Technology Degrees

Technology Degrees

If a job in IT feels like it is calling your name…it probably is. But your natural knack for working with computers is not enough. Having fixed your mom or sister’s broken computer, while probably made you a hero in their eyes, is not enough experience to build a resume or get hired into a decent job.

So, the first step to becoming competitive in this field is earning your college degree. While a four year degree in most IT specialties is preferred, there are other specialties that may only require an associate’s degree. However, if you want to truly be competitive, earning a bachelor’s degree is a great place to start. Realize, while the job opportunities are readily available in this field, you are also competing against others who likely will have their bachelor’s degree. Companies want to ensure you have the necessary training so that they don’t have to invest their own precious dollars to train you before you can actually start the job you were hired for.

According to the US Department of Labor, this occupation is growing faster than the average job at least until 2016. With salaries averaging between $79,000 and $109,000, earning a degree and getting a job in technology makes good business sense.

Criteria to look for in a Technology Degree Program

Accreditation

One of the first things to research when choosing a technology degree program is if the school is accredited. Accreditation is a formal recognition to assure you the school is up to the quality deemed appropriate by the accreditation organization. There are certain criteria set forth that a school must maintain in order to continue to be accredited.

So, aside from making sure the school you’re choosing is legit, why else is accreditation important? Whether a school is accredited determines if they are eligible for state and federal financial aid programs. Another important reason accreditation is important is the transferability from credits from one school to another. Credits earned from accredited schools are able to be transferred. It is also important for getting accepted into a graduate degree program that your undergraduate degree is from an accredited school.

Regional accreditation is the most valued type of accreditation and it can be granted from six different regions throughout the United States. These accrediting organizations include:

  • The Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools
  • The New England Association of Schools & Colleges
  • The North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
  • The Northwest Association of Schools And Colleges
  • The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
  • The Western Association of Schools and Colleges

Online versus Campus

You may be the type of person who enjoys having face-to-face classes a few days a week. However, this is no longer the only option. Thankfully, in today’s busy world, you have a choice in modality for earning your technology degree, that includes both traditional campus-based programs as well as online programs. Some of the benefits of campus-based programs are the face-to-face interaction with classmates and the instructor and having set days and times to get information and ask questions. Online programs have the benefits of you “attending” class on your schedule, not having to commute to class, and having a community of classmates from around the country and potentially around the world. The best part is there are plenty of technology programs available in both online and campus-based formats.

Quality of faculty

Quality of faculty is another important criteria to consider when choosing a program. Some schools have faculty who are more theory-based, have their PhDs, and have won a ton of awards. Other schools have moved more to hiring practitioner faculty who actually work in the fields they teach about. They provide more of a real world education rather than theories they are working on publishing. While it is truly up to you which type you prefer, it can easily be argued that professors who are teaching all these theories are not nearly as relevant in today’s educational environment. Individuals want to learn from those out there already succeeding in this field.

The field of Information Technology offers many specialties within it, including: