If you’re thinking about getting a college degree, you may want to know about the different types of technology degrees available. There are several paths you can take to begin a career in a technology field, and the degree you get depends on the work you want to do after graduation. Most technology work is in software design and programming, and there are relatively few jobs in hardware design and engineering. The electrical and computer engineering jobs available are easier to get if you have a strong background in computer science.
Choosing a Technology Career
The types of technology jobs fall into three categories: engineering, business and design. With a computer science degree, you can apply for most programming jobs and many corporate jobs involving the installation, maintenance and security of internal networks. Cyber security is a fast-growing field that requires a computer science degree and usually several years of experience in law enforcement as well as professional certification. Programming jobs usually involve designing software architecture using the Unified Modeling Language, or UML, and then developing successive versions or iterations of an application.
Many programming jobs can be found in mobile software, and this field of software engineering intersects with Web design. A computer science degree prepares you to do just about any kind of Web or mobile application design, and you can even begin a career in this field with just an associate’s degree in Web development. This two-year degree is perhaps the best technology-related associate’s degree, and for the relatively small investment of time and money, the salary you can expect to make is quite good. Web developers earn a median annual salary of around $62,500, and job growth in this industry is expected to be around 20 percent for the next 10 years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Two-year technology-related degrees such as computer and information technology provide a general education in installing and using computer software and hardware, and these types of general IT jobs are quickly dwindling. If you plan to get a two-year degree, your best bet is a Web development degree because it allows you to work in IT as well as Web design.
The Best Four-Year Technology Degrees
If you’re thinking of getting a four-year degree, your choices are computer science, computer engineering or management information systems. With computer science, you can choose the science, software design or business track, and each one leads to a different career path. The science track prepares you for graduate school, while the software design track prepares you to go into software engineering. The business track prepares you for programming and software design, but it includes several business electives that can be helpful if you want to work in a corporate environment.
The difference between each track is only two or three classes, and a computer science degree covers a broad range of discrete math and computer science theory no matter which path you choose. Management information systems is a business major that combines management with computer science and technology. It can give you an advantage in a corporate career that involves working with computers and technology.
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Technology is constantly developing, and people are becoming more dependent on the software that controls their devices. If you have a keen interest in computers and perhaps in software design, keep learning about the different types of technology degrees.