Photo courtesy of Flickr: Rob Young
Whether you are fresh out of high school and looking to earn an IT degree, or are a veteran programmer looking to move your career up to the next level, getting an education from a renowned school can work wonders for your professional life. With that thought firmly in mind, this quick blog post is going to look at the best information technology programs the United States has to offer.
Some of the names on our list are probably familiar to you, especially if you are already an experienced programmer or have done your share of research into IT degrees. Others might seem surprising, but rest assured, if the school is on our list, they boast one of the best information technology programs out there.
Perhaps the most popular and well-known college on our list, the mere mention of the prestigious MIT on your resume will open virtually any door. Opening its doors in 1861, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is well known for its contributions to scientific and technology research. Beyond that, the university offers the famed Sloan School of Management, where you can earn a graduate or undergraduate degree in programs geared towards a mix of information technology and management/business.
In addition to traditional degrees, MIT also offers certificate programs for IT pros.
Located in the historic Philadelphia, PA, Temple University is another great school to earn an IT degree, as the school not only offers multiple degrees - some through its College of Science and Technology (CST) campus - but gives attendees the opportunity to delve into the research side of technology. Examples include the CIS Center for Data Analytics and Biomedical Informatics (DABI) - which focuses on data mining, machine learning, and pattern recognition - and the CIS Center for Networked Computing, where students learn all about the booming tech field of cybersecurity.
Of course, tech students can also follow more traditional avenues, including programming and cybersecurity courses for non-majors. Temple also offers a Computer Science Program for application developers and the Information Science and Technology Program for those seeking to learn procedural and object-oriented programming (OOP).
They say everything is bigger in Texas, and perhaps nowhere is that more true than in their educational system. Founded in 1833, the University of Texas at Austin boasts a huge student body, averaging an enrollment of over 50,000 students each year. And with good reason - the school's Department of Computer Science is renowned for its graduate and undergraduate degree programs, as well as its doctorate program for business majors looking to enter the mixed world of business information technology.
Not quite as large the University of Texas in regards to its student body (Brigham averages a little over 25,000 students per year), Brigham Young University makes up for the vast student diversity with an astounding job placement rate for its students - 100 percent of the universities graduates find IT jobs within six months of graduation.
The school is also great for those looking to opt out of the "party college" scene, as Brigham is the country's largest religious university, and all students are expected to follow an honor code, dictating rules for dress, alcohol consumption, and chastity - to name a few.
Virginia Tech is known for two things - its beautiful campus and its engineering department. Virginia Tech may not be viewed in the same league as MIT, but its graduate students are highly sought-after nonetheless. This is due, in part, to the way the university structures its IT program, focusing heavily on both the technical and business side of information technology. This hybrid program is geared towards prepping students to enter the technology sector in a real-world scenario - not only will enrollees learn how to develop systems, but they will learn how to market them as well.
Pennsylvania State University is another great campus for laid back students seeking an IT degree. Like Virginia Tech, Pennsylvania State's computer science program is business oriented, preparing students for ITs role in the corporate world through its Smeal College of Business.
These types of concentrations are sought after more and more by corporations - especially enterprise-level organizations looking to leverage employees who understand the business-side of information technology.
The third (and final) entrant on our list that is located in Pennsylvania, Carnegie Mellon combines an old school campus feel with a cutting edge technology program that is second to none not just in the United States, but the entire world.
An off-shoot of the famed Tepper School of Business, the school's IT program is also business oriented, like other degrees on our list. The program offers minors in Supply Chain Management or Business Administration. But don't be fooled into thinking you will only learn about the management side of tech - Carnegie offers robust programming and development courses, as well as networking and system design.
Like all of the schools in this blog post, Carnegie Mellon not only gives you a great IT education, but a well-rounded, general education as well.