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What Are the Different Types of Technology Degree Programs?

Computer science is one type of technology degree program.
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  • Written By: K. Kinsella
  • Edited By: Shereen Skola
  • Last Modified Date: 29 June 2014
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Technology degree programs are usually engineering or computer science related courses that prepare students to work as computer programmers, analysts or as designers in various fields of engineering. Many universities offer both undergraduate and postgraduate technology degree programs; these courses usually involve a mixture of classroom based study and practical training sessions. Students must successfully graduate from high school with above average grades in mathematics and computing or science related subjects to enroll in an undergraduate program. Postgraduate courses are usually designed for people who have already completed undergraduate technology degree programs since these courses often cover the same general material but in much greater depth.

Many universities offer Bachelor of Science (BS) undergraduate technology degree programs. Typically, such courses last for between three and four years and students learn about topics such as computer science, information systems, internet security and database communications. To differentiate computer-oriented courses from engineering ones, some colleges refer to these programs as information technology (IT) degrees. Students learn about the subject in classes, seminars and tutorials while the practical aspects of the course are taught in laboratories where attendees learn how to create programs and resolve network issues. Additionally, people enrolled in these BS degree programs usually learn how to install, repair and modify hardware such as computer terminals.

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Some universities offer technology degrees that culminate in a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree, rather than a BS. Normally, students enrolled in these sessions learn about information systems and technology but BA courses do not usually include laboratory based sessions. Aside from computer focused programs, both BA and BS courses at some colleges are centered on engineering in which case students may learn how to design structures, modify buildings or measure pressure levels with or without the assistance of computer systems. As with computer oriented courses, the BA engineering sessions are largely theory based while BS courses include practical elements such as model making or various types of fieldwork.

People who have completed undergraduate technology degree programs can go on to take Masters of Science (MS) or Masters or Arts (MA) courses. These normally last for at least one year and often focus on one aspect of the topic such as computer engineering or web analysis. Upon completion of a masters course, some students enroll in doctor of philosophy (PhD) programs or other types of doctorate courses. These programs usually last for several years and students are required to write a dissertation on one element of the topic as well as passing a series of examinations. The final grades for doctorate courses are often decided by a panel of academics while grades for lower level courses are largely determined by examination grades.

Aside from universities, technical institutes and trade schools offer vocational programs that often take the form of associates degrees. These institutions offer medical related degree courses for people who plan to work as billers or coders since people in these roles use computer software on a daily basis. Other people enroll in graphic design, bookkeeping, music technology courses and a variety of other different programs that prepare people to work in particular occupations. Many of these institutions offer year-round courses and evening sessions that those employed in full-time jobs can easily attend while others offer online courses. Upon completion of these programs, participants receive a diploma or certificate and this document opens upon many more work opportunities.

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