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Technology evolves everyday and this is evident in smarter mobile phones, constant software updates and innovative apps. It’s sometimes difficult to keep up with the edge cutting advances in networks, software and hardware. There’s an arising need for technical help and management from experts in the field of information technology to provide the necessary and updated insight for the use of technology for private and public interests. This page gives a comprehensive analysis of degrees in information technology programs and how graduates of the programs can find their footing in a job market that’s constantly evolving as innovative technology itself.

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Information Technology Summary

A degree in information technology is not limited to hardware and software operations, it includes the use of technology to meet needs and solve specific problems. Professionals in this field can use their wealth of knowledge in technology to provide tech solutions across the globe. The ever growing IT industry is one to look forward to with the variety of job opportunities it abounds in for IT graduates.

Information Technology Degrees in Levels

Higher education programs are designed to allow students to find their footing and carve a niche for themselves in the ever growing IT field. An associate or a bachelor’s degree in IT can help students decide their choice of career in information technology. The knowledge obtained will serve as a basis for graduates interested in other graduate programs or IT certifications such as Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE). Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP), Project Management Professional (PMP) certification, e.t.c

Information Technology Associate Degrees

list_tickmarkType of Schools: Technical Schools, Community Colleges.
list_tickmarkTime to Complete: 1-2 years
list_tickmarkCareer Opportunities: Technology Support Specialist, Systems Administrator, Security Engineer, Network Specialist, , Applications Engineer,

list_tickmarkOverview: Students do not require a background in IT to apply for associate degree programs, but it may apply for an associate degree. The courses offered in this program fulfill the course requirements for graduates interested in going further with a bachelor’s degree or a graduate level degree.

list_tickmarkLearning Outcomes: At the end of the program, students will have had their skills developed and tested in thinking and technical skills, web designing, computer software and hardware configuration, data management, network management and cyber security. There are also specialized elective courses open to students for in-depth knowledge in certain fields. Students may be required to buy certain hardware/software as learning aids to complete their coursework. Some of the typical available classes and the skills taught include:

Introduction to Software Development

This is a course that introduces students to the basics of designing, coding, running, and applying computer programs. It also teaches comprehensively the art of troubleshooting engineering applications.

Website Design

Website design analyses client-to-server communications, internet concepts and network protocols. Students are taught the fundamentals of HTML, JavaScript, CSS, and DOM in designing interactive websites.

Introduction to Programming Logic

This course is an exploratory guide on the use of programming logic methods to solve problems. Students are taught the use of programming languages, and the conversion of real-life problems into forms. Students learn and apply programming language constructs, including a project that translates real-life problems into forms that can be solved with computer programs.

Human Relations in Administration

Human interaction skills such as communication techniques, resources management, leadership and group dynamics, stress and time management, conflict management, e.t.c. are taught for effecting communication outside of information technology and in social situations.

Information Technology Bachelor’s Degrees

list_tickmarkType of Schools: Technical Colleges, Community Colleges and Four-Year Universities
list_tickmarkTime to Complete: 3-4 years
list_tickmarkCareer Opportunities: Software Developer, Systems Analyst, Network Security Engineer

list_tickmarkOverview: Students do not require a background in IT to apply for associate degree programs, but it may apply for an associate degree. The courses offered in this program fulfill the course requirements for graduates interested in going further with a bachelor’s degree or a graduate level degree.

list_tickmarkLearning Outcomes: A Bachelor of Science degree in information technology provides core background knowledge in the basics of information technology essentials like programming, database management, systems administration, security, and ethics. Students take practical classes in the use of programming languages and are expected to master at least one. The course also teaches the creation and maintenance of modern databases and the evaluation of operating systems.

Courses teach project management skills to build leadership capacities in students and encourage effective team work. At the bachelor’s level, students will specialize in certain fields of information technology such as software programming, hardware engineering or security management.
Undergraduate programs usually require that students take courses outside core IT classes, especially in the sciences and humanities as part of the institution’s general prerequisite for graduation for all students. The following is a list of classes available to students in the course of a bachelor’s degree in Information Technology.

Introduction to Project Management

This examines techniques involved in project management such as setting smart goals, budgeting and resources management.

Fundamentals of Networking

Students are taught the basics of current data communication and networking technologies. This ranges from the hardware and software components and network connections to network protocols and operations.

Structured Query Language for Data Management

This covers structured query language, a standard tool in acquiring information from databases. Students use structured query language in data management; acquiring, storing, retrieving and manipulating data.

Introduction to Computer Security

A study of the topics involved in computer system security. The topics include cryptography, systems control, disaster recovery programming, telecommunications and network security.

Master’s & Doctorate Degrees in Information Technology

list_tickmarkType of Schools: Technical Colleges, Four-Year Universities
list_tickmarkTime to Complete: 2-4 years years (This excludes time in the bachelor’s degree program)
list_tickmarkCareer Opportunities: Chief Information Officer, Information Consultant, Director/Vice President of Information Technology, Professor

list_tickmarkOverview: These programs teach business management skills in project management positions, leadership and communication techniques, the design and analysis of integrated systems, conducting original research to add to the existing body of knowledge in IT and the best IT strategies to recommend.

Master’s Degrees

Intending students for the master’s degree program should have a bachelor’s degree with experience with calculus, statistics, and advanced computer skills. Students have the option of specializing in different IT-related fields.

