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Online IT & Computer Science Degrees

Written by

George D. Baker

Date

August 14, 2014

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An information technology degree or computer science degree online represents a solid foundation of current technology-based skills and knowledge in an increasingly technology-dependent world. Online computer science and IT degree programs are suitable for many career opportunities, as the need for advanced technology increases. An IT or computer science degree provides a great deal of flexibility in many different career fields, including:

Information Technology Computer Programming Computer Systems Analysis
Computer Security Information Systems Software Engineering

Information Technology

Information technology plays a very important role in the running of most businesses, organizations, and industries. Information technology careers are rewarding for individuals with a strong interest in computers and communication who have a talent for solving problems. Undergraduate information technology degrees provide students with a broad education covering a variety of information technology topics and enabling students to gain the essential critical thinking, problem solving, communication, troubleshooting, and computer skills.

Information Technology Jobs

Information technology professionals provide assistance in a variety of industries and use their knowledge, expertise, and problem solving skills to identify and solve computer issues. Employment of information technology professionals is expected to grow faster than average for all professions through 2016, increasing 16% and adding 43,000 new jobs (2). According to another report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, careers in information technology are expected to have the largest projected employment growth through 2016 (4).

Information Technology Degrees

Undergraduate information technology degrees provide a broad overview of information technology. Students studying information technology can often find computer jobs that require less academic training, such as Computer Support Specialist and Computer Service Technician, while still completing their degree. Major courses often include basic communications networks, computer interface, programming languages, database administration, computer architecture, information systems, computer and network security, and project management.

Information technology specialties include management information systems, applications development, operating systems, Linux network administration, Cisco network administration, computer programming, network help desk, network security technology, business information technology, microcomputer office technology, health information technology, information security technology management, Ecommerce technology, convergence technology, and information assurance. Possible career choices include Chief Technology Officer and Network Administrator.

Information Systems

information systems degreesInformation systems is a vast field that encompasses many different topics. Information systems specialties include database and Internet technologies, software project management and development, information systems management, information systems security, geographic information systems, enterprise information systems, health information systems, business information systems, accounting information systems, database management, systems administration, technology management, and computer programming.

Information Systems Degree Programs

An online information systems degree program prepares students for lucrative careers, including that of Systems Operator and Systems Administrator. Undergraduate information systems degree programs provide students with fundamental knowledge and a solid background in information systems, with students able to choose an area of specialty. Undergraduate information systems degree programs require general foundational courses in English, composition, mathematics, history and science in addition to the core curriculum. The core and specialization coursework varies by program, but many programs require courses in statistics, calculus, computer programming, data structures, foundations of information systems, systems development, software development, communication, economics, computer networks, and business systems. Many programs also require students to participate in web seminars and interactive tutorials and other hands-on learning experiences. Information System degrees prepare students for many career options, including Information Systems Manager and Systems Librarian.Graduate information systems programs focus more on specialization and in-depth study and prepare students for higher-paying positions, preparing students for high-level positions like Chief Information Officer.

Information Systems Jobs

Information systems jobs are more prevalent than you might initially think, as these computer-savvy individuals are needed in a variety of business settings. Career outlook for technology management jobs varies greatly among degree, field, and position. Employment of management analysts is projected to grow much faster than average for all professions, increasing 22% and adding 149,000 new jobs by the year 2016. Computer and information systems managers are expected to experience faster than average employment growth, increasing 16% and adding 43,000 new jobs (1). A career in information systems will be rewarding for problem-solvers who have a strong interest in applying their specific knowledge and expertise in many different and constantly changing situations. Information systems professionals must be able to adapt to new challenges and effectively communicate with many different professionals and clients.

Computer & Cybersecurity

information systems degrees

Computer & cybersecurity is very important in all computer system fields. With the constantly changing landscape of the Internet , businesses and individuals both need more and more protection from potential threats. A career in computer security will be rewarding for individuals who are interested in protecting, maintaining, and recovering information from a variety of computer systems. Computer security professionals must have high levels of integrity and confidentiality. They apply their knowledge and skills and adapt to new challenges and provide solutions to many security issues. Successful job-seekers must have excellent interpersonal and communication skills in order to interact with a variety of different professionals and clients.

Computer & Cybersecurity Degree Programs

Cybersecurity degree programs provide students with a well-rounded education covering a variety of computer security topics. Students learn the proper procedures and methods for protecting, preserving, and recovering confidential information and digital materials. Cybersecurity is a large field that offers many different specialties for academic focus. Specialties include data security, network security, information systems security, operations security, Internet security, telecommunications, intelligence analysis, engineering, cyber crime, cyber terrorism, enterprise systems security, wireless security, computer forensics, and project risk management.

