2019 Best Online Information Technology (IT) Degrees

Online information technology degree programs are available at 267 accredited schools and at the associate, bachelor's, master's, doctoral, and certificate levels. Degree accreditation should be an important consideration for prospective students choosing a program, as should cost and quality. Our best online bachelor's list for IT degrees highlights the 25 schools with low tuition costs and comparatively high alumni salaries, as reported by PayScale. Our master's rankings may also be helpful for prospective information technology students.

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2019 Best Online Colleges Offering Bachelor's in Information Technology Degrees

Information Technology--2019-Badge

The 22 online colleges on this list are the best options for online bachelor's degrees in information technology, based on their tuition and alumni-reported salaries. The lowest tuition can be found at Western Governors University, which ranks #17 overall. University of Virginia ranks #2, with a very high median salary of $150,000. National University offers working adults one different degree options, including options in cyber security and information technology management.

Alumni salaries were provided by PayScale. View our methodology for more details or learn more about Guide to Online Schools.

Rank School Annual Tuition Median Salary
#1 #1 $8,240 $184,700
#2 #2 $12,900 $150,000
#3 #3 $20,520 $130,600
#4 #4 $13,770 $117,300
#5 #5 $20,287 $116,400
#6 #6 $11,520 $114,900
#7 #7 $7,192 $113,900
#8 #8 $11,400 $112,200
#9 #9 $6,560 $109,500
#10 #10 $12,704 $110,000
#11 #11 $8,993 $105,800
#12 #12 $13,230 $105,800
#13 #13 $21,780 $106,800
#14 #14 $18,400 $105,500
#15 #15 $20,520 $101,800
#16 #16 $16,306 $99,700
#17 #17 $6,380 $96,300
#18 #18 $18,864 $97,200
#19 #19 $32,520 $97,900
#20 #20 $18,290 $96,000
#21 #21 $13,280 $94,000
#22 #22 $17,020 $93,200
Salary data provided by Payscale Logo.

Comprehensive List of Accredited Online Schools - Information Technology Degrees (267)

