Best IT degrees for landing the hottest tech jobs? | IT PRO – IT PRO

There’s a perpetual debate about whether or not you need a degree to be successful in the tech industry. While you can land a tech job without a degree, there are benefits to having one. 

If you opt for a bachelor’s degree in a computer-related field, it opens the door into the IT field even wider, leading to a greater variety of well-paying and in-demand tech jobs. With the median annual wage for careers in computer and IT occupations coming in at $88,240, IT jobs pay significantly more than the average median wage of $39,810. 

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How do you decide what to major in though? We’ll cover the best tech majors and the fast-growing careers they can lead to below. 

Bachelor’s in computer science

A degree in computer science focuses on programming, mathematics and computer theory.  Courses you might take as a computer science major include, programming principles, algorithms, logic, and computation and data structures.

Options for computer science majors are nearly limitless. A degree in computer science can lead you to a variety of careers, ranging from a computer programmer to a network architect. 

As an added benefit, a degree in computer science allows you to look beyond the IT industry. Your skills will also be valuable to the health care industry, government organizations and many other industries.

Career paths for computer science graduates:

  • Computer programmers often hold degrees in computer science. With a median annual wage of $86,550 per year, you can earn a pretty penny as a computer programmer.
  • Software developers typically have bachelor’s degrees in computer science and earn a median annual wage of $105,590. Further, the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects job openings in this field to grow 21% through 2028.
  • Computer network architects often have bachelor’s degrees in computer science and earn a median annual wage of $112,690. The BLS expects job opportunities to rise by 5% through 2028 in this occupation.

Bachelor’s in information technology

Many opportunities await those who graduate from college with a degree in information technology. 

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With a degree in information technology, you can start your IT career by setting up and maintaining networks, which numerous organizations across all industries require. A bachelor’s degree in information technology can also lead to a career as a programmer, database administrator or computer systems analyst.

As an information technology major, your coursework will likely touch on all aspects of information technology and information systems. Classes such as Windows server networking, database concepts and fundamentals of business systems development will help you build a solid foundation in IT.

Career paths for information technology graduates:

  • Database administrators often have a degree in information technology. In this occupation, you can expect to earn a median annual salary of $93,750. The BLS projects job opportunities for database administrators to grow 9% by 2028.
  • Computer support specialists engage in troubleshooting and problem solving while earning a median annual salary of $54,760. Job opportunities are on the rise too, as the BLS projects them to grow 10% by 2028.
  • Information technology managers supervise IT teams. While it may take time to land a management position, IT managers earn an average of $85,253 per year, according to Glassdoor. This type of position enables you to work in multiple industries too, further expanding your opportunities.

Bachelor’s in data science

There’s no denying that data scientists are in demand, as Glassdoor ranks it the third-best career in the U.S. The BLS also has good things to say, as it projects a 27.9% rise in employment in the field by 2026. 

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To head down this fast-growing and satisfying career path, consider a bachelor’s degree in data science.

Data scientists are needed in virtually every industry, meaning can work outside of tech. If working in the tech industry is an absolute must for you, there are plenty of tech companies hiring data scientists too.

Career paths for data science graduates:

  • Data scientists earn an average salary of $113,309 per year, per Glassdoor. Companies such as Facebook, Microsoft and IBM are always hunting for experienced data scientists.
  • Data architects bring in an average of $108,278 per year and can work in many industries. This flexibility makes this a great career choice if you want an IT job but aren’t interested in working for a tech company.
  • Data engineers are responsible for building and maintaining data pipelines and earn an average annual salary of $102,864. 

Choose a degree program based on your career interests

The majors listed above are just some of the many IT-focused degrees offered at colleges and universities in the U.S. There’s a number of other degrees and certifications to help you in your IT career too.

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Before jumping into a career in IT, determine what type of tech job you’d like to pursue. Knowing your desired career path will put you in a better position to choose a degree program to match your career aspirations. 

Once you’ve decided on a degree program, select an accredited school that offers the degree program you want.  

In the end, there are various ways to break into the IT industry and pursuing a degree is just one.

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