Information technology (IT) is the application of computer science and engineering to achieve certain tasks through the use of computers. Information technology is a rapidly growing field. Many people are involved in the IT field either directly or indirectly. Information technology is often considered to be one of the most important fields of study for managers because of the importance of information technology in modern business. Today, nearly everyone has some type of IT support around their home-including cell phones, digital video recorders, cable modems, personal computers, PDAs, video game consoles, telephone services and even medical equipment.
Information technology has developed into a very complex field with new applications cropping up every day. In the early days of information technology, computers and other electronics were simply used to store data. As technology evolved, computer scientists came up with a wide variety of new ideas and concepts that transformed the way computers worked. Information technology is now used to improve computer systems, develop new computer technologies, create new software, design new products for consumers, help businesses operate more efficiently, train computer scientists, provide technical support for computer systems and much more.
In order to participate in an IT career you will need at least a bachelor’s degree in information technology or a related field. Most employers consider a bachelor’s degree to be an advanced degree that requires specific training and skills beyond what a typical associate’s degree provides. For example, a bachelor’s degree holder who works as a database manager in a law firm will have a very different job than one who works in a computer software development firm. A database manager will be involved in the creation and maintenance of a large, interconnected database that will serve many legal firms. In contrast, a software development firm may be involved in the creation of a simple program, such as a spreadsheet, that can be run from a personal computer. Both positions require the completion of a bachelor’s degree in information technology, along with relevant experience, as well as a state issued security clearance and other certifications.
Many people who earn bachelor degrees in information technology and software development choose to go on to earn graduate degrees in the field. The computer science degree is a great choice for those who want to take a more specialized approach to their career. Those who earn a master’s degree in this field often find their work is geared more towards teaching. They are able to teach students how to design databases, create applications and more through a greater amount of hands on learning. Those with a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in computer science usually find their career paths going into academia, teaching, research and business.
Those who are not planning on going straight into the Information Technology field should take some courses that allow them to develop skills that will benefit them in other career paths. Courses such as information systems management and software engineering are ideal choices for those looking to develop skills that will help them succeed in the Information Technology field. These two areas of study require knowledge of both hardware and software, but it is not uncommon to find a student who has gained knowledge only of one area. Regardless, however, these two classes are among the most popular online bachelor degree programs. It is not unusual to find a student who wants to go into a career with a bachelor’s and then goes into information systems or software engineering.
It is also possible to get a bachelor’s degree in Information Systems and then go on to earn a master’s in Computer Science or Software Engineering. In general, these two majors have very similar career outlooks. Those who major in information systems will likely find their work is somewhat tied to that of an Information Technology professional. Those who major in software engineering will likely find their work is slightly more loosely tied to business. Those choosing to major in Computer Science may go on to become a principal or director of an information technology firm.