Information technology has many specialties, all dealing with the use of computers in business applications. Certificate programs in computer information technology can either provide a general overview of computer support or focus on a specific area. Programs focused on support provide students with the skills needed to troubleshoot, provide hands-on assistance, and give technical support in hardware and software. More specialized programs may focus on a networking technology like Cisco, a database technology like SQL Server, a programming language like Java, or an operating system like UNIX. Several fields of study also exist, such as computer maintenance, operating systems, hardware and software concepts, and creating websites. Programs generally take two to three semesters to complete.
Certificate in Computer Information Technology
The courses students will have to take depend on the type of computer information technology certificate program they choose. Some programs cover specific software applications and offer additional courses to help them prepare for industry certification exams, such as the CompTIA A+ and Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) credentials. Coursework in these various programs includes:
- Introductory computer science
- Network security
- Project management
- Customer service concepts
Popular Career Options
Depending on the type of program you complete, graduates may work as entry-level computer support specialists, help desk technicians, network administrators, programmers, or Web developers.
Job Outlook and Salary Information
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), both computer support specialists and database administrators will experience faster-than-average growth between 2014 and 2024, at rates of 12% and 11%, respectively (www.bls.gov). Network administrators will experience average growth of 8% during that time period, while computer programmers are expected to decline 8%. As of May 2015, the BLS reported average wages of $82,200 for network administrators, $84,360 for computer programmers, $52,430 for computer user support specialists and $84,250 for database administrators.
A certificate in computer information technology teaches students a variety of computer and networking skills with numerous specializations and fields of study, opening up many potential employment opportunities in the future.