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Fall 2002 Vol. 46, Number 3

Training for techies: Career preparation in information technology

Preparing for careers in information technology is a function of multiple subroutines. Which algorithm will you choose?


Maria and Spencer are both in their early 20’s. Maria recently completed her bachelor’s degree in English; Spencer dropped out of college after a few semesters. If asked to speculate on Maria’s and Spencer’s occupations, perhaps you would guess writer and waiter. 

But it might surprise you to learn that Maria is a computer systems analyst and Spencer is a computer programmer. Maria, while majoring in English, took several computer-related courses and gained experience working in a computer lab. Spencer, although not formally enrolled in a degree program, took courses at a community college and earned certification in a programming language. Both benefited from the flexible training requirements for individuals hoping to work in information technology, often identified as IT. 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that 8 of the 10 fastest growing occupations between 2000 and 2010 will be computer related. For this reason, future jobseekers need to know about the variety of ways to prepare for a career in information technology. Following a discussion of how these workers are defined, this article focuses on the available training, which ranges from certificates to advanced degrees. 

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Last Updated: March 04, 2003