Doctorate Degrees

Applicants for the PhD programs are expected to have a foundation in statistics, calculus, statistics, and a degree in computer science, information technology, or industrial engineering is advisable. Students seeking a PhD must be able defend an original dissertation and complete independent research assignments. In some doctorate programs, students will be required to teach undergraduate classes or acquire practical experience via internships.

Multimedia Information Systems

Students learn the processes involved in multimedia content creation, presentations and content-based search, storing and retrieving multimedia data.

Electronic Commerce

This course teaches the theories of electronic commerce, research concerns and problems of implementation.

Network Administration

Students are taught the art of evaluating current information technology processes in various areas to make references/recommendation. Network administration includes configuration, back-up and system security management. Network issues such as UNIX interoperability, addressing, and routing are examined.

Business Intelligence Systems and Methods

This course explores the use of information technology in boosting the abilities and values of businesses. Students determine the required course of action to increase competitive advantages, market values and improve customer service.

A Must-Have List For Choosing an IT Program

list_tickmarkAccreditation
The Information Technology Program of your choice should be accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). This will ensure the IT profession standard is met. The lists of accredited associate, bachelor’s and master’s can be found on ABET’s website here.

list_tickmarkFlexible course scheduling
This is important for students who need to advance their careers, or combine schooling with part-time IT jobs, internships or contract jobs in carving a niche for themselves. A campus-based regular program with flexible schedules can allow students to combine school and work..

list_tickmarkOpportunities for Practical learning
To decide on a degree program, assess the course’s application in the present day IT industry. Do the courses prepare students for certification tests, internship opportunities? Does the program allow professors to hire teaching and research assistants? Are the classes practical and realistic? Answers to these questions will determine the applicability of the program in real life and how well it can be adapted in related careers and career opportunities.

list_tickmarkCommunication & management skills
The abilities to communicate and manage people are basic qualities in the field of information technology. Relevant IT programs should have these skills integrated into their courses as IT professionals will require them for optimum performance in project planning, development and implementation; passing information across to clients and customers alike; and fixing repairs.

Key Skills & Experience for IT Professionals

list_tickmarkComputer literacy
Applicants for IT degree programs are expected to have basic computer skills. IT students will learn specialized and technical skills based on certifications and the degree of higher education in pursuit.

list_tickmarkCritical thinking
Quick and Critical thinking is an essential skill in IT. It requires that professionals be able to make the best choice when faced with many options and provide quick technological solutions, based on experience or acquired knowledge, when faced with real life IT problems

list_tickmarkCommunication skills
Information technology professionals must be able to communicate with all kinds of people at different levels of the business hierarchy. This includes clear expressions of ideas and intents; written and verbal. They should also be able to effective work as a team and manage people and collective resources.

list_tickmarkPractical experience and applied knowledge
Experiential knowledge based can be acquired from experience as a research or teaching assistant, internships and contract work. This knowledge provides an edge for students when applying for job that require proven skills in certain fields of information technology.

list_tickmarkCertifications
IT jobs that involve specialized technical procedures or complex technology require applicants with certification in these areas. Becoming certified as an IT technician or project manager involves passing a skills examination through credible certification firms such as CompTIA or Cisco. The certification proves a candidate understands the required knowledge in the specified Information Technology field.

list_tickmarkSelf-motivated research
Students can at any level carry our research into areas of interest to keep up with the changes in the field of information technology. Employers are interested in candidates with research experience, certifications and specialized knowledge that indicates their commitment to information technology.

tech-iconsComputer & Information Systems Managers

Typical Education : Bachelor’s or master’s degree

Computer and Information Systems Managers plan and coordinate computer-based activities in a business. They define goals and organize the required systems for achieving the goals. This includes but is not limited to website maintenance, networks systems installation and support, modeling data communications hardware and software, and supervising support. Computer and information systems managers have strong leadership and project management skills alongside their technical knowledge.

Computer Systems Analyst
Typical Education : Bachelor’s degree

Computer systems analysts link the worlds of business and information technology in ways that suit the needs of companies. These are professional troubleshooters and problem solvers who design solutions to meet client-specific needs.

Computer Support Specialists
Typical Education : Associate degree and/or industry certifications

A computer support specialists gives advice on the use of computer software or hardware. They troubleshoot regular tasks such as printing, program installation, and word processing problems. They also provide technical assistance in person or through electronic means. A computer support specialist that assists information technology employees in a specific organization is called a computer network support specialists and a computer user support specialists when they assist laypeople and non-IT users with computer problems.

Cosmetology Toolbox/Checklist

Apart from the field of information technology, there are similar degree programs that can equip students for other aspects of the technology industry.

  • Computer Science
    Computer science as a field of study focuses on the development computer applications, data systems and information research in the world of computers. Students interested in this field will focus on computer programming and engineering; software development and computer architecture.
  • Engineering
    The field of engineering is a broad one, from software engineering to electronic engineering. . Associate degrees in engineering focus on the technical aspects while bachelor degree programs build on the basic foundation with specializations available in mathematics, computer science, programming or core engineering. Graduate programs delve further and can focus on just one field, offering students options in diverse careers that can range from agricultural engineering to atomic energy.
  • Mathematics
    Degrees in mathematics prepare students for further degrees in related fields such as biomathematics, computer science and engineering, research, finance, e.t.c. Associate degrees build a strong mathematical core, bachelor’s degrees in build upon this foundation while graduate degrees in specialized fields equip students for their choice of careers

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