The field of information technology (IT) includes some of the most in-demand jobs in the market today. Because IT involves working with technology that controls the storage, processing and flow of information within a company, the field of IT includes a wide range of jobs working with computers, networks, Web sites, servers and more.
You may think that IT professionals work for high-technology companies, but most do not. In fact, 92 percent of professionals in the IT field work for a company that is not technology-based [source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics]. And the demand for these workers is growing fast. Some of the most sought-after jobs in the U.S. are in IT, and experts expect more than a million jobs to open up in the IT field between 2004 and 2014. That represents a growth of greater than 30 percent in the IT job market [source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics].
Because IT is such a popular field, many college-bound students apply to schools with strong IT programs. There are several undergraduate majors in information technology, including three main categories:
- Information science -- also called information technology -- is a broader category, ranging from learning programming and mathematical formulas to understanding operating systems and how to design networks.
- Computer science focuses on solving problems in math, business and engineering with computer software and systems. The computer science major involves more programming. Artificial intelligence and robotics is an extension of the computer science field.
- Computer engineering focuses on how to build computers, program software and integrate computers into larger information systems.
These three courses of study tend to overlap with each other in many areas, and depending on the school, the same class might be labeled as computer science or engineering.
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