Thinking of a career in IT? There’s an ongoing debate about whether or not getting a computer-related degree is even needed in the profession, although data has shown people with computer science degrees land among the highest-paying professionals. There are many great undergrad programs and non-traditional avenues toward getting the knowledge you need to work in the field.
If you do opt for the college route, the following universities have earned bragging rights when it comes to having notable alumni in the industry.
Virginia Tech may be known for its engineering programs, but its IT program is not far behind. A bachelor of science in business information technology under the Pamplin College of Business prepares students for real-world problems. The IT program is a mixture of business, computer science and industrial engineering courses.
Virginia Tech IT graduates get cutting-edge training in technology, with classes on design, information security, modeling and supply chain management, among others. It’s one of the most affordable schools on our list.
Notable graduates include:
Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA, is one of the leading technology universities in the world. Until 1967, it was known as Carnegie Technical Schools. Facebook’s director of engineering, Aditya Agarwal; Sun Microsystems co-founder, Andy Bechtolsheim; Google’s chief Java architect, Joshua Bloch; Microsoft’s corporate vice presidents, Anoop Gupta and Harry Shum; and Boeing CTO Robert J. Krieger all have roots at CMU.
You might also know the following distinguished alumni:
IT-related programs at Carnegie Mellon include a bachelor’s degree in computer programming and technology, which combines course work and practical experience. The school also offers a bachelor of science in business administration with a computing and information technology track. Nevertheless, all freshmen and sophomores, no matter what their majors, are expected to take up programming and computing courses as part of the curriculum.
Harvard University’s computer science program is among the best in the world. The program has close ties with chemistry, physics, biology, electrical engineering and even medicine and business courses, on top of programming and computing.
Harvard’s faculty and alumni have won 46 Nobel Prizes put together, but it really stands out for producing illustrious alumni that have made a difference in the world of technology. Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates were Harvard dropouts, who then proceeded to found two of the world’s most iconic brands: Facebook and Microsoft.
Other notable Harvard graduates in the tech world include:
Maybe it should not be surprising that Massachusetts Institute of Technology is one of the top tech schools in the United States today. MIT is known for being highly cross-disciplinary, so students can, for instance, mix information technology and business.
MIT boasts a lot of distinguished graduates who became luminaries in the field of technology, including:
BYU probably has the best information systems curriculum in the country outside of the Ivy League. All of its faculty hires in recent years have earned their doctorates at top Ph.D. programs. Students are trained to deal with real-world problems and in best practices.
The SCO Group CEO Darl McBride and former Dell CEO Kevin Rollins both attended BYU.
Other notable graduates include:
Again, while these may be some of the top technology schools in the country with some of the most famous alumni, that doesn’t mean other colleges and universities do not provide top-notch training. The trick is always to check course outlines and compare programs at different schools to see if they offer the classes and programs that fit your career path.
And remember, too, that training doesn’t stop in school. Real training and real experience comes when you have left the walls of your college or university.
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