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Partner School
Partner School
Full List Accreditation Annual Tuition Recommend Rate
Full List (266)
Abilene Christian University SACS COC $33,330 100% (6 reviews)
3 Programs, 3 in Information Technology (view all)
  • Bachelor of Science in Information Technology Administration - Application Development
  • Bachelor of Science in Information Technology Administration - Cybersecurity
  • BS: Information Technology Administration
Abraham Lincoln University DEAC $7,500 100% (2 reviews)
2 Programs, 2 in Information Technology (view all)
  • Information Technology - AS
  • Master of Science in Information Technology (MS)
Albany State University SACS COC $16,136 Add Review
3 Programs, 3 in Information Technology (view all)
  • Associate of Science in Health Information Technology
  • Bachelor of Science in Management Information Systems and Technology
  • Certificate in Computer Technology Option
American InterContinental University HLC Not Provided 66% (163 reviews)
8 Programs, 8 in Information Technology (view all)
  • Bachelor of Science (BSIT) - Digital Investigation
  • Bachelor of Science (BSIT) - Information Assurance and Security
  • Bachelor of Science (BSIT) - Information Technology
  • Bachelor of Science (BSIT) - Network Administration
American National University DEAC $14,886 0% (2 reviews)
9 Programs, 9 in Information Technology (view all)
  • Bachelor of Science in Network Administration
  • Business Administration - Information Technology - Master
  • Cybersecurity - Bachelor
  • Cybersecurity - Master
American Public University System HLC $6,880 71% (146 reviews)
40 Programs, 40 in Information Technology (view all)
  • Associate of Science in Database Application Development
  • Bachelor of Arts in Security Management - Information Security
  • Bachelor of Business Administration - Information Technology Management
  • Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity
Anderson University - SC SACS COC $26,970 Add Review
1 Program, 1 in Information Technology (view all)
  • Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Coding and App Development
Appalachian State University SACS COC $22,109 100% (4 reviews)
1 Program, 1 in Information Technology (view all)
  • Bachelor of Science in Career and Technical Education - Business, Finance and Information Technology Education
Arizona State University HLC $15,691 - $27,372 71% (88 reviews)
9 Programs, 9 in Information Technology (view all)
  • BAS in Internet & Web Development
  • BS in Computer Information Systems
  • BS in Graphic Information Technology
  • BS in Information Technology
Ashford University WASC WSCUC $10,632 - $13,400 67% (646 reviews)
13 Programs, 13 in Information Technology (view all)
  • BA/Business Information Systems
  • BS/Computer Software Technology
  • BS/Computer Software Technology - Web Content
  • BS/Cyber & Data Security Technology
Austin Peay State University SACS COC $23,153 50% (2 reviews)
2 Programs, 2 in Information Technology (view all)
  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Technology - Database Administration
  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Technology - Internet and Web Technology
Avila University HLC $28,020 Add Review
1 Program, 1 in Information Technology (view all)
  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
Baker College Online HLC $9,360 60% (88 reviews)
8 Programs, 8 in Information Technology (view all)
  • Cloud Security Risk Management - MBA
  • Cloud Security Risk Management - MSIS
  • Game Software Development - Bachelor
  • Information Systems - MBA
Ball State University HLC $25,942 100% (4 reviews)
1 Program, 1 in Information Technology (view all)
  • Master of Science in Information and Communication Science
Bellevue University HLC $7,752 69% (58 reviews)
13 Programs, 13 in Information Technology (view all)
  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration - Business, Marketing and Information Technology
  • Bachelor of Science in Business Analytics
  • Bachelor of Science in Information Technology
  • Bachelor of Science in IT Operations Management
Bethel University - TN SACS COC $16,552 Add Review
1 Program, 1 in Information Technology (view all)
  • Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership - Information Technology
Bluefield College SACS COC $24,800 100% (1 review)
1 Program, 1 in Information Technology (view all)
  • Master of Arts in Education - Career & Technology Education: Business & Information Technology
Boston University NECHE $52,082 100% (2 reviews)
5 Programs, 5 in Information Technology (view all)
  • Graduate Certificate in Advanced Information Technology
  • Graduate Certificate in Information Technology
  • Graduate Certificate in IT Project Management
  • Master of Science in Computer Information Systems
Bowling Green State University-Main Campus HLC $18,593 83% (6 reviews)
2 Programs, 2 in Information Technology (view all)
  • Graduate Certificate in Computer Technology Endorsement
  • Master of Technology Management - Quality Systems
Brandeis University NECHE $53,537 Add Review
2 Programs, 2 in Information Technology (view all)
  • Master of Science in Technology Management
  • Master of Science in User-Centered Design
Bryant & Stratton College Online MSCHE $14,383 65% (52 reviews)
6 Programs, 6 in Information Technology (view all)
  • AAS: IT-Networking
  • Certificate: Certified Coding Specialists Prep Course
  • Certificate: Information Technology - CompTIA A+
  • Certificate: Information Technology - CompTIA Cloud+
California Baptist University WASC WSCUC $32,256 80% (5 reviews)
4 Programs, 4 in Information Technology (view all)
  • BS: Computer Information Technology
  • BS: Cybersecurity
  • BS: Network Administration and Management
  • MS: Information Technology Management
California State University-Fullerton WASC WSCUC $18,730 100% (2 reviews)
3 Programs, 3 in Information Technology (view all)
  • MS in Information Technology
  • MS in Information Technology - Data Science
  • MS in Information Technology - IT Management
California University of Pennsylvania MSCHE $15,326 80% (15 reviews)
1 Program, 1 in Information Technology (view all)
  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems
Campbellsville University SACS COC $25,400 50% (2 reviews)
3 Programs, 3 in Information Technology (view all)
  • Master of Arts in Education - Teacher Leader - Information Technology
  • Master of Arts in School Improvement - Rank I: Information Technology
  • Master of Business Administration - Information Technology
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2019 Online Colleges Offering Information Technology Degrees - Ranking Details

  • Annual Tuition: $8,240
  • Median Salary: $184,700
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The Bachelor of Science in Informatics degree at the State University of New York at Albany is the first completely online, undergraduate degree offered by SUNY. Students who are remote learners can avail themselves of classes from several different departments, including math, writing, critical inquiry, and many more. The IT concentration can be taken online, on campus, or both. Those who wish to pursue the online degree are given priority, so they should make this known when applying. The university uses the Blackboard Learning System for online courses. Students begin their online studies on the first day of classes or the first day of the session if the course is offered during the summer semester, and students can access the courses two weeks before the semester begins.

