Whether you want to make it as a graphic designer or work in an up-and-coming tech company, the world of technology offers some of the best job prospects of any field in the world. It is very fast-paced but has outgrown the days where you did not need a degree to master the field – when you just needed a passion for tinkering with computers in your dad’s garage. Those were the days when computing was so new you could barely find any computer-related courses anywhere. Nowadays, you are spoilt for choice. If you are looking to get a great job in tech, you will find it a whole load easier if you have one of these degrees.
- Computer Science
Computer science is still one of the most well-regarded tech degrees you can get the first degree for tech-loving computer fanatics that became widely available across the USA. It is perfect for those looking to get into software engineering or data science and courses typically cover main trends, innovative thinking in tech and a load of technical know-how that will teach you how to properly engineer, develop, and build software databases and more.
The average salary for a software developer is $69k, but for a software engineer is $95k. A hot field that you can get into with a computer science degree is being a data scientist, the #1 ranked job in the USA in 2019. The average salary for a data scientist is about $113k, but it is harder to get into the more rewarding field of data science with only a bachelors. A master’s in computer science is the best way of qualifying for the more senior and high-paying positions; best of all, these do not take too long. An online computer science masters from a top 80 US college only takes 15 weeks and can be done completely online.
- Computer Information Systems
Computer information systems have a bit of overlap with computer science. It involves understanding, organizing and otherwise managing the data that facilitates the relationship between user and computer – it’s more focused on systems and data than computer science, which is more about exploring the mathematical theories behind computing and relevant equations. Therefore, a computer information systems degree is a good choice if you love computers and their logic but want to learn in a slightly more practical way, learning about your computer as a tool instead of the science that leads to its functioning.
Computer information systems degrees can lead to similar jobs as computer science degrees, but computer science majors and masters might be preferred for senior roles in data science or software development. Working with a computer information systems degree, you can expect to earn about $73k if you have a bachelors and over $10k less than that if you have an associate degree.
- Graphic Design
Fitting in more with those who are interested in blogs, building websites on the user-facing side and those who have more of an artistic streak, graphic design degrees feature lessons about the business of digital media, publishing work online as well as teaching students the core components of using a computer to design brilliant art and typography.
You will be able to specialize in typography or areas like advanced three-dimensional modelling to improve your value as a potential candidate in the future. Expect to pick up basic animation skills as well.
Graphic design has great importance in building websites and applications and can be paired with a masters in UX or UI design to increase your value as an employee. Graphic design majors also have opportunities in fields like advertising and film/television. The average salary is about $55k a year, but it ranges dramatically depending on skill, expertise and experience – ranging from $30k to $85k a year.
- Computer Animation, Graphics and Multimedia
Perhaps a slightly more technical degree than graphic design, those studying computer animation, graphics and multimedia (can be known by other names too), those studying this course learn to create animations for many different kinds of media including television, film and video games. The job outlook is good, growing as fast as the US average (so not likely to suffer from COVID and is fairly recession-proof as people love consuming content).
The median annual wage for those working in this field is just over $75k a year according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (or $36.19 per hour). Typically, a bachelor’s degree is sufficient, and master’s degrees add less value than computer science or computer information system jobs. If you have a great work portfolio, the grades you got in your degree will matter less, as long as you excelled in the coursework. Those working in the computer animation, graphics and multimedia sector can expect to work for animation and design agencies or corporations that regularly produce a lot of content. There is also a lot of freelance work available.
- Educational Technology
Those choosing to study educational technology learn how to use digital tools and technical skills to become a teacher. Most of the degree applies to both child and adult education environments, and those studying educational technology will be able to specialize in niches like pedagogical skills and classrooms strategies. Students will be taught how to use technology to make students learn most efficiently and design the learning environments that facilitate learning.
The median salary for educational technology professionals is $64.5k per annum, and there was a projected job growth of 6% from 2018 to 2028 by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2018. However, the recent boom in remote learning is likely to turbocharge the importance of educational technology degrees, making them more relevant than ever. Expect job opportunities to become more far-reaching than working for schools and education centers as countless start-ups are expected to flourish in this field. Most candidates need a master’s degree, and if you want to start teaching using your degree, you will need a teaching license.