What Is an IT Instructor?

Find out about the types of jobs you could pursue as an IT instructor. Read on to learn more about career options along with salary and licensure information. Schools offering Information Technology Education degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is an IT Instructor?

IT instructors are teachers who lead information technology courses at the high school and college levels. At the high school level, they usually teach courses on basic or advanced computer skills. At the college level, IT teachers may teach introductory computing, computer science and programming courses, as well as higher-level classes on specialized topics like discrete structures and software engineering. Postsecondary teachers may also mentor graduate students and conduct their own research in a particular area of interest within the field of computer science.

Glance through the following chart to learn more about requirements and career opportunities in this field.

Secondary IT Instructors Postsecondary IT Instructors
Degree Required Bachelor's degree Doctorate
Education Field of Study Information technology, computer science, secondary education Information technology, computer science
Licensure Required State-approved teacher's license None required
Key Skills Teaching ability, patience, computer savvy Teaching ability, research skills, computer savvy
Job Growth (2014-2024) 6% (for all secondary teachers)* 9% (for computer science postsecondary teachers)*
Median Salary (2015) $57,200 (for all secondary teachers)* $74,840 (for postsecondary computer science teachers)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Job Duties for IT Instructors

At the secondary level, information technology (IT) instructors might teach fundamental computing skills, like keyboarding or basic Web programming. Some secondary instructors may also act as academic advisors or coaches. Additional job duties could include participation in parent-teacher conferences or supervision of extracurricular activities.

At the postsecondary level, teachers are usually expected to conduct research and publish their findings in books or peer-reviewed journals. Postsecondary IT instructors may teach courses like network routing, database administration and information systems architecture. Additionally, you could be responsible for overseeing the work on theses and dissertations by graduate students or serving on academic boards and committees.

What Education Is Required?

Aspiring public high school teachers typically need to earn a bachelor's degree as well as a teaching license; some states expect secondary teachers to hold a master's degree. You might enroll in a bachelor's program in computer science, information technology or education. Licensing requirements vary by state but usually include completion of a bachelor's program, a student teaching experience and an exam.

If your goal is to become a college professor, you'll probably need to earn a doctorate in information technology or computer science. However, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) notes that some 2-year schools hire teachers who only have a master's degree (www.bls.gov). Doctoral programs may take 4-6 years to complete; master's programs usually require 2-3 years of study.

Degree programs in this field often combine classroom learning with hands-on computer hardware and software training. Common course topics might include probability and statistical methods, finance for IT professionals, telecommunications engineering, data mining, information assurance and risk assessment, network security, cybersecurity policy and cryptography.

What Are My Job Prospects?

According to the BLS, the number of employed secondary instructors was expected to increase by 6% between 2014 and 2024. The number of postsecondary teachers in computer science was expected to grow by 9% during the same time period. As of 2015, secondary instructors earned a median annual salary of $57,200; postsecondary computer science instructors earned a median annual salary of $74,840.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

If you want to become a teacher, you could also consider a job teaching a different subject, such as math or science. To work in a public school, you would need a bachelor's degree and a license. Alternatively, if you would prefer a job within the field of information technology, you might consider becoming a computer systems administrator, where you would be responsible for maintaining the network for a business or organization. To get this job, you would need a bachelor's degree in computer science or a related field.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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