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What is Computer Information Technology?
Delaware is a small state that punches above its weight class. The little-heard-from state is often overlooked in favor of its neighbors Washington, D.C. and Baltimore. However, Delaware has long been a powerhouse in the finance industry. Many large corporations choose to incorporate there to take advantage of its favorable tax policy. In fact, most credit card holders probably have a card based in Delaware. The state's finance and insurance industry brings in $22 billion to the state and ranks #22 nationwide.
The top five industries in Delaware aren't as highly ranked on the national scene, but they nevertheless bolster the state's economy. The second largest industry, real estate, rakes in less than half of the #1 industry, with a still respectable $11 billion in revenues. The third-place position is taken by professional and business services, which is #38 nationally with $9 billion in revenue. Social services such as education and healthcare, takes the #4 spot with revenues of $6 billion and the 44th spot nationally. Finally, manufacturing comes in 5th for Delaware and brings in almost $5 billion a year, ranking it 43rd in the United States.
While each of these industries is unique, they all share common needs. In particular, every contemporary industry needs information technology experts to build, maintain, and upgrade vital networks, databases, and software packages. Even the ongoing commercial fishing industry needs IT experts to help it maintain GPS and other systems, including payroll and inventories. Naturally, Delaware's top industry, finance, is heavily dependent on information technology. No banker can do without an internet connection or a Bloomberg terminal.
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Online Information Technology Education in Delaware
Since IT is so vital to Delaware's economy, the state strives to keep its economy packed with qualified professionals who help maintain many vital systems. To achieve this, the state government funds its colleges and universities so that they continually provide the most cutting-edge IT degree programs possible. Computer information technology degree departments maintain their faculties by striving to recruit the best minds to their campuses. They might even look for academic professionals who can work from a remote location and teach online degree scholars. Naturally, IT faculties also look to recruit from their local area. IT professionals with a master’s degree can teach at the undergraduate level and they make an excellent addition to any faculty body.
Local IT professionals may have special insights that students need. That is, they have experience as IT workers who work with budgets and the non-technical staff, such as upper management. These experiences can be conveyed to students who then can be inspired and more fully educated as to the reality of their future career.
A computer information technology professional is a tech worker who is vital to any firm's day-to-day functioning. They build and maintain vital technology such as the networks, databases, and hardware that every firm relies upon. IT professionals tend to specialize in specific parts of the IT universe and then become systems administrators, database managers, and network engineers.
While they may not be computer programmers per se, many IT professionals do know one or more programming languages. Database managers, in particular, may need to work with SQL or another database focused language. Usually, they won't need to write new code, but they may need to tweak aspects of the program or add bits of code that increase the database's functionality.
On a daily basis, IT professionals work in an office. Most of their time is spent working on computer terminals, but they may also generate and then deliver reports to their supervisors or others in the management team. In this post COVID environment, however, many IT workers may have successfully migrated their jobs to remote locations. Some even work in other countries if the time difference is compatible with their daily duties.
Online Associate Degree in Computer Information Technology (AS)Information technology is one field that is filled with loads of self-taught professionals. Thus, those with an associate computer information technology degree from a Delaware community college or a local university should be able to land an entry-level position and get started right away. In fact, even those who are well-versed in IT should consider at least an associate IT degree. This is because an associate degree will show any future employer that the applicant has passed certain courses fundamental to their career. Those who add industry certifications that bolster their IT associate degrees will be even better candidates. Further, an associate degree from a Delaware community college will help students build on their writing and critical thinking skills. This is because Delaware community colleges require that associate degree programs include the core college curriculum. Though many IT degree students may not see their English composition or college humanities courses as important, they will pay off later when they need to write emails and deliver presentations to their supervisors.
Online Bachelors Degree in Computer Information Technology (BS)
For most employers, a bachelor’s computer information technology degree is fundamental to success. A full undergraduate degree is more valued than a two-year associate IT degree because students are able to dig deeper into their subject. In the final two years of a four-year degree program, students take in-depth courses. For instance, a database student might take courses where they are asked to design and build an entire database from scratch. Network students may need to do the same, while including cyber security measures to earn an A.
Bachelor’s IT degree students also have the opportunity to create a more unique educational background. Students can augment their IT studies with courses in related fields such as mathematics, computer science, and cyber security. They might also decide to take courses in business, such as management or finance, which may come in handy later. After all, if they have an academic background in the industry they target for employment, recruiters may find them more appealing.
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Online Masters Degree in Computer Information Technology (MS)
A master’s computer information technology degree is becoming more and more vital to success. In fact, most bachelor’s level students should start thinking about where they'd like to study for their master’s degree. This is because a master’s IT degree helps students take their knowledge and skill to an even higher level than they thought possible. IT master’s degree students will also be able to spend the majority of their time focused on their specialty area such as database technology, networking, or programming.
