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Online Degrees

Part of Western Governors University

July 22, 2014

6 exciting ways to use an online IT degree.

Degree in Information Technology

A degree in information technology opens up the door to job opportunities that go well beyond walking users through mundane computer problems. IT specialists are entering a high-paying field with a wide range of career options. Consider the ongoing developments in mobile and cloud computing, the Internet of Things and the creation of data centers- these are all growing areas of an increasingly connected world. Therefore, major tech companies and startups alike need experts to help keep up with advances in hardware, software, and other technology innovations. In such a fast-paced world of computing, professionals with an IT degree can do way more than just sit at a help desk. Here are some of the most exciting careers in which to utilize an IT degree:

Cloud Architect

The cloud might seem like a vague and nebulous storage space, but despite the atmospheric overtones, this space requires intense organization. Cloud data needs to constantly be organized and analyzed so that companies can use the space efficiently. A cloud architect therefore continually works to make a company's cloud-based infrastructure financially and strategically beneficial. Furthermore, a cloud architect finds effective software and hardware solutions to work with a company's cloud computing. These professionals also use big data to understand the needs and work habits of a company's employees. There is a high demand for these jobs in the government and education sectors. The salary for this position averages in the six figures, making it one of the highest paid jobs in the field.

Web Developer

Besides potentially being able to predict the career decisions of Lebron James, web developers work to design and create websites. Developing websites can be an incredibly rewarding job, as it gives one lots of space to be creative. Web developers not only work to make a website functional, but they are also responsible for the design. This can include creating the website's layout and color scheme, developing an engaging user experience, and finding effective ways to connect the site to social media. Modern websites call for designs that are aesthetically pleasing as well as functional, that can entice users to come back again and again. The average salary for a web developer is $62,500.

Information Security Analyst

Cybersecurity is a growing concern, especially after widespread outbreaks of programs such as the Heartbleed Bug. Data breaches are a continuing risk, especially as major tech companies expand networks into the Internet of Things and mobile computing. That's why corporations know it's important to have someone analyzing and ensuring their information is protected. A security analyst must therefore be predicting and preparing for the threat of cyberattackers at all times. Leaks by the NSA and Target Corporation are evidence that anyone can be a victim of harmful hacking, be part of the solution and get involved in this career with a degree in IT. Information security analysts boast a high median salary of $86,170.

Mobile Application Developer

Smartphones and tablets have become omnipresent devices both at home and in the workplace. This position gives IT professionals the opportunity to create user-friendly applications that can be used anywhere. The majority of websites were once designed with computers in mind, but as mobile devices continue to become a common method for accessing information, websites must update content to accommodate for mobile viewing. This often requires creating an entirely new user interface. Talented and experienced mobile application developers can earn over six figures.

Information Research Scientists

Be part of the future of computing with this innovative career. Information research scientists are challenged with the task of inventing new methods for using technology and improving upon existing ones. Most of these professionals work for research firms, government agencies and computer systems companies. Information research scientists make a healthy median salary of $102,190.

Geospatial Professionals

This position focuses on geographic information systems (GIS), a technology used to predict trends in specific geographical areas. GIS can be used to hypothesize everything from crime statistics to weather patterns. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this field is expected to grow by 35% between 2010 and 2020.

Western Governors University is a nonprofit, accredited, online university. WGU offers bachelor's and master's online degree programs in IT. Find out more about WGU's online degree programs in IT.

Salary data is gathered from external sources and is not guaranteed by Western Governors University.

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