Computer Degrees: Benefits, Types, Certifications and Jobs
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As technology continues to develop and grow across different industries, more people might consider a degree in the field. Computer degrees have many different specializations that require unique skills for people interested in technology. Learning about these different degrees can help you decide if one might be right for you. In this article, we discuss the benefits and types of computer degrees, along with certificates you might get or jobs you might pursue after earning a degree.
What is a computer degree?
A computer degree is one you can earn from a college to help you begin a career in technology. Computer degrees explore several areas in this field including coding, software development, IT infrastructure, network and data. Many universities offer associate, bachelor's and master's degrees in several computer fields. Schools might offer degrees in science and arts, where a science degree in computers focuses on the technical aspects of computers and other technology and an arts degree in this field may learn more principals, theories and management.
Benefits of a computer degree
There are several key benefits to earning a computer degree:
You can work in different industries: Companies in many industries require computers and technology to operate, especially global companies. You might pursue careers in industries that interest you or ones where technology roles are in high demand.
You can develop innovation skills: As technology develops, you're likely to learn about the history and future of computers while earning your degree. This can help you become more creative as you prepare for a career where you'll evaluate different technology problems and implement solutions.
You can have many job opportunities: The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects jobs in computer and information technology to grow by 13% through 2030. This is higher than the national average.
Types of computer degrees
There are several types of computer degrees you might earn:
Artificial intelligence (AI) degrees can teach you about how you can program computers and other devices to perform specific functions. Some schools may offer this as its own degree or it might be a specialization within a computer science course. You can expect to take courses on computation, machine learning, data structures, ethics and human interactions.
Cybersecurity is the area in computers where you learn how you can protect data and knowledge while preventing security risks in technology. You might learn how to assess threats, analyze and troubleshoot issues or learn information protection methods. With a degree in cybersecurity, you might take courses in computer science, network administration, risk analysis, cyber warfare and operating systems.
Data science can combine different areas like engineering, data analytics, networking and computer science. While earning this degree, you learn how to analyze and organize data and analyze trends to predict future data. You might take courses in big data, business intelligence, machine learning and advanced mathematics.
Software development degrees help students who hope to program or design different applications or programs. You might focus on specific areas of programming like website development or quality testing while earning this degree. Classes might include user interface and experience (UI/UX), web design, mobile application development or development operations.
Related: What Is Software Development?
Computer networking is an area in information technology that discusses the principles, theories and practices around how computers connect. You can learn about the different hardware and software that computers and operating systems use to share data and how people communicate with each other. Courses might include router maintenance, network security, programming and network infrastructure.
Information science is a general degree that learns about computers, data, networks and other systems. With this degree, you learn how to identify questions regarding information and technology, understand the data that can provide solutions and present answers and solutions to business stakeholders. You can expect to take courses in data management, information and society, programming and data mining.
Related: 18 Careers in Information Science
Computer degree certifications
There are several certifications you might earn to supplement your computer degree:
Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)**:** Cisco offers a CCNA certificate that can help you build knowledge about network administration and management. This course covers subjects like network connectivity, IP services and automation.
Network+**:**CompTIA offers a Network+ certification that can provide you with a broad overview of network administration. In this course, you learn about network fundamentals, troubleshooting, security and operations.
CompTIA A+ Technician**:**CompTIA also offers an A+ certification that can prepare you to troubleshoot many issues in an information technology (IT) career. With this certification, you can master hardware, cloud computing, security and software troubleshooting.
Certified Information System Security Professional (CISSP)**:** ISC2 offers a CISSP certification that can help you if you want to pursue a career in cybersecurity. With this certification, you learn how to design, implement and oversee security systems and controls.
Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE)**:** Microsoft offers an MCSE certification that teaches you about managing data, information and networks. This certification covers how to create and manage data centers and servers on Windows operating systems.
Linux Essentials Professional Development Certification (PDC)**:** The Linux Professional Institute offers a certification where you can learn how to manage data, software and hardware for Linux operating systems. With this certification, you learn skills about development, coding, cloud operations and networking.
Computer degree jobs
With a computer degree, you might consider one of the following jobs:
National average salary: $57,324 per year
Primary duties: Computer programmers are technology professionals who write code for computer and mobile applications. You might program new applications, update existing ones or decommission old ones across operating systems. While doing this, you might identify and fix any code issues or risks on your company's systems.
Read more: Learn About Being a Computer Programmer
National average salary: $66,428 per year
Primary duties: Network administrators are professionals who oversee the connectivity and operations between a company's devices and servers. They often configure hardware and software between devices and to outside power and internet sources so that each device functions as needed. You might update or repair any network connections, design new network models or troubleshoot issues.
Read more: Learn About Being a Network Administrator
National average salary: $70,083 per year
Primary duties: Systems analysts review a company's existing technology and recommend software or hardware solutions that can improve performance. They help businesses define their system requirements or issues and provide support for getting or fixing their issues. You might monitor progress after implementing system changes for a company.
Read more: Learn About Being a Systems Analyst
National Average Salary: $76,997 per year
Primary Duties: IT technicians are technology professionals who often work with companies to support their computer systems and networks. They might install or update new software onto computers, troubleshoot connectivity and performance issues and provide maintenance advice to device users. You might also create and maintain a log of all the issues you encounter and resolve.
Read more: Learn About Being an IT Technician
National average salary: $87,877 per year
Primary duties: Database administrators help companies organize, store and retrieve their data. They might work with companies to learn about their data and requirements before suggesting solutions to improve their data processes and systems. As a database administrator, you might also troubleshoot issues, perform routine maintenance and design new databases for companies.
Read more: Learn About Being a Database Administrator
National average salary: $112,623 per year
Primary duties: Software engineers design and code computer programs. These professionals often work with companies or individuals to define application requirements before coding and testing. They might research existing programs to use as models as they write the software specifications, perform QA and implement any changes from feedback or bug reports.
Read more: Learn About Being a Software Engineer
Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.
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