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Information Technology (Computer Science)

What Will I Learn?

Programs in information technology prepare the student for a variety of entry-level positions.

What Is The Occupational Outlook?

The Associate in Applied Science degree in Information Technology prepares the student for a variety of entry-level positions. Examples include application programmer, business programmer, systems analyst, web specialist, and mobile developer. As a graduate of Heartland Community College's two-year Associate in Applied Science degree program you will be able to gain employment in a variety of settings that incorporate information technology. Employers interested in our graduates include manufacturers, IT firms, insurance, healthcare, and educational institutions. The outlook for employment in the IT field is good and is expected to rise. In Illinois, average monthly pay is $4,500 for Programmers and $5,300 for Analysts. Jobs for programmers are expected to grow slightly slower than average while analyst jobs will grow much faster than average through 2010. Nationally, the number of positions for Programmers and Analysts are expected to grow faster than average.1

What Are My Options?

Students in the Associate in Applied Science degree in Information Technology receive a minimum of three semesters of hands-on programming experience in high-level programming languages. All students learn Java and have the choice of selecting additional high-level languages from the programming language electives group. Students will learn to create application programs that follow standard programming techniques used throughout the business world. Courses cover multiple platforms including PCs, servers, and mobile devices (i.e. phones, PDAs, and mp3 players). In addition, you will learn to use and manage databases, operating systems, and networks. As part of your program of study, you will select a specialization area. Available options include Computer Science, Management Information Systems, and Web Application Developer. A Mobile Application Developer specialization will be available soon.

Graduates of the IT program will have a variety of options available to them. Many students seek immediate employment upon graduation while others continue their education as a full-time student in a bachelor's degree program. BS degree options include programs such as computer science, information technology, digital media, management information systems, and applied management. Bachelor's programs are available in an on-line format and also as a 3+1 arrangement.

The Computer Technology: Programming certificate prepares students for entry-level positions such as applications programmer, business programmer, user support/help desk, and computer operator. Students receive two semesters of hands-on programming experience in a high-level programming language, such as C, and have the choice of selecting a second high-level language from the programming electives group. The courses included in the certificate are accepted toward the completion of the Associate in Applied Science degree in computer technology.

The Computer Support Specialist certificate of completion prepares individuals with basic skills required to install, maintain and support PCs in the workplace. This certificate may be applied toward further study in electronics, networking or computer technology.

The Web Application Developer certificate program is designed to prepare students for entry-level careers as World Wide Web application developers. The comprehensive program provides students with skills in computer and Internet fundamentals, designing effective interfaces, coding HTML, providing application through a web interface and troubleshooting technical problems. Students will able to seek a variety of positions related to web application development.

  1. Department of Employment Security, State of Illinois, Wage Data 2009, on the Internet at http://lmi.ides.state.il.us/PDFs/statewidewage_pub.pdf