Information technology is a continually expanding job market. With software and hardware integration becoming a standard for growing companies, it’s not surprising that IT professionals are so in demand. Around 92% of specialists that currently have jobs are employed by companies that aren’t technology based. The future to landing a great job could rely greatly on your choice of college.
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1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
MIT is an exciting school. First, it’s renowned as one of the best schools for IT, and it’s ranked among the top colleges overall in the 2011-2012 category. The cost of attending is estimated at $55,270 when all is said and done, though you shouldn’t be deterred by the price tag. Many prospective students are given generous financial aid packages to help offset the cost.
There are currently somewhere in the neighborhood of 4,299 students attending this prestigious university, so you won’t be lonely on campus. If you want to make sure MIT has the right major or field of study for you, check out their course catalog.
2. California Institute of Technology
Cal Tech is a very exclusive college and is great for the student who doesn’t appreciate the hustle and bustle of a large campus also wants a venerated education. You’ll be paying around $37,704 a year but will receive a more personalized experience. The reason for this is the 3:1 student to teacher ratio, and with only 967 students attending in the 2011-2012 school year, it’s hard not to be noticed by your professors.
Their division for IT is very specified, and Cal Tech offers numerous graduate programs. Alumni of this university have gone on to create companies such as Intel and Compaq.
3. Brigham Young University
BYU is a private school with close ties to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, a strict code of honor, and a killer IT program. The curriculum requires that you maintain a 3.6 GPA at the college level before you’ll be allowed into their IT program. This program centers on the business side of information systems as opposed to the computer science side, though in a growing industry, that should not be grounds to turn your nose up at the idea of attending.
BYU openly informs their students of the cost of attending prior to acceptance via spreadsheet with detailed information for every type of prospective attendee.
4. University of Pennsylvania
If you can afford the close to $42,000 in tuition and fees, Penn State has a lot to offer a future IT professional. There are 9,865 students enrolled currently, with a men to women ratio of nearly 1:1. Only 14.3% of applicants are accepted into this upstanding college, but don’t let those numbers get you down. Someone has to make up that percentage, so it may as well be you. Smeal College of Business at Penn State offers a competitive bachelor’s degree in Management Information Systems through a rigorous series of classes.
They also offer relevant minors to match, although you won’t be required to pick one until your junior year.
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5. University of Maryland
For a change of pace, Maryland is a great place to go. The program has around 2,400 undergraduate students at any given time, though they offer nine master’s degree and eight PhD programs. Their versatility is quite apparent once you realize they have customized three of those master’s programs for those already working as professionals. For the average out-of-towner, UMD costs $13,013.13, though if you live in the State; it is nearly three times less, at $4,327.65.
They also have online courses for anyone who might have obligations at home.
6. Alamance Community College
Don’t write off your local community college just yet. Well, that is, if you live, or want to live, in Graham, N.C. Alamance offers a semester-by-semester breakdown of its program, allowing students to see exactly what they’re getting into before they begin. Additionally, this college offers a flexible program with a customizable course load each semester. For in-state tuition, it’ll be around $813 a semester to be a full-time student, though for out of state, it will run you somewhere in the neighborhood of $3,117.
Be sure to take a look at Alamance’s course catalog for a full outline of necessary classes and a detailed description of what to expect from their IT program.
Going to college is a necessary step to progress in the IT industry, and with such a plethora of programs, there is no shortage of options. As this field adapts and grows, so will the academic programs associated with them. Always keep your ear to the ground, as colleges progressively enhance their IT courses each semester to meet demand.