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What is Information Technology (IT)?

Computer information technology (CIT) encompasses a wide range of disciplines and job roles including software development, network administration, database management, cyber security, and more. CIT professionals play a crucial role in organizations of all sizes, as they help manage and maintain computer systems and networks, develop software applications, protect sensitive data, and ensure the smooth functioning of digital infrastructure.

North Carolina is an ideal environment for the continued success and expansion of the CIT industry, thanks to a number of factors. North Carolina boasts numerous technology companies, research institutions and educational programs that serve as steppingstones into or advancement within this field. Furthermore, living costs in the state tend to be lower compared to other tech hubs, making this a desirable location for professionals seeking both career fulfillment and high quality of life.

According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment outlook for CIT professionals in North Carolina is promising. The state is ranked among the top in terms of overall employment levels in this field, with a high demand for skilled workers across various industries. As of May 2019, NC employed approximately 71,660 computer and mathematical occupations - such as CIT professionals - with an annual mean wage exceeding that of other states - this indicates that CIT professionals here not only enjoy abundant job opportunities but also competitive salaries.

The CIT industry in the state is diverse, with a range of employment sectors to choose from. Some of the prominent sectors include software development, telecommunications, healthcare IT, financial services, and information security. Each sector offers unique opportunities and challenges, allowing professionals to find their niche and specialize in areas of interest. Students interested in completing information technology programs will have plenty of options in the state, both from a public university or private colleges. These options include Wake Technical Community College, East Carolina University, Rowan Cabarrus Community College, North Carolina Central University, Miller Motte College - Wilmington, University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNC Charlotte) or UNC Greensboro, the University of North Carolina, and other information technology schools. Community colleges will allow you to attend school while living at home, while other North Carolina schools will provide you with the full college experience.


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Online Information Technology (IT) Education in North Carolina

A computer information technology professional, also known as a CIT professional or IT professional, is an individual who specializes in the field of computer information technology. They are responsible for managing, maintaining, and troubleshooting computer systems, networks, and software programs.

These professionals play a vital role in ensuring the smooth functioning of technology systems. They specialize in working with hardware, software, networks, databases, and other technological components to help businesses and organizations stay operational and communicate efficiently in the digital era.

One of the primary functions of CIT professionals is technical support. They serve as experts when it comes to solving computer-related issues - whether fixing hardware malfunctions, troubleshooting software issues, or fixing network connectivity problems. These specialists possess skills for diagnosing and solving these technical challenges that arise to keep systems operational.

These professionals are also responsible for system maintenance and security, such as regularly upgrading computer systems to the most up to date software versions and security patches to prevent potential vulnerabilities and protect sensitive data against unwarranted access or cyber-threats. CIT professionals also engage in system administration. They manage user accounts, permissions, and access levels so that individuals have access to all resources within a system. They may also monitor system performance regularly while conducting regular backups to protect data against possible system failure.

In conclusion, a computer information technology professional is an essential asset to any organization. They are responsible for managing and maintaining computer systems, troubleshooting technical issues, ensuring system security, and providing technical support. With their expertise, businesses can navigate the ever-evolving world of technology with confidence.

Online Associate Degree in Information Technology (AS)

top 25 best online associate in IT

An associate degree in computer information technology can open doors to a thriving and lucrative career. This program provides students with the foundational knowledge and practical skills needed to succeed in the ever-evolving field of technology. From learning programming languages like Java and C++ to understanding database management systems, this degree equips graduates with a comprehensive skill set that is highly sought after by employers.

One of the greatest benefits of pursuing an associate degree in computer information technology is the flexibility it offers. Many colleges offer online or hybrid programs, allowing students to fit their coursework around their busy schedules. This means that individuals can pursue this degree while working full-time or taking care of other responsibilities, making it accessible to a wide range of people. Additionally, an associate degree can serve as a steppingstone toward obtaining higher levels of education, such as a bachelor's or master's degree in computer science.

In conclusion, an associate degree in computer information technology sets individuals up for success in today’s tech-driven world. The skills gained through this program are not only essential for landing rewarding job opportunities but also for staying competitive and adaptable in an industry that constantly evolves. With flexible options and potential pathways for further education, pursuing this degree is a wise investment for anyone looking to thrive in the field of technology.

