Are you interested in pursuing a career in information technology (IT) but are unsure what to study or what specific job you could end up with? Universities may only offer particular majors in Technology or Engineering, but the good news is there are various paths that can take students from their degree to a career in IT. Consider these five majors and five career paths if you’re looking to break into the IT field.
Potential IT majors
If you’re still in the process of choosing a college, try to select your school based on your intended major. Choosing a school with a strong IT, Engineering, or Computer Science program will help prepare you for your future career and employment prospects.
1. Information Technology
If you wish to pursue a career in technology, majoring in Information Technology is the most obvious choice. This program focuses on designing computing and information systems and providing solutions to business and communication needs. Instruction includes computer hardware and software topics and lectures about algorithms, databases, and telecommunications. Students can earn up to a doctorate in IT Research and pursue many different career opportunities.
2. Computer Science
You may be more interested in a major that provides a well-rounded education in the IT field and sets you up for success in software development. In that case, you should consider Computer Science. Providing a scientific perspective, the major emphasizes computer theory, the design of computer systems, and computing problems and solutions. It also includes coding, computational logic, and math. Students can earn up to a doctoral degree in this field, and it will undoubtedly provide many career opportunities by providing universal education. Currently, various industries are very interested in hiring Computer Science majors.
3. Software Engineering
Enrolling in a Software Engineering program will help you understand the mathematical and scientific principles needed to design, analyze, verify, implement, and maintain computer software systems in various computer languages. While pursuing this major, you’ll learn discrete mathematics, computer science, probability, statistics, and managerial science. Currently, Software Engineering programs are growing in schools across the country. However, it's still a relatively small offering of programs compared to Computer Science and Information Technology—but that could be what you need to stand out in the industry.
4. Software Development
Software Development is an even less common major than Software Engineering. You’re likely to find this program at more prominent or larger universities and colleges that offer many types of Technology majors. Because Software Development is such a niche major, you'll want to be absolutely sure this is the technology career path you wish to take before declaring this major, as it will narrow your career options a little more than other majors.
It seems like there's always stories about cyber attacks or threatened privacy in the news. If you like the idea of making a difference, pursuing Cybersecurity as your major could be the right choice. In a Cybersecurity program, you'll learn about server and network environments, information assurance, cryptography, cyber-related public policy, and cyber warfare. After graduation, you could pursue a career in a governmental or security field.
Potential careers in IT
There are so many career options in the IT world. If you major in any technology-related field, you’ll set yourself up for an average annual salary of $87,000, with some of the best-paying jobs making up to $130,000.
1. Software developer
Software developers create programs, applications, and websites on computers, tablets, and smartphones. To succeed in this field, you'll need experience in computer programming and the ability to focus on details.
2. Computer hardware engineer
Computer hardware engineers design, develop, and build computer systems like chips, circuit boards, and memory devices. You'll need a solid technical and analytical skills background to succeed in this career.
3. UX designer
As a UX designer, you'll be in control of managing user experiences on a particular product or platform. It'll be up to you to make your product relevant and accessible to your customers. Computer systems and programming are highly beneficial skills in this career field.
4. Information security analyst
Information security analysts make a business's computer network secure and safe. If you choose this career path, it would be up to you to decide which system best protects your company and then respond accordingly when an issue arises. Having a cybersecurity background is helpful for this role.
5. IT project manager
If you enjoy leadership roles and working with others, this might be the job for you. As an IT project manager, you’ll be responsible for the budget and planning for your IT team. To succeed in this role, you'll need strong leadership skills as you'll guide a team and make decisions on their behalf.
Now that you know five majors and five potential careers in IT, you should have a clearer sense of what you want to study to lead you to a rewarding job in technology. The only question is, which path will you take?
Still looking for a great school to pursue Information Technology? Explore awesome colleges and universities with our featured science college lists!