What kind of degree or major would be an IT person?

By | December 7, 2015

I was looking at the information on being an IT person but I couldn’t find what kind of degree you have to have before becoming an IT professional. Can anybody help me with this?

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4 thoughts on “What kind of degree or major would be an IT person?

  1. Don

    You can major in computer science or information systems.

  2. john

    You dont even need college you can find places to teach you the certifications needed or you can teach yourself.

  3. Richard L

    To give you the background – There are a number of viable IT majors. These are all good. You need a 4 year degree. Don’t get a certificate type degree or a Devry or ITT Tech degree- not recognized by many employers and credits may not transfer in the future. There are several main Computer majors and their associated career categories and you need to know these just to get the lay of the land. These degree titles are often found in Associates, Bachelors and Masters degree programs. Generally most IT employers are looking for a 4 year Bachelors degree in an IT related major as a minimum requirement. For working people some of these majors are offered by schools in night classes and we are beginning to see online or hybrid online/classroom options available. Depending on the school, a Bachelors degree in an IT field may be a BA or a BS. There does not seem to be any problems for employers with a BA or BS as long as it is a bachelors degree. If you already have a degree in another major, if you have an Associates degree or if you have a bunch or college credits and no degree you can usually find a degree completion program that will allow you to take 14-16 months of classes and graduate with a Bachelors in a computer related major.
    Now some of the titles colleges use may consist of different course curriculums. As an example one school may have more programming classes in the same major while another school has fewer. Schools may call their general IT program Computer Information Technology, Computer Information Systems or Computer Information Science. To really tell what the major is about you should look at the courses that a particular school offers in that major. Here are the majors and some associated jobs:

    Computer Science (CS) – A technical degree which usually has a Programming emphasis – people with this major usually are developing application software, web development, embedded code and robotics. Sometimes depending on the college the degree may cover some more general topics as listed under CIS below. CS is a difficult major and may include a number of advanced math courses. Many CS students find themselves not enjoying programming, not being gifted at it or not having the math and logic skills to be good at programming and they will switch out into CIS. CS majors that are able to graduate can also qualify for jobs listed below under CIS.

    Computer Information Systems (CIS) – This may also be called a variety of other names like Information Technology (IT), Information Systems (IS), etc. This is a general technical degree and is the degree that I have. Holders of these degree work in a variety of technical jobs like these:
    Computer Technician, Service Center Coordinator, Help Desk Staff, Storage Administrator, Network Administrator, Systems Administrator, Systems Engineer, Enterprise Administrator, Active Directory Administrator, Exchange and Messaging Administrator, Backup Administrator, Disaster Recovery Specialist, Database Administrator, Computing Security Specialist, Corporate IT Acquisition Specialist and Data Center Administrator, just to name a few.

    Computer Engineering – This is a technical engineering and design degree. These degree holders get jobs related to designing and manufacturing computer related hardware. Obviously when you think of hardware you think of laptops and PCs but this might be all kinds of computer devices like tablets, processors, memory, storage, networking equipment and components of computers.

    Management Information Systems (MIS) – The MIS degree is tricky. In some schools this is very much like CIS and in others it is part of the School of Business and related to a Management degree. If you get into the Management based MIS degree it is usually for non-technical students training them in managing people, budgets, creating presentations to management, project planning, creating policies and procedures and the like. If you like that type of work that is fine but many of us like hands-on tech work and the Management MIS will not provide you with training for that. So look carefully at the MIS course listings and see if they are about Technology or Management. If they are about Technology topics then you are good to go. Traditionally, senior IT technical pros would eventually be promoted into management positions after years of technical work. The good news is they understood technical challenges their people were working with but the bad news was that some were great tech people but poor people managers. I have had both types of these managers and the new trend is definitely towards these non-technical managers. If you are thinking about going the Management route remember many of these jobs require a Master’s degree.
    Hope this helps.
    Best Wishes!

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