Online Bachelors Degree in Information Technology (BS)

top 25 best online bachelors in IT

A bachelor's degree in computer information technology is becoming increasingly crucial in today's digital world. With the rapid advancement of technology, organizations rely heavily on computer systems and networks to store and manage their data. This degree equips students with the skills necessary to design, develop, and maintain these systems effectively.

One of the key benefits of pursuing a bachelor's in this field is the wide range of career opportunities available. From network administrator to database manager, there are countless roles that require expertise in this field. Additionally, the demand for professionals with this degree is expected to continue growing as companies across all industries recognize the importance of technology in staying competitive.

Moreover, studying computer information technology allows students to gain practical experience through internships and projects. These experiences provide valuable hands-on learning opportunities and allow students to apply their knowledge in real-world scenarios. This not only enhances their technical skills but also allows them to build a strong professional network while still in school.

In conclusion, pursuing a bachelor's in computer science or information technology offers numerous advantages for those interested in a career in technology. The diverse career options, high demand for skilled professionals, and practical learning opportunities make it an excellent choice for aspiring individuals seeking success in the digital age.

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Online Masters Degree in Information Technology (MS)

top 25 best online masters in IT

A master's degree in computer science or computer information technology (CIT) is an excellent choice for individuals looking to advance their careers in the rapidly evolving tech industry. With the continuous development and integration of new technologies, businesses are increasingly reliant on professionals who have a deep understanding of CIT concepts and can effectively analyze, design, and implement information systems.

One significant advantage of pursuing a master's degree in CIT is the level of specialization it provides. These programs offer various areas of concentration such as data analytics, cyber security, software engineering, and enterprise architecture. This allows students to tailor their education to their specific career goals and interests. Additionally, earning a master's degree can open doors to higher-paying job opportunities with greater responsibilities.

Moreover, the curriculum of a master's program in CIT often includes hands-on projects and internships that provide students with real-world experience. This practical exposure not only helps develop technical skills but also enhances problem-solving abilities and critical thinking. By working on industry-relevant projects alongside professionals in the field during their studies, students are better prepared for the challenges they may face upon entering the workforce.

Online PhD Degree in Computer Information Technology (PhD)

Pursuing a PhD in computer science or information technology opens a world of exciting opportunities for those passionate about advancing technology and making groundbreaking contributions to the field. This comprehensive program delves deep into complex subjects such as artificial intelligence, cyber security, data science, and software engineering. However, beyond becoming an expert in these areas, a PhD also equips graduates with invaluable research skills that allow them to investigate new theories and push the boundaries of knowledge.

One of the most intriguing aspects of pursuing a PhD in this field is the opportunity to specialize in niche areas. As technology continues to evolve at an unprecedented pace, there are emerging subfields that hold immense potential for innovation. For example, researchers can focus on developing more secure systems for protecting privacy and combating cyber-threats or they can explore how quantum computing can revolutionize data processing capabilities. By engaging with these cutting-edge topics, doctoral students have the chance to make significant breakthroughs that shape our digital future.

Moreover, obtaining a PhD goes beyond simply acquiring knowledge; it’s about contributing to the academic community through impactful research. As part of their studies, students undertake original research projects under the guidance of experienced faculty members. This not only allows them to develop critical analytical skills but also offers opportunities for collaboration with industry professionals or fellow researchers from around the world. The dynamic exchange of ideas fosters an environment where innovative solutions are born and where individuals can leave their mark on the computer information technology landscape.

Online Computer Information Technology Certifications

One of the most effective ways to enhance your career in computer information technology is by obtaining industry certifications. These certifications provide proof of your knowledge and expertise in specific areas of IT, which can greatly improve your job prospects and earning potential. With the rapidly evolving technology landscape, employers are placing increasing importance on individuals who possess relevant certifications.

There are numerous certifications available in the field of computer information technology, each with its own specialization and requirements. For instance, the CompTIA A+ certification is ideal for aspiring technicians who want to establish a solid foundation in hardware and software troubleshooting. On the other hand, CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional) is designed for professionals looking to specialize in cyber security. By attaining these certifications, you not only gain credibility but also demonstrate dedication to continual learning and professional growth.

In addition to career advancement opportunities and increased earning potential, computer information technology certifications offer several other benefits, as well. They allow professionals to stay up to date with the latest trends and developments within their chosen field. Furthermore, getting certified can lead to networking opportunities within like-minded IT professionals who have similar aspirations or goals. Some organizations also offer discounts on products or services specifically tailored for certified professionals. Ultimately, investing time into acquiring these credentials will undoubtedly pay off in terms of personal growth and career success within the fast-paced world of computer information technology.

