Is an Information Technology Degree Worth It? [2021 Guide]
Is an information technology degree worth it? If you enjoy working with computers, technology, and engaging in critical thinking to discover creative solutions to various computer and network-based issues, then a degree in information technology is likely worth it.
Information technology is an area of expertise that is required in virtually every sector of the economy. With a degree in information technology, you may be qualified to work across various industries, from healthcare, not-for-profit, and government, to retail, hospitality, and other private sector businesses.
Is an Information Technology Degree Worth It?
Yes, a degree in information technology is worth it for many students. With an average salary of $88,240 and 11% job growth (Bureau of Labor Statistics), a degree in information technology can help you launch a career in this in-demand field.
Common information technology careers include information security analyst, computer programmer, network and computer system administrator, computer support specialist, and computer and information systems manager.
Careers in the field of information technology offer opportunities for advancement. With a bachelor’s degree in IT, you may be qualified for management positions which could include chief information officer, chief technology officer, IT director, and IT security manager.
A number of careers in the field of information technology are expected to see growth in terms of job outlook over the next several years, including computer network architect (5%), computer systems analyst (7%), computer support specialist (8%), and database administrator (10%).
Some careers are predicted to grow significantly, which includes positions in software development, growing at a rate of 22%, and information security analysis which is predicted to increase by 31% over the next decade.
IT degree salaries may offer above-average earning potential, with the average salary for information technology positions being more than $48,000 above the average for all occupations.
With a degree in information technology, you may be qualified to gain regular employment within an organization or work as an independent information technology consultant for a range of clients.
As an IT consultant, you may be irresponsible for helping clients plan, implement, maintain, and update technology, computers, and information systems within their business.
How to Decide Whether an Information Technology Degree is Right for You
While there are a number of positions in the field of information technology, each with distinctive responsibilities and requirements, there are some overlapping factors that relate to most, if not all, careers in the field.
When deciding whether an IT degree is right for you, consider whether you enjoy working with technology, have strong problem-solving skills, and a keen interest in working with different computer coding languages.
1. You enjoy working with technology.
At the heart of a traditional or online degree in information technology is the need to work with various types of tech, including computer hardware, software, and communication networks.
As an IT professional, you may be responsible for communicating with vendors to understand their offerings and how those information technology products can be used within your organization to improve overall performance and efficiency.
2. You are a natural problem solver.
Technical issues that arise within a business context may not have a clear or fast solution, and you may be required to utilize effective problem-solving skills to come up with creative fixes.
IT-related problems can arise in the day-to-day operations of a business and will require you to think on your feet, troubleshoot, and find appropriate solutions to keep the business running smoothly, protect confidential data, and thwart cybersecurity risks.
3. You are interested in various coding languages.
As an IT professional, you may be required to understand various coding languages, such as HTML, SQL, and Java, and be able to implement those languages as part of your responsibilities.
Top 5 Things You Can Do with an Information Technology Degree
There are a number of career paths that may stem from your pursuit of a bachelor’s degree in information technology, including computer and information systems manager, software developer, database administrator, network and computer systems administrator, and computer support specialist.
1. Computer and Information Systems Manager
As a computer and information systems manager, you may be in charge of the planning and organization of IT-related activities within a business, which may include project management and oversight of direct reports.
In this role, you may also supervise information security operations, budgetary activities within the IT department, and recruitment of IT professionals. Other computer and information systems manager titles may include IT manager, chief technology officer, or IT director.
2. Software Developer
Obtaining a position as a software developer may allow you to work on the development of individual applications that operate on mobile or computer devices. You may also create entire system-wide software programs that required for mobile and computer devices to operate.
As a software developer, you may plan, design, develop, test, and implement applications and software systems. That may include ensuring optimized user functionality, information security, and compatibility with existing systems.
Software developers may go by titles including application software developers or system software developers.
3. Database Administrator
With a degree in IT, database administrator is another possible career path. In this position, you may oversee the storage and security of data, which could include acting as the point person for database access.
Ensuring optimal database performance, issuing system updates, and executing database restructuring needs may also fall under your purview as a database administrator.
Some database administrators act in a generalist capacity, performing a broad scope of duties, while others operate as specialists. Specialized roles may include system administrator or application administrator.
4. Network and Computer Systems Administrator
When working as a network and computer systems administrator, you may be responsible for the management of communication network systems. This could include evaluating business needs, planning network structures, implementing those structures, and monitoring the effectiveness of network and computer systems.
Other duties may involve working with local area networks, wide area networks, and intranets. Network and computer system administrators may also handle urgent and unexpected network issues and system downtime impacting the business.
5. Computer Support Specialist
As a computer support specialist, you may maintain an organization’s network, including the performance of system maintenance and resolving unexpected issues with various networks including local and wide area networks and internet systems.
