What Does an IT Degree Involve?
Earning a degree in information technology is a practical pursuit in the digital age. Information technology degrees lead to lucrative careers in computer networking. In fact, IT professionals are in such demand that they typically maximize their earnings by freelancing, servicing a variety of clients and charging premium rates for their highly specialized skills.
Types of Information Technology Education
At an IT school, you can typically earn one of three different certifications: a diploma in information technology, an associate degree in information technology or a bachelor degree in information technology. You can also earn a Master of Science in Information Technology (MSIT) degree, but most professionals build their experience base by working after completing a diploma or undergraduate degree rather than by staying in school.
You can earn an online IT degree, or you can choose to attend regular classes — there is no one set, correct path to follow. Many professionals who already work but want to improve their academic credentials get an IT bachelor degree online. This typically happens when a student who already has an IT diploma or associate's degree decides to pursue further education while continuing to work.
Information technology degrees typically offer specializations, as well. Many institutions allow students to choose tracks that emphasize network technologies or multimedia and design technologies. The best IT programs allow you to hand-pick your course of study so you can customize your skill set.
However, you should be aware that many design-based information technology degree programs ask prospective students to submit portfolio samples as part of the application process. Applicants with computer science degrees or digital arts backgrounds tend to outperform students without these assets when applying to these competitive IT programs.
Build a Career as an IT Professional
Information technology degrees are very marketable. It's common for accredited institutions to post extremely high success rates when it comes to matching graduates with gainful employment.
Because virtually every industry relies on computer technology, there are virtually limitless job prospects for IT professionals. You can get a permanent position with an established company that has ongoing IT needs, or you can work on a freelance basis. However, most IT professionals choose to build their resumes in permanent positions before venturing out into the world as freelancers.