If you’re considering earning a technology degree, you may have heard that STEM graduates are in high demand in the 21st century workforce. In fact, you can find STEM graduates working in virtually every industry—from aerospace to communications to manufacturing and beyond. In addition, STEM graduates tend to command a higher salary range than their non-STEM counterparts. So, exactly what is a technology degree and why should you consider earning one?
What Is a Technology Degree?
There is actually no easy answer to this question, since there are many different types of technology-related degrees in fields as diverse as engineering, computer programming, health informatics and cybersecurity. Technology influences nearly all aspects of modern life. The applications of technology are essential for everything from growing the food you eat to designing the car you drive to calculating the calories burned during your workout to communicating with your friends and family.
In general, a technology degree provides students with a solid framework of knowledge in curriculum areas such as mathematics, life sciences, physical sciences and information management. While technology students focus on studying known principles, processes and technologies, they also gain a solid foundation of general knowledge that can be used to drive future innovations and new discoveries in their respective fields.
What Are Some Examples of Technology-Related Degrees?
There are many different technology-related degrees you might consider earning. At Grand Canyon University, undergraduate students may apply for any of the following bachelor’s degrees:
- BS in Information Technology: IT professionals construct and operate computer networks and cloud-based applications, often for use in the corporate world
- BS in Health Information Management: Health informatics professionals ensure the correct collection, storage, access and application of sensitive healthcare data, using technologies to support better patient care • BS in Computer Programming: Computer programmers use a variety of programming languages to create new computer applications for business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-consumer (B2C) usage
- BS in Mechanical Engineering: Mechanical engineers design and improve machine components and systems, ranging from aircraft to electric generators to elevators
Although you can enter a STEM field with a bachelor’s degree, you may decide to pursue a master’s degree to further enhance your career qualifications. Some examples of technology-related master’s degrees at GCU include the following:
- MS in Cybersecurity: Cybersecurity professionals respond to cyberattacks and proactively strengthen the integrity of computer systems against malicious actors
- MS in Instructional Technology: These technology specialists are often educators or consultants who focus on integrating technology into the classroom to encourage better learning outcomes
- MS in Computer Science: Computer scientists develop mathematical models and algorithms necessary to enable computer-human interactions
Why Should You Consider Earning a Technology Degree?
There is no doubt that STEM graduates are in high demand at companies across various industries and sectors. According to the Pew Research Center, since 1990, employment rates in STEM occupations have grown 79 percent. In 1990, there were 9.7 million jobs in the U.S. that would be considered STEM jobs. In 2018, there were 17.3 million of them. That’s an incredible rate of growth that surpasses the overall job growth rate in the U.S. For STEM graduates, this means they may have an easier time finding the job they want in the geographical location they prefer.
Another reason to consider earning a technology degree is that a STEM career can be quite lucrative. The Pew Research Center has determined that a STEM worker earns, on average, 26 percent more than a non-STEM worker. While STEM graduates who go on to earn a master’s or doctoral degree can reasonably expect to increase their lifetime earnings, it should be noted that having an advanced degree is not mandatory to enter a technology-related field. In fact, a full 36 percent of the STEM workforce possesses a bachelor’s degree, but no post-graduate degree. A career in the life sciences is most likely to require an advanced degree.
Can Technology Degree Graduates Work in Non-STEM Fields?
Yes! While many technology degree graduates do choose to pursue careers related to their studies, employers in other industries recognize that STEM graduates possess valuable, transferrable career skills. A technology degree program can allow students to develop the following transferrable skills:
- Analytic reasoning and critical thinking
- Ethical judgment and decision-making
- Leadership abilities
- Written and verbal communication skills
- Innovative problem-solving capabilities
Roughly half of all STEM-trained workers who possess at least a bachelor’s degree in a technology-related field work in non-STEM occupations, as of 2018. About 17 percent of STEM graduates work in business, finance and management jobs, for example.
You can earn your technology degree at Grand Canyon University. The College of Science, Engineering and Technology delivers thoughtfully designed curriculum intended to graduate technology professionals who are ethical, creative and collaborative innovators. Prepare for a rewarding, 21st century career by earning a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology, a Master of Science in Computer Science or one of our other many technology-related degrees. Click on Request Information to explore all that GCU has to offer.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University.