Online Information Technology IT Degree
The technology world is still growing by leaps and bounds, and earning an online IT degree opens up a many lucrative career paths. With flexibility and interactive online classes, you can work towards earning your degree at a pace which suits your lifestyle.
Are you the type of person who is always up to date on the newest technology? Do you love working with computers and analyzing data? Then the Information Technology field could be the perfect way to live out your passion!
Careers in Information Technology
You know that you love technology, but what type of work can you expect to do once you have earned an IT degree? The answer to that question is extensive, and the careers available through this program include everything from management of information systems to database administration and networking. Some students are also interested in pursuing computer science work and choose to supplement their education with a software development degree.
To help you get a better idea of the career paths available within the IT field, we have put together a list of some of the hottest jobs in the market today along with their average mid-career salaries:
|Job Title||Job Summary||
|Senior Systems Administrator||As an expert in systems administration, they work to manage all of the employees within a business’s IT department.||
|Software Developer||Develops computer applications that allow a business to perform specific tasks.||
|Information Technology (IT) Manager||Supervises the computer infrastructure and related systems within the structure of an organization.||
|Network Administrator||Focuses on the upkeep of the network components within a company’s computer systems.||
|Information Technology (IT) Specialist||Provides design and upkeep services for a company’s software, hardware, and databases.||
*Job and salary data provided by Payscale.com
When it comes to careers in information technology, there are many options for high salary jobs with strong growth potential in the future. As the numbers listed represent salaries of professionals who have worked 10 years within their field, you may make more or less than the average based on your experience and educational level.
Types of Online Information Technology Degrees
You are probably familiar with the standard timeframes for degree completion, such as two years for an associate’s and four years for a bachelor’s degree. One of the perks of an online education is the ability to work at the pace that works best for you!
By enrolling in accelerated online courses or taking advantage of credit for life experience opportunities, you may be able to finish your IT degree online in far less time than you would on campus.
Online Associate’s Degree in Information Technology
Information Technology is a high-demand field, and getting your foot in the door by earning an associate’s degree is a good starting point. Through this course of study, you will get the foundation in IT you need to increase your potential for advancement in the business world.
Some common areas of study that you may encounter in these programs include:
- Computer programming and design
- Introduction to networking
- Database management systems
- Systems analysis
- Web design and development
If you are looking to get an edge in your current occupation or start the journey into an exciting new career, earning an associate’s degree in Information Technology may be the right choice for you!
Online Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology
To increase your earning potential and expand the number of jobs for which you may qualify, consider working towards a bachelor’s degree in Information Technology.
Typical curriculum will cover a variety of interdisciplinary topics including:
- Operating systems and data management
- Scripting and programming
- Software Development
- Analysis and problem-solving skills
- Effective business leadership
Some universities also offer the option of choosing a specialization within your IT bachelor’s degree program, such as networking or security, to further enhance your skills.
Online Master’s Degree in Information Technology
There’s no doubt that the business world is a competitive field, and having a graduate degree in Information Technology will help you stand out from the crowd of applicants. When pursuing an online master’s degree in IT, you may choose to focus on a concentration within the field or work towards a master’s in general Information Technology.
A few of the graduate courses that you may see within the standard online master’s Information Technology degree program include:
- Advanced analytics and data management
- In-depth communication courses
- Innovation, leadership, and ethics
- Global enterprise systems
With top colleges entering into the world of online learning, there is no better time to further your education by enrolling in graduate IT courses!
Online Doctorate Degree in Information Technology
Do you excel in corporate leadership or have a desire to teach IT courses in a respected university? Then earning a doctorate in Information Technology may be one way to achieve your goals. The online doctorate in Information Technology degree program focuses on more than just the “how-to” of the IT world. Throughout your studies, you will also delve deep into the inner workings of corporate business and acquire strategic leadership skills.