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  • Annual Tuition: $12,900
  • Median Salary: $150,000
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The University of Virginia offers a fully online, degree completion program for a Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies. It is available with seven different concentrations, one of which is information technology. The undergraduate program allows individuals to transfer to UVA as third-year students and complete 60 credit hours to earn the bachelor’s degree. At least 60 transferable credits are needed. Most students take two courses per term and complete the degree in three to four years. The program includes four liberal studies seminars, several elective courses, a capstone project, and concentration-related coursework.

  • Annual Tuition: $20,520
  • Median Salary: $130,600
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The online Bachelor of Science in Information Technology at City University of Seattle in Seattle allows students to move at their own pace and can be completed in as little as 2.5 years. Along with the fundamentals of computing, the program covers ethics, information management, project management, programming, and more. CityU’s online Bachelor of Science in Information Systems educates students on the key components of the software development life-cycle, as well as teaching them critical communication skills to allow them to become effective team members.  Those with a high school diploma or equivalent are eligible to apply.

  • Annual Tuition: $13,770
  • Median Salary: $117,300
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The Bachelor of Science in Informatics is offered fully online at Mercer University in Macon, Ga. Three concentrations are offered: health information technology, web development and human-computer interaction, or general informatics. More than one concentration can be taken, but this will reduce the number of electives. A total of 120 semester hours is needed to complete the bachelor’s degree, and undergraduate students can transfer credits from an associate degree or regionally-accredited community or technical college. A minimum 2.25 cumulative GPA is required. Students are admitted five times per year in August, October, January, March, and May.

  • Annual Tuition: $20,287
  • Median Salary: $116,400
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Purdue University's Fort Wayne, Ind., campus offers an online Bachelor of Science in Information Systems, which emphasizes the design and use of information systems for the management of information in the modern corporate and organizational environment. Graduates are prepared to enter the IT field or pursue further education in a graduate level program. A total of 120 credit hours is needed to complete the undergraduate degree, which uses Blackboard Learning as its main platform for most online courses. Proctored tests can be taken on campus or online at a local university or public library that is able to proctor the exam.

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  • Annual Tuition: $11,520
  • Median Salary: $114,900
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Graduates of the online Bachelor of Science in Information Science at the University of North Texas will deepen their knowledge and skills in the areas of information organization, information architecture, information seeking and use, health informatics, knowledge management, digital content and digital curation, and information systems. Students can choose from different concentrations, and instruction is provided online, face-to-face, or in a blended format. Students can log in at any time from any place and can take one, two, or three courses at a time. The 33-credit-hour, online bachelor’s degree requires 18 hours of required core undergraduate courses in one of the program concentrations and at least 15 additional hours of coursework. A minimum GPA of 2.5 is required for courses to be counted toward the major.

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  • Annual Tuition: $7,192
  • Median Salary: $113,900
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Kennesaw State University offers an online Bachelor of Applied Science in Information Technology, which is designed for students who have an Associate of Applied Science in computing from a member institution of the Technical College System of Georgia. Applicants with a GPA of 2.3 or higher are automatically accepted, and previous undergraduate coursework can be transferred in. The undergraduate program can be completed in two to three years on a full-time basis. Their online Bachelor of Science in Information Technology is accredited by the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET, and educates students on the development and administration of computing, management and IT systems. Admission to this program requires completion of two programming classes with a grade of ‘B’ or above. Both degrees require a total of 121 credit hours.