Some even decide to broaden their horizons with an MBA. These degrees require one full year of general business instruction at the master’s degree level. The second year is then spent focusing on the concentration area that will determine the students' career path. Many, if not most, MBA degree programs offer computer information technology as a concentration. However, some decide to pursue a dual MBA, whereby they earn a MS in computer information technology along with an MBA that may concentrate in some other field such as finance, management, or data science.
Online PhD Degree in Computer Information Technology (PhD)
A doctorate degree is the pinnacle of academic achievement. While the business community doesn't focus on these degrees, the IT world has higher esteem for those who've achieved a PhD. For a PhD, many IT workers choose subject areas that are highly technical. One popular PhD subject for IT professionals is cryptography. Learning to protect information with highly complex walls of data is a vital skill that employers will pay top dollar for. In fact, many PhDs who've studied cryptography find research positions with firms where they can continue their PhD research but for a handsome salary.
Other PhD subjects that lead to a career in IT can include mathematics and computer science. There are even PhDs in philosophy who specialize in cognitive science and then go to work developing artificial intelligence. Others may even branch into quantum computing, the next wave in technological advancement.
How to Become an Information Technologist in Delaware
Information technology is ubiquitous. These days, everyone is holding what used to be considered a supercomputer in the palm of their hand. Televisions are now wafer thin and use the internet to send and receive data streams worldwide. Today's high school students can't even conceive of a world where phones are wired and there's no instantaneous global connection. With all this tech at our fingertips, it may seem like everyone should know how to become a computer information technology professional in Delaware.
In fact, it's not terribly difficult, but some pointers are always helpful. One of the first places to begin on the road to an IT career is one's personal desire. Future IT wizards who use this technology often find themselves studying spec sheets for new devices and wondering just exactly how all this stuff works. Those who have such a burning desire for knowledge should start investigating by exploiting online resources. There are innumerable outlets for learning computer code and other vital IT skills.
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Even high school students can sign up for free or very affordable IT courses that teach courses including, but not limited to, web development, video game creation, or computer programming. They might even be able to earn a certificate to prove their acumen in particular skill sets. Meanwhile, students should also seek formal education in information technology.
Many high schools offer computer courses that can help them gain an introductory knowledge of the field. Some areas of Delaware may also have charter high schools that specialize in STEM subjects, including computers. Later on in high school, students should start to look for the best Delaware information technology degree program for them.
Students should look both at associate IT degree programs as well as bachelor’s IT degree departments. High school students who've already earned a certificate in an IT subject might be eager to get to work, so an associate IT degree is perhaps a good choice. Others who want to take their knowledge as far as possible should find a fully accredited bachelor’s IT degree program. However, it's always possible to start one's path to a bachelor’s degree with a low-cost two-year IT degree from a Delaware community college.
Potential Careers for Computer Information Technology Graduates
- Computer Science Teachers, Postsecondary:
To teach at the postsecondary level in Delaware, a master’s degree is an absolute requirement. Many IT departments may even prefer a master’s plus five or more years of practical experience. It's worth noting that master’s level instructors won't likely be able to progress past the adjunct, part-time level. To earn a full professorship and tenure, IT experts need to earn a PhD.
- Graphic Designers:
This field is a delicate marriage of fine art and information technology. Graphic designers need a firm mastery of digital tools such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and perhaps Blender. They also need to have a strong aesthetic sense that may be best cultivated in fine art courses.
- Information Security Analysts:
Also known as cyber security analysts or InfoSec analysts, these tech workers specialize in keeping computer information safe. Analysts in particular are focused on perpetually monitoring their firm's computer systems to ensure that there are no breaches. Depending on the firm, hackers may be trying to steal its data on a daily basis. InfoSec analysts keep the security software and protocols at the bleeding edge of technology.
- Data Entry Keyers:
This is an entry-level position that requires that workers can provide very high speed data entry on both a keyboard and a 10-key pad. This work can be rather grueling, but it is vital to every firm because, well, someone has to enter the data into the system in order for the technical wizards to manipulate it. Data entry work may be a great position for IT students to take while still in school or as temporary positions over summer breaks.
- Special Effects Artists and Animators:
Film and television has come a long way from the old days of special effects. Nowadays, aged actors are able to appear decades younger and artists are able to create the most horrific monsters from outer space. To achieve these terrific feats, professionals need not only a vision but a high level of technological acumen. In fact, some films have developed their own special effects to stand out in the cinematic universe.
- Web Developers:
These high tech workers tend to focus either on the front end design of websites or the back end functionality. Most often, a so called website developer is concerned with the back end functionality of a website. They write code and implement technologies that their client or firm needs to achieve certain business goals. They might create E-commerce portals, for instance, or ensure that users can easily search a database.
- Computer and Information Systems Managers:
After a few years of experience in IT, workers often reach the management level. While some are granted promotions without additional coursework, others return to school for courses or degrees in management. In fact, those who desire a position in the C-suites are advised to earn an MBA with a concentration in IT or a dual MBA with IT and a leadership or management MBA concentration.