If you are considering a career in the Information Technology field, you are headed down a very exciting and lucrative path. Computer hardware and software continues to advance, pushing old technology out and paving the way for young, talented individuals to make their mark in the workforce.
So, how do you separate yourself from the masses? A good start is an Information Systems degree. The I.T. field is vast and the skills learned in college will give you the knowledge needed to get started.
Some individuals in the field would argue that I.T. certifications eliminate the need for a degree. However, many companies hiring I.T. personnel would disagree. A degree makes an individual stand out. It not only proves you have the required skills, but it also shows your determination and ability to follow through.
Of the 4 most recent companies I’ve worked for, 3 required a college degree for Information Technology employees. The fourth organization did not require a degree, but paid non-degreed employees substantially lower salaries even if they had multiple certifications.
Certifications are definitely a great avenue when choosing an I.T. specialization. However, a degree allows you to acquire skills in several key areas, providing you knowledge in multiple technologies and the ability to choose from a larger pool of jobs. Those people with a specialized certification may start out making a higher salary, but that’s only if they can find a job in that area. A good idea is to get a degree first, and then consider a specialization once you’ve got a little experience under your belt.
A degree in Information Technology may seem time consuming, but it is definitely worth the effort. It opens up many opportunities that certifications do not. In the long run, you’ll be kicking yourself when you miss out on that dream job or promotion because you didn’t take the time to get it.