Careers for Technology Majors

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As the world’s dependence on technology increases, society needs computer scientists, technicians, administrators, and developers to keep things running smoothly. As a result, students planning for a career in technology enjoy a very positive job outlook. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data shows a median $91,250 annual salary for computer and information technology professionals. The BLS projects the need for these professionals to grow 11% from 2019-2029.

To succeed in a technology career, individuals must possess curiosity, enjoy problem-solving, and understand the inner workings of computers and networks. Individuals skilled in troubleshooting and interpersonal communication may enjoy working as information technology specialists. People who like memorizing sequences and designing programs may enjoy working as software developers. This page discusses common technology careers and their corresponding technology degrees.

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FAQ


  • How do I become a computer administrator?

    You need at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field to become a computer administrator. Some employers require additional licenses or certificates.


  • How much does a computer systems administrator make?

    Computer systems administrators earn a median annual salary of $84,810, according to the BLS. However, entry-level professionals tend to make less.


  • Are web developers in high demand?

    The BLS projects the need for web developers to grow 8% between 2019-2029, much faster than the average for all occupations.


  • What does an information security analyst do?

    These professionals monitor a computer network to prevent security breaches. In the event of one, these individuals search for the root cause and discover how to prevent future issues.


 
 

Technology Specializations



To pursue a career in technology, choose a specialization that gives you a competitive edge. When researching, note that schools refer to specializations in different ways, such as minor, concentration, or track. Specializations do not bind learners to one specific area, but help position them as experts in one topic. Some areas may require professional certifications or licenses, which we outline in a later section.

In this section, we discuss three possible technology degree specializations students may earn. Remember that not every school offers all of these exact concentrations.


  • Coding

    Degree-seekers who earn a coding specialization learn common computing languages, such as JavaScript and Python. Coding courses teach students how to solve current user experience issues by testing code. Many learners who choose a coding minor want a software development technology career. Coding students learn about open-source software, practical coding applications, and security vulnerability detection. Graduates with this specialization often find technology careers as computer programmers or web developers.


  • Cybersecurity

    A cybersecurity concentration teaches students how to prevent data breaches. Learners discover what constitutes ethical hacking and how to establish company security standards. Many cybersecurity courses focus on protecting sensitive information with firewalls and data encryption programs. Coding professionals typically find employment as information security analysts who recommend security measures for private companies or consulting firms.


  • User Experience Design

    Students who enjoy graphic design and coding merge their passions with a user experience design specialization. The required courses discuss how to enhance website or software usability and overall aesthetics. Learners discover how to host focus groups to monitor individuals’ interactions with an interface. User experience design graduates often find a career in technology as web developers or digital interface designers.


What Are the Education Requirements for Technology?



Learners pursue a variety of technology degrees to prepare for a career in technology. Some employers only require an associate, but many high-paying positions require at least a master’s degree. In this section, we highlight the benefits of earning the different technology degree levels. We go over the career path, coursework, and requirements for each.

  • Associate

    An associate degree offers a way for individuals to earn entry-level positions to start their technology careers. Students typically earn an associate in about two years. Many affordable community colleges feature associate technology degrees. Some learners choose to start with an associate before committing two more years to a bachelor’s degree. Web developers and digital designers can start with just an associate degree, but many other related professions require a bachelor’s.

  • Bachelor's

    The common degree level takes full-time learners about four years to finish. A bachelor’s technology degree further builds upon what individuals learn in associate-level classes. Most courses require basic multiple-choice exams, class discussions, and projects. According to the BLS, many computer and information technology careers require only a bachelor’s degree. Graduates earn jobs as computer network architects, database administrators, and software developers.

  • Master's

    A master’s technology degree opens even more opportunities for graduates. These degree-holders may apply for high-paying jobs such as computer and information research scientist. Additionally, most technology leadership positions require at least a master’s degree. Generally, full-time master’s students complete their studies and thesis in two years. The advanced degree approaches technology from a practical standpoint, so graduates apply lessons learned to the job immediately.

  • Doctorate

    A doctorate is the terminal technology degree, focusing primarily on research and theory. Most doctoral programs take 4-6 years to finish, and degree-holders often find jobs as college professors. Doctoral students must complete a dissertation totaling around 80,000 words, which often takes multiple years to complete. A dissertation aims to contribute additional research and discoveries to the technology field.

