Demand for experts in information technology (IT) continues to grow as computer and Internet use expands. An IT specialist can resolve issues with software, hardware and connectivity for a variety of devices and technologies. Information technology training courses are available both online and in traditional classroom formats, with options ranging from short-term certification programs to advanced degrees.
The field of information technology includes specialties such as computer programming, systems and site maintenance and software design and application. With a certificate or degree in information technology, students can work in a variety of corporate, government and nonprofit institutions, as well as for private clients needing support for Internet and computer connectivity. In 2011 salaries for IT professionals averaged $ 90,000 for staff workers and over $ 100,000 for those in management positions.
Getting started in an IT career can be as simple as enrolling in a certificate course, offered by numerous career and vocational schools online and in the classroom. This option provides either a basic introduction to information technology or training in a specific area or application, such as programming languages or a specific software suite. Certificates in IT provide an entry to the field, and also add qualifications in IT for those already working in a related profession.
With certificates and accreditation in information technology, graduates can expect either to assume IT roles in their current workplace, or take the next step toward a full degree in the subject. Degree options in information technology begin at the associate’s level, typically offered by two-year colleges and some career schools in both online and classroom formats. The Associate’s in Science degree covers the basics of information technology concepts and offers some specialization in specific areas such as website database implementation or Java Script. Graduates can either find entry-level positions in the field or continue to a four-year IT program.
Many accredited schools and colleges in both online and traditional classroom formats offer the Bachelor;s of Science in information technology. At this level, students learn management and information theory, the latest programming languages and web development tools, as well as some aspects of software engineering and systems development. This degree opens doors to IT management jobs in a variety of businesses and government institutions. When the BS in IT is combined with other major such as criminal justice or business, more career options become available.
Advanced degrees in information technology are also available. The Master’s of Science in information technology typically covers two years and focuses on field studies in areas such as software engineering, advanced algorithms and programming languages. MS degrees typically lead to management and training positions in business and industry. Graduates can also continue their studies on the doctoral level, which generally focuses on research and teaching.
As communication needs continue to evolve, information technology professionals are in high demand. From short-term certificates designed to complement professional skills in other areas to highly focused programs dedicated to preparing students for full time careers, information technology training courses can open doors to new opportunities.