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What can you do with an information technology degree?

Field of Study: Information Tech

This article has been vetted by University of Phoenix's editorial advisory committee. 
Read more about our editorial process.

Kathryn Uhles, MIS, MSP, Dean, College of Business and IT

Reviewed by Kathryn Uhles, MIS, MSP,  Dean, College of Business and IT

This article was updated on 03/15/2024.
 

If you enjoy working with computers and have a knack for problem-solving, an information technology degree may be right for you. An IT degree can prepare you for a range of positions in the information technology and information security fields, some of which may not even exist yet.

Here, we’ll answer the question “What can you do with an information technology degree?” We’ll also explore what an information technology degree encompasses and what kinds of jobs those IT skills can lead to. After all, IT professionals leverage technology to solve problems and improve productivity or optimization, but that’s just the beginning.

Prepare for an IT career — and have the freedom to learn when you want online, 24/7/365.

Why pursue a career in information technology? 

Working in information technology may not bring you fame and glamour, but you will encounter a multitude of opportunities to learn and grow. IT professionals leverage technology to solve problems, improve productivity and manage the digital infrastructures of organizations across virtually all fields.

Even within information technology, a breadth of specializations exists. Prospective IT professionals, for example, can pursue cybersecurity, cloud computing and software engineering (to name just a few) in their quest to help businesses thrive or protect valuable information.

Technology also drives discoveries in science, medicine and even within technology itself. It’s at the forefront of innovation and research in many fields from academia to the pharmaceutical industry.

It’s important to note that careers in information technology aren’t limited to the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. IT roles exist in almost every industry.

Functionalities such as automation, data analytics, customer relationship management, e-commerce and digital transactions are increasingly essential for businesses, nonprofits and governments to meet the needs of customers and the public. From applications that support greater efficiency to smart equipment that requires advanced computer hardware and software, almost every industry employs IT professionals.

If you’re interested in entering this field, chances are you’re going to need a degree. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the majority of information technology jobs typically require an IT degree. Coursework in IT degree programs focuses on providing a generalized foundation of IT knowledge that can be applied across the many disciplines that make up the broad and ever-evolving field of information technology.

Some of the key outcomes of a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology program are:

  • Applying key principles of systems analysis and design to selected business processes to implement effective information systems
  • Designing selected network and cloud infrastructures to improve organizational network operation
  • Designing and developing key database models for storage, retrieval and use of data
  • Implementing cybersecurity solutions
  • Demonstrating an ability to evaluate, design and implement application programs to meet business processes

Knowing what you can do with an IT degree can help you decide if it’s right for your career interests. To determine what other courses are offered in the program you’re interested in, explore the program website or request more information from University of Phoenix. 

Information technology careers 

The IT job market is vast and varied, spanning a range of jobs and industries. According to BLS, an estimated 377,500 openings in computer and information technology employment are projected each year from 2022 to 2032, much faster than the average for all jobs over that same time span.

Certain industries, such as healthcare, are known for relying heavily on technology. As noted, however, virtually every industry needs IT specialists, from cutting-edge technology firms to media companies.

Examples of careers in information technology for job seekers with a bachelor’s degree include information systems manager, information technology director, information systems supervisor and more.

“An IT degree enables a graduate to confidently pursue a number of professional avenues,” says Kathryn Uhles, the dean of the College of Business and Information Technology at University of Phoenix. “It is the credential that goes beyond checking the box of ‘earning a degree’ to offer real, value-added skills to a person’s knowledge base and experience.”

At University of Phoenix, the Bachelor of Science in Information Technology prepares students to pursue various types of IT jobs, including information technology director, information systems supervisor and information technology manager. These roles involve coordinating and overseeing information systems, systems analysis, computer programming and electronic data processing. These IT professionals also help oversee and manage the technology and IT employees in an organization.

Students at University of Phoenix can pair their IT degree with a certificate in a specialized area to pursue a wider range of IT career fields. Some of these jobs are software developer, information security analyst or network technician. 

