The technology world is still growing by leaps and bounds, and the various available online information technology degrees open up many lucrative career paths.
With flexibility and interactive online classes, you can work toward earning your degree at a pace that suits your lifestyle.
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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.
Online Bachelor’s in Information Technology Degrees
Information technology is a high-demand field, and getting your foot in the door by earning a bachelor’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
- 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.
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By choosing an online degree program for your IT career, you also award yourself the flexibility to complete your degree program at your own pace and within the comfort of your own home or anywhere with an Internet connection. This allows you to keep up with daily responsibilities like a job or caretaker.
Online programs can be completed online or through a hybrid of online and on-campus classes. You can choose whichever format best fits your situation and learning preferences.
Common Online IT Bachelor Degree Specializations
Students who pursue their online IT degrees often use this opportunity to select an area of specialization. This specialization allows them to concentrate on courses that align with their future career goals.
Some common specializations for those earning their bachelors in information technology degrees online include:
- Data Analytics and Management – This concentration allows IT students to hone their skills in data wrangling, organization, algorithms, and using languages like Python and R.
- Cyber Security – Students of this specialization will learn about networking, programming, and best practices for establishing secure programs and data storage.
- Network Engineering and Security – Here students will learn how to establish a network, secure data, and maintain and review operating systems.
- Software Engineering – Students will learn web development, programming and scripting languages such as Java or C#, as well as the importance of user experience and quality assurance.
- Cloud Computing – This specialization teaches students about cloud-based storage and computing systems, including networks, servers, app development, and security.
Each of the IT schools online will typically offer its own range of specializations, so you may wish to review each program carefully to determine which is most relevant to your goals.
Information Technology Careers and Salaries
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 information systems management 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 popular career paths along with their respective annual median salaries according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS):
|Annual Median Salaries
|Computer Operations Managers
|Computer and Information Research Scientists
|Computer Hardware Engineers
|Operations Specialties Managers
|Information Security Analysts
|Computer Systems Analysts
|Computer Training Specialists
As the numbers listed represent the salaries of professionals who have worked within their field, you may make more or less than the average based on your experience and educational level. Please keep in mind that some employers look for a minimum of a bachelor’s degree to be considered for a few of these positions.
For the past 20 years, the information technology field has been booming and that is expected to continue. According to the BLS, employment in computer and information technology occupations is projected to grow 15% over the next 10 years.
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The BLS cites cloud computing, data storage, and cybersecurity as the biggest contributors to growth in the IT industry, but also notes increased demand for professionals in healthcare IT, mobile networking, and data management.
If you are looking for the most in-demand jobs, these are the areas of IT you should be considering.
Bachelor of Information Technology Curriculum & Courses
When choosing between schools that provide information technology online degrees, you may wish to examine the courses that you may take as part of the degree program.
While each school will offer its own unique curriculum, some common core courses include:
- Network Foundations: This course helps students understand network architecture and infrastructure, including schemas, routing, and cloud computing capabilities.
- Understanding Cloud Services: In this course, students concentrate on the functions and fundamental layers of cloud computing.
- Introduction to Web Design: Students will learn how to use different web design tools and techniques, including HTML and scripting.
- Administration of Infrastructures: This course prepares students for security concerns, including business continuity and vulnerability assessment.
- Data Programming Languages: Students will learn about a variety of data management programming languages such as SQL, Java, and Python.
- Network Support and Issue Troubleshooting: In this course, students will learn how to review, research, and find solutions for possible network issues.
- Cyber Ethics: Students will learn about ethical codes of conduct, as well as best practices and legal concerns in IT.
- Introduction to Software Development: Students who are interested in programming and software engineering and testing may wish to take this course.
- Application of Data Management: This course helps students learn data query techniques and languages, such as SQL.
- Algorithms and Data Structure: In this course, students will discuss dynamic data structures, problem-solving techniques, and organizational algorithms.
In addition to core courses, you’ll typically be asked to complete a certain number of classes in your specialization as well, to provide you with a more in-depth focus on those topics.
How to Choose an Online Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology Program
As you compare IT schools online, it’s important to select a program that is accredited. This means that the online IT courses are recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and that the program has undergone an extensive review to ensure its validity.
If you choose to enroll in an unaccredited program, you will not be eligible for federal financial aid, you could have trouble transferring your credits, and ultimately, your degree may not be of much value in the eyes of potential employers. In addition to accreditation, you will want to look for an IT program that:
- Offer the specialization or concentration you are interested in
- Includes certification opportunities during degree study (if that interests you)
- Offers internships, practicums, field experience, or research opportunities (if those interest you)
- Is within your budget
Don’t just choose the first accredited IT program you come across. Do some research and comparison to find the one that offers the best opportunities and seems most in line with your goals.
