Launching a Career in IT – Degree vs Practical Experience

By John Ananto
September 28, 2020

I have been living in the USA for the most of my life and the fact remains clear, learning IT is a mixed bag for anyone. For some, it is the most fun they will ever have in their life. Others experience the exact opposite. But the truth of the matter is IT companies in the D.C. area are hard to come by. Many struggle to determine if gaining practical experience or a degree is the best way into the field. This article will explore both options.

To begin, here are some questions you can ask yourself: Have you always been fascinated by technology, like to find out how things work, and use your smartphone or notebook for much more than games and making calls? Would you like to design an app yourself or program a database for your music collection? If the answer is yes, you are probably in very good hands in an IT profession.

Unfortunately, you are now spoiled for choice: the opportunities to make a career in this professional field are just as numerous as the training opportunities offered. The big question is: IT studies or training?

To make a good decision for your career planning, you should first consider where your main interests lie. Are you more of a creative type who enjoys making web content appealing and user-friendly? Do you like to approach problems and challenges practically by rolling up your sleeves and pulling out the screwdriver? Or are you more interested in mathematical and theoretical backgrounds such as algorithms, computer architecture, and the basics of operating systems? Before you start your career in IT, you should have answered these questions for yourself.

IT Degree or Apprenticeship?

First of all: The job prospects are still very good in almost all IT professions, provided you have completed relevant vocational training or a corresponding degree in computer science. However, employers usually have very specific requirements for potential employees or are looking for very specific specializations. Even the most well-trained media designer will have little chance of starting a career as a network administrator right away.

Practical experience that you acquire during your training is also important. The so-called dual courses of study, which combine theory and practice, deserve special mention here.

For everyone who has to answer the question “IT studies or training?” It is difficult because you are interested in both the theoretical background of information technology and its practical application, a dual degree is a good choice.
Another thing to keep in mind is if you are currently an owner of a company that has a lot of fieldwork in it, then it will be best to delegate any IT needs to professionals. Your main job is to make sure every single employee possess the best mobile dispatch software and make money. How do you provide the system is not too relevant.

If you want the easy choice then a dual degree is the answer. The dual courses of study in IT with the best job prospects are currently business informatics and technical informatics. With a degree in business informatics, for example, you will implement complete technical solutions for large companies (such as broadband networks or connected car technology in cars). Technical computer scientists mainly deal with communication technologies, process informatics, automation technology, etc.

Explore the Theories of Computer Science

Anyone who prefers to go a little deeper and want to acquire a sound basic knowledge is well advised to study computer science. This is mainly about theory: you learn from the bottom up how information is processed and analyzed and how to work systematically with this information. The computer science course also includes the architecture of complex systems and the planning, development, and construction of computer systems. Very good knowledge of logic and mathematics and a pronounced passion for technology are basic requirements for this bachelor’s degree. The demands on students in most computer science courses are quite high. Perseverance is therefore a must. What the question “IT degree or training?” cannot answer with a definite yes to studying, it is better to opt for a different type of training to avoid disappointment later.

Successful without IT?

There are also an infinite number of training opportunities for all creative types. If you love to come up with scenarios for games or if you can imagine creating e-books, videos, and interactive websites, you are definitely in good hands in this area. As a media designer, you mainly deal with the design of digital and print media. For this, you need a very good technical understanding as well as an interest in the use of graphic software. Publishers, printers, and advertising agencies are possible employers. The design of apps and games can be learned in two to three-year training courses. The following applies to all creative IT professions: the competition and the workload are relatively high, but the earnings may be as well!

Featured Image: Christina at wocintechchat [dot] com, Unsplash.