There’s more to IT work than simply manning the help desk and fixing little old ladies’ computers. If you’re a good problem-solver and have strong technical abilities, a degree in information technology can lead to a rewarding, high-paying career in a rapidly growing field.
Indeed, professionals in information technology are responsible for much more than menial tasks like setting up LANs in high schools. Any time you use the operating system on your cell phone or enjoy the sleek and polished design of a well-made website, you have an IT guy or gal to thank. Software developers create everything from a game app you play while waiting in line at the DMV to sophisticated security programs for companies and banks. Computers have become so ubiquitous in our lives, in fact, that without such professionals, the world as we know it would cease to function.
Breaking into the IT field requires both education and experience. A bachelor’s degree in computer or information science is recommended, though an associate’s degree can also lead to a good-salaried job. Proficiency in programming languages such as Java, C++, HTML5 and Microsoft.NET is a valuable skill, especially if you are interested in developing software. After graduating, you might land an entry-level position, but with experience, you could rise to the level of senior engineer or information systems manager, who in 2010 made an average income of $115,780. A friendly suggestion: if you’re interested in developing video games, avoid attending a two-year “gaming university,” which won’t adequately prepare you for work in other areas of computers and technologies. Go for the bachelor’s instead.
A graduate with a degree in computer or information science can rest assured of finding employment. According to the Bureau of labour Statistics, IT-related jobs will increase by 18% this decade. You also have plenty of high-paying career options. Besides working the help desk or developing software, you can become a webmaster (whose salary range of $78,000 to $108,000) or a messaging administrator, who controls and maintains e-mail and groupware systems (salary range: $87,000 to $120,000).
Who’s the schlub now?
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