Nobel Prize for Chemistry Shows Importance of IT in Science

A career in information technology can not only be a gateway into a stable, interesting and high-paying occupation, it could also allow you to be a part of some of the most interesting scientific breakthroughs of our time.

Nobel prize awarded for computer modeling
The 2013 Nobel Prize for Chemistry went to a team of U.S.-based scientists - Martin Karplus, Michael Levitt and Arieh Warshal - for their pioneering work on computer programs that simulate complex chemical processes. Their breakthroughs freed the world of chemistry from its antiquated reliance on gluing balls and sticks together to create scientific models, taking the discipline into the modern age.

"Today the computer is just as important a tool for chemists as the test tube," the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, which hands out the annual award, said in a statement. "Computer models mirroring real life have become crucial for most advances made in chemistry today."

The recognition and the work itself are powerful reminders of just how important technology has become in all facets of modern life. Without the work of these scientists, and the IT professionals who have helped design more effective modeling programs over the years, much of our understanding of the basic processes of life and the universe would be far less complete than they are today.

IT degree can be an entree into a whole new world
One of the great advantages of going back to school or continuing your education to complete an IT degree is that it allows you to work in a number of different fields. Since almost everything in the modern world relies on information technology, there is a need for IT professionals wherever you look.

As the Nobel announcement shows, one of those many possible fields of work is science. But computer modeling, and the ability to troubleshoot problems in that process, has become essential to a whole range of businesses, from architecture to product delivery.

Having a deeper understanding of how those systems work, an understanding you can develop with an online information technology degree, prepares you to pursue almost any discipline where your interests may lead. It's become an essential aspect of research, business and industry in the 21st century.

This article is sponsored by Western Governors University, a nonprofit, accredited, online university. WGU offers bachelor's and master's online degree programs in IT. To find out more, please visit

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