Top 3 Computer Degrees to Consider for Your IT Career Path

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There's an ongoing debate around whether or not you need a four-year degree to get a good IT job.  Some say simply having certifications and years of experience is more than good enough to get hired, while some companies won't even consider you if you don't have a four-year degree.  Well, I'm not going to carry this debate on; only you can decide whether or not you feel you need a degree to get a job.  But if you do decide this is the right path for you, these are what I believe to be the top three IT-related four-year degrees you should consider.

Bachelors in Information Technology and Information Systems

This is most definitely the top choice if your goal is to excel in dealing with end-user computing, systems administration and/or systems engineering.  This degree program touches on almost all aspects of information technology and information systems.  Classes such as Introduction to UNIX, Windows Server Networking, Database Concepts, Web Design I & II and Fundamentals of Business Systems Development will help you to build a solid foundation in general IT knowledge.

Bachelors in Computer Science

A computer science (CS) degree is one of the more common degree programs pursued by budding IT professionals.  That being said, a CS degree is not for everyone.  While computer science is a desirable degree, it's also a very difficult degree program.  Unlike the BSIT degree, which focuses more on systems and processes, the CS degree focuses more on programming, mathematics and computer theory.  Courses you might find in a typical CS degree track include, Programming Principles, Algorithms, Logic & Computation, Calculus and Data Structures.  If mathematics and programming languages aren't your thing, I would avoid pursuing a computer science degree.

Bachelors in Information Science

In today's world, data is king.  We have become digital pack rats of sorts, storing everything from music to documents to pictures and videos.  Where does all of this data get stored and how does it get stored?  Well, if you had a degree in Information Science, you would be able to answer those questions in much more depth.  Not only do we store our personal stuff electronically, the government and private companies also store data, and their need for skilled professionals to help them manage data grows every day.  Having a four-year degree in Information Science would allow you to understand how to best store and manage all of the data that is accumulated by a government entity, a school, a financial institution or a variety of private companies.  Classes you would see in a typical Information Science program would be Intermediate Programming, Relational Database Concepts and Applications, Web Database Development and Computer Systems and Architecture.

Do Your Research

These are just three examples of what I believe to be the top degree choices for IT-related career fields.  There are many other degrees out there that would definitely suffice for furthering your education; you have to decide what is important to you.  Lay out your plan of what you want to do in the IT arena, and then research the degrees that would best fit your road map.  Once you've decided on a degree program, make sure you do your due diligence to select a school that is respectable and accredited and that offers the exact program you want.  Don't settle for a school because it you can get through it quickly or because it's super cheap. Your education is not just a financial investment but an investment of your time as well.  Depending on whether you decide to be a half-time or full-time student, you could be investing four to six years in a degree program.  In the end, when you walk across that stage to accept your diploma and head out into the job market, you can rest assured your resume will stand out and your confidence will grow.

Related: Once you've gotten your degree, consider looking at these five less-obvious industries hiring IT pros.

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Greg Stuart

Greg Stuart is a vExpert and systems administrator/network administrator by trade, who has worked a slew of IT jobs in his career. He's put his time in with certification training, obtaining A+, Network+, Security+, MCP, CCNA, VCP4, VCP5 and NCDA. He now works as an IT consultant and runs the blogs, vDestination and vLATAM.