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2021 Information Technology Degree Guide

If you are interested in customizing networks to aid the business world, Information Technology might be a good major for you.

Those who major in information technology learn about maintaining operating systems, designing networks, and customizing programs for business needs. Professionals also work to guide projects from conception through testing and finalization to ensure they are within budget and running smoothly. You will take classes in computer science, mathematics, computer programming, information storage management, and computer networks along with classes in business, management, risk management, and financial analysis to learn how information technology aids business.

Along with the option to major in general Information Technology, you have the option to specialize in areas, such as Network and System Administration, LAN/WAN Management, Computer and IS Security, Web/Multimedia Management and Webmaster, Information Technology Project Management or Computer Support Specialist.

Rapid Growth in Information Technology Degrees Awarded

#46 Most Popular Major
33.4k Degrees Awarded
9.6% Increase in Graduates

Information Technology was the 46th most popular major in the 2018-2019 school year. Colleges in the United States reported awarding 33,399 degrees in this year alone. This represents a 9.6% increase in IT degrees awarded over the prior year's total of 30,179.

The United States has 569 different schools where you can get a degree in information technology. This year's Best Colleges for Information Technology ranking compares 37 of them to identify the best overall programs in the country. Explore this or one of our many other custom IT rankings further below.

What Are The Requirements For a Degree in Information Technology

Those who work within Information Technology should be comfortable both working by themselves on projects, or working on a team. You should also be well acquainted with computer systems and have a background in applied mathematics. Problem solving, multitasking, and creativity are other skills that allow professionals to create and improve technology to ensure it fits business and individual needs.

Most jobs in Information Technology will be in an office environment. Because many companies rely heavily on their computer networks to conduct businesses, professionals should be prepared to work overtime to ensure the proper function, fix any issues, and maintain the security of systems.

A summer job or internship in the field is recommended. This will provide you valuable exposure to computer programs and systems. This experience will also allow students to work alongside Information Technology professionals in building custom programs, wiring networks, and installing security features.

IT Degree Program Entry Requirements

New students will need to have completed high school or a GED program and each school will have their own minimum GPA and SAT/ACT test requirements. Specific IT careers may require a certain level of degree attainment or additional certifications beyond that.

Types of Information Technology Degrees

There are various different levels of IT degrees. Information Technology programs offered by schools range from a associate's to a research/scholarship based doctorate, which is the highest IT degree you can get. Different information technology degrees vary in how long they take.

Degree Credit Requirements Typical Program Length
Associate Degree 60-70 credits 2 years
Bachelor’s Degree 120 credits 4 years
Master’s Degree 50-70 credits 1-3 years
Doctorate Program required coursework including thesis or dissertation At least 4 years

A bachelor's degree is the most common level of education achieved by those in careers related to IT, with approximately 54.2% of workers getting one. See the the most common levels of education for IT workers below.

Level of Education Percentage of Workers
Bachelor’s Degree 53.2%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 12.0%
Master’s Degree 9.8%
Post-Secondary Certificate 8.3%
Some College Courses 6.2%

Most workers in IT have at least a bachelor's degree. See the chart below for the most common degree level workers in information technology have received.

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This of course varies depending on which IT career you choose.

Career Opportunities for A Degree In IT Graduate

Above Average Number of Jobs
$38.9k Average Starting Salary
10% Growth Job Outlook 2016-26

A degree in Information Technology makes graduates ideal for any career working with computer networks, programs, and software. Areas that some graduates currently work in include financial firms, banks, government organizations, computer design firms, and in the IT department of large corporations. Since many businesses are working towards incorporating quicker networks and newer technology, graduates are employed in a variety of occupations. Although most employees require a bachelor's degree, in some cases, an associate's degree with experience in the field is acceptable. However, most businesses require administrators have their master's.

Solid Growth Projected for IT Careers

Want a job when you graduate with your IT degree? Information Technology careers are expected to grow 9.9% between 2016 and 2026.

The following options are some of the most in-demand careers related to information technology.

Occupation Name Projected Jobs Expected Growth
Managers 1,071,700 8.0%
Computer User Support Specialists 708,700 11.3%
Network and Computer Systems Administrators 415,300 6.1%
Computer and Information Systems Managers 411,800 12.0%
Computer Workers 313,800 9.3%

How Much Money Do IT Grads Make?

Information Technology graduates between 2015-2017 reported earning an average of $38,852 in the 2017-2018 timeframe. Earnings can range from as low as $11,000 to as high as $108,900. As you might expect, salaries for IT graduates vary depending on the level of education that was acquired.

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Highest Paid IT Careers

Salaries for information technology graduates can vary widely by the occupation you choose as well. The following table shows the top 5 highest paying careers IT grads often go into.

Occupation Name Median Average Salary
Computer and Information Systems Managers $152,860
Managers $115,590
Computer Network Architects $111,130
Information Security Analysts $102,470
Computer Workers $93,350

Getting Your Information Technology Degree

With over 2,597 different IT degree programs to choose from, finding the best fit for you can be a challenge. Fortunately you have come to the right place. We have analyzed all of these schools to come up with hundreds of unbiased IT school rankings to help you with this.

Information Technology is one of 10 different types of Computer & Information Sciences programs to choose from.

Related Major Annual Graduates
Computer Information Systems 76,482
Computer Science 47,906
Information Science 17,779
Computer Systems Networking 14,055
Computer Software & Applications 12,793

View All IT Related Majors >

References

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