Here is a sampling of the information technology career fields that graduates can pursue after earning their degree and a certificate:

  • Software development
  • Computer programming
  • Cloud computing
  • Data analytics
  • Cybersecurity
  • Information systems management
  • Computer networking

You can browse the full list of certificate specialization areas on the UOPX program page

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How do I start a career in information technology? 

Your career in IT might begin in a number of ways, but having a passion for tech, obtaining an IT degree and knowing what you want are a good place to start.

Whether you’re looking for an entry-level role or aiming for a more senior job title, each will require a different level of training and experience. Education requirements may vary depending on what the employer is looking for.

Your interests and passions should dictate the path you take. That said, these are some of the most common first steps people take in their information technology careers:

1.     Earn a degree in IT. Many IT roles require a bachelor’s degree. In addition to basic undergraduate studies in the field, you may want to explore certain areas of IT in more depth. At University of Phoenix, students in the Bachelor of Science in Information Technology program have the opportunity to specialize their education with a certificate in areas ranging from programming languages to information assurance.

2.     Research the roles available. Match your interests to relevant jobs by learning about what positions are out there. You can do this through online research and networking with people who work in roles that interest you. This helps you identify the jobs you’d enjoy most and where your interests align with industry needs.

3.     Find a mentor. Whether you formally request mentorship from someone working in your ideal job or simply join a professional organization to learn more about the ins and outs of the field, mentorship lets you absorb vital information over time. Observing IT professionals at work and asking questions can help you decide whether the field is right for you.

4.     Apply for jobs. An IT degree can give you skills and knowledge you can bring to the job market. In addition, developing a network of contacts through your mentor, education, professional associations and events can help you build relationships that possibly can lead to job opportunities. 

How much does an IT degree cost?

The cost of an IT degree can vary depending on a number of factors, including in-state vs. out-of-state tuition, online or on-campus courses, the cost of credits, fees and more.

University of Phoenix helps make paying for school simple by offering a fixed, affordable tuition that stays the same from enrollment to graduation.

You may also be able to transfer credits from previous undergraduate work or professional experience, reducing the total cost of tuition. For example, University of Phoenix requires 120 credits for completion of the Bachelor of Science in Information Technology, but students can transfer credits, identify alternative credits or potentially gain credits for work or life experience, all of which can help them save both time and money on that degree.

In this program, you can also transfer up to three years (87 credits) of general course requirements from a participating community college hassle-free and then complete your Bachelor of Science in Information Technology in a little over one year at University of Phoenix.

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In addition, if you already work in IT, your employer may have a tuition reimbursement or  scholarship program to help cover the costs of a degree.

Many students use financial aid to help them pay for their degree. University of Phoenix offers assistance applying for federal financial aid programs. We can also help you explore other financial aid options.

To learn more about the UOPX Tuition Guarantee, the cost of a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology and how it compares to degrees at other universities, visit our program page

Pursuing a career in information technology

IT careers can be highly rewarding, offering job satisfaction and a good income. Since technology is constantly evolving, there will always be new challenges to tackle and new things to learn. Chances are, you’ll never be bored. And given technology’s rapid pace of change and the projected growth in IT jobs, the field’s future appears promising.

The University of Phoenix online Bachelor of Science in Information Technology is a flexible program focusing on skills such as business process, cybersecurity and information systems.

For those currently in or looking to enter the IT field, many UOPX IT programs prepare students to sit for industry certification exams with EC-Council and CompTIA. The University offers courses aligned to these exams and provides students with complimentary prep-exam materials to prepare for the exams.

Learn more about the Bachelor of Science in Information Technology and related degree programs!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Elizabeth Exline has been telling stories ever since she won a writing contest in third grade. She's covered design and architecture, travel, parenting, lifestyle content and a host of other topics for national, regional, local and brand publications. Additionally, she's worked in content development for Marriott International and manuscript development for a variety of authors. Today, if given a free hour and the choice, she'd still prefer to curl up with a good story.

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