While 2-year associate's programs introduce fundamental business and database management concepts, 4-year bachelor's degree programs allow for more comprehensive study. Applicants to these undergrad programs need to have a high school diploma or the equivalent.
At the master's level, students can prepare for upper-tier managerial positions by studying advanced marketing and software management topics. Applicants need to hold a bachelor's degree.
For all levels, colleges sometimes require students to possess basic math and computer skills.
Business and Information Technology Associate's Degree Program
An associate's degree program in business and information technology teaches students about basic business skills and computer programs. Possible degrees include an Associate of Applied Science in Business Information Technology. Students may develop skills important in customer service, information technology (IT) and management. Some common course topics include:
- Database management
- Business math
- Desktop publishing
Business and Information Technology Bachelor's Degree Program
Bachelor's degree programs, such as Bachelor of Science (BS) in Business and IT, typically take four years to complete. These programs provide more in-depth study on how to run business operations, manage resources and understand how companies use networks and databases. Liberal arts courses like psychology and composition help students develop strong communication skills vital in business or IT. Some common course topics include:
- Web administration
- Operating systems
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Business and Information Technology Master's Degree Program
These programs provide more theoretical and managerial coursework relating to business and IT. Credentials offered include Master of Business Administration (MBA) or Master of Science (MS) degrees; some schools may structure the degree as a dual MBA/MS.
These graduate programs may also require students to choose an emphasis in an area that can range from marketing to accounting. Students take advanced classes in business, and they may also be required to complete a master's project. These programs also provide electives in programming, ethics and other issues. Some common course topics include:
- Managerial accounting
- Disaster recovery
- Marketing management
- Managerial economics
- Software management
- Systems project management
Popular Career Options
Graduates of AAS programs may be able to find entry-level jobs in IT or business. Some popular careers include:
- Information processing specialist
- Administrative assistant
- Business information professional
- Customer service coordinator
- Records management technician
Graduates of bachelor's and master's degree programs may be qualified to work in IT as developers, managers or consultants. Their backgrounds in business can help them understand budgeting, user needs and financial strategies. Some popular careers include:
- Computer manager
- Chief technology officers
- IT project managers
- Information systems manager
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that employment for computer and information systems managers will grow 15% for the years 2014-2024 (www.bls.gov). In May 2015, the BLS reported that the median annual wage for these workers was $131,600.
Continuing Education Information
Those who are interested in working in academia or research can pursue a Ph.D. degree in business and IT. Students are required to complete a dissertation and complete advanced topics like production and operations management or optimization.
Interdisciplinary associate's, bachelor's, and master's degree programs give students the opportunity to study both business and information technology. Graduates can apply their skills in both subjects in a variety of computer-related jobs.