Information Technology (IT) Software: Diploma Summary

While diploma programs in IT focusing on software are scarce, many community colleges and vocational schools offer certificate programs in this field of study. Find out about courses, job outlook and salary statistics, and learn about continuing education options.

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Essential Information

In an IT software certification program, hands-on lab work occurs, emphasizing subjects such as computer operations, technical support and communicating technical issues. These programs typically take a year to complete, but a few may last longer. Some schools allow students to personalize their education to fit their specific requirements. Individuals may also have the opportunity to create their own database management system. Incoming students must meet the prerequisite of having a high school diploma with satisfactory grades in reading, math and computer skills.


Certificate Program in IT Software

While enrolled in IT software certification programs, students learn about the newest application software and prepare to earn their associate's degree. Information systems, software development, database applications, and composition be a part of the curriculum. Along with tech support, other course topics may include the following:

  • Accounting
  • Relational databases
  • Spreadsheets
  • Computer support
  • Systems analysis
  • Developmental tools

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the field of computer software developing will experience a rapid rate of growth (17%) from 2014-2024 (www.bls.gov). Jobs for programmers during that same time are expected to decline by 8%.

The BLS reported that employers usually prefer computer software developers to have earned at least a bachelor's degree. Employers also look for applicants with bachelor's degrees for computer programming jobs, though for some jobs an associate's degree or certificate will be accepted. The BLS reported in May 2015 that computer systems software developers earned an annual median salary of $105,570, and computer programmers earned a median wage of $79,530.

Continuing Education Information

After earning a certificate in information technology, graduates could be ready to earn an associate's degree in information technology. Associate's degree programs could focus on subjects such as visual programming, oral communications, project management, scripting and object-oriented analysis. Potentially, it could take two years to earn an associate's degree.

Students wanting to learn about the applications of software and computer operations in IT systems may want to look into a certificate program in IT software. These programs usually ready students for an associate's degree program, and it should be noted that most employers in the industry are looking for applicants with a bachelor's degree.

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