  • Annual Tuition: $11,400
  • Median Salary: $112,200
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Excelsior College in Albany, N.Y., offers several choices for students looking for an online IT degree. Their BS in Information Technology has three different concentrations: general, cybersecurity, and network operations.  Their BPS in Technology Management has an information technology concentration that was designed for working adults with a military background. It gives credit for real world experience, allowing students to save time and money when earning their degree. Their BS in Cybersecurity allows students to choose a general track or a concentration in cyber operations. Their dual degree BS In Information Technology/MS with a concentration in cybersecurity requires a total of 144 credits but allows students to further their career potential with degrees in two dynamic industries. Programs at Excelsior are designed for working adults with family responsibilities.

  • Annual Tuition: $6,560
  • Median Salary: $109,500
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A Bachelor of Arts or Science in Information and Telecommunications is available in three different concentrations at Fort Hays State University in Kansas: computer networking and telecommunications, health informatics, and web and mobile application development. Each concentration includes general education coursework, core concentration classes, and electives. A total of 124 credit hours is required for the undergraduate degree, although the credit requirements for each aspect of the program differ depending on the type of bachelor’s degree and concentration. Some electives are offered only on campus or online.

  • Annual Tuition: $12,704
  • Median Salary: $110,000
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Arizona State University’s Bachelor of Science in Information Technology gives students the know-how to design, select, implement, and manage computer-based information solutions. A total of 120 credit hours and 40 courses are required, although the course number may be less for undergraduate transfer students. ASU online offers start dates every 7.5 weeks. Graduates are able to create network architectures within a cyber-secure infrastructure, configure and administer complex computer and database systems, evaluate networks using cybersecurity tools and techniques, and design and process interactive information management solutions, including big data applications. The bachelor’s degree program is available to freshmen, transfer students, and international students. A student is considered a freshman if he or she has less than 12 transferable credit hours.

  • Annual Tuition: $8,993
  • Median Salary: $105,800
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A Bachelor of Science in Information Technology is offered at Miami-based Florida International University. The fully online bachelor’s program includes courses in programming, software development, information systems, database development, computer networking, operating systems and more. Students learn at a time and place convenient to them, and they are able to watch lectures, get real-time feedback from instructors, and collaborate with classmates on projects. A total of 120 credits are required to complete the undergraduate degree. A Bachelor of Arts in Information Technology is available as a second degree with a requirement of 39 credits. This industry-developed curriculum includes core courses in computer networking, operating systems, and website construction and management. Students can choose electives like network security, mobile app development, and Unix/Linux.

  • Annual Tuition: $13,230
  • Median Salary: $105,800
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The University of Alabama at Birmingham offers a fully-online, Bachelor of Science in Information Systems. Taught through UAB's Collat School of Business, the bachelor’s program features student-centered support staff, including a 24/7 technical help desk along with collaborative networking opportunities. Transfer credits are accepted, and scholarships are available to undergraduate candidates who qualify. Transfer students must have a cumulative 2.0 GPA after completing 24 semester hours of transferable college-level work. The same requirements apply to returning students. International students must show proof of immigration status (if living in the U.S.) and proof of English proficiency.

  • Annual Tuition: $21,780
  • Median Salary: $106,800
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While not offering a true bachelor’s in information technology, San Francisco-based Golden Gate University offers both an online Bachelor of Science in Business and an online Bachelor of Arts in Management with IT concentrations. It also offers a certificate in information technology. Concentrations for the undergraduate-level programs include courses in social media, IT for managers, relational databases, database administration, and project management. Students may choose an elective that focuses on an internship or on special topics in the IT field. The undergraduate Certificate in Information Technology places emphasis on the planning, implementation, evaluation, budgeting and management of information systems. Enrollment as a bachelor’s degree candidate is not required for the certificate program.

  • Annual Tuition: $18,400
  • Median Salary: $105,500
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A Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems is available at Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry, N.Y. Graduates are prepared to enter professions related to mathematics, IT, computer information systems, computer science, information assurance and security, and many others. A total of 120 credits is required to complete the undergraduate degree, with the major concentration and open electives comprising 60 credits. Among other skills, students will learn to create an effective database; an application to solve a business information problem; and design, develop, and describe the implementation of a computerized information system solution to fulfill organizational needs using structured systems analysis and design methods.

