Best IT degrees for landing a job in tech
Pursue one of these degrees, and you’ll be on your way to landing one of the best jobs in the industry
Do you need a degree to be successful in the tech space? This is a debate that continues raging and has valid points from both sides. The gist of it is yes, you can land a tech job without a degree, but there are distinct advantages to having one.
With a computer-related bachelor’s degree, the doors into the IT field open wider, offering a wider range of top-paying and in-demand tech jobs. And with the median annual wage computer and IT workers earn ringing in so much higher than that national average -- $91,250 per year versus $41,950 per year -- it makes sense to give yourself every advantage possible.
With so many computer and IT degrees available, which major is right for you? We’ll cover the best tech majors and the fast-growing careers they can lead to below.
Bachelor’s in computer science
As you would probably imagine, a degree in computer science focuses on a number of subjects such as mathematics, programming, and computer theory. The courses that are available in this degree might include algorithms, computation, programming principles, and data structures.
Luckily for computer science majors, the options are nearly limitless. This is because a degree in this field can take you to a number of different careers, ranging from a network architect to a computer programmer.
Moreover, a degree in computer science enables you to look further than the IT industry. Your skills will be sought after in government organizations, the healthcare industry, and many more.
Career paths for computer science graduates:
- Computer programmers often hold degrees in computer science. With a median annual wage of $86,550 per year, you can earn a pretty penny as a computer programmer.
- Software developers typically have bachelor’s degrees in computer science and earn a median annual wage of $105,590. Further, the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects job openings in this field to grow 21% through 2028.
- Computer network architects often have bachelor’s degrees in computer science and earn a median annual wage of $112,690. The BLS expects job opportunities to rise by 5% through 2028 in this occupation.
Bachelor’s in information technology
If you graduate from college with a degree in information technology then there are many opportunities that await you.
With a degree in this field, kick off your IT career by maintaining and setting up networks, a key skill that lots of organizations across all industries require. An information technology bachelor's degree can also lead you to work as a database administrator, programmer or computer systems analyst.
During an information technology degree, your coursework is bound to cover all aspects of information systems and information technology. Classes such as database concepts, Windows server networking, and business systems development will help you build a solid foundation in IT fundamentals.
Career paths for information technology graduates:
- Database administrators often have a degree in information technology. In this occupation, you can expect to earn a median annual salary of $93,750. The BLS projects job opportunities for database administrators to grow 9% by 2028.
- Computer support specialists engage in troubleshooting and problem solving while earning a median annual salary of $54,760. Job opportunities are on the rise too, as the BLS projects them to grow 10% by 2028.
- Information technology managers supervise IT teams. While it may take time to land a management position, IT managers earn an average of $85,253 per year, according to Glassdoor. This type of position enables you to work in multiple industries too, further expanding your opportunities.
Bachelor’s in data science
Data scientists are certainly in demand - even Glassdoor ranks this job as the third-best career in the U.S. The BLS also has plenty of good things to say, especially as it predicts a 27.9% rise in employment in the sector by 2026.
To explore this satisfying and fast-growing career path, it might be a good idea to consider a bachelor's degree in data science.
In this field, data scientists are needed in virtually every industry, meaning there are plenty of opportunities outside of tech. However, if working in the technology sector is essential for you, then you don't need to worry as there are lots of technology companies recruiting data scientists too.
Career paths for data science graduates:
- Data scientists earn an average salary of $113,309 per year, per Glassdoor. Companies such as Facebook, Microsoft and IBM are always hunting for experienced data scientists.
- Data architects bring in an average of $108,278 per year and can work in many industries. This flexibility makes this a great career choice if you want an IT job but aren’t interested in working for a tech company.
- Data engineers are responsible for building and maintaining data pipelines and earn an average annual salary of $102,864.
Choose a degree program based on your career interests
The majors listed above are just some of the many IT-focused degrees offered at colleges and universities in the U.S. There’s a number of other degrees and certifications to help you in your IT career too.
Before jumping into a career in IT, determine what type of tech job you’d like to pursue. Knowing your desired career path will put you in a better position to choose a degree program to match your career aspirations.
Once you've decided on a degree program, select an accredited school that offers the degree program you want.
In the end, there are various ways to break into the IT industry and pursuing a degree is just one.
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