Bachelor Degrees in Information Technology

A Bachelor Degree is the standard education requirement for a variety of computer and IT career paths, including programmer, network architect, database administrator, and other roles.[i] As it is such an important component of a possible IT career, we have gathered commonly-asked questions that could help you plan your next step!

What does earning an information technology bachelors degree involve?

An IT bachelors degree is an undergraduate credential that may be earned at a college or university, either campus-based or online. Students may enroll in a bachelor’s degree program after high school, but some may opt to earn an associate’s degree prior to pursuing a bachelor’s. Often, students take general education courses in English, math, and other subjects in addition to courses in information technology or computer science. In some cases, you may even be able to choose an area of focus within the field of IT, such as information security, software development, or network administration. Topics covered may vary by program, but you could explore cybersecurity, programming, e-commerce, business technology, web development, and other areas of the rapidly-evolving information technology landscape.

What can I do after earning a bachelor's degree in information technology?[i]

A bachelor’s degree is frequently a requirement for career opportunities in the field of information technology or computer science. The Bureau of Labor Statistics lists several careers that may be a fit for candidates with a bachelor’s degree in IT, including database administrator, software developer, computer systems analyst, and others. Keep in mind that some opportunities could have additional requirements, such as professional experience, certification, and specific skill areas, such as programming. It’s a good idea to learn about your career options in the field of information technology prior to pursuing your bachelor’s degree, in order to focus on the courses that could be most helpful. For example, if you are interested in the role of software developer, you may wish to pursue courses in software engineering, applications development, etc.

What’s the difference between AA and BA in information technology?[ii]

An A.A. (Associate of Arts) degree in IT typically requires about 60 credits to earn, while a B.A. (Bachelor of Arts) usually requires around 120 credits. That means a bachelor’s degree could take twice as long as an associate’s degree to earn. Aside from concerns about completion time, these two degrees may serve different functions. An A.A. in IT could prepare you to pursue a bachelor’s degree or entry-level employment in career areas where a bachelor’s degree may not be required, such as web development. However, some IT career tracks, such as computer programming or network administration, may call for a more in-depth bachelor’s degree.i  You’ll also need to earn a B.A. if you are interested in pursuing graduate school. It’s a good idea to understand the educational requirements of your intended career path before deciding whether an A.A. or a B.A. in IT should be your next step.

What will I learn in an IT bachelor’s program?

Your coursework usually depends on your area of focus. For example, a management information systems (MIS) program may include both computer courses and business courses, in order to help prepare students to pursue potential roles managing information systems in a business environment.[iii]  A software engineering program, on the other hand, might cover programming, applications development, and other courses related to building software. You could also opt to pursue a general computer science program, which tends to cover a broad range of topics.[iv]  As the field of information science evolves, IT degree programs may also cover areas of growing importance or concern, such as mobile technology and cybersecurity.  

How long does earning a bachelor’s degree in information technology take?

The length of time it takes to earn a bachelor’s degree depends on a variety of factors, such as whether or not you plan to attend school full-time. While a bachelor’s degree is sometimes referred to as a four-year program, many students take longer than four years to earn this credential. If you are planning to work while attending school part-time, this could have an impact on the length of your program. Everyone has different challenges and commitments, so it’s important to realize that your timeline for earning a bachelor’s degree may not be the same as another student’s timeline.

Now you know that earning a bachelor’s degree may be a recommended next step for pursuing an IT career path. But what should your next step be? Checking out bachelor’s programs in your area of interest is usually a good place to begin. Here are some related degree opportunities to explore. 

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