  • Annual Tuition: $20,520
  • Median Salary: $101,800
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Hodges University in Naples, Fla., offers online undergraduate degrees in computer information with an emphasis on information technology. Two different specialties are available: cybersecurity and networking, and software development. Undergraduate degree programs at HU feature hybrid course offerings, so students can attend classes on campus, online, or in a blended format. Embedded certifications are offered inside the degree programs. Accelerated study programs are available so students can finish their degree as soon as possible and begin working in their chosen field.

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  • Annual Tuition: $16,306
  • Median Salary: $99,700
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Located in Columbus, Ohio, Franklin University's Bachelor of Science in Information Technology teaches students how to administer Windows Server, Linux, Oracle 10g, Firewalls, Cisco switches and routers, IP addressing, WAN, and Wireless LAN. Students also learn programming languages, like Perl, Shell, and PowerShell. Students can transfer credits to complete the bachelor’s degree, but many industry certifications are accepted in lieu of select undergraduate coursework, including Network+ and CCNA for networking, PMI for project management, CISSP and Security+ for security, RHCA/RHCE for Linux, and MSCA/MCSE for Windows. Past coursework in IT-related fields may also be transferred in as credit. Courses at FU can be taken entirely online or at one of the university’s Midwest locations. The program requires 124 semester hours.

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  • Annual Tuition: $6,380
  • Median Salary: $96,300
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Western Governors University in Salt Lake City, Utah, offers an online Bachelor of Science in Information Technology Management with an emphasis on business. Coursework topics include management and leadership, business, networks and security, and information systems management. The bachelor’s program consists of 38 courses, but a few of them may be waived if prior credits are transferred in. Students often move quickly through the material, with most completing the program in less than three years. Transfer students can complete the undergraduate degree in less than 18 months. Students can finish as many courses as possible in a term at no additional cost. Graduates are prepared for a career as an information systems manager, IT project manager, IT security manager, IT director, computer systems engineer, and many more.

  • Annual Tuition: $18,864
  • Median Salary: $97,200
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The Bachelor of Science in Business Administration at California State University at East Bay is offered with a concentration in information technology management. The bachelor’s degree is a two-year, online program offered through the College of Business and Economics. Designed for busy adults, the three-semesters-per-year system gives busy students the flexibility they need, and they can accelerate the process by attending classes year-round. The BSBA major consists of 75 semester units. To be accepted to the undergraduate program, students must have completed a minimum of 60 transferable semester units, have a 2.0 GPA or better in all transferable units attempted, and have completed at least 30 semester units of college coursework with a grade of “C” or better in each course.

  • Annual Tuition: $32,520
  • Median Salary: $97,900
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George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., offers an online Bachelor of Science in Information Technology that helps students acquire strong problem-solving, writing, and communication skills, and successfully compete for technical employment. Sufficient courses are available so the undergraduate degree can be completed online. Online course offerings vary by semester and are usually delivered asynchronously. The undergraduate program consists of seven foundation courses, 11 core courses, a two-semester capstone sequence, five concentration courses, and a few other requirements. A total of 120 credits are required to complete the bachelor’s degree. Virginia residents receive a significant discount on tuition.

  • Annual Tuition: $18,290
  • Median Salary: $96,000
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The online Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in Information Technology at Tarleton State University in Stephenville, Texas, is designed for students who have a significant amount of training and experience in IT-related areas. Graduates have gone on to work as database administrators, control analysts, web programmers, IT specialists, and computer analysts. The bachelor’s degree requires a total of 120 hours, with 33 semester hours of specialization in information technology. All of these hours may come from technical training related to the subject matter taught in the CIS department.

