In a day and age when people write and abbreviate with undue haste, you might have been stopped cold by a reference to an “it” course -- or was that an “IT” course? Chances are it was the latter. IT is an abbreviation for the dynamic field of information technology.

The Bigger Picture

IT courses form the road that computer enthusiasts must travel in their quest to design, coordinate, administer or manage computer-related activities for an organization. The field has experienced explosive growth since the advent of the Internet, and it shows no signs of slowing down. Formerly referred to as information systems programs, today's information technology programs generally take four years to complete. However, many companies require that their IT managers or directors hold a master's degree in the field as well.

The Close-Up View

If you're interested in pursuing a career in information technology, it behooves you to examine the course offerings at competing colleges and universities. Expect to see some commonalities as well as differences. For example, introductory courses in business, math and computer programming are fairly standard. But depending on the IT specialty you choose, you might take IT courses such as application development, database development, help desk tech support, IT project management, IT security, networking, software development or Web development.