Bachelor’s in Information Technology Program Guide
Information technology (IT) refers to safeguarding, retrieving, sending, and storing data. Through data analysis, IT professionals improve the functioning of an organization's computer networks. An online bachelor's degree in information technology enables graduates to work in diverse fields, including software development, finance, healthcare, and manufacturing.
Demand for information technology professionals continues to grow. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that IT jobs will grow 11% between 2019 and 2029. The increased use of large data sets, cloud computing, and cybersecurity measures continues to drive this demand.
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Should I Get a Bachelor's in Information Technology?
An online bachelor's degree in information technology can lead to in-demand careers. For example, the BLS projects faster than average job growth for computer network architects (5%) and computer systems analysts (7%) between 2019 and 2029.
A bachelor's degree in information technology requires about 120 credits of coursework, which most full-time students take four years to complete. Some online programs offer accelerated tracks that students can finish in less time.
IT professionals need to continually educate themselves on the latest theories and innovations in their field. Graduates may also benefit from specialized training. For example, the International Information System Security Certification Consortium offers certification in information systems security. Individuals pursuing management positions might consider a master's degree in IT.
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What Will I Learn in an Information Technology Bachelor's Program?
A bachelor's program in information technology covers general education topics, such as English and social sciences, as well as technical material related to the major. Core IT classes typically include information technology infrastructure, database management, cybersecurity, and information systems design.
The curriculum of an online bachelor's degree in information technology teaches students skills in technical communication and mathematics. Major coursework often covers web design, programming, and database management. Graduates from IT programs might also receive training in business administration, organizational behavior, and project management.
Data Analytics: This concentration prepares students to work with large amounts of data, primarily analyzing and extracting meaning from data sets. Graduates can use data to inform project-related and operational decision-making.
Information Security: Students in this concentration gain expertise in identifying and preventing cybersecurity breaches. They also implement security best practices and ensure that their companies adhere to IT standards.
IT Management: Many graduates with this concentration seek employment as chief information officers who manage IT budgets, network security compliance, and IT strategies, ensuring that everything aligns with the organization's strategic plan.
Smart Technology: Smart technology refers to devices and systems that interact with and respond to human commands and behaviors. Smart technology professionals often design automated equipment that adapts through machine learning and carries out self-upgrades.
Web Design and Application: This specialization prepares graduates to design and build websites. Some web designers also monitor and find ways to increase traffic to websites.
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What Can I Do With a Bachelor's in Information Technology?
A bachelor's degree in information technology can prepare students for employment in cloud computing, information security, and data science. Graduates can work as computer systems analysts, cybersecurity consultants, and software development specialists. They can also pursue entry-level positions in network architecture and database management.
Many industries need qualified IT professionals, especially education, healthcare, manufacturing, and business. Bachelor's degree-holders in information technology can also find work with the federal government preventing domestic and foreign cyberterrorism.
Popular Career Paths
- Computer Network Architect: Computer network architects design and build internal and external computer networks. These individuals might also examine traffic to websites to identify problems or predict future needs.
- Database Administrator: Database administrators work for healthcare organizations, financial institutions, and other organizations that rely on large data sets. These professionals manage user access and prevent data corruption and theft by unauthorized parties. Some database administrators work in product development.
- Computer Systems Analyst: Computer systems analysts examine an organization's information systems and operations to decide how best to improve performance and security. These professionals can work for financial institutions, IT service providers, software companies, and product developers.
- Computer Systems Administrator: These managers supervise information communication systems, including various networks. They ensure the maintenance, proper security, and functioning of systems. These administrators also typically manage the installation and upgrade of hardware and software.
- Information Security Analyst: Increasing cyberattacks and security threats require the expertise of information security analysts. These professionals train an organization's staff on cybersecurity best practices and set security standards for IT operations. They also continuously monitor systems for threats and break-ins.
Popular Continuing Education Paths
- Master's in Information Systems and Technology
- Master's in Information Systems Security
- Doctorate in Information Systems
How Much Money Can I Make With a Bachelor's in Information Technology?
According to the BLS, in May 2020, IT professionals earned a median annual salary of $91,250. However, salaries for IT professionals with bachelor's degrees vary by industry, geography, employer, and work experience. For example, the BLS reports that computer support specialists earned a median annual salary of $55,510, while computer and information research scientists made $126,830 per year.
Frequently Asked Questions About Bachelor's in Information Technology Programs
What is information technology?
Information technology focuses on using and studying computer and telecommunications systems to send, gather, recover, and store digital information. A bachelor's degree in information technology qualifies graduates to manage computer systems and networks.
How much does it cost to get a bachelor's in information technology?
Depending on the school and a student's residency status, tuition for an online bachelor's degree in information technology can vary widely. For example, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average tuition and required fees during the 2018-19 academic year was about $9,210 at four-year, in-state institutions and $31,880 at private, four-year schools. As an alternative to a four-year degree, students might earn an associate degree and seek entry-level employment before pursuing a bachelor's later on.
Is a bachelor's degree in information technology worth it?
A bachelor's degree in information technology enables graduates to work in various fields, such as software engineering, healthcare, and business management. The demand for IT products and services continues to increase, and professionals in this field will likely see employment opportunities expand to meet this need.
Is there a lot of math in information technology?
Most computer-related majors require advanced math skills in areas like abstract algebra, calculus, discrete mathematics, and graph theory. Math proficiencies help IT professionals to comprehend data structures and systems, programming languages, and other technical concepts.
Are IT jobs in high demand?
Information technology enjoys one of the fastest job growth rates in the U.S. The BLS projects that employment in this field will grow 11% between 2019 and 2029, adding about 531,200 new jobs. Increases in data analytics, cloud computing, and the need for cybersecurity continue to fuel this demand.