If you are considering going back to school to pursue a bachelor’s degree in information technology or computer science, you probably already have strong experience with computers. Perhaps, you have completed an IT certificate program or associate’s degree and are currently employed in the field. Or maybe you are looking to switch careers and want to earn your undergraduate degree in order to keep pace with technological advances.
Whatever your circumstances, good for you! You have chosen an excellent time to enter into a position in IT, because the Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported that many jobs within the industry are expected to experience faster than average growth through 2020. Additionally, earning a bachelor’s degree can be a smart career move, as the BLS revealed that the median weekly salary for bachelor’s degree holders in 2012 was 35% more than those who earned only an associate’s degree, amounting to more than a $14,000 difference annually.
Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology vs. Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science
Information technology and computer science bachelor’s degrees are closely related and provide a broad foundation in computers and information systems. However, a Bachelor of Science in computer science generally focuses on how the computer and computer programs work and is typically more theoretical in nature, while a bachelor’s degree in information technology tends to offer more practical skills and focuses on how to make everything work together in the most efficient way possible.
In addition to those pertaining to the specific major, the curriculum for both four-years degrees includes a number of general education courses. Depending on the school and program, many of the courses for the two disciplines may end up overlapping. Major requirements might include courses in networks, programming, operation systems, information systems security, and software architecture, with computer science programs generally having a bit more emphasis on mathematical components.
What Skills or Talents Will I Need?
For a bachelor’s degree in information technology and a successful career, business aptitude, problem-solving skills, knowledge of information security, and proficiency in wireless networking are highly recommended attributes, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Business and mathematics aptitude are also useful for financial analysis, as project management becomes the job of IT workers.
IT employees are often described by inclusion in eight to ten varying job responsibility “clusters.” Among these occupations are careers in design, manufacturing, operating, maintaining, and repairing information technology. With a computer science bachelor’s degree, graduates need skills in technology innovation, such as developing nanotechnology, an interest in pursuing advancements in computer processing, and a creative talent for development of new software and hardware technologies.
What Jobs Will I Be Qualified for with My Degree in CS or IT?
Your career path should be determined by your particular interests and aptitudes. Increasing use of technology in today’s world is driving the growth in this job market. The rapid technological changes also require workers in these fields to stay current through continuing education.
A computer science bachelor’s degree can be used for careers in research and development, software engineering, interface design, and web development. On the other hand, a bachelor’s degree in information technology helps to qualify individuals to pursue jobs in network management, business analysis, project management, and technical analysis.
The major you choose should align closely with your specific career goals and interests, and when selecting a school or program, it is important to be aware of all of your options. In addition to information technology and computer science, there are also various specialized areas in IT for which you could choose to pursue an education in, such as a web development, telecommunications, database administration or computer networking degree. So, what are you waiting for? Get started on your IT bachelor’s degree today.