residency. Interested students apply from January 1 - May 31. Scholarship finalists submit official transcripts.
Who Can Apply: Computer science and IT majors with a minimum 3.0 GPA can apply to the Kevin Jetton Scholarship. The scholarship considers U.S. citizens and permanent residents studying at any accredited U.S. institution. Interested students apply by completing an online form before May 31. Applicants detail their career goals, academic ability, and leadership potential.
FAQ About Information Technology Programs
What exactly is an IT job?
IT professionals provide computer support services to companies and organizations. The field includes many job titles, such as systems administrator, WAN engineer, and desktop support engineer.
What are the types of information technology?
Workers perform several IT services, including software and hardware maintenance. Other specialties include network infrastructure, mobile device management, and cloud computing.
What is the main purpose of information technology?
IT allows employees to communicate and work using technology. IT professionals ensure technology performs flawlessly and remains safe from malicious actors, such as hackers.
What jobs are in information technology?
Information technology degree-holders can select from many well-paying careers. Examples include computer and information research scientist, computer network architect, and software developer.
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