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What Should I Major in? 5 Reasons an IT Degree Is the New Business Degree

Oct 5, 2016 | Harrison College

What Should I Major in? 5 Reasons an IT Degree Is the New Business Degree

If you’re at the end of your rope in a dead-end job, it may be time to reevaluate where you’re going in life. You’ve likely scoped out interesting new career paths if you’re ready for a fresh start. When you decide you’re finally ready to hit the books and head back to school, you probably have just as many questions as you do answers.

Can I handle this? Will it be worth it? How can I balance everything?

Equally important, this question may be at the forefront of your concerns: What should I major in?

You’ve got plenty of choices when it comes to picking a major. But if you’re still scratching your head in indecision, look to the one that stands out from the pack.

Gone are the days of the default business major. Instead, this new degree reigns champion amongst the masses: the IT degree. If you’re unsure of what to major in, consider this to be the business degree of the future. Keep reading to find out why.

5 reasons you should consider earning an IT degree

In the past, students unsure of what to study in college generally opted for a business degree. The fundamental knowledge acquired from this curriculum was enough to lead down several different career paths.

Fast forward to today and IT has become a universally applicable degree, providing as much opportunity and versatility as a business degree used to. Hear from experts in the field to learn more.

1. Demand is high for technology professionals

Fortunately for you, the technology field is projected to continue growing throughout the next few years. Computer and IT occupations are projected to grow 12 percent through 2024, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This is much higher than the average rate of 7 percent for all occupations.

What does that mean for you? It means there will be plenty of job opportunities for you to pursue in the coming years. You can be sure that you won’t have to waste time worrying about finding jobs in a dwindling industry.

2. An IT degree can lead you down a handful of career paths

Another benefit to majoring in IT is that you’ll open many doors upon graduation. With an IT degree, you’re not stuck in one career. There are plenty of directions you can pursue as you please.

Common titles for IT degree holders include1:

  • Software development engineer
  • Network engineer
  • Systems engineer
  • Systems administrator
  • Systems analyst
  • Information technology manager

But don’t think that your options end there. You may even find yourself in a career not necessarily related to technology.

Take for instance Alina Tubman of D4Y Brand Builder, who majored in IT but then went on to pursue a career in human resources. She cites her background as useful for filling positions across a diverse group of business functions. “An IT background can provide a lot of perspective on this,” Tubman says.

3. An IT degree will allow you to work in a variety of industries

With an IT degree, your career is not locked into one particular industry. Technology plays a role in every industry, so you can combine your tech skills with other areas of interest.

Some common industries hiring IT degree holders include1:

  • Healthcare
  • Insurance carriers
  • Higher education
  • Software publishers
  • Technical consulting and engineering services

This variety means you don’t have to move across the country just to find a job—there are plenty openings everywhere, even in your backyard! For example, there were more than 1,600 jobs posted for IT degree holders in Indiana in the past year alone.2

“An IT degree is probably the best degree you can get to be a highly valued member of almost any business today,” says Michael Shearer, director of marketing operations at SelectHub. “With the proliferation of technology in all sectors, technology savvy and diverse employees are in higher demand than ever!”

Shearer says that with a solid background in IT, you can learn about the specific department of business you are serving while on the job. But the opposite may not be true. “Someone may get a degree in marketing but not be tech savvy enough to serve the current demand,” he explains.

4. An IT degree will allow you to develop a variety of skills

Another huge perk of earning an IT degree is the broad range of skills you’ll develop. Not only will you finesse your craft, but the other skills you’ll acquire will help you become a well-rounded professional. In addition to mastering technical skills, you can also expect to sharpen your critical thinking.

IT professionals also depend on their problem solving and creative thinking abilities day in and day out. And because you’ll likely work across many teams and interact with many individuals that may not be familiar with IT, your communication skills will be top-notch.

“I attribute a lot of my success to my IT background because it instilled in me the ability to communicate more effectively,” Tubman says. “It also allowed me to think differently when presented with problems and come up with creative solutions.”

5. An IT degree can earn you respect within your organization

IT degree holders often find themselves working across teams to execute creative vision and collaborate on projects. And because they’re the ones that can execute big deliverables, it allows for plenty of room to shine within your company.

“Often in my job, someone asks me, ‘Can you write some code that does X?’ The answer is almost always yes,” says Ezra Match, front-end developer at Insureon. “If you've got the time, you can code almost anything. And that creates big opportunities for tech professionals.”

Contrary to popular belief, IT professionals aren’t confined to the tech-support team. Being the “yes man” in your company puts you in a great position to advance your career and offer your vision for the organization, Match adds.

“It's really about knowing what is possible, and being able to deliver it!”

The degree of the future

If you’re still asking, “What should I major in?” you owe it to yourself to consider earning an IT degree. The reasons above are enough to get you excited about the possibilities for the future. The best part is that you don’t have to have a plan upfront.

Now that you know about the immense number of opportunities in the IT field, you can be confident in your decision to advance your education. Your curriculum will give you a taste of what the field has to offer so you can decide which direction you’d like to go after graduation.

Learn how we can help you take the next step in our article: 5 Things You Didn’t Know About the Harrison College School of Information Technology.

 

 

1Source: Burning-Glass.com (Analysis of 94,708 information technology job postings from Sept. 1, 2015 - Aug. 31, 2016).

2Source: Burning-Glass.com (Analysis of 1,626 information technology job postings in Indiana Sept. 1, 2015 - Aug. 31, 2016).

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