April Guest Blog: Exploring IT Degrees Positioned for Job Growth
Exploring IT Degrees Positioned for Job Growth
By Ben Coulter, Ed.D.,
Chancellor, WGU North Carolina
North Carolina’s tech community has been abuzz since last April when Apple announced it was building a $1 billion campus in Research Triangle Park that could eventually employ 3,000 workers – mainly working on machine learning, artificial intelligence, and software engineering. On top of that, Google announced it was opening an engineering hub in Durham, potentially adding 1,000+ jobs.
Charlotte continues to be a hub for fintech companies – including LendingTree, Ally Financial, AvidXchange, and others – and was recently named the number six Tech Town in America by CompTIA.
NC TECH reported 48,538 IT job openings in February, including significant growth by percentage in cities like Goldsboro, New Bern, and Rocky Mount. These developments, and others, indicate the coming years will be good for IT job growth in North Carolina.
For individuals contemplating entering the field or switching careers, now is the time to explore degrees and certifications that will position you well for job security and career growth. Here are a few examples of degrees that will be in high demand over the next several years.
Bachelor of Science in Cloud Computing
This degree will position you to support organizations with their servers, networks, storage, development, and applications—including ongoing maintenance and security. In addition, major cloud providers like Amazon (AWS) and Microsoft (Azure) are expanding their cloud platforms, and a degree in cloud computing can help prepare you to become an expert in this field.
Bachelor of Science in Software Development
Software developers are the creative and technical geniuses behind the applications and programs we can’t live without. This degree provides a solid foundation in computer programming, web development, and application development.
Bachelor of Science Business Administration – IT Management
In addition to providing a solid background in information technology, this degree includes coursework in crucial areas like management and leadership, business, networks and security, and information systems management. These skills will be vital in helping you mesh important business and IT strategies to help organizations thoughtfully utilize technology.
Master of Science in Data Analytics
Data science and analytics are the backbones of most companies today, and organizations that successfully collect and analyze data are better poised to notice trends and make informed decisions. This degree positions you as an expert in data science and analytics tools and techniques, including SQL, Python, R, Tableau, and statistical approaches to describe and predict trends.
Master of Science in Information Technology Management
Organizations need individuals who possess project-management and problem-solving skills to drive change and keep things running smoothly. This degree provides practical and relevant coursework in leadership, technology operations and integration, sourcing, risk, planning, influence, finance, solutions development, and project management with a global perspective on emerging technologies, practices, and methodologies.
Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity and Information Assurance
According to CyberSeek, there are more than 21,000 cybersecurity job openings in North Carolina. This degree will help put you on the frontline of support for governments and organizations seeking to protect their data. Curricula typically include courses on penetration testing, hacking countermeasures, and digital forensics and incident response.
Master of Science in Cybersecurity and Information Assurance
This master’s degree will expand your arsenal to better protect invaluable data and position you for leadership roles in the field of cybersecurity and information systems. Courses typically include cybersecurity management, secure software design, and cybersecurity architecture and engineering.
Remember, IT jobs aren’t relegated just to tech companies. NC TECH President and CEO Brooks Raiford recently told WRAL TechWire, “While jobs at tech companies are growing, tech workers at non-tech firms are growing even faster.”
One more tip: look for degree programs that include relevant IT certifications, so you don’t have to pay extra for those.