Online Bachelor's Degrees (1)

  • Annual Tuition: $13,280
  • Median Salary: $94,000
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Nebraska's Bellevue University offers an online Bachelor of Science in Information Technology. The undergraduate degree presents the fundamentals of networks and network security, routing and configuration, servers and data storage, and cloud computing. The program focuses on fundamental principles of networks, servers, and cloud environments; best practices for installation, configuration, and upgrading of personal computers and operating systems; analysis and integration of networks, servers, and cloud architectures; legal and ethical policies, standards, and guidelines for cloud and local server environments; and effective communication practices within IT business environments. The bachelor’s degree requires a total of 127 credit hours, with 36 dedicated to general education courses, another 36 to the program's core courses, and 55 to electives.

  • Annual Tuition: $17,020
  • Median Salary: $93,200
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With several locations throughout California and in Nevada, National University's Bachelor of Science in Information Technology Management is offered both on campus and online. Graduates are prepared for positions in the areas of client and server management, administration, and technical support; IT project management; information security; and network systems administration and support. To receive a bachelor’s degree in information technology management, students must complete at least 180 quarter units, with 70.5 as general education requirements, 76.5 at the upper-division level, and 45 in residence (including the capstone project classes). The focus on both management concepts and practical skills prepares graduates to enter the growing IT field with the confidence and abilities needed to remain in the forefront of this ever-changing industry.

Online Information Technology Degree Overview & Career Information

Associate degrees in areas such as mobile device applications, software development, or database management provide students with an introduction to IT concepts. These degrees are often designed to prepare students for further study at the bachelor's or master's level. Bachelor's degrees build upon introductory concepts and allow students to explore different electives to pinpoint the area of IT they would like to specialize in. After completing general education requirements, the course content will depend largely on the type of IT program you're attending.

Master's-level IT programs nearly always include a focus or specialization relevant to a certain career path and may also require students to conduct research. Examples of master's degrees in information technology include network administration, information security, modeling and simulation, or project management. Doctoral degrees in information technology disciplines are designed for professionals who wish to expand their skills into leadership or research areas; they often include advanced concepts in IT business management, consultation, or education.

Undergraduate and graduate IT certificates are available in a wide range of areas such as information science, web design, IT management, and software development. Certificates can help current professionals update their skills in order to advance in their career, or they can introduce less experienced students to new technical concepts and help prepare them for further education.

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Online Associate Degrees in Information Technology

Information technology professionals are concerned with applying, testing, maintaining, and distributing data for various companies in a wide range of industries. Many aspiring IT professionals take the first step to entering their dream jobs by pursuing associate degrees in the field. These programs typically take two years to complete and require individuals to fulfill up to 64 credit hours. High school graduates and GED certificate holders with strong math and science skills should apply.

Students can choose between two kinds of associate degree programs in information technology: Associate of Science (AS) and Associate of Applied Science (AAS). Those who choose to pursue the former usually plan to transfer to a bachelor's degree program whereas students of the latter often enter the workforce immediately after graduation, since they receive specialized knowledge and applications in their area of study. All associate degree programs provide basic theories in information technology. Students explore networking systems, database management, software and hardware applications, and other foundational programming concepts. Core classes include Internet concepts, webpage design, global issues, information security, and information systems and technologies.

Associate degree holders in information technology can enter the workforce as systems administrators, computer specialists, and systems analysts. Those who wish to continue their education will eventually be eligible for careers as supervisors and managers of IT departments for corporations. Professionals should stay up to date with trends and resources in their industry by becoming affiliated with leading organizations, such as the World Information Technology and Services Alliance.

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Online Bachelor's Degrees in Information Technology

The bachelor’s degree in information technology trains students in a blend of computer science and practical technology management topics, which is useful for professional roles in IT. Students also gain critical thinking skills and cultural understanding, from the humanities and sciences requirements of the degree. These four-year programs require 40 to 50 courses. Applicants need a high school diploma or GED.

The major curriculum in the IT bachelor’s degree investigates a variety of topics related to business-level information systems. Core classes include information security, UNIX administration, telecommunications and networking, information systems architecture, and IT project management. Along with didactic courses, students are typically required to complete design and project-based labs. Along with the major core, many IT programs require that students specialize in a particular area within this wide field. Possible focuses include systems administration, information security, web development, and infrastructure management. Many programs also require the completion of a capstone course during the student’s senior year, in which students take on a large project within their IT interest area.

