Do you need a degree for a job in IT? – Q&A with Hiring Expert Elizabeth Becker
PROTECH’s very own Elizabeth Becker was featured as a SME in the IT space for Schools.com. To read the full article, visit the article Online IT Schools – Online Technology Colleges.
Q&A with an expert: Elizabeth Becker, client partner at IT staffing firm PROTECH
As a client partner at IT staffing firm PROTECH, Elizabeth Becker knows all about the value of an IT degree in today’s workforce. Here’s what she had to say about the job prospects of IT graduates at different academic levels:
Why would you encourage someone to consider a degree in IT?
Although becoming successful in IT is not reliant on having a degree, many employers still require a degree, making it difficult to get hired without one. Many candidates may say they have the skills, but without a degree or certifications to back up their claim, it’s hard for a hiring manager to know if the skill is there or not. This is even more challenging when you have non-technical hiring managers making decisions. Since they aren’t tech-savvy, they have to rely on a candidates experience and education to make a hiring decision.
What are the most common educational paths for those interested in IT careers?
For technical support or help desk positions, many candidates only need specific certifications like A+. For higher level positions such as software engineers, a higher degree is almost always a requirement. The most common degrees we see are A.S./B.S./M.S. since IT is a branch of science. However, we also see a lot of the creative IT positions (such as UI/UX roles) holding A.A./B.A./M.A. degrees and those in more IT management or leadership with an MBA.
Is a bachelor’s degree typically sufficient to start a career in the IT field? What reasons might there be for a student to continue their education to the master’s level before digging in to the job market?
In my experience, a candidate with a bachelor’s degree and 2 years of working experience will have more options than a candidate with only a master’s degree. I have many conversations with master’s-level candidates that can’t find a job because they don’t have any working experience in their industry. In IT, experience and education work hand-in-hand and having a great education without working experience could prove to be a hindrance.