The tech industry is booming across the board, from healthcare software development to the game industry and edge computing. According to CompTIA, the global tech market is projected to grow by 5% annually through 2024.
It’s also among the few industries that didn’t see a huge surge in unemployment due to the pandemic. In the U.S, the unemployment rate in the IT sector reached 4.6% at the peak of layoffs. That’s nothing compared to 14.7% nationwide (source: CompTIA).
The number of tech majors awarded annually reflects the rising demand in the skilled workforce. If you’re one of the people that always dreamed of tying their lives with tech, this is the direction you’d probably want to go. But, it’s not a secret that studying exact sciences can be time-consuming and hard. Don’t let that discourage you since you can get an excellent assignment done by essay writing service EssayPro to save your grades. This will allow you to enjoy the subjects you like without putting additional burdens.
According to the U.S. National Center for Education Statistics, the number of computer and information sciences Bachelor’s degrees almost doubled between 2005-06 and 2018-19 (from 47,702 to 88,633). And the numbers continue to rise.
So, let’s take a deep dive into the 5 most popular tech majors out there—and how to choose the right one.
First Things First: How to Decide on Your Major
On the one hand, since you (probably) already know that tech is your calling, you have it somewhat narrowed down. On the other hand, tech as an industry and field of knowledge is way too vast for the words “I want to graduate with a tech major” to be enough.
So, here are several tips that’ll help you settle on your major while mitigating the risk of making a mistake:
- Consider your interests and strengths. What do you enjoy doing? What are you good at? Think about your life so far and list 10 answers to each of these questions.
- Assess your current academic performance. Do you have what it takes to pursue this or that major? Maybe, you need to have a gap year to prepare for it? Or hire a tutor to bring yourself up to speed?
- Look into career prospects. What kind of projects do you want to be working on? What do you want your day-to-day responsibilities to be? Remember to do some research on what your dream job is really like on a daily basis. YouTube is full of videos of professionals talking about their work.
5 Most Sought-After Tech Majors to Consider
So, which majors are in demand these days? Let’s take a look at the data from the U.S. National Center for Education Statistics to answer this question.
1. Computer Science
This degree is number one for a good reason: it typically covers the widest range of tech-related areas of knowledge. From artificial intelligence and data mining to programming and cybersecurity, this direction is the modern solution. However, keep in mind that the curriculum itself can vary wildly from one university to another.
That means that you’ll cover the basics in multiple tech fields and have dozens of career options once you graduate. With this degree, you can expect to build your career as:
- Data scientist (the average base annual salary is $114,060; source: Indeed.com);
- Software test engineer ($88,790);
- Web developer ($68,610);
- Network architect ($130,654);
- Software developer ($114,704), and more.
Here are 6 most common subjects you should expect to study if you choose this major:
- Programming algorithms and principles;
- Programming languages;
- Operating systems;
- Computer organization;
- Data types.
After you have a good grasp of the basics, you can choose more advanced classes in your particular areas of interest, be it cryptography or data visualization. And this flexibility is another advantage of this major. You can essentially build your curriculum to specialize in any computer-related field as you progress.
2. Software Engineering
If you choose this major, you’ll be specializing in software development. But it’s not as limiting as it may sound! The software encompasses everything from your favorite mobile app to healthcare systems and e-learning platforms.
And once you graduate, you’ll be able to build your career in any of dozens (if not hundreds) of software development niches. With this degree, you can land a job as:
- Software engineer ($114,704);
- Information systems manager ($90,002);
- Quality assurance engineer ($71,950);
- System engineer ($95,758);
- Mobile developer ($120,196).
As for the range of subjects covered, expect to learn about:
- Software and system design;
- Software testing and maintenance;
- Various programming languages (C++, Java, etc.);
- Computer programming principles and algorithm design;
- Data communications, and more.
3. Information Technology
This degree is designed to prepare future IT specialists. That means students focus not just on software and computer networks. Their curriculum also includes business administration and organization subjects. After all, information technology is broadly defined as using tech to solve business problems.
Graduates with a major in Information Technology under their belt typically get employed as:
- Computer network architects ($130,654);
- Information security analysts ($82,989);
- Information systems managers ($90,002);
- Database administrators ($87,979) and architects ($134,146).
As for the curriculum, expect to be focusing on these 5 fields of knowledge during your studies:
- Computer and information systems;
- Human-computer interaction;
- Algorithms and data structures;
- Data communications and networking;
- Database systems.
It’s a relatively new major, compared to the likes of the Computer Science one. But as the world gets more and more digital, the demand for cybersecurity specialists to keep all of that data safe is skyrocketing.
Here’s just a preview of what kind of jobs you can find with this degree:
- Security analyst ($83,917);
- IT security specialist ($55,218)
- Security engineer ($103,193);
- Security administrator ($80,110).
If you choose to major in cybersecurity, here’s what you’ll be studying:
- Database, network engineering, software and systems development fundamentals;
- Vulnerability analysis and testing;
- Cyber criminology;
- Network security;
- System and organizational security.
5. Artificial Intelligence and Robotics
Have you always dreamed of building your own C3PO or R2-D2? If so, majoring in AI and robotics is going to be the right choice for you. It’ll help you get one step closer to this dream. And who knows, maybe you’ll be the one to push the boundaries of what’s possible in this field!
As for the career prospects, here are 6 jobs you can get with this particular degree and their average base annual salaries:
- Robotics software engineer ($89,529);
- Data analyst ($65,626);
- Big data engineer ($118,853);
- Business intelligence developer ($94,250);
- Data scientist ($114,060);
- Robotics engineer ($89,529).
If you declare AI and robotics as your major, here’s a quick preview of what you’ll be studying:
- Applied robotics;
- Software development principles and algorithm design;
- Data structures;
- Artificial intelligence and machine learning;
- Data mining;
- Natural language processing;
- Deep learning.
It’s no wonder why students opt for a career in the tech industry. There’s no shortage of jobs as the industry keeps growing, so the job security alone is alluring. Plus, it pays handsomely. What’s not to like?
But here’s a word of caution: don’t use these two reasons as your only selection criteria. What’s the point of having a well-paid job if you’re going to be miserable when you have to go to work?
Instead, listen to yourself. Use your interests and strengths as the guiding star when you make your choice.
And remember: even if you can’t settle on a major before you enter college, it’s not a problem. At most establishments, you have until the end of your sophomore year to declare a major. Use this opportunity to attend various classes to see which major would be a better match for you.
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