The information technology bachelor’s is a highly flexible program and can lead to a number of roles in private industry, non-profits, or the public sector, since nearly all organizations utilize IT. The bachelor’s degree is the entry-level requirement for computer programmer, database administrator, network administrator, web developer, and information security specialist positions. After gaining some professional experience, bachelor’s graduates may move into supervisory or advanced roles, such as IT project manager, systems analyst, or network architect.

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Online Master's in Information Technology

The IT master’s degree provides students with professionally focused skills in information technology that incorporate perspectives from business and management. These programs require 12 to 15 courses and take about two years to complete. Applicants need an accredited bachelor’s degree, as well as basic skills in programming and networking.

The online IT master’s program curriculum discusses the strategic use of information systems in the business world. Core technical classes look at telecommunications management, e-business technologies, database management, software engineering and computer programming. Management courses discuss project management and leading in a technology setting. Many information technology master’s programs require students to choose a particular module or specialization in an IT area. Possible focuses include software development, information security, health information technology, information systems management, and telecommunications systems. Along with the courses in the specialization area, many IT master’s programs require an on-site practicum or internship experience in an IT business setting.

The information technology master’s opens up a wide variety of leadership roles in information systems, including IT manager, project manager, information security specialist, systems analyst, network architect, and software developer. Other possible roles include network administrator, database administrator, and computer programmer. The career direction that graduates choose will likely depend on their degree specialization and previous professional experience; for example, it is useful for IT managers in a hospital to have previous experience in a healthcare setting.

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Online Doctoral Degrees in Information Technology

Online information technology degrees at the doctorate level allow students to develop and expand their knowledge in computer science and information systems. Much of the theoretical content of doctoral programs involves advanced studies of master’s-level core coursework. Programs place heavy emphasis on IT research and practice. Applicants should hold an accredited master’s degree in computer science, engineering, information systems, or a related field. Prerequisites may include computer architecture, data communications, database systems, networks, programming languages, and systems analysis and design. Doctorate programs require completion of 45 to 60 credits, which takes approximately three years.

Doctoral programs aim to develop IT practitioners with high levels of analytical, research, and technical expertise. The curriculum covers areas such as computer architecture, cyber security, cyberspace laws, data communications, data mining and warehousing, database management, human computer interaction, IT policy implementation, leadership and strategic planning, managerial information systems, operating systems, programming, project fundamentals, software design and development, systems analysis and design, systems development, technology systems in business, and web development. Research courses focus on research methodology, quantitative research, and business research. Students are required to complete an independent research project and write a dissertation, which they submit and defend in public.

Doctoral graduates may take up senior positions in the field of IT in areas such as administration, development, management, research, and teaching. Job titles for IT professionals include cyber security specialist, database administrator, IT consultant, network administrator, project manager, software engineer, systems developer, and Web applications developer.

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Online Certificates in Information Technology

Information technology certificates may be pursued at the undergraduate and graduate level. Undergraduate certificates provide a foundation in computer systems, networks, and programming to students with a limited background in IT. Graduate certificates provide experienced professionals with advanced training in specific IT areas. Students complete 5 to 12 courses over the span of one to two years. Applicants need a high school diploma, associate degree, or bachelor’s degree, depending on the level of the certificate.

The curriculum for the undergraduate certificate in information technology provides a broad-based introduction to the many areas of IT. A course in IT principles includes an overview of the components of the information system, such as the operating system, server, network, and Internet technology. Other common courses look at IT customer service, systems analysis, computer programming, and web design.

The graduate certificate in information technology often provides an overview of IT from a business perspective. For example, core classes might look at business communication networks, IT management, information systems design, and database design. Students learn how to harness IT to help a business achieve its larger goals.

Graduates of the undergraduate certificate may be prepared for entry-level computer support specialist, help desk, systems administrator, or network administrator positions, depending on their previous experience. Many employers prefer to hire IT specialists with a bachelor’s degree, but in some cases college coursework and professional experience can also be sufficient. Current professionals can use the graduate certificate to better apply IT in their workplace or to move into IT management or systems analysis positions. Other possible career areas include network engineering, software development, and information security.