Some of the courses you may encounter when earning your doctorate include:
- Advanced quantitative and qualitative research techniques
- Strategic planning in global environments
- Management theory
- IT consulting techniques
- Dissertation research
Earning your online doctorate in Information Technology is the pinnacle of your educational journey. Once you have reached this point, the sky is the limit!
Information Technology Career Outlook and Salary Information
The business world changes quickly and companies need to be able to adapt to rapidly changing technology. This environment results in a secure outlook for graduates of Information Technology programs!
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the computer and information technology field is expected to grow 11% between 2019 and 2029 – which is faster than the national average for occupations across the board! The BLS projects that this expansion within the industry has the potential to create over 531,200 new jobs within this 10-year time frame.
The median salary for this career field is also a major draw for students considering an IT degree: $88,240 as of May 2019.
View our list of the Top 40 Information Technology (IT) careers to compare jobs and salaries in this field.
Is an Online Degree in Information Technology Right for You?
Now that you have an idea of what the Information Technology field entails, you may be wondering whether pursing an online degree is the right choice for you! Over recent decades, online educational options have become increasingly popular and respected in the professional world. In fact, many leading universities now offer their competitive degree programs as an online option!
There are several advantages to pursuing your IT degree online, including:
- Chances for more hands-on learning with technology
- Ability to continue working while in school
- Flexibility to specialize within an IT field of your choice
- Virtual tutoring and mentoring with leading IT professionals
- Online tools that allow you to increase the leadership and communication skills that are essential in the business world
Whether you are a student straight out of high school, or a business professional looking to move up the corporate ladder, the flexible nature of online education is the perfect complement to the busy lifestyles of adult learners.
Comparing Top Information Technology Degree Programs
Choosing a college that will meet your needs is an essential factor in earning a respected degree in Information Technology. When researching the degree programs available, make note of the following factors to help you make a decision that matches your career goals:
Avoid the issue of degree scams by taking the time to research the accreditation of your prospective colleges! An accredited college is one that has gone through the voluntary process of having their academic quality formally reviewed by an independent agency.
What does this mean for you? Enrolling in a university with reputable accreditation is helpful assurance that your degree is one that will be looked favorably upon in the workplace.
There are several accrediting agencies within the United States, and the U.S. Department of Education endorses six regional agencies. The following list highlights a few of the names to watch for when you are researching your IT degree options:
- North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
- Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
- Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
- Western Association of Schools and Colleges
- Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools
- New England Association of Schools and Colleges
- Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET)
- Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training
- Distance Education and Training Council (DETC)
For a full list of recognized accrediting agencies, take a look at the U.S. Department of Education website!
Student to Faculty Ratio
Whether you are taking classes on-campus or virtually, you deserve to have an individualized educational experience. Looking at the student to faculty ratio of a college can help give you insight into this important factor.
With any degree program, small class sizes and a dedicated faculty are essential ingredients to your long-term success. When taking IT classes online, you will likely experience a variety of educational settings that include:
- Virtual, live lectures
- One-on-one correspondence with professors
- Interactive discussion boards
- High-tech e-learning environments
By choosing a college with a low student to faculty ratio and academically accomplished professors, you can ensure that you will be receiving the guidance and instruction necessary for a quality education.
Academic Advising and Student Services
Academic support comes in a variety of ways, and academic advising and student services offer a support network that can help you achieve your goals. The best schools offer their online students the same access to these services as traditional, on-campus students.
A few of the important services to look for when you are working towards your Information Technology degree include:
- Tech support and troubleshooting
- Online access to business library resources
- IT career mentoring services
- Opportunity for business internships
- Access to advanced software and technology
- Tutoring for IT course-specific classes
Today’s job market sets the stage for great opportunities in the field of Information Technology. Whether you are brand new to the field or are a career professional working towards a promotion, earning your IT degree online provides you with the flexibility that you need to balance your current work and family obligations.
With many of the best universities offering affordable, accredited online IT degree programs, there has never been a better time to get started!