Information Technology Majors: Career and Salary Facts

A career in information technology allows you to keep up with changes and trends in the computing industry. Read on for more about job duties, salary information and employment projections. Schools offering Information Technology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What does a Information Technology Major do?

With a degree in information technology, you may pursue a career as a computer systems analyst, a network and computer systems administrator or a computer and information systems manager. Computer systems analysts work with companies to identify their information technology needs and come up with a cost effective way to meet those need. Network and computer systems administrators also assess a companies, trouble shoots problems and train users of the system. As a computer and information systems manager you would be hired to assess what a companies computing needs are and what hardware and software would meet those needs, as well as overseeing the installation and maintenance of a computer system and its components. In both of these careers you'd need to know how to design, install and maintain computer systems and information technology.

What Degrees are Available in Information Technology?

A Bachelor of Science in Information Technology program typically takes four years to complete, depending on whether a program is offered through distance education, part-time, full-time or in a traditional classroom setting. Some schools offer specializations within the information technology field, such as network design, systems security or information technology management.

What Careers Can I Find?

With a bachelor's degree in information technology, you may find a position as a computer systems analyst, network administrator or information systems manager. A computer systems analyst deals with problems in electronic data processing. As an analyst, you typically concentrate on computer users' reported problems to improve system performance and capability. Between 2014 and 2024 there would be an estimated 118,600 job openings for computer systems analysts, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), with a faster than average projected growth rate in this field.

As a network administrator, you would be responsible for the installation and support of an organization's computer networks, hardware and software, as well as both Internet and intranet workings. You would also be responsible for maintaining system efficiency and troubleshooting network problems. Professional certification in network administration can improve your job prospects, as could further training in a graduate-level information technology program. The BLS projected that employment of network administrators was expected to grow by 8% between 2014 and 2024 (www.bls.gov).

As an information systems manager, you would manage other employees in an information technology (IT) department. You would oversee the installation and upgrades of computer systems, development of intranet and Internet communication tools, security and maintenance. You would be expected to keep up with changing technology to enhance your company's performance and competition with other companies in the same industry. According to the BLS, the number of opportunities for information systems managers should grow between 2014 and 2024 as the number of IT departments increased and grew in size and number of services performed.

How Much Money Can I Make?

Your earning potential depends on factors like the industry you're working in, job title and location. If your goal is to be a computer systems analyst, the mean annual salary in 2015 was $112,430 for those working in the support activities for mining sector, according to the BLS. District of Columbia topped the list of highest paying states for computer systems analysts with a mean annual salary of $101,670. According to the BLS, the overall mean salary in this field was $90,180.

A network administrator in New York had a mean annual salary of $89,050 in 2015, while New Jersey network administrators earned $93,780 per year. Network administrators in pipeline transportation of crude oil manufacturing, earned $58.22 per hour, or $121,100 annually, according to the BLS. The overall mean salary in network administration in 2015 was $82,200.

According to the BLS, the overall mean salary for computer and information systems managers in 2015 was $141,000. Those working in Virginia earned $159,200, or $76.54 per hour, that year. Individuals in New Jersey earned $160,660. The highest-paying industries for computer and information systems managers were in the securities and commodity exchanges sector.

What Professional Certifications are Available?

Through organizations like CompTIA or the Institute for Certification of Computing Professionals (ICCP), information technology professionals can earn certifications that may enhance career potential. These organizations often require membership and completion of their own curriculum before you are allowed to take the certification test. According to the ICCP, certification is available for entry-level information technology professionals, project managers and technical instructors (www.iccp.org). The organization also offers advanced certifications for experienced professionals who work with Linux (www.comptia.org).

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

There are number of computer related careers. Computer and information researchers study new computer technologies and mix them with old to create new systems. Computer network architects make a careers out constructing communication networks. Computer hardware engineers create and test hardware used in computer systems.

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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