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Job and Salary Information

What is the job outlook for the information technology field?

As the importance of technology increases rapidly, information technology (IT) professions continue to experience rapid growth. Unlike computer science, which is focused on programming and innovation, IT primarily concerns itself with building and maintaining networks, databases and computer systems, using existing technologies. With the focus on new system software, big data, cloud computing, and information security threats, more and more companies are hiring qualified candidates who understand how to implement and run new software solutions. In today's technology and information driven world, IT is an absolutely necessity for businesses and organizations of all sizes. Due to the rising demand, the Bureau of Labor and Statistics projects the IT field to grow at a rate of 13% to 19% through 2026. This means that over a half million new jobs are projected to open up in this industry in the next 8 years.

What jobs can you get with a bachelor's in IT?

The list of popular jobs that people can get with a bachelor's degree in IT is quite long and varied, depending on one's specific skill sets, interests, certifications and prior experience. Here are several common jobs for bachelor's in IT graduates:

  • Network and computer systems administrators are responsible for the daily operation of computer systems and networks in organizations of all types. Specifically, they are responsible for the installation and maintenance of intranets, local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs) and other information systems. They also provide support for the professionals using these systems. The average annual salary for a network and computer systems administrator is $81,100
  • Information security analysts are responsible for protecting computer networks. They protect these networks by analyzing data to detect and mitigate threats, typically posed by viruses and hackers, to commercial and government computer systems and networks. With cyber-attacks on the rise, this profession continues to evolve and become more sophisticated. Information security analysts average $92,600 per year.
  • Computer systems analysts, also known as systems architects, serve as a link between business and information technology, studying existing computer networks, and designing more efficient ones. They earn an average salary of $87,220.
  • Database administrators are responsible for storing and organizing data. Their duties include troubleshooting, designing, building, and maintaining databases, and insuring their security. The average salary for database administrators is $84,590 a year.
  • Web developers design and create websites. They are responsible for the visual representation of the website as well as the technical aspects, such as it's performance and capacity. The average salary for a web developer is $67,990.

What kind of salary should I expect with a bachelor's in IT?

Information technology is a high-paying profession, with an average salary of $80,000. Recent graduates can expect to enter the industry at the lower end of the pay scale, with an average salary of $58,646. However, after 10-20 years in the field, information technology graduates can expect an average salary of $95,582.

The Importance of Accreditation

The US Department of Education recognizes several independent agencies that accredit IT degree programs or institutions that offer IT programs. Before they can become accredited, schools and degree programs go through a rigorous evaluation process to prove to the accrediting agency that they meet established academic standards. Attending a school or program that has earned accreditation can help students feel confident that they are receiving a high-quality education that implements current research and is taught by competent instructors. It will also enable students to transfer credits to other accredited schools and apply for scholarships and financial aid, as these financial benefits are typically only awarded to students who are enrolled at an accredited school or program.

ABET, or the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, grants accreditation to information technology and information systems degree programs and is recognized by the US Department of Education and the Council of Higher Education Accreditation. Colleges and universities can also be accredited, and IT programs that are offered at these institutions are also considered to be accredited. Current lists of accrediting agencies, schools, and programs can be found via ABET, USDE, or CHEA.

Types of Online IT Certification

Microsoft Certifications

A popular kind of certification for IT professionals is offered by Microsoft. To maximize their chances of earning this credential, students are encouraged to enroll in preparatory classes at various distance learning colleges and universities. Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) certifications are available in the following information technology categories: server, desktop, applications, database, and developer. The stages of certification that are currently available for these IT categories are Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS), Technology Associate (MTA), Solutions Associate (MCSA), Solutions Expert (MCSE), and Solutions Developer (MCSD).

Cisco Certifications

Cisco also offers private online classes that enable students to become certified IT professionals. Topics that are discussed include routing, network security, switching, and wireless. Individuals may opt to become certified on five different levels: entry, associate, expert, professional, and architect. 

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