Computer security degree programs vary widely on the program, school, and specialization. Undergraduate computer security degrees require foundational coursework, but core curriculum includes studying network security, introduction to cyber crime, ethics, business law, operating systems, technical communication, security management practices, programming, cyber threats, security planning, security models, and cryptology. Many programs also provide lab environments where students can gain practical experience. Graduate computer security degrees focus more on specialization and prepare graduate for more advanced positions.

Computer & Cybersecurity Jobs

Cybersecurity degrees provide graduates with many career options, including Computer Forensics Technician. Many computer security professionals work in businesses, corporations, military organizations, non-profit organizations, and government agencies. Graduate degrees in cybersecurity open the door to more advanced career options with larger salaries. Career opportunities for computer security graduates include Computer Security Specialist and Computer Forensics Investigator.

Computer Systems Analysis

Computer Systems Analysis deals with analyzing the engineering, science, and data processing of many different systems. A systems analysis career will be rewarding for individuals that have a logical mind and a strong interest in a variety of systems. Systems analysis professionals apply their programming, operations analysis, troubleshooting, and quality control analysis to a variety of career fields. They deal with many different tasks simultaneously and they must pay close attention to detail and have excellent concentration. Systems analysis professionals monitor and maintain computer programs and systems and coordinate and connect an organization’s computer systems.

Computer Systems Analysis Jobs

The employment outlook for systems analysis jobs varies greatly depending on degree, field, and position. Employment of computer systems analysts is expected to grow much faster than average for all professions, increasing 29% and adding 146,000 new jobs by the year 2016. Computer and information systems managers are projected to experience faster than average job growth, increasing 16% and adding 43,000 new jobs (2). Computer Systems Analysts with less than 1 year experience earned average annual salaries between $47,023 and $54,848 (3).

Students can choose from a variety of computer systems analysis specialties to focus their academic studies and pursue a meaningful career. Specialties include information systems analysis, computer hardware technology, embedded systems technology, computer information systems, computer programming, project management, quality assurance software, software design, databases, operating systems, and information systems management.

Computer Systems Analysis Degrees

Online systems analysis degree programs provide students with a solid educational background and prepare them to provide assistance and advice to a variety of organizations that need computer assistance. Students gain and enhance their problem solving, critical thinking, analysis, and computer language skills and are prepared to lead a lucrative career in a variety of fields. Systems analysis degree programs provide students with a solid educational foundation concerning computer software and computer systems. Core coursework varies by program, but most systems analysis programs require courses in computer languages, fundamentals of systems analysis, computer hardware and software, computer administration, systems architecture, database programming, systems security, and problem analysis.

Systems analysis degrees open the door to a wide variety of job opportunities, including a career as a Database Administrator. Large corporations and enterprises, hospitals, government agencies, financial institutions, insurance companies, data processing firms, consulting firms, and colleges and universities often employ systems analysis professionals. Just a couple possible career choices for systems analysis degree graduates include Computer and Information Systems Manager and Computer Programmer.

Operating Systems

Operating SystemsOperating systems are essential to the function of all computer programs because they act as a translator between the computer hardware and translator. As the world of technology constantly evolves, companies and individuals both must update their operating systems on a fairly regular basis. Online operating systems degree programs provide students with a broad and solid foundation on the concepts of a variety of operating systems and students are prepared to pursue a wide variety of lucrative career paths. Students gain and enhance their critical thinking, problem solving, analytical, technical, troubleshooting, programming, communication, and data management skills.

Operating Systems Jobs

The employment of computer software engineers is expected to grow much faster than average for all professions, increasing 38% and adding 324,000 new jobs by 2016. Operating systems programmers with 1 to 4 years experience earned average annual salaries between $50,664 and $69,411 (2).

Operating Systems Degrees

Operating systems degree programs enable students to choose from a few different specialties to focus their academic studies and pursue a meaningful career. Operating systems specialties include operating systems programming, Microsoft Windows operating systems, Solaris operating systems, Mac operating systems, real-time operating systems, software development, and operating systems engineering.

Operating systems degree programs generally provide students with practical and theoretical applications to manage a variety of computer operating systems. Core curriculum includes operating systems, software development, file management, secure operating systems, functions of operating systems, computer programming, data structures, database systems, and networking. Many programs also provide students with hands-on experience through lab and simulation environments. Graduate operating systems degree programs focus more on advanced topics and prepare graduates for higher level positions.

An undergraduate degree in operating systems provides individuals with an abundance of career options in many different fields. Many operating systems professionals work in large corporations, small businesses, non-profit organizations, government agencies, and military organizations. Graduate degrees open the door to more advanced career options with larger salaries, including Systems Operator.

