When it comes to choosing the right school for an IT education, it’s important to consider the concentrations available in an online information technology degree program. Many online programs offer a number of possible specializations that can help aspiring information technology professionals prepare for the careers they want. A few of the most valuable specializations at the undergraduate level include cybersecurity, computer systems and network administration, web and applications development and database administration.
One of the most widely offered types of concentrations available in an online information technology degree program is cybersecurity, according to U.S. News & World Report. The hacking of sensitive information – including personal identification information, financial information, medical information and homeland security information – is a big and valid concern. Personnel who know how to protect the security of this information are highly in-demand. In addition to specializations in cybersecurity specifically, schools may also offer related concentrations like Cyber Security and Forensics, Information Assurance and Security Information and Digital Investigations.
Computer Systems and Network Administration
Information technology also encompasses the running of computer systems and entire networks of computers. Network Administration and similar specializations, like Networking and Operations, are some of the most popular concentrations available in an online information technology degree programs.
Web and Applications Development
Even if you choose to study information technology rather than computer programming or software engineering, you can still pursue an interest in software and website development by choosing the right academic concentration. Some of the top (and most affordable) colleges for an online information technology degree program offer specialization options such as Web and Mobile Applications Development, Software Analysis and Development and Application Development Testing and Quality Assurance.
Database Administration and Data Center Operations
One way to work with information is to be the manager and administrator of the databases containing that information. Database administration and data center operations are additional concentrations available in an online information technology degree program.
Interdisciplinary Concentrations and Specializations
It’s not only the tech industry that has a need for information technology professionals, so it makes sense that many colleges also offer interdisciplinary options of study. For example, Western Governors University offers a B.S. in Health Information Management in conjunction with the school’s College of Health Professions and a B.S. in Business—Information Technology Management in partnership with the College of Business. Some information technology degree programs also offer a self-designed or self-directed concentration option that allows students to customize their degrees by combining two or more disciplines of study.
By specializing in a versatile and in-demand concentration during your undergraduate studies, you are equipping yourself with the in-depth knowledge and skills you’ll need to succeed in the real world. The concentrations available in an online information technology degree program can affect what information technology roles you’re prepared to take on and possibly even how potential employers will view you as a job candidate.