Information technology (IT) is computer science that focuses on information control. There are various education programs that someone could complete in IT, which means there are also many requirements that must be filled. Many of the higher-level IT education programs require the completion of lower-level educational programs.

Certification and Associate’s Degree in IT

The lowest level of educational training for information technology is getting either a certification in IT or an associate’s degree in IT. Both of these programs can be entered into directly after high school. Many people may choose these vocational programs because they can be completed in two years, and they teach students the fundamentals of IT. A successful student in these two programs will have strong computer and science skills; some of typical classes that a student in these programs may take focus on teaching students about user interfaces, computer programming and computer design. Students most likely will not earn a high salary once leaving an IT vocational program, but they will have a qualification in information technology, something that employees look favorably upon.

Four-year Degree

Students can also earn a bachelor’s degree in information technology. Like the certification and associate’s degree program in IT, the bachelor’s degree program can also be entered into directly after high school. Some bachelor’s IT programs require a GED or high school diploma before admittance. While vocational programs focus on the basics, the bachelor’s program focuses on producing well-rounded students. Many courses require that students take general education courses that are unrelated to their field of concentration. Because of this, some IT students choose to take the IT vocational program and then transfer to a four-year college in an attempt to minimize the cost of study. In order to graduate from a bachelor’s IT program, students can expect to take courses in precalculus mathematics, college writing, introduction to Java programming, introduction to Linux, introduction to data structure and information security.

Master’s Degree

Most master’s degree IT programs require a bachelor’s degree and some evidence that math and science perquisites have been met before a student may enter into the program. The master’s IT program is a specialization degree for professionals. Professors in graduate school will expect you to already have a full understanding of what information technology is and what its role within society encompasses. The master’s program takes two years to complete and students must complete courses such as programming language, advanced algorithms, software entrepreneurship, information theory, principles of software engineering, database management and computer architecture.

Doctorate

Those that graduate from the doctorate IT program will be seen as experts in information technology. Admittance into this program is extremely competitive, but having a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree and experience in the field will usually help. The doctorate IT program focuses very heavily on research. Students will usually work at the university as either a teacher’s assistant or a research assistant, and many who graduate continue to work at the university. In order to graduate, doctorate IT students must complete a dissertation showing that they have gained a substantial amount of understanding in some aspect of information technology.