Should You Pursue an Advanced IT Degree?
Jobs in computer and information technology are growing faster than the average for all other occupations. Between 2018 and 2028 there are going to be an estimated 546,200 new jobs that need to be filled, and with technology constantly changing, this growth isn’t likely to slow down.
These expanding job opportunities — and the median annual wage of $86,320 noted in the link above — are causing a lot of people to flock to the IT industry. Some are making a career switch by returning to school, and those who already have years of IT experience are pursuing advanced degrees to complement their knowledge. A wealth of new educational paths have become available to meet this demand, including on-campus programs, online programs, coding bootcamps, and more.
But is going back to school for an advanced IT degree the right choice for you?
In this article, we’ll discuss how the switch to IT from another field can benefit you.
Who benefits from an IT degree?
Because IT is such a fast-growing field, and because there are a significant variety of jobs available, people from many different industries are making the move to IT. The high availability of jobs and the relatively high pay makes it an attractive field.
If you’ve been thinking about making the switch, an advanced degree in IT, paired with your previous work experience and your bachelor’s degree, will make you an attractive candidate for a lot of positions. It will not only show that you’re committed to making this career change, but also that you have the skills needed to implement IT solutions in a business context.
Unlike those who already have work experience in IT, an advanced degree likely won’t enable you to move into management or leadership positions right away. But it will give you the foundation that you need to move up the corporate ladder.
If you’ve recently graduated with a bachelor’s degree in IT, getting an advanced degree can be a great way to kickstart your career. If you already know that you’re interested in managerial roles or positions that require an advanced degree, there’s no reason that you have to wait to get your master’s degree. A master’s in IT will build on your bachelor’s degree and give you knowledge in many important areas outside of purely IT-related subjects.
Picking the right program for your needs.
If you’ve decided to obtain an advanced IT degree, there are a few things you should consider before you choose a program. There are so many options available today, and to get the most out of your degree, you should make sure you’ve spent time researching each one. Then, choose the program that’s the right fit for your situation.
Will you keep working or go to school full-time?
If you’re going to keep working while you get your master’s degree, you need to find a program that offers you the flexibility and the resources to be successful. An online program enables you to do your coursework when it’s convenient for you so you can fit it in between work, family obligations, and other commitments.
What’s your level of experience?
If you’re making the switch from a different career or have a non-IT undergraduate degree, you should look for a program that offers options like a boot camp or classes that will give you a beginner’s-level of knowledge. This will ensure you are ready for the more technical information you’ll learn in the advanced degree program.
Does the program require a thesis or an internship?
Master’s programs typically culminate in either a thesis or an internship that must be completed before graduating. While a thesis can be a great learning tool for some degrees, an internship provides you with real-world experience before you jump into the job market. Often, you’ll leave with a good reference and industry connections, which is especially important for people coming to IT from another industry.
What support services does the program offer?
Completing an advanced degree is no easy task, and the school you choose to attend should offer support services to help you through it. Things like access to a library, whether online or on-campus, technical support, and career support services are a signal that the school you’ve chosen is invested in its students’ successes.
Taking the first step.
If you think that an advanced IT degree is the right move for you, visit our program page today to learn more about our flexible online program.
At Montclair State, all of your classes will be completed online, and they’re geared toward working professionals to make it easy for you to schedule our program around your existing work, family, and other responsibilities.
We also offer four, eight-week bootcamp courses, in Java Programming, Computer Systems Principles, Data Structures, and Discrete Mathematics in Computing to help students who have minimal or no background in computer science and information technology get up to speed. Find out more about our CSIT Bootcamp courses on the MS in Applied IT program page.
Learn more about Montclair State University, and get started on your IT journey.
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