IT Degree Online Admissions Requirements
Each school offering online IT programs will have its own unique admissions requirements, so it’s a good idea to carefully review the application process before you start.
Many online IT degree programs ask students to provide items such as:
- SAT/ACT Scores (only some schools require them)
- Previous Education Transcripts
- Letter of Intent
- Letters of Recommendation
You may also be asked to provide additional materials, such as academic writing samples, or perform an interview with an admissions staff member before you are accepted into a particular program.
Online Information Technology Degrees Accreditation
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 its academic quality formally reviewed by an independent agency.
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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 various regional agencies.
IT Licensure and Certifications
There are many different licenses and certifications available for those who earn their IT degree online, including:
- Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM): This certification focuses on aspects of project management and leadership development.
- Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA): This certification is for those who work in network administration.
- CompTIA A+: Popular among those who work in an IT help desk or administrative role, this certification focuses on troubleshooting and problem-solving.
Given the vast variety of licenses and certifications, you may wish to research your particular specialization or career goals for details on important options.
Financial Aid and Scholarships
If you are looking for assistance in paying for your online bachelors degree in information technology, there are several resources you may wish to explore.
For needs-based assistance, you may wish to start by completing the FAFSA, or Free Application for Federal Financial Aid. You may also wish to research scholarships and grants. Some schools offer a variety of awards for achievements in academia, athletics, STEM fields, and more. Scholarships may also be offered by professional organizations, corporations, and private donors.
If you are currently employed, you may be eligible for programs such as educational assistance or tuition reimbursement through your employer.
IT Professional Organizations
As you begin your career in IT, you may wish to join one of many professional organizations. These organizations provide career resources, mentorship, and networking opportunities.
While there are many IT professional organizations, a few popular options include:
- Association of Information Technology Professionals (AITP)
- Information Systems Security Association (ISSA)
There are organizations for specialized IT fields as well as general organizations for all IT professionals. You may wish to take a look at membership requirements and benefits as you plan your next steps.
What is an Information Technology Degree?
An information technology (IT) degree combines the theoretical and practical concepts of using computers to collect, store, share, and protect information.
The best online IT degree programs will cover concepts such as programming, system analysis and design, database management, network administration, and cybersecurity. They will also teach some business principles to prepare you for leadership roles in the IT field.
At some colleges, IT students are able to choose an area of specialization. These will vary from school to school but may include:
- Application development
- Cyber security
- Cloud system administration
- Infrastructure and security
- Web and mobile programming
- Gaming design
Having an IT degree with specialization will provide you with an area of expertise right out of school, which can make you even more marketable to potential employers.
Do You Need a Degree for Information Technology?
There is a lot of debate around the level or type of education necessary to succeed in the IT field. “Do I really need a degree, or is a certificate enough?”
In short, it depends on a few things. How much experience do you already have? What type of IT are you interested in? Are you looking for a job or a long-term career? Generally speaking, a certificate can provide you with the technical know-how to land a well-paying job in the IT field. A degree, on the other hand, will give you a more rounded education, including the soft skills needed for a long-term career in IT.
Many argue that both are necessary.
- Online Information Technology Certificate: With an online IT certificate program, you can develop advanced, marketable skills in a particular area. For example, Microsoft and Cisco certifications are popular options that can demonstrate to employers that you are an expert on these specific platforms.
- Bachelors Degree: A bachelor’s degree is the most common degree choice for IT professionals. Most employers who are looking to hire for in-demand, well-paying positions are looking for candidates with a bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience.
- Masters Degree: A master’s level program will prepare you for management positions as well as advanced roles in business and technology. You will likely be eligible to earn higher salaries than those with just an undergraduate education.
A degree will give you a solid foundation and get you started in the field, and adding certifications, later on, will ensure you are up-to-date on changing technologies.
What Can You Do With a Bachelor Degree in Information Technology?
Most IT graduates are prepared to enter the workforce immediately and have little trouble securing jobs. Nearly every area of IT is showing faster than average growth, and the reported median salaries are impressive across the board.
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IT graduates with a specialization, area of expertise, or certifications to add to their resumes will stand out from other applicants and be especially marketable.
What Do IT Majors Do?
While it’s true that IT majors spend a lot of time on the computer, there is much more to their roles than staring at a screen!
