There is no more versatile degree in the 21st century than one in information technology (IT). Developing expertise in this area leads to careers on the cutting edge of where modern businesses are operating.
However, IT careers go far beyond just private business. Technology has now permeated every facet of life. Those with expertise in IT now have the chance to work in almost every industry in the country.
For those with an interest and ability in IT, there’s never been a better time to earn a degree in the field.
The career paths with an IT degree have expanded. They still include programming, software engineer, systems administrator and design engineer. However, the scope of careers has widened over the years.
IT careers now also include:
- User-experience designer (working in computer-human interaction)
- Game developer
- Database administrator
- Multimedia specialist
Much of the above has to do with the increased amount of data available for businesses that must be collected, analyzed and safely stored. Also, games and multimedia have gone from entertainment to use in the classroom.
Most associate jobs in IT with large companies. Certainly, there are many such jobs available. However, a BS in Information Technology gives graduates the foundation they need to expand into many different IT careers outside the private business world.
They include the following.
Schools increasingly use technology in many ways. Some use games and other digital media to help students learn. Online grade books, with access for students and parents, are available in most larger school districts. College and universities, and even some high schools, use online learning classrooms to reach students anywhere in the world as long as they have an internet connection. IT careers are flourishing in this area as schools adapt more technology.
Technology has been extremely disruptive in governments. Not that long ago, most governments depended on paper forms and people having to visit government agencies during regular office hours. Citizens are now served better by governments who have adopted technology to make it easier to do everything from renewing tags on a car to paying a traffic fine, all online. These systems require IT experts to develop and maintain. This has made IT careers possible at all levels of government - federal, state, county and city.
Nonprofit agencies use data in much the same way as private companies. However, the stakes are higher for many of them. For example, most nonprofits now give people the ability to donate to their cause through the internet. They also collect contact information, such as emails, and compile large donor databases that are vital when conducting fundraising campaigns. IT professionals are at the center of all these efforts.
In this area, IT careers usually involve working as a consultant or outside contractor. The internet has leveled the playing field for many small businesses. They now can compete with largest businesses for consumers. However, website development, digital marketing and collecting and analyzing data are typically too much for a small business owner to handle on her own. IT professionals can provide the expertise they need to compete in the digital marketplace.
These are some of the IT careers available outside of working in a large IT department for a corporation. They provide even more opportunities for those who wish to elevate their career by earning a four-year IT degree.