As automation keeps infiltrating the business industry, the tech sector will grow exponentially, creating many employment opportunities for ambitious individuals. Data shows that the tech industry will have a growth rate (CAGR) of 5% through 2024, a hopeful prediction for those looking for a tech career.
But finding an ideal degree to kickstart your tech career can be daunting. There are many paths to choose from, so you must choose a degree that aligns with your passions and interests.
This article has presented a curated list of eight major degrees to unlock a world of opportunities for you in tech.
Top 8 Degrees for a Bright Tech Career
Here are some ideal educational pathways for individuals interested in joining the tech industry:
In the past, computer science can be described as the study of computer systems. But this degree encompasses different subdisciplines that make having a CS degree one of the most prestigious credentials you can attain in the tech industry.
CS majors engage in system design, create new programming languages, and even deal with robotics. It’s estimated that you can make almost $80,000 with a CS degree.
A CS degree prepares you for many jobs, e.g., AI engineering, UX design, and systems architecture. But you need to attain additional certificates for that. All in all, it’s a highly sought-after major.
Next comes software engineering, a major projected to grow by 25% this decade. On average, you can earn more than $107,000 a year by pursuing a software engineering degree. Software devs are responsible for evaluating user needs, piecing together different software specs, creating a product, and testing it to perfection.
But isn’t it more or less like what computer scientists do?
Well, not exactly. Let’s ponder deeper into the computer science vs software engineering debate. So, unlike CS majors who create operating systems and programming languages, software devs create apps using existing languages for an existing OS. They deal with more hands-on and applied concepts. That’s why software engineering degrees are more in demand today.
Data scientists help businesses use data for better decision-making, creating quality products, and understating market trends. That’s why you should pursue a bachelor’s degree in data science and make $100,000+ a year on average extracting meaningful insights from customer-collected data. An additional degree in mathematics or statistics will help blossom your career and sharpen your data-extracting skills. To further enhance your data science expertise, consider enrolling in specialized data science courses to stay updated with the latest techniques and technologies in this dynamic field.
As data-based decision-making becomes more mainstream, private corporations and government agencies will hire more data scientists to join their teams.
Another data-related field is data analytics, a relatively new degree that works as a subdiscipline of data science. Earning $84,000 annually, data analysts go through the information extracted by data scientists, find actionable insights, and communicate these insights to their employers. They are responsible for gathering, purifying, and presenting data in an easily understandable format.
So, how do data analytics differ from data scientists? Unlike data scientists who work with a macro scope, data analysts look into their data microscopically to solve specific problems facing their employers.
In summary, web devs are people who create and maintain websites. However, “web development” is an umbrella term encompassing different subdisciplines, such as web designers, web architects, and webmasters. Web designers create a website’s layout, web architects handle its technical side, and webmasters maintain its proper functioning. It means that web dev degrees also come in many shapes and forms. Different universities offer these courses by the following names:
- Mobile app development
- Web design and development
- Front-end or back-end development
Generally speaking, web devs make $77,000 performing these services for different employers. Your salary as a website developer will depend on the location of your employment and the experience you’ve gained during your initial working days. But the BLS expects this career to grow by 23% in the next few years, so your web dev degree will make you an in-demand professional before 2030.
Many students prefer to pursue this degree instead of computer science. You can now major in computer networking to learn about networks (such as LAN, WAN, and the Internet) and how to maintain these networks properly. CN majors also study the fundamentals of OS, switches, routers, cybersecurity, and troubleshooting. The interesting thing about CN is that it offers a variety of career pathways to students. For instance, you can pick any of these careers after finishing your CN degree:
- Network engineer ($84,000 a year)
- Network technician ($58,000 a year)
- Network administrator ($66,000 a year)
Another popular tech career involves writing codes in different programming languages. However, while software devs are involved in all aspects of software creation, programmers are responsible for just writing the code. But, on average, they easily make $93,000 a year. You can become a computer programmer by pursuing a degree of the same name and then gain experience writing codes.
After writing the code for a program, you’ll test, assess, and modify your script to remove bugs and make it more efficient.
As many small-sized companies face constant threats from hackers parading online, they need individuals well-versed in cybersecurity methodologies. Cybersecurity experts have the skills to recognize, identify, and prevent cybersecurity attacks, thereby keeping customers’ information safe from marauding cybercriminals. As cybersecurity-related jobs rose exponentially between 2013 and 2021, experts have predicted 3.5 million unfilled positions by 2025.
You can pursue an undergraduate cybersecurity degree or obtain a cybersecurity certificate online to kickstart your career in this field. IT security experts earn almost $90,000 a year on average. That’s why cybersecurity has become a highly in-demand career in today’s tech-dependent age.
This blog mentions some degrees that can pave the way for a successful career in the tech industry. So, you can become a data scientist, a computer programmer, or a software developer to kickstart your tech career. Just make you attain relevant licenses after finishing your degree and sharpen your soft skills too.
Understand the difference between like-sounding degree names, such as data science and data analysis or computer science and software engineering. Now, you’re ready to thrive in today’s tech-driven world.