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. So, exactly what is a technology degree and why should you consider earning one?
What Is a Technology Degree?
There is no easy answer to this question, since there are many different types of technology degrees in fields as diverse as engineering, computer programming, health informatics and cybersecurity. Technology influences nearly all aspects of modern life. Most companies rely on some form of internet connection.
The applications of technology are essential for everything from growing the food you eat and designing the car you drive to calculating the calories burned during your workout and 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. 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 Software Development: Software development uses a variety of programming languages to create new computer applications for business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-consumer (B2C) usage.
- BS in Cybersecurity: In order to protect a company’s networks and computers, individuals trained in cybersecurity monitor the network to prevent hackers from getting private materials.
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 include the following:
- MS in Cybersecurity: Cybersecurity professionals respond to cyberattacks and proactively strengthen the integrity of computer systems against malicious actors
- MS in Data Science: Data analysts work to collect digital information and then interpret it for an organization.
- 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. That’s an incredible rate of growth that surpasses the overall job growth rate in the U.S. Employment in computer and information technology occupations is projected to grow 11% from 2019-2029, much faster than average for most occupation.1 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. 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. 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
The versatility of the technology degree is due to the wide usage of the internet. Many fields can benefit by having student with a bachelor's or master's degree in one the listed options.
Technology Career Options to Consider:
Future generations will need to be taught to develop secure networks and create new applications for companies. Teachers who can understand current trends in the industry will be highly valued in the classroom. If you want to teach at a university, you may need to get, at least, your master’s degree. Along with teaching, you can conduct research on different areas of information technology.
Consultants are typically independent contractors that help companies find answers to current issues and strategize ways of improving the company’s network. Other duties consultants may take on are teaching IT staff, analyzing and articulating data in reports, or determining the requirements of an IT framework. Organizations benefit greatly from having contractors since they tend to be experienced and well established.
If you want to make a positive difference, then becoming a forensic analyst may be the career for you. Forensic analysts recover various kinds of files off a computer’s hard drive that have been manipulated or deleted. They can also work in forensic crime labs to examine the collected evidence to figure out how crimes were carried out. These professionals are highly valued in cybercrime or other crime cases, as they have the knowledge to gather necessary digital evidence.
IT Business Analyst
An IT business analyst tests and analyzes information to benefit customers and the business. They are responsible for testing new technology and software before they are implemented into the company environment. Doing this testing helps to lower potential costs that are not needed.
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.
1 Retrieved from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Computer and Information Technology Occupations, in April, 2021
COVID-19 has adversely affected the global economy and data from 2020 may be atypical compared to prior years. The pandemic may impact the predicted future workforce outcomes indicated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics as well. Accordingly, data shown is based on 2019, which can be found here
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. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.