Information Technology degrees, or IT degrees are very popular for an excellent reason: the demand has never been stronger for individuals to keep today’s complex computer networks up and running. What many people don’t realize is that as the IT field has grown, it has also become more specialized. Many companies are now looking for employees who have a specialized information technology degree that reflects their expertise in a particular area.
There is a great interest in specialization. Because information technology has become so complex, many companies have discovered that different people are needed for different areas or types of work within their IT departments. An MIS (management information systems) degree is still highly desirable for oversight of an IT department, and a bachelor’s degree in MIS is one of the most sought-after degrees by human resources specialists for companies. But they are also hiring employees who can focus on specific areas with an in-depth background such as applications development.
Operating Systems Demand In-Depth Knowledge
Corporations are also finding that they need IT specialists who have been trained intensively in particular operating systems, however, in order to keep company networks running smoothly. If a company’s business relies on the Linux platform for all operations, it’s essential that they hire IT staff that have immersed themselves in the study of Linux network administration. Some colleges now offer associate degrees specifically in Linux Network Administration to meet this need.
Other specific areas that are in demand for information technology degrees include:
Cisco Network Administration
Network Help Desk Technician
Network Security Technology
The network security field is skyrocketing in popularity in today’s world of white collar crime, cyber terrorism and savvy hackers, and a degree in network security is highly prized in industries as diverse as banking, insurance and higher education in order to project personal records.
Getting a Quality Information Technology Degree
With such an incredible demand for technicians, programmers and other experts, there has been a surge in schools offering IT degrees. Unfortunately, they aren’t all created equal, so do your homework and be sure you choose a college or university that will give you the kind of training that employers are really seeking.
To be sure you’re getting a quality degree that will give you the skills and knowledge you need, look for some essentials when comparing colleges and degree programs:
Look for programs that offer a variety of options, including both bachelors and associate degrees.
Ask about how much hands-on experience you will get working in actual computer labs as well as what kind of intern and extern experience you will get while pursuing your degree.
Look for education opportunities based on different operating systems. Programs that offer certification in the most popular areas, including A+, Network+, LCP and LCA offer you definite advantages in the job market, where many companies today require these certifications.
Look for programs with relatively small class sizes and instructors that are certified in all of the major platforms and operating systems such as Cisco, Lotus, Windows and Linux so that you will get a solid foundation beyond your specialty.
Job placement assistance should be a part of your final semester at a quality college offering an IT degree. Colleges that are known for producing qualified, talented students with information technology degrees are routinely used as recruiting grounds by companies, so be sure to ask if the college you are considering will assist you in finding a job and working up an appropriate resume.
With the Internet growing at an astronomic pace, the need for specialized IT professionals will continue to grow as well. Pursuing an information technology degree will ensure you’ll always be at the forefront of the industry.