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How Much Does a Technology Degree Cost?


The National Center for Education Statistics offers informative data concerning tuition costs. The data shows that tuition, fees, room, and board at a four-year school averaged $28,775 for the 2019-20 school year. The same costs at a two-year school came to $11,391.

Students save money by attending a school that offers them in-state or reduced online tuition. Virtual learning allows learners to save money on room and board, commuting costs, and activity fees. Keep in mind that some on-campus technology degrees charge fees to maintain computer labs. 

When budgeting for a technology degree, remember to consider the cost of software, tools, and a reliable computer. Textbooks and general living expenses add up, so budget accordingly.

Calculating the Cost of a College Degree



Exact college costs vary significantly by school. Contacting a prospective institution directly helps form an accurate estimate, but individuals may benefit from a baseline comparison. To help, we created an affordability calculator that factors current income information and produces monthly and annual payment estimates.

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How Much Do Technology Majors Make?


The BLS reports a median annual salary of $91,250 for all computer and information technology careers. For reference, the median annual salary for all occupations stands at $41,950. Exact salaries for different technology careers vary. BLS data shows that computer and information research scientists and web developers and digital designers earn median annual salaries of $126,830 and $77,200, respectively. 

Factors including years of experience and position location impact pay as well. Individuals living in big cities may earn more in their technology careers than peers in small rural communities. Entry-level professionals rarely make the same amount as experienced professionals working in the same positions. Technology professionals may earn certifications and seek continuing education opportunities to advance their technology career and wages.

Career and Salary Outlook for a Technology Degree



A technology degree prepares individuals to work in offices or remotely as freelancers or consultants. Here, we outline three common technology careers graduates of technology degrees pursue.


  • Network and Computer Systems Administrator

    The career requires an eye for detail, knowledge of local and wide area networks, and quick problem-solving. These professionals install hardware and software on company computers, train employees on using these tools, and oversee essential computer security efforts.


  • Information Security Analyst

    Students who enjoy learning about cybersecurity should consider pursuing a career as an information security analyst. Job responsibilities include testing system vulnerabilities using conduct penetration testing, researching current information technology advancements, and monitoring an organization’s system.


  • Web Developer

    Web developers have a penchant for both coding and design. These individuals enhance user experience, create websites, and develop graphics for businesses. The job requires proficiency in coding languages such as HTML and XML. Web developers make search engine optimization recommendations for clients.


Career Median Annual Salary Projected Growth Rate (2019-2029)
Network and Computer Systems Administrator $84,810 4%
Information Security Analyst $103,590 31%
Web Developer $77,200 8%

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Certifications and Licensure for Technology



Succeeding in the ever-changing technology field requires a commitment to lifelong learning. Earning certifications offers one way to demonstrate new knowledge or mastery of previously accumulated knowledge. These accolades typically require prior job experience, online training modules, and a formal exam. Here, we highlight three useful certifications for a career in technology.

Certified Information Systems Auditor


The certification requires a four-hour exam demonstrating expertise in auditing and monitoring an organization’s information technology systems. The Information Systems Audit and Control Association administers the exam and reports that certificate-holders average over $110,000.

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Microsoft Technology Associate


Becoming a certified Microsoft Technology Associate benefits individuals seeking a profession in multiple niche technology areas. Some of these areas include information technology infrastructure, development, and database management. Microsoft breaks down which certificate specialization tailors to specific positions.

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Certified Ethical Hacker


Individuals working in cybersecurity can benefit from becoming certified ethical hackers. The EC-Council oversees this certification, and the required exam takes about four hours to complete. It costs $1,199 to earn this certification, which maintains validity for three years. Renewal costs $80.

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Resources for Technology Majors


  • Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology The organization seeks to inspire women in technology and empower them through education, networking events, and research. Women early in their technology career benefit from additional resources, including a mentorship program and career toolbox with a list of top technology companies.
  • Association for Computing Machinery Technology professionals who enjoy networking and want to stay current with industry trends should consider joining this organization. The association offers a learning center with books and videos on current events surrounding technology.
  • Computing Research Association This professional group hosts cohorts, workshops, and conferences for computing research professionals. The association aims to advance the computing industry through academia and public policy.
  • Institution of Engineering and Technology For over 150 years, the Institution of Engineering and Technology has brought together technology professionals for educational opportunities. Members network with peers worldwide.

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