Additionally, some computer support specialist positions may allow you to provide direct customer or user support. This could include training new users on an application or system and providing one-on-one troubleshooting support for problems that users face when accessing a particular application or software.
Information Technology Degree Alternatives
There are alternatives to a degree in information technology that may be better suited to your career goals, specifically if you’re interested in specializing in a particular area of information, technology, or computer systems.
- Bachelor’s in Information Science. Information science focuses on the management of information, including storage, organization, retrieval, and use. This degree places greater emphasis on technologies used for information management and data storage.
- Bachelor’s in Software Engineering. A degree in software engineering prioritizes coursework that focuses on the development and maintenance of software, including testing, project management, user experience, and application visualization.
- Bachelor in Cybersecurity. Cybersecurity degree programs focus on the protection and security of information and data and may teach you how to adapt to the ever-changing cybersecurity threat landscape.
Alternative bachelor’s degree programs, including information science, software engineering, and cybersecurity, may prepare you for a career in a more specialized area of information and technology management when compared to a bachelor’s in information technology.
Information Technology Careers & Salaries
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are a number of high-paying career options with a bachelor’s degree in information technology, and the field is growing with roughly 531,200 new jobs expected over the coming years.
|Careers||Annual Median Salaries|
|Computer and Information Systems Manager||$146,360|
|Computer Network Architect||$112,690|
|Information Security Analyst||$99,730|
|Computer Systems Analyst||$90,920|
|Network and Computer Systems Administrator||$83,510|
|Computer Support Specialist||$54,760|
An associates degree in information technology is worth it as an associates degree may be all you need for an entry-level position in this field. However, if you want to secure a higher level position, a bachelors, masters, or even a doctorate in information technology online would be better options.
In some cases, employers may prefer you to have, or be willing to obtain, a master’s degree. Master’s degrees in information technology may allow you to increase your annual earnings and expand your career opportunities, such as obtaining positions in management or as a computer and information research scientist.
Is Information Technology a Good Career Choice?
If you enjoy working with computers and data and are comfortable thinking critically and solving complex technical problems, then a career in information technology may be a good choice for you.
Working in the field of information technology will allow you to plan information technology structures for organizations, execute cybersecurity measures to protect an organization’s information and data, and support end-users in troubleshooting software issues.
A career in information technology may also provide you with good earning potential, as the average information technology salary is well above the average for all occupations.
Which IT Jobs Pay the Most?
A bachelor of information technology salary is, on average, high for most positions that you may be eligible for with your completed degree.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, positions including computer and information systems manager ($146,360), computer network architect ($112,690), software developer ($107,510), and information security analyst ($99,730) offer among the highest annual IT degree salaries.
Annual salaries for positions in the field of information technology may vary between employers and industries. For example, positions in a well-established financial firm may be significantly higher than similar IT positions in non-profit organizations or within a new start-up business.
Is Getting an IT Degree Hard?
Earning your bachelor’s degree in information technology may require you to complete coursework that covers computer and information networks, technology management, database and network administration, system analysis, project management, and information security.
You may find obtaining your degree in information technology is less challenging if you are comfortable working with computer systems, networks, and data management. Also, if problem-solving and finding solutions to complex technical issues come naturally to you, then obtaining a degree in information technology may be the right fit.
Is Information Technology a Good Major?
Above-average annual salaries, a high rate of job growth over the next decade, and numerous career pathways that may stem from a degree in information technology are all reasons that it may be a good major for you to pursue.
Information technology is an in-demand field with high annual salaries for most entry-level opportunities. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, positions in IT boast an average salary of $88,240.
Earning your degree in information technology may allow you to work in a broad range of careers, with positions in IT spanning from information management and data security to software development and end-user support.
What Job Can I Get With a Bachelors in Information Technology?
Majoring in information technology offers a number of promising career pathways, including computer support specialists, web developers, computer programmers, database administrators, information security analysts, or computer network architects.
Knowledge and skills that you may earn by completing your degree in information technology are needed and valued in virtually all industries across the economy, including public, private, and not-for-profit organizations.
Potential employers may include banks, insurance companies, charities or not-for-profit organizations, hospitals or health centers, media companies, and more.
Getting Your Information Technology Degree Online
Earning your bachelor’s degree in information technology may allow you to build a rewarding and lucrative career working with computers, information, and other forms of technology.
As an IT professional, you may be responsible for troubleshooting computer performance or network issues, supporting users with problems, building software systems and applications, ensuring data is protected from external threats or developing an organization’s information technology strategy.
With positions ranging across all sectors of the economy, demand for IT professionals growing over the next several years, and high annual salaries, you may find that obtaining your degree in information technology offers a good return on your investment.