7 IT Degree Specializations To Consider Pursuing

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published September 29, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Pursuing a career in information technology, or IT, can be a rewarding professional path to follow. Obtaining an IT degree can provide you with many job opportunities in a variety of fields, including technology, business, academia and more. If you're considering pursuing a degree in IT, you may be wondering what specialization to focus your major in. In this article, we review seven types of information technology specializations to consider pursuing and answer some frequently asked questions about IT degrees.

7 information technology specializations to consider pursuing

With an information technology degree, you can pursue a number of careers, but you may wonder what you're most interested in or what jobs may be best for you in the future. You may consider one of these seven IT specializations to focus your studies on:

Digital investigations

A professional in digital investigations, otherwise known as digital forensics, works in discovering, analyzing and interpreting data online. Those in this field get tasked with taking this information and preserving it for the purpose of using it for future reference to validate information about past events. This information gets used as evidence in criminal court cases.

Digital investigations professionals work with a variety of technology and software to complete their job. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, job opportunities in digital forensics are expected to grow 16% from the years 2020 to 2030, which it says is much faster than average, so you may have many job opportunities available if you pursue this specialization.

Related: 5 Great Jobs in Digital Forensics

Information systems management

The field of information systems management involves all aspects of a company's computer usage. Professionals in this role are responsible for analyzing a company's need for technology, maintaining cybersecurity and network security and creating and adhering to budgets for technology. The field of information systems management has many opportunities for advancement, including positions such as chief information officers (CIOs), IT directors, chief technology officers (CTOs) or chief data officers (CDOs). According to the BLS, for those in the computer and information systems management field, job opportunities are expected to grow 11% from the years 2020 to 2030, which it says is faster than average.

Related: What Is a Management Information System?

Cybersecurity

Professionals who work in cybersecurity specialize in creating digital security programs and processes for companies and individuals and overseeing cyber security measures. Those in this profession oversee digital security processes and manage them as needed. Cyber security professionals can work in many industries to implement and maintain security systems. At this time, the BLS doesn't have specific information on the cybersecurity field job outlook, but for the related field of information security, job opportunities are expected to grow 33% from the years 2020 to 2030, which it says is much faster than average, meaning that your chances of employment could skyrocket.

Related: Working in Cybersecurity: Definition, Careers and Skills

Data analytics

This field involves collecting and storing data for many reasons. Professionals working in this field use their expertise to collect the most valuable data possible and ensure it's accurate and may get used for decision-making processes. Data analytics also involves interpreting data and presenting it in a way that is easy to understand and usable for future projects and reference. No data for the job outlook for the data analytics field is available, but according to the BLS, job opportunities for the related field of computer systems analysis are expected to grow 7% from the years 2020 to 2030, which it says is about as fast as average.

Related: What Is Data Analytics?

Network administration

A career in network administration consists of managing and maintaining internet networks for companies and organizations. Professionals in this field ensure that intranet and internet network segment systems, local area networks (LAN) and wide area networks (WAN) function correctly. They also resolve any network issues, help colleagues with training and install any needed hardware for network use. According to the BLS, job opportunities for network and computer systems administrators are expected to grow 5% from the years 2020-2030, which it says is slower than average.

Related: Learn About Being a Network Administrator

Software development

Professionals in software development can have rewarding careers developing software for companies, organizations and individuals. In this role, software developers design, create and launch software focused on many topics and for many uses. Using various coding languages, they build software and applications collaboratively and individually. According to the BLS, job opportunities are expected to be plentiful as they should grow 22% from the years 2020 to 2030.

Related: What Is Software Development?

Application development

Application developers develop applications for mobile devices and desktops. In this field, professionals use coding and programming skills to design, build and implement apps. Application developers are usually creative and analytical individuals who maintain and update their apps as needed and demand for them grows. While the BLS doesn't provide specific job outlook information for the field of application development, job opportunities for the related field of web development and digital design are expected to grow 13%, which it says is about as fast as average.

Related: What Is an Application Developer?

FAQs about IT degrees

Here are some frequently asked questions about IT degrees and their answers:

Where do professionals with an IT degree work?

Professionals with an IT degree may work in a variety of industries. While their specific job duties usually remain the same no matter what industry they work in, they may have additional responsibilities depending on the specific job title they have. IT professionals commonly work in the following industries:

  • Technology

  • Quality testing

  • Business

  • Computer science

  • Academia

How long does it take to get an IT degree?

The amount of time it takes to get an IT degree depends on a number of factors. If you're pursuing an associates degree in IT, it likely takes about two years, or four semester's worth of education, to obtain one. If you're pursuing a bachelor's degree in IT, it can take an upwards of four years, or eight semester's worth of education, to obtain one. You may also consider pursuing master's or doctoral degree, which can take anywhere from two to four years to obtain. Ultimately, the amount of time it takes to obtain a degree such as this one depends on your course load, your personal and professional schedule, your time management skills and your goals.

How do I pick which IT specialization to focus on?

Choosing the right IT specialization can be helpful in guiding your professional career goals. You may view job descriptions for certain IT roles to see what most piques your interest. You may also review what types of skills you're interested in learning and what industry you'd like to work in in the future and let those selections help guide you.

Who do people with IT degrees work with?

Professionals with degrees in IT may work with a number of different professionals. Depending on the industry those with IT degrees work in, they may work with fewer or more people. People with IT degrees usually work with the following:

  • Team members

  • Chief information officers

  • Managers or other superiors

  • Clients or customers

  • Chief technology officers

  • Chief data officers

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