Online Information Technology Degree Programs

Information technology plays a very important role in many businesses, organizations, and industries. An online information technology degree can prepare students for an exciting career in many different industries. Undergraduate information technology degrees provide students with a broad education on a variety of information technology topics and enable students to gain the essential critical thinking, problem solving, communication, troubleshooting, and computer skills. There are a variety of specialties students can focus on to lead a meaningful career. Read more about online information technology degree programs.

Some Stats

In 2006, there were 6,777 bachelor degrees, 785 master degrees, and 15 doctorate degrees conferred in information technology (1). In 2006, information technology managers held 264,000 jobs, with about 1 in 4 employed in service providing industries (2). The median salary for information technology professionals is between $58,570 and $86,049 depending on the position (3).

Employment Outlook

Career outlook for information technology graduates varies greatly on degree, field, and position. The employment of information technology managers is expected to grow faster than average for all professions from 2006 to 2016, increasing 16% and adding 43,000 new jobs (2). According to another BLS report, many information technology related careers have the largest projected employment growth from 2006 to 2016 (4).

Specialties

Information technology is a large field and students can choose a specialty to lead a meaningful career. The information technology specialties include management information systems, applications development, operating systems, Linux network administration, Cisco network administration, computer programming, network help desk, network security technology, business information technology, microcomputer office technology, health information technology, information security technology management, Ecommerce technology, convergence technology, and information assurance. Students interested in a specific specialty should choose a school that offers a strong program in that area.

What to Expect

Information technology degree programs vary widely on the program, school, and specialization. Undergraduate information technology degrees provide a broad overview of information technology and prepare graduates for entry-level positions. General education courses are also typically required in areas such as English, science, mathematics, and humanities. Courses vary by program but often include basic communications networks, computer interface, programming languages, database administration, computer architecture, information systems, computer and network security, and project management. Graduate degrees focus on extensive specialization and prepare graduates for higher level positions.

The End Result

An undergraduate degree in information technology provides graduates with an abundance of career options in many different fields. Graduate degrees provide students with even more career opportunities and enable graduates to pursue higher paying positions in areas such as research and academia. Career opportunities for information technology graduates include:

Project Manager
Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Specialist
Information Technology Consultant
Information Technology Analyst
Technical Consultant
Information Technology Engineer
Computer Programmer
Information Technology Trainer
Computer Network Defense Support Specialist
Help Desk Specialist
Systems Administrator
Information Technology Support Specialist

An information technology career will be rewarding for individuals with a strong interest in computers and communication and have a talent for solving problems. Information technology professionals provide assistance in a variety of industries and use their knowledge, expertise, and problem solving skills to identify and solve computer issues.

(1) SOURCE: U.S. National Center for Education Statistics, Digest of Education Statistics
(2) SOURCE: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook 2008-2009 Edition
(3) SOURCE: Payscale.com, Salary Survey for Industry: Information Technology (IT) Services
(4) SOURCE: Bureau of Labor Statistics, The 30 occupations with the largest employment growth: 2006-2009