Become a Computer Information Technologist in North Carolina

North Carolina, with its thriving tech industry and numerous job opportunities, is an ideal place to pursue this profession. Here are the steps to become a computer information technology professional.

  • Step 1: Obtain a High School Diploma or GED

    Prior to embarking on your path toward becoming a computer IT professional, it's vital that you hold either a high school diploma or GED equivalent. A strong background in mathematics, science, and computer courses will lay a strong foundation for further studies and your future career.

  • Step 2: Pursue a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science or Related Field

    To excel in the highly competitive field of computer science or information technology, earning a bachelor's degree is strongly advised. You should select an accredited college or university in the state offering degree programs related to computer science or a related discipline for optimal success in this industry. Such an education will equip you with all of the knowledge and skills required for success in today's technological landscape.

  • Step 3: Gain Practical Experience Through Internships or Co-op Programs

    Companies provide excellent opportunities for internships or co-op programs that allow you to put classroom knowledge into real world context, gain hands-on experience, and establish valuable industry connections while earning your bachelor's degree. You should take full advantage of any opportunities you find.

  • Step 4: Obtain Industry Certification

    Certifications can greatly enhance your career opportunities in computer information technology. You may want to consider earning industry-recognized certifications like CompTIA A+, Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA), Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA), or Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP). These will demonstrate your expertise and dedication - making you more marketable to employers.

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What Can I Do with a Bachelor's in Computer Information Technology?

A bachelor's in computer information technology opens a world of possibilities for graduates. With this degree, you can pursue a variety of career paths that are crucial to our increasingly digital society. One popular option is becoming an information security analyst, where you'll use your knowledge to safeguard networks and systems from cyber threats. In this role, you'll be at the front lines of protecting sensitive information, ensuring that businesses and individuals can operate securely in the digital landscape.

Or you could become a software engineer and develop innovative applications or design user-friendly interfaces for websites and mobile apps. As technology continues to evolve at an unprecedented pace, skilled software engineers are in high demand across industries. Not only will you be working on exciting projects, but your contributions could have a significant impact on millions of users worldwide.

Another promising career path with this degree is that of a database administrator. As companies gather increasing amounts of data, they need experts who can organize and manage it effectively. As a database administrator, you'll ensure that data is stored securely and accessible when needed to support critical decision-making processes within organizations.

Pursuing a bachelor's in this field offers numerous career options in today's digital age.

Potential Careers for Computer Information Technology Graduates

  • Graphic Designers:

    A graphic designer will be responsible for creating visually appealing and innovative designs for various marketing materials, including digital and print assets. The ideal candidate will have a strong understanding of design principles and be proficient in graphic design software.

    Necessary Requirements:

    • Proven experience as a Graphic Designer or a similar role
    • Proficiency in graphic design software such as Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator, In Design)
    • Strong understanding of design principles, typography, color theory, and layout techniques
    • Ability to take creative direction and work collaboratively in a team environment
    • Excellent attention to detail and time management skills
    • Strong portfolio showcasing a range of design

    Estimated Salary

    • The median annual wage for graphic designers in the US in 2021 was $50,710
    • The mean annual wage for graphic designers in North Carolina is $57,380
  • Web and Digital Interface Designer:

    As a web designer, you will be responsible for creating visually appealing and user-friendly designs for websites, mobile applications, and other digital platforms. You may work closely with a development team to ensure that the designs are implemented accurately and efficiently.

    Necessary Requirements:

    • Bachelor's degree in graphic design, web design, or a related field
    • Proven experience in web and digital interface design, with a strong portfolio showcasing your previous work
    • Proficiency in design software such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Sketch, etc
    • Familiarity with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript is preferred
    • Excellent understanding of user-centered design principles and best practices

    Estimated Salary

    • The median annual wage for web and digital interface designers in the US in 2021 was $78,300
    • The mean annual wage for web and digital interface designers in North Carolina is $81,480
  • Software Quality Assurance Analysts and Testers:

    Software quality assurance analysts and testers are responsible for assuring the quality and reliability of software products through rigorous testing and analysis. Working closely with developers, these individuals will work to identify any defects or issues within software products to meet high performance, functionality, usability standards.