Many IT roles involve knowledge of business operations and project management in addition to computer skills. IT majors also practice problem-solving skills, research methods, and the ability to experiment with possible solutions.
Those who earn their degree from IT schools online may choose to work in areas such as data management, software engineering, network engineering, or security. They may work for large corporations, small businesses, or as contractors.
Is an Online IT Degree Right for You?
Now that you have an idea of what the information technology field entails, you may be wondering whether pursuing degrees online 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.
How Long Does it Take to Get a BS in Information Technology Degree Online?
Earning a bachelor’s degree in IT, as with other bachelor’s programs, generally takes about 4 years of full-time study. You can earn your degree faster by enrolling in an online program. Many online programs offer accelerated courses, which may make it possible to graduate in as little as 2 to 3 years.
What’s the Difference Between Computer Science vs. Information Technology Majors?
While information technology and computer science are quite similar, and the terms are often used interchangeably, there are important differences between the two.
|Computer Science Major
|Information Technology Majors
With some additional courses and/or certifications, your IT degree could land you a position designed for a computer science graduate, and vice versa. But if you know your career goals ahead of time you can choose the program most suited for that position and save yourself some time and money.
What’s the Difference Between a Bachelors in IT vs. Cybersecurity?
A student earning a bachelors in IT and a bachelors in cybersecurity will learn similar things, but there are a few key differences:
|Bachelors in IT
|Bachelors in Cyber Security
While a bachelors in IT will likely include cyber security elements, students will generally study other aspects of information technology as well.
Is a Bachelor in Information Technology Degree Worth it?
Yes, a bachelor in information technology degree is worth it for many students. We are surrounded by technology in nearly every aspect of our lives. As a result, the demand for professionals who can help create and maintain our technological resources and provide education for those who use them.
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According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, many career paths in the IT world are expected to increase in opportunity. This could lead to more career options and professional opportunities for those with a degree in information technology.
Universities Offering Online Bachelors in Information Technology Degree Programs
Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer degree programs online or in a hybrid format.
A BS in Information Technology is available through the American Public University’s School of STEM. The program is fully online. The program requires 120 credit hours and the school accepts up to 90 transfer credits. APU offers monthly start dates, and courses are 8 or 16 weeks long. Concentrations are also available, like Project Management.
American Public University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Arizona State University offers a BS in Information Technology. The program may be completed entirely online. The curriculum consists of 40 classes for a total of 120 credits. Courses are 7.5 weeks long, and there are multiple start dates offered throughout the year.
Arizona State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
U.S. News & World Report named Ball State University among the best schools in the country for online bachelor’s degrees. The school offers a program that may be completed for a BS or a BA in Computer and Information Technology. The program is fully online. A concentration must be chosen in either Network or Systems Infrastructure. Courses follow a regular semester schedule.
Ball State is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Bellevue University offers a BS in Information Technology. The program is fully online, and classes are in an asynchronous learning format. There are several start dates each year. The program requires the completion of a capstone experience, like an internship or research study. The program may also help teach the skills required for certification exams.
Bellevue University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Capella University offers a BS in Information Technology Systems. The program is designed for degree completion, but online learners have access to general education courses as well. Capella’s fully online FlexPath program is competency-based, which allows for flexibility. The program is offered in 12 week sessions.
Capella University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Intelligent ranked Colorado State University among the top schools in the country for online IT degrees. The school offers a BS in Information Technology. The program requires 120 credit hours and features fully online courses in an asynchronous learning format. Courses are 8 weeks long and start each month.
Colorado State is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
A BS in Information Technology is available through Colorado Technical University. The program is available fully online and on campus. The program requires 184 credits. Courses are taken in an accelerated format and start every 5 weeks. CTU’s FastTrack program offers credits for prior learning.
Colorado Technical University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Florida International University offers a BS in Information Technology. The program is entirely online. The degree program requires 120 credit hours. Courses follow a semester schedule, and there are start dates in the fall, spring, and summer. They are taken in an asynchronous format. Courses may include Human Computer Interaction and Data Structures.
Florida International University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Franklin University offers a BS in Information Technology entirely online. Up to 94 of the required 124 credit hours may be transferred. Courses are 6 or 12 weeks long, and there are multiple start dates throughout the year. Electives are offered to customize degrees to specific career goals.
Franklin University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Georgia Southern University offers a Bachelor’s in Information Technology through its fully online eCampus. The program requires 124 credit hours. Courses are in an asynchronous learning format and follow a regular semester schedule with start dates in the fall, spring, and summer. Courses may include IT Infrastructure, Operating Systems, and Data Communication.