Computer Programming

Programming plays an essential role in many industries. Most employers require Computer Programmers to earn at least a Bachelor degree in a related field. Online programming degree programs open the door to a wide range of career options in many different fields, including Computer Scientist. Computer programming degree programs provide a solid educational background and enable students to gain the essential knowledge of how computer systems work in many different settings. Students also gain the necessary problem solving, computer literacy, critical thinking, and troubleshooting skills that lead to a successful career.

Computer Programming Jobs

Unfortunately, the employment outlook for programming graduates is projected to decline slowly through the year 2016, decreasing by 4% (2). However, an MSN report states that the starting salary for college graduates with a bachelor degree in computer programming is $50,985 and $72,515 for those with a master degree in computer programming (3).

A career in computer programming is rewarding for people interested in learning everything they can about how computers work. Programming professionals are essential to the technology industry and they use their comprehensive computer knowledge to desire, maintain, repair, and write code for a variety of businesses and organizations.

Computer Programming Degrees

An undergraduate degree in programming provides graduates with an abundance of career choices in a variety of fields. Graduate degrees enable graduates to pursue more advanced positions at the managerial and research level. Programming degree programs teach students to perform specific tasks and write detailed instructions. Specialties include web programming, game programming, applications programming, systems programming, multimedia, management, research, Internet, Java programming, C++ programming, PHP programming, database programming, software development, mainframe programming, HTML programming, and Visual Basic programming.

Most programming degree programs teach basic programming concepts and introduce students to many different programming languages. Bachelor degree are most popular with required coursework including an introduction to computer programming, principles of computer programming, network concepts and operating systems, and computer programming languages. Graduate programming degree programs focus on more advanced study and computer programming analysis.

An undergraduate degree in programming provides graduates with an abundance of career choices in a variety of fields, including jobs as a Database Administrator or Computer Hardware Engineer. Graduate degrees enable graduates to pursue more advanced positions at the managerial and research level.

Software Engineering

Software EngineeringSoftware engineering is essential to many businesses, organizations, and industries. Most entry-level software engineering positions require at least a bachelor degree, and majority of software engineers start out with this degree. Online software engineering programs provide students with a solid foundation in software engineering with a variety of specialty options. Students learn a variety of programming languages and software practices that can be applied to a variety of career fields. They gain the essential problem solving, technical, interpersonal, writing, communication, accounting and budgeting, and oral presentation skills to be successful in their careers. Software Engineers often transition into different engineering positions.

Software Engineering Jobs

A career in software engineering will be rewarding for individuals who enjoy developing and programming computer systems and software. Software engineering professionals analyze and solve problems in a variety of areas. They work with many different professionals and clients and apply their knowledge and expertise to many different career fields. The career outlook for software engineering graduates varies widely by degree, field, and position. Employment of computer software engineers is expected to grow much faster than average for all professions through 2016, increasing by 38% and adding 324,000 new jobs (2). Computer software engineers with less than 1 year experience earn annual salaries between $51,180 and $73,103 (3).

Software engineering students can choose from a variety of specializations to enter many different career paths. Software engineering specialties include computer applications, computer systems, networking software, enterprise software technologies, software systems engineering, business, applied software engineering, Java programming, C++ programming, business management, intelligence, project management, design, management, quality and testing, web engineering, real-time, and human-computer interaction. Students who are interested in a specific specialty should choose a school that offers a strong program in that particular area.

Software Engineering Degrees

An online undergraduate degree in software engineering provides graduates with an abundance of career opportunities in a variety of fields. Students who choose to pursue graduate degrees will be able to smoothly transition into higher paying positions in many different areas. Bachelor software engineering degrees strongly focus on science and mathematics and introduce the basics of software engineering. Courses typically include software engineering principles and techniques, software safety, programming languages, software design and testing, and network systems operation. Master degrees build on the solid software engineering foundation and prepare graduates for higher level management positions. Doctorate degrees in software engineering extensively focus on research and prepare graduates for research and teaching positions.

Graduates of computer science or IT programs may also choose to advance their education through additional degree programs or specialties, but an undergraduate degree in IT or computer science will prepare students for successful entry into technology-based fields.

Now what? The next step is easy!

Take the first step today and browse our large database of free information about the best accredited online colleges.

 

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(1) SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Educational Statistics, Digest of Education Statistics.
(2) SOURCE: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook
(3) SOURCE: National Association of Colleges & Employers (NACE)

Written by:  George D. Baker

George D. Baker is a long-time contributor to College Mouse. Now retired, Mr. Baker volunteers at adult education programs in his local community.

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