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Technology Degrees for Older Students
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These three technology majors hold some of the best potential for career advancement and the most versatile applications in various industries. A degree in one of these fields will give you a solid understanding of technology’s role in today’s professional world. It will also equip you with a flexible skill set that you can adapt to ever changing technology applications in your eventual career field of choice.

Information Systems

This career area melds business and technology together, preparing you for a consulting role in terms of which system structure an organization needs to accomplish its objectives. You will learn how to evaluate a business’s needs for specific workflows and rates of productivity, and you will then make recommendations for an information system that will fit those needs. You will also understand the role of online promotions and the role of an information systems consultant in helping companies design strategies for these Web presences.

This degree program is often heavily project based, requiring the design and presentation of proposals for these systems comprised of hardware, software, internal networks and Web based applications. If you have prior on-the-job experience making presentations, your communication skills will serve you well in this college major.

Digital Forensics

Combating cybercrime is this career’s primary focus, and it requires strong analytical as well as investigative skills. A degree in this specialty field will place you in high demand particularly if you have spent prior years working in a law enforcement job position. Discovering, preserving and analyzing the data found on criminals’ digital devices is one of the main roles of a digital forensics investigator, and a good degree program will give you plenty of hands-on experience in a forensics lab setting once you have learned the needed methods in the classroom. Upon graduation, you will have a number of opportunities available to you in local, state or federal law enforcement agencies as well as in the private sector.

Computer Science

This degree field is one of the more traditional ones, and it has been around longer than some other technology heavy degrees developed in the past couple of decades. When many prospective returning adult students think of computer science, they first picture spending hours writing lines of cryptic programming language code. While learning to program is part of a computer science degree, it only comprises one area of this dynamic field. If you have a prior background in mathematics or engineering, it may be easier to make the switch to computer science than you might assume. A high caliber degree program will give you plenty of practice in thinking algorithmically and applying this scientific thought process to solving problems. A computer science degree will also equip you to help design and create the software that powers each new gadget that everyone must have when it hits the market.

Just because you did not grow up texting and tweeting, do not consider yourself out of the running for that technology degree that has always interested you. You bring a body of knowledge to your studies thanks to your time in the professional arena, and this background gives you a solid advantage over the traditional-aged college students without this real world experience. The key to success in one of these degree programs is to be flexible in your thought processes and open to applying many new concepts to your area of expertise.

Angela Farrer, 32, is pursuing a Master of Science in Information Systems.

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