Online College Courses in IT
Whether you decide to complete a full IT degree, a technical certificate, or you simply opt for taking a few computer courses, the knowledge you will gain learning about computers will become indispensible in any career. IT college courses are an essential stepping stone in almost all careers related to information technology, but they are also helpful in a variety of fields. Learning how to handle new software and hardware, as well as manage systems and networks, is essentially what you'll learn while taking information technology courses. Unlike computer science courses, which focus on the scientific aspects of computing, information technology courses view computing through the lens of business and communications. As such, taking computer courses with an emphasis on information technology will prepare you to play various roles within businesses and beyond.
There is perhaps no type of course that is better suited to learning online than the computer course. Because many computer courses require students to use the Internet as they learn, signing up for online computer courses is an economical, convenient way to learn the ins and outs of information technology. Computer courses online vary widely in subject matter, so depending on what you want to learn, you'll have no shortage of options. For example, Capella University, an online college, offers an IT bachelor's degree which includes courses like Fundamentals of Project Management, Fundamentals of Software Architecture, and Network and Security Architecture.
If you plan on pursuing a full degree in IT, you'll likely take several core courses and then specialize in specific area within IT. Some examples of area specializations include database systems, programming, and network technology. If you are not interested in pursuing a full degree, you can still reap the benefits of computer courses by getting an IT certificate, which entails significantly less coursework, but still provides a sound overview of IT principles. Penn State's World Campus offers an IT certificate, which requires only 13 credits, whereas a full bachelor's degree requires 125.
IT College Courses and Your Career
Taking online college computer courses, whether you choose a degree or non-degree option, will propel your career and widen your job options immensely. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the number of computer systems analyst jobs will increase by 20% between 2008 and 2018. The field of computer support, which is another career that many who take IT courses eventually pursue, is likewise expected to grow at a faster than average pace — 14% over the next decade.
Why, you may be wondering, is the growth rate so high for IT jobs, even within a stagnant economy? For one, more organizations, even those not considered "high tech," are increasingly relying on technology to run every aspect of their business. Businesses which have not traditionally depended on computers will thus require a larger staff of experts who are intimately acquainted with the latest technologies.
Beyond working for large businesses, those who have a strong background in computers can also work for smaller startups, or they can even work for themselves. As more companies hire computer specialists on a contract or freelance basis, taking online computer courses could give you the skills to work from the comfort of your own home. What's more, one of the best parts of taking online computer courses is that you don't necessarily have to desire a career in information technology to benefit from them. Almost every job imaginable will require at minimum basic computer literacy. Considering that competition for jobs in almost every field now is so fierce, having additional computer training may automatically send your resume to the top of the pile.
Free Online IT Courses:
- Introduction to Databases -Stanford School of Engineering
- Information Technology as an Integrating Force in Manufacturing -MIT OpenCourseWare
- Information Technology and the Labor Market- MIT OpenCourseWare