The college application and decision process comes with a whole set of challenging questions and choices, one of the most important being — what will you study?
Making that determination can seem overwhelming, but it does not need to be if you’re considering an information technology degree. To help, we have put together several questions you should ask yourself when deciding if an undergraduate degree in information technology is right for you — and moreover, help you choose the right IT program for you!
Do you have a passion for continuing to learn about developments in the information technology field?
There’s no question — we are living in the middle of a technology explosion, and it is not slowing down anytime soon. Because the field of information technology is growing and expanding so rapidly, those who choose to earn a degree in it will likely need to continue their education throughout their professional years with training, certifications and self-guided exploration. IT requires continued education to stay up-to-date on the latest technological developments and integrations.
Do you enjoy communicating with individuals to solve problems and create better user experiences?
At the end of the day, information technologists work for an end user (a client). It is their job to make sure that the systems and networks they have put in place are functioning properly and meeting the needs of the user. Information technology professionals must be comfortable tackling problems head-on and working until they are resolved.
Are you comfortable with hands-on work and multitasking?
Much of the day-to-day work of an information technologist includes the set-up, maintenance, optimization, programming and troubleshooting of computers and network systems. Frequently, this will mean working remotely and on-site with clients to meet their needs and resolve one or many issues that arise. Information technology professionals should be comfortable working to resolve multiple issues at the same time while prioritizing them according to urgency and the client’s wishes.
Note: Now that we’ve outlined some questions you should ask yourself when thinking about majoring in IT, here are some additional important questions you should consider when looking for the IT program that is perfect for you.
Are there options for augmenting your Information Technology coursework?
IT programs that provide electives allow you to hone your individual talents and meet your needs. Further, IT programs that offer specializations or specific degree track options are incredibly valuable because they allow you to further augment your coursework. Employers greatly value applicants who can extend their broad knowledge base by providing skills in a specific area.
For instance, Marymount University requires that all Information Technology students select a specialty, which allows them to tailor their degree to fit their individual interests and goals. Information Technology students can specialize in one of the following areas in order to focus on their career goals:
- Business Analysis
- Cloud Computing
- Computer Science
- Data Science
- Digital Forensics
- Game Design & Development
- Network Security
What type of job opportunities can I expect upon graduation?
The best IT programs will prepare you for the workplace, whether in the public or private sector. There are so many tech-related jobs around the country, and your connections with faculty, current students and alumni should help in identifying internships and job opportunities. The IT program you choose should also help you in areas like networking, professional development, interview practice sessions and resume preparation.
What experience and credentials do the faculty have?
Faculty should be a combination of full-time faculty and part-time faculty working in the field. Full-time faculty will be available not just to teach, but also advise you on the best options in the program to meet your individual needs and help you find opportunities in the field. They have deep subject knowledge, are active researchers in the field and their thought leadership is valuable for your development. Part-time faculty will bring real-world experience into the classroom and can help guide students as they pursue their career goals.
How diverse are the faculty and students?
Programs vary in the diversity of ethnicity, gender and technical expertise among their students and faculty. Minorities and females are currently grossly underrepresented in the information technology workforce, so explore the makeup of existing programs and any initiatives they are taking to promote diversity.
Exploring Marymount University’s BS in Information Technology
Offered through the University’s College of Business, Innovation, Leadership and Technology (BILT), Marymount’s Bachelor of Science in Information Technology degree program prepares students to meet the evolving technological needs of every sector — including health care, the sciences, engineering, business, entertainment and education.
If you have any questions about the IT field, Marymount’s own Bachelor of Science in Information Technology or the specializations we offer, please don’t hesitate to reach out and ask for more information today!