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Use Technology to Get Ahead in the Competitive Field of Computer Programming and Information Technology
If you enjoy the challenges and technological discovery of using computers to solve problems, computer programming or information technology might be the perfect career choice for you. Nearly every business in the 21st century depends on computers for some aspect of its functions. Doctors and pharmacists are expected to track patient records, school districts use complex programs for analyzing student records and businesses use computers for managing inventory, sales and marketing. Because of this, computer programmers and engineers are in high demand to create safe, effective programs that meet a variety of different needs. read more »
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Not only are computer programming and information incredibly important jobs, they are a relatively quick way to launch a fresh career for a low cost, especially if students pursue online IT degree programs. These online computer programming courses allow students to work from virtually anywhere, using the very tools that they will help them be successful beyond graduation. In fact, students who graduate from online programs may have technological advantages in remote communication and work management software.
What Does a Computer Programmer or Information Technologist Do?
The field of information technology is very broad, but includes the specific career of a computer programmer. Computer technologist is a very general career that can involve many types of computer-related activities. For example, a person with an Information Technology degree might be involved in managing and setting up networks, managing hardware and software issues, technical support on computer products or project management. Students who are most likely to be successful as information technologists are those who don't want to do the same thing every day, and thrive on being able to solve unique problems that may require a broader understanding of how computers and their related software works.
On the other hand, computer programmers have a much more specific set of skills. Although they might have basic training in how to manage software systems, their specialty is in the creation and analysis of codes that will create computerized programs. For example, programming students must be familiar with a number of unique coding languages (like HTML, Visual Basic and C++) and how they work together. The most successful computer programmers are highly analytical and have exquisite attention to detail. They tend to work best in solitude and are excellent at math and other abstract concepts.
What are the working conditions of an Information Technologist or Computer Programmer?
Students who are interested in a more general information technology degree will find themselves usually working in an office setting. Most of the information technologist's job is done at a desk, although they have more opportunities to differentiate their days than a computer programmer. Sometimes they will be replacing bad computer hardware, fixing electrical issues or rebuilding systems that have been damaged.
For the most part, computer programmers work in office buildings in a typical 9-5 business setting. They are very sedentary and are almost always in front of a computer. However, there are a growing number of programmers who work from their homes or personal offices, which allows them more freedom on how they use their work time. Since the products created are easily transmitted via online platforms, this option is very viable and is becoming an industry standard.
What is the typical pay and career outlook?
Because Information Technology is such a broad term, it is difficult to pin down exactly what the pay and career outlook is unless a specialty is considered. For example, computer network architects make a median income of $91,000, whereas a computer support specialist makes an average of $48,000 per year. On the average, though, computer information jobs pay between $50,000 and $70,000 annually, based on information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).The projected rate of growth in these fields is between 15-17%, which is slightly higher than the national average.
Typically, a person with either an on-campus or online degree in computer programming makes a median of $74,000 per year, according to the BLS. Although some employers hire programmers with just an associate's degree, it is preferable to have at least a 4-year degree in programming so as to completely understand all of the various languages needed to compete in today's job market. The projected growth in this area of employment is expected to be at around 8%, which is the national average. Because this is a job that can be done remotely, often U.S. applicants are competing with international programmers who might require a much lower rate. This has increased competition in the market, even though new emphasis on mobile programming will open up jobs in this field.
Why should I choose an Information Technology Online Degree?
Online IT degree programs are a good choice for a student who loves computers but is not sure exactly what field they want to specialize in. With a quick information technology online degree, it is possible to get a very high-paying job immediately upon graduation. Since technology is a key component of the degree, employers respect online programs just as much as on-campus programs. The necessity of using online software and computer hardware to communicate, collaborate and complete assignments is a very attractive element of online IT degree programs, as they mirror the post-graduate work environment.
Why should I choose Online Courses?
As with all online courses, the freedom to study when and where you want are the key motivating factors for most busy professionals. Many students who are already working in information technology jobs choose to advance their careers with an online computer programming degree. Because it is possible to complete while working full-time, it is a very practical solution. Also, because this is another degree where the content is computer-based, it is easy to find an accredited, notable school with a completely online program.