If you are a teenager in the midst of deciding on a career, you might need some clarification, especially if your career choice is leaning toward computer science. There are several sub sectors in information technology jobs. Colleges have named their IT programs with titles that can sound great, but if you look closely, you will see that not all of these programs will get you what you need. Basically most computing degrees should fit into five categories: computer engineering (CE), computer science (CS), information systems (IS), information technology (IT), and software engineering (SE). Here is what you need to know:
This curriculum focuses on the principles of electrical engineering and mathematics and applies them to the problems of designing computers and computer-based devices. Examples of work that these engineers do can be seen in the technology of cell phones, alarm systems, and x-ray machinery.
Computer Science Degree:
This broad degree prepares a student to design and implement programs using various programming languages and platforms such as C and Java. He or she will develop and use data structures. The computer science graduate will design and implement software. Computer scientists innovate to discover new applications for technology. This two-year degree is usually a stepping stone to a four-year degree.
This job is a great way to enter the IT field by way of help desks and customer service. You will support end users regarding their computers in person or over the phone. This support includes computer repair, malware removal, Windows desktop and server support and help with applications.
IS specialists formulate solutions for businesses so that they can reach their goals. They integrate business processes with technology to process and distribute information. A degree in this field teaches how to understand business principles and practices and design appropriate computer technology to fit them.
This course of study focuses on the hands-on technology that is used in a business organization. A business needs an IT person who can understand and maintain the computer equipment but who can also serve the questions and needs of the employees. The technician selects and integrates software and hardware as well as assists the end user. This category of computer careers involves duties of setting up networks, maintaining email systems, and constantly monitoring needs to upgrade or replace technology.
The technician with an associate’s degree will be responsible in their job to repair computers, remove malware, prevent malicious intruders on hosts and networks, and know about advanced Linux and Windows servers and services. The tech also will know Cisco, VoIP and wireless technologies. He or she installs, configures, supports and maintains operating systems and networks.
This new and exciting degree is about supporting law enforcement agencies in gathering information and evidence from computers and other devices to thwart computer related criminal activity. In this job, you also assist law enforcement in preserving and understanding electronic evidence. While this is a specialty, most of what you learn here can be learned in the degrees mentioned above.
While a student can take software engineering courses within the computer science degree, the courses will not be as comprehensive as when they are within a Software Engineering degree. In fact, SE programs are very focused on creating usable, reliable software by teaching engineering and mathematics. Graduates of this degree might find varying job titles such as software engineer or computer programmer.
You probably are considering a computer degree because you hear that IT jobs pay well. The above mentioned degrees are for 2 year programs. A Bachelor’s degree or a Master’s degree will qualify you to get higher level jobs such as in management and research where you can solve complex problems and innovate solutions.