What You Should Know About This Degree
Degrees in information technology and information systems are often thought to be the same because both concern the use of computers. However, there are some important distinctions. Information technology is more focused on hardware, software, and telecommunications. Information systems is about the creation, sharing, and distribution of information generated by computers.
Whichever educational path you choose, it’s important to look for a program that is accredited by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation or the U.S. Department of Education, which gives an institution and its graduates credibility with other institutions and employers.
The certifications and licensing required to enter the information technology field vary based on the specific occupation. Companies generally require information technology professionals to be certified in the products they use. Certification programs typically are offered by vendors, such as Cisco and Microsoft.
The job outlook for those who earn an associate degree in information technology and systems programs is solid. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in computer and information technology occupations is projected to grow 11% over the next 10 years.
Here are some questions to ask when researching online associate in information technology and systems programs:
- Am I eligible for this program? Admission into associate degree programs requires a high school diploma or equivalency. Colleges and universities may also expect prospective students to meet a minimum GPA requirement. Check the program’s admissions requirements before applying to confirm that you meet their qualifications.
- What tests are required for this online degree? Some colleges and universities require new students to complete placement tests in the areas of English and math prior to enrolling in certain courses. Most college courses offered for academic credit require evaluations such as tests. Check the program’s graduation requirements to determine what testing may be required to earn an associate degree.
As you research programs, you should keep track of application deadlines and the application materials you must submit for each program. You can usually find this information on the school’s website or by contacting their admissions department.
It’s also important to consider how you will finance your education. Be sure to submit financial aid applications on time, and research other sources of funding such as scholarships, grants, and tuition benefits from your employer.