There are a lot of different jobs you can get with a degree in information technology or another computer-related field. You could do anything from develop code to help individuals solve their home computer woes. Where you end up working will depend on your interests and your specific major in school.
Computer Support Specialists
Computer support specialists typically make about $46,260 a year, although you might make as little as $28,300 when you start out, and one day your salary could reach $76,970 or higher. Although you might be able to secure a position with an associate’s degree or even just a few postsecondary classes, you will probably receive on-the-job training after you are hired by an organization. The field is expected to grow by about 18% from 2010 to 2020, which is about on par with how fast the average career is growing. Your job basically includes helping customers, including both individuals and organizations, understand how to use computer software and equipment. You might even be hired to support other IT employees at your own company. Your job includes testing computer systems, evaluating them for efficacy, and performing maintenance to make sure everything is functioning properly. You will also troubleshoot networks and computer systems when necessary to get them back in working order when they are down.
A lot of computer programmers have bachelor’s degrees, but this doesn’t mean you won’t get hired with an associate’s degree – especially if you have experience in the field and can demonstrate proficiency and knowledge. The field is only growing by about 14% (over the period from 2010 to 2020), which is just slightly slower than the average for all occupations (not just those in the information technology industry). If you become a computer programmer you will average an annual income of about $71,380, but you might make as little as $40,820 or as much as $114,180, depending on a variety of factors. Essentially, your job will be to create computer software programs. Software developers create the design, and then you turn the designs into directions that a computer can read, which includes ridding the system of bugs. You will have to understand several computer languages and know how to use code libraries in order to be successful in this career path.
Network and Computer Systems Administrators
A lot of network and computer systems administrators have a bachelor’s degree, but not everybody. Sometimes you can get a job in this field with an associate’s degree and some relevant work experience. On average, people in this profession make about $69,160 a year, although salaries range from about $42,400 up to $108,090. Job growth in this area is strong, with the field growing by about 28% from 2010 to 2020. In essence, if you work in this position you will be tasked with managing the daily operations of a company’s computer network. This includes determining what the company needs out of a system and then organizing and installing the right features. You will also have to maintain all security and make sure the system is operating as it should. You might also be responsible for collecting data and then determining how to make improvements to the system, as well as solving any problems that may arise. Lastly, you will have to train other employees how to use different hardware and software as necessary.