What does an IT diploma Involve?

If you’re hoping to prepare for a career in Information Technology (IT), a diploma may be a viable option. This credential could help you explore the IT field and prepare to pursue professional opportunities. We have gathered some commonly-asked questions about what it means to earn a diploma in information technology and how you can get ready for your next step.

What does an IT diploma involve?

A diploma in IT is a postsecondary credential typically designed to help you prepare to pursue a possible career in information technology. You’ll generally need to have graduated high school before pursuing a diploma, but other requirements could depend on the institution offering the program. You can usually find information technology diploma programs at local community colleges, junior colleges, and career schools. You may even wish to consider earning a diploma in IT online.

Courses typically vary depending on your area of focus. For example, an IT diploma program with an emphasis on computer repair and support could include courses in hardware and maintenance, operating systems, help desk procedures, etc. An IT diploma with a focus on networking may cover areas like network repair, security, and the role of technology in a business or organization.

What are the benefits of a diploma in information technology?

An IT diploma could help you prepare to seek entry-level career opportunities in IT, such as the role of computer support specialist.[i] Typically, courses cover the basics of computer and/or network repair, the internet, software applications, and more. You may also be able to prepare for certifications that could help you demonstrate your knowledge in the IT field, such as the Microsoft Certified Professional certification, CompTIA certification (A+ and Net+), and others. Finally, a diploma could be a good way to gain an introduction to the field of IT and see if it’s for you.

What’s the difference between an IT diploma and an associate’s degree in IT?

Unlike an associate’s degree, an IT diploma does not result in a college degree. However, the program usually takes less time than pursuing a two-year degree program. Choosing between these two educational options could depend on the requirements of your intended career track. For example, the role of computer support specialist may not require a degree, and taking relevant computer courses could be adequate preparation for this career path.[i] Other career choices, such as web developer or network administrator, may require an associate’s or bachelor’s degree.[ii] It ,au be a good idea to learn more about your prospective career in order to decide what educational option fits your needs.

How do I prepare for an IT diploma?

Students may enter a diploma program with some prior IT experience or with very little knowledge of the subject.  Of course, knowing as much as you can about your intended field is never a bad idea. If you’re still in high school, taking computer science and math courses may be beneficial. It’s also a good idea to know why you’re interested in the field of information technology to begin with. Do you have an aptitude for computers? Do you sometimes help friends and family members resolve their IT problems? Having a strong personal interest in the field of study can help you decide if an IT diploma could be a good fit for you.

How do I choose an IT diploma program?

While some students choose their diploma programs based on location and convenience, the variety of online diploma programs available today means you may not have to limit your search to nearby schools. When evaluating IT diplomas, first consider your professional goals – is the program you are considering intended for students with similar career ambitions? For example, if you want to pursue the role of computer support specialist, your program should probably include computer repair and help desk courses, among other topics. Don’t hesitate to contact the place offering the program and learn what career paths graduates have pursued. Other factors to consider may include program completion rate, accreditation, and a reputation for helping students prepare for success.

Check out some available programs that may interest you. 

[i] bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/computer-support-specialists.htm#tab-4 | [ii] bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/home.htm

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