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Why study information technology?

Studying information technology gives you the chance to pursue a multidisciplinary degree which opens up numerous career opportunities. We take a closer look.

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Are you a natural problem solver? Do you get a kick out of finding elegant solutions for tricky technology issues? If you answered yes to either one of these questions then studying information technology would make a great degree choice. This article will give you an idea of whether you should study information technology, what you’ll study in the degree, and what information technology jobs there are. 


Let’s get going. 


What is information technology?


Information technology (IT) involves the use of computer systems and networks and software to improve and optimise business operations. IT is deployed as the tool of choice to solve tricky business issues involving data and communication. 


Working in IT means you’ll be designing, deploying, maintaining and using technology-based systems and networks to handle the requirements of organisations, companies and businesses. The systems will deal with the collection, storage and processing of data. However, there are other aspects of IT that you could work on including governance of processes and procedures; security and operations; and hardware and infrastructure.


If you have an interest in computer systems and coding you may find our guide to computer science interesting. 


What is the difference between information technology and computer science?


There is an important distinction between information technology and computer science. It has been known to be a point of both debate and confusion, however. This mainly stems from the idea that both make use of computer technology and therefore could be the same. 


Let’s take a closer look. Computer science focuses on the use of mathematics, specifically algorithms, to develop software and systems to operate efficiently while solving a particular problem. Computer science also deals with theories of computation and applications. 


Information technology on the other hand makes use of existing software, hardware programmes and solutions to best solve business problems. As an IT professional there is a need to understand the way technology works to help clients, but not necessarily how it is designed or programmed. 


Discover universities in the UK where you can study IT:



What does a degree in information technology cover?


If you choose to study for a degree in information technology you will cover quite a bit of ground during your studies. The majority of undergraduate degrees in the subject are offered as BSc qualifications and the curriculum for an IT degree will usually cover the following:


  • Systems architecture
  • Operating systems 
  • Organisational information 
  • Data management 
  • Project management 
  • Web applications 
  • Cybersecurity
  • Business analytics 
  • User experience
  • Enterprise networking 
  • Web development 
  • Mobile technology
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Programming


You also have the option of pursuing a degree in information technology at a master’s degree level. An MSc in IT will give you more in-depth knowledge of specialist areas that may include:


  • Database theory
  • Systems engineering 
  • Advanced programming
  • Data science
  • Software engineering
  • Advanced cybersecurity 


For most degrees at the postgraduate level, you’ll need to have a 2:1 undergraduate degree in a related subject. This is equivalent to a B average degree of 60 to 70 per cent or a GPA above 3.2. 


Discover more about universities in Canada where you can study IT:



What are the specialisations in IT?


You are probably curious as to whether there are any specialist areas in information technology. The answer is yes. IT can reasonably be described as multidisciplinary as it deals with many facets of technology deployment. Some of the main specialisations include:


Cybersecurity and systems security 


This specialisation focuses on the integrity of data, systems, networks and the management thereof. You’ll explore ethical and legal issues, digital forensics and critically how to respond to data breaches. 


Information systems management 


The primary aim of this area of specialisation is to design, build, implement and manage effective data systems. These systems are optimised for the requirements and needs of organisations to improve business operations.


Network management


If you choose to work in this area of IT your primary focus will be on network applications and their deployment and management. There can be areas that draw on network applications and systems management. 


Web and application development 


If you have more of an interest in programming or the development of software or application solutions, then web and application development may be your best bet. This specialisation draws on the field of computer science, notably in the areas of coding and programming for the creation of applications to address a need or problem. 


Interested in studying IT in the USA? Explore these institutions:



What can you do with an information technology degree?


We know that for many students choosing a degree is also about the potential employment prospects. Let’s turn our attention to what information technology jobs there are and what you can do with a degree in the subject. 


One of the positive aspects of IT is that it is a growing and evolving area. Further, because of its multidisciplinary nature graduates have several transferable skills that can be used in multiple settings. If you study IT you could take up many different roles including:


  • Applications developer 
  • Business analyst
  • Cybersecurity analyst
  • Network and systems manager
  • Data scientist
  • Forensic computer analyst
  • Information systems manager
  • Network engineer
  • Web developer 


As an IT graduate, you can apply your skills in many industries including financial services, the public sector, media, retail, medical services and even gaming.  


What about the salaries you ask? Well, much does depend on what your area of specialisation is and your level of experience. Using the UK as an example you can expect to earn in the region of GBP 24,000 to GBP 27,000 when starting. 


If you have a postgraduate qualification or additional work experience this can rise to as much as GBP 40,000. Once you move into management positions and possess more than a decade of experience, salaries increase with average pay ranging between GBP 45,000 and GBP 70,000. 


If information technology has piqued your interest you may also be interested in reviewing our take on how to future-proof your career and how studying abroad can help your career. If you’re ready to find your ideal IT course and your dream university it’s time to use our course matcher

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