    Necessary Requirements:

    • Bachelor's degree in computer science or related field
    • Proven experience as a Software Quality Assurance Analyst or Tester
    • Strong knowledge of software testing methodologies, tools, and processes
    • Proficiency in manual testing techniques as well as automated testing tools (e.g., Selenium)
    • Familiarity with programming languages (e.g., Java, C++) and database management systems

    Estimated Salary

    • The median annual wage for software quality assurance analysts and testers in the US in 2021 was $109,020
    • The mean annual wage for software quality assurance analysts and testers in North Carolina is $97,060
  • Computer Network Architect:

    Computer network architects are responsible for designing and building data communication networks such as local area networks, wide area networks, intranets, and extranets. Working closely with other IT professionals, they ensure the network infrastructure meets organizational requirements in terms of performance, security, and scalability.

    Necessary Requirements:

    • Bachelor's degree in computer science, information technology, or a related field
    • Proven experience as a network architect or a similar role
    • In-depth knowledge of network protocols, hardware, and software
    • Proficiency in network design tools and technologies
    • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills
    • Excellent communication and teamwork abilities

    Estimated Salary

    • The median annual wage for computer network architects in the US in 2021 was $120,520
    • The mean annual wage for computer network architects in North Carolina is $122,570
  • Computer Programmers:

    Computer programmers are responsible for writing, testing, debugging, and maintaining computer programs. They collaborate closely with software developers and engineers in translating requirements into code. Furthermore, they possess expertise in various programming languages while using their technical know-how to produce efficient yet reliable solutions.

    Necessary Requirements:

    • Bachelor's degree in computer science or related field (or equivalent experience)
    • Proficiency in programming languages such as Java, C++, Python, or JavaScript
    • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills
    • Excellent attention to detail
    • Ability to work independently and as part of a team
    • Knowledge of software development processes and best practices
    • Familiarity with software testing methodologies

    Estimated Salary

    • The median annual wage for computer programmers in the US in 2021 was $93,000
    • The mean annual wage for computer programmers in North Carolina is $104,890
  • Chief Executives:

    A chief executive is accountable for setting and overseeing the overall strategic direction and management of an organization. Working closely with its board of directors, they create policies, plans, and goals which align with its mission and vision. Furthermore, they provide leadership across all departments - ensuring efficient operations, financial stability, and growth while representing it externally with stakeholders, partners, and government officials.

    Necessary Requirements:

    • Proven experience in a leadership role, preferably as a CEO or senior executive
    • Strong strategic thinking and decision-making skills
    • Excellent interpersonal and communication abilities
    • Demonstrated ability to build relationships with stakeholders at all levels

    Estimated Salary

    • The mean annual wage for chief executives in the US in 2021 was $246,440
    • The mean annual wage for chief executives in North Carolina is $322,120
  • Computer Systems Analyst:

    Computer systems analysts are responsible for evaluating computer systems and making recommendations to increase efficiency, functionality, and security. They assess organizations' technological needs before creating solutions to meet them. In order to be successful at their jobs, they require in-depth knowledge of computer hardware and software, as well as being adept at troubleshooting complex technical issues quickly and efficiently.

    Necessary Requirements:

    • Bachelor's degree in CS, Computer Engineering, or a related field
    • Proven experience as a Computer Systems Analyst or similar role
    • In-depth knowledge of computer systems, software, and networks
    • Strong analytical thinking and problem-solving skills
    • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
    • Ability to work independently and collaborate effectively in a team environment
    • Familiarity with project management methodologies

    Estimated Salary

    • The median annual wage for computer systems analysts in the US in 2021 was $99,270
    • The mean annual wage for computer systems analysts in North Carolina is $99,830
  • Computer Science Teachers, Postsecondary:

    Computer science teachers at the postsecondary level are responsible for teaching computer science classes to college and university students. They conduct lectures, create lesson plans, design assignments and assessments, offer guidance and mentorship to their students, and may specialize in certain areas such as programming languages, algorithms, artificial intelligence, data structures, or cyber security.

    Necessary Requirements:

    • A master's or doctoral degree in computer science or a related field
    • Strong knowledge and expertise in computer science concepts and principles
    • Previous teaching experience at the postsecondary level is preferred
    • Excellent communication and presentation skills
    • Ability to explain complex technical concepts in a clear and understandable manner

    Estimated Salary

    • The mean annual wage for computer science teachers, postsecondary in the US in 2021 was $98,610
    • The mean annual wage for computer science teachers, postsecondary in North Carolina is $80,630

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