Information systems give new ways to create and store data, solve problems and communicate. Information technology is the force behind information systems as it allows people to design, test and study all forms of technology. Because complex information systems keep businesses running efficiently, companies hire people with immense knowledge in information technology to troubleshoot and develop these systems. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job prospects for computer network and systems specialists are excellent. Courses related to information technology can be found on almost all college campuses and within almost every academic department. Some courses focus heavily on the scientific and mathematical aspects of information technology, while other courses are more business- and communications-based. Because of this variety, anyone can earn some educational background in information technology.
Introduction to Computer Science and Programming
An introductory course in computer programming teaches students the problem-solving nature of computers. Students are introduced to the concept of computer algorithms which are a set of steps needed in order to solve a problem. This is the foundation of creating computer programs. They may also learn a programming language, such as Java. The concepts learned in an introductory computer programming course prepares students to be able to interpret and create computer programs that can analyze data and solve problems, just like the ones commonly used at home and at work. Some courses require only basic computer knowledge beforehand, while others might have prerequisites such as math.
Database Management Systems
In a database management class, students learn how computers are used to store, organize, maintain and retrieve information. They learn about different data structures and database models through lectures and hands-on training. This course introduces students to the tasks handled by a company's database administration specialists. Most database management systems courses have prerequisites like an introductory computer science course.
Web Design and Web Programming
Students interested in learning more about how the internet ties into information technology can take a course in web design and web programming. Some colleges combine these courses, while others offer them separately. A web design course will teach students the mechanics behind how to create a web page. They will learn about HyperText Markup Language (HTML) and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). The class will also introduce them to web design tools that can enhance a webpage.
A web programming course focuses more on what goes on behind the scenes of webpage development. Students learn about servers and how web pages are created, uploaded and shared with the world. This course also touches on how to use the internet to manage a database. Most courses in web design and web programming will require the student to have some computer programming knowledge.