Georgia Southern University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Kennesaw State University offers a BS or a BAS in Information Technology through its online learning program. Courses can be taken online, on campus, or in a hybrid format. Concentrations are available in areas like Data Analytics and Technology, Computer Science, and Enterprise Systems. The program requires 120 credit hours.
Kennesaw State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Kent State University offers a BS in Information Technology. The program is entirely online. It offers 7 concentrations, including Application Development, Health Information Technology, and Cybersecurity and Forensics. The program requires 120 credit hours, which can be completed through 52 to 53 courses. Courses follow a regular semester schedule with start dates in the fall, spring, and summer.
Kent State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
A BS in Information Technology is available through King University. The program is entirely online and requires 124 credit hours, including 56 credits in the major. Courses are in an asynchronous format. There are several start dates each year, and courses are in an accelerated format. The program aims to teach the skills required for several certifications.
King University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Intelligent ranked Liberty University among the best schools in the nation for online information technology programs. The school offers a BS in Information Technology entirely online. The program requires 120 credit hours, of which 75% may be transferred from previous coursework. Courses are 8 weeks long, and there are multiple yearly start dates.
Liberty University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Lindenwood University features a BS in Information Technology through the school’s fully online program. The program allows for up to 90 qualifying credits to be transferred in toward its 120 required credits. The program requires a concentration in Networking or Applications Development. With full-time study, the degree may be completed in as little as 2 years.
Lindenwood University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
A BS in Information Technology is available through North Carolina A&T State University. The program is fully online and has a focus on mainframe education. The program requires 120 credit hours. Most courses are in an asynchronous learning format. Courses follow a regular semester schedule, with fall, spring, and summer start dates.
North Carolina A&T State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Northeastern University offers a BS in Information Technology fully online. The curriculum provides opportunities to apply the skills learned in real-world experiences.
Concentrations may include Computer Programming and Applications Development. Courses are semester-based, and there are start dates in the fall, spring, and summer. The school offers the opportunity to work with advisors to customize the degree program to specific career goals.
Northeastern University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
A BS in Information Technology is offered through Purdue University’s Global Learning program. The fully online program requires 180 credits. The degree is offered through a 10 week program and a self-paced program. There are 9 concentrations to choose from, including Game Development and Network Administration.
Purdue University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Southern New Hampshire University offers the opportunity to earn a BA or a BS in Information Technology entirely online. The degree program requires 120 credit hours and courses are conducted in an asynchronous format. There are multiple concentrations to choose from, including Business Management and Data Analytics.
SNHU is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education, Inc.
Strayer University offers a BS in Information Technology through a fully online program. The program allows for general education requirements to be completed through a separate program. The credits for up to 28 qualifying courses may be transferred in towards the program’s 40 required courses. Each course within the program is 11 weeks long.
Strayer University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
A Bachelor of Information Technology is offered through the University of La Verne. The program is fully online, with some courses also available on campus. The program requires 63 credit hours in major courses and may be completed in as little as 18 months. Courses are taken in an accelerated, asynchronous format.
The University of La Verne is accredited by the Senior College Commission of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
U.S. News & World Report named the University of Massachusetts – Lowell among the best schools in the country for online bachelor’s programs. A BS in Information Technology is offered fully online and in a hybrid format. The program requires 120 credits and offers minors in Business and Population Health Informatics.
The University of Massachusetts Lowell is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
The University of Missouri – Columbia offers a BS in Information Technology. The program is entirely online and can be completed on a full-time or part-time schedule. The program requires 126 credit hours, including 66 credits in the major. There are 3 paths available: Cybersecurity, Media Technology, and Software Engineering. Most courses follow a regular semester schedule.
The University of Missouri – Columbia is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Western Governors University offers a BS in Information Technology through a fully online program. Certifications can also be earned while taking courses. The program requires 36 courses, including a capstone project. The competency-based program is a self-paced program. Terms start each month and each term is 6 months long.
WGU is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
William Paterson University offers a BS in Information Technology. The program is entirely online. Applicants must be at least 4 years past high school graduation. The program allows for up to 90 qualifying credits to be transferred in toward its 120 required credit hours. Courses are in half terms with 6 start dates per year.
William Paterson University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Getting Your Information Technology Bachelor Degree Online
The best online IT degree program is one that is accredited, works with your schedule, is within your budget, and provides the education you need to achieve your career goals.
These are excellent programs at top schools, but this is just a starting point. Be sure to do your research to find the online IT degree program that is the best accredited program for you and your future.