Information Technology (IT) Classes and DegreesAccording to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), information technology, or IT, is responsible for the transmission, storage, and analysis of information for an organization's computer system. The wide range of duties within the IT field has given way to many specializations within the field of computer network, systems, and database administration and analysis.
IT Specialties Requiring an Associate's Degree
Web administrators and telecommunications specialists typically hold an associate's degree or certification in a computer-related field.
Web administrators are responsible for maintaining the availability, speed, and content of websites. Typical projects include tracking and analyzing web traffic.
Telecommunications specialists manage the interaction between computer and communications equipment. They oversee the design, installation, and maintenance of voice, video, and data-communication systems. Typical projects include testing lines, overseeing equipment repair, and maintaining system records.
IT Specialties Requiring a Bachelor's Degree or More
The BLS reports that network engineers, network and computer systems administrators, computer security specialists, and web developers typically hold a bachelor's degree in computer science, information science, or management information systems (MIS). Some hold a bachelor's degree in another field but have significant coursework and experience in computers.
Network engineers are responsible for designing efficient computer networks for an organization. Typical projects include network modeling, setting up and testing the network, and addressing communication problems.
Network and computer systems administrators support the design and installation of an organization's communications system. Typical projects include maintaining network hardware and software, monitoring the availability of networks to users, evaluating system performance, and determining changing system, network, and user needs.
Computer security specialists plan and maintain an organization's information security. Typical projects include educating users about about computer security, installing security software, and addressing security breaches.
Web developers use software languages and tools to manage the technical side of creating websites. Typical projects include website design, organization, and integration.
Most database administrators, computer systems analysts, and computer systems designers are required to have a bachelor's degree, with some employers requiring a master's degree in either computer science or a field related to their specialty, such as business administration or engineering.
Database administrators are responsible for the storage, organization, use, and presentation of data within a computer's network. Typical projects include modifying the database, integrating old and new data, troubleshooting problems, and coordinating security measures with network administrators.
Computer systems analysts develop computer systems by configuring new hardware and software, or modifying the existing system to meet the changing needs of an organization.
Computer systems designers design systems for a specific business type, such as accounting and financial systems or scientific and engineering systems.
How To Advance Your Information Technology Career
Although there are basic education requirements for each of these specialties, IT professionals can make themselves more viable to employers by earning the latest certifications through an online IT class, product vendor programs and computer associations. Many employers require these certifications, and some may accept certifications in lieu of formal education.
Employment in the field of IT is projected to be one of the fastest growing sectors within the next decade. Discover your niche in this exciting field of information technology.
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Computer science classes for computer and information technology degrees in a variety of specialties.
Student career guides other than coursework in computers, coding or information technology management.
Careers to consider in internet and computing systems management and administration.
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