Online Degrees in Information Technology

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Information technology embraces the theory, development and application of business tools and security processes that collect, store, communicate and protect data. Online IT degree programs can prepare beginning students for entry into one of the nation’s fastest-growing occupational fields, or may qualify current IT professionals for career growth and advancement.

Advancements in IT are deployed daily in the manufacture of automation, computer, telecommunications and multimedia devices used in every sector of society from manufacturing and finance to education, entertainment and healthcare. Within the industry, employment rose by 37 percent between 2003 and 2013, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The rapid explosion of America’s “app culture” along with growing demands for the storage and safeguarding of data continue to fuel growth in the IT sectors.

Best Online Information Technology Degree for 2015-2016

Online information technology degrees are a perfect fit for virtual learning, with students utilizing the latest technology as they learn and grow their knowledge base. The best programs allow students to learn through real-world scenarios as they work in teams that simulate the workplace – all on a flexible schedule in an online environment. We’ve ranked the online information technology degrees in the U.S. using a wide range of metrics such as affordability, graduation rates, job placement, student-to-faculty ratio and student services. Find out who made the cut on our 2015-2016 list of the Best Online Information Technology Degrees.

RANK COLLEGE ScoreStudent-Teacher RatioFinancial AidCost MORE INFO
1 Albany State University 99.5020:199%

It's not all theory at Albany State University; the online Bachelor of Science in Business Information Systems is hands-on. Students learn application-system software, systems analysis and design, database management systems, human-computer interaction, management information systems and e-Commerce. The program is focused on the development of computer skills for used in business applications of all types from general administration to management.

2 Middle Georgia State University 98.8020:191%

At Middle Georgia State University, online information technology students train to develop IT-based web solutions through teamwork, communication with coworkers and clients and a commitment to lifelong professional development. Students in the program can choose from several available concentrations: network technologies and administration, information assurance and security, integrated digital media, software development or gaming design and development. Distance courses at the university use Brightspace as the online learning management system. Through this platform, students can access readings, grading, online quizzes, multimedia files and syllabi.

3 Clayton State University 97.8718:194%

The Bachelor of Science in Information Technology degree at Clayton State University is the result of a beautiful collaboration. Thanks to the combined efforts of five University System of Georgia Colleges and Universities, this fully-online program is offered via a web-based course management system. The curriculum consists of 120-credit hours, with courses both in information security/information technology and E-Commerce. By the time graduation comes around, the stated-goal is that graduates of the program will be ready to develop and design IT-based solutions that can be applied in a variety of different organizations.

4 Liberty University 97.6818:195%

For those looking to apply information technology to the business world, Liberty University's information systems degree may be a good fit. This 120-credit bachelor's degree program includes 60 credits in the subject, with courses ranging from Information Systems Project Management to Principles of Accounting. The program also has a spiritual element, in the form of nine credits of “Christian Life & Thought” classes. Graduates often enter careers in database management, project management, business intelligence, accounting information systems and data analysis. A number of certifications for students in this program are also available, such as in Adobe, Computer Associates International and Oracle.

5 Columbus State University 97.0017:193%

Columbus State University's Bachelor of Science in Information Technology is the result of the collaborative efforts of five universities accredited through the State of Georgia Board of Regents. That means great professors and students — and networking opportunities — from five great colleges. All in one program! This fully-online degree program builds both communication and quantitative skills, while also providing a broad business education that emphasizes the role information technology has in it all. Graduates of this program are prepared to both design and implement IT solutions within a wide variety of organizations.

6 University of North Carolina at Pembroke 96.8215:192%

The University of North Carolina at Pembroke offers an online degree in criminal justice with a focus on applied information technology. The program provides students with an understanding of the American criminal justice system and prepares them for jobs in the public and private sectors. In addition to general education and core course requirements, students in the applied information technology track will complete 24 hours of coursework on IT in the criminal justice system. All courses related to the degree are available online; however, some general education courses in other topics may not be online. For these courses, students are encouraged to transfer credits from previous schooling.

7 Minot State University 95.4813:191%

Students interested in earning a degree in information technology from Minot State University may choose from three online programs, including a bachelor of applied science in applied business information technology, a bachelor of science in management information systems or a master of science in information systems. Course structure varies by class, some have scheduled meeting days and times each week for web-based courses, while others have no set time. For either format, all classes include deadlines for homework and testing. Online courses follow the university's regular campus schedule, with registration occurring three times during the year. The school recommends that students take just one or two online courses in their first semester, until they become more familiar with the learning environment.

8 Dallas Baptist University 95.3314:195%

There's a reason Dallas Baptist University has a 92% course completion rate in its online programs. As students in the bachelor's degree program in management information systems know: Classes are small; instructors are experts; and the course materials are truly supplementary. This particular program requires 120-credit hours, all online and 24 of which are in management information systems. Classes in the major range from Business Telecommunications and Networking to Ethical and Human Side to Information Technology. To ensure a broad, well-rounded education, students also take courses in business, liberal arts and religion. Some of the courses even have field work incorporated into them, for hands-on experience.

9 University of Saint Mary 94.7810:1100%

The University of Saint Mary offers an online bachelor's degree program in health information management for distance students. The program prepares students to sit for the Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA) Certification Exam. Curriculum covers necessary skills in the profession, including skilled interaction with all levels of an organization, management of people and operational units, management of patients' health information, implementation of electronic health records and analysis of data for improved outcomes. The program includes an internship, which students can complete in a facility in their local area.

10 Kennesaw State University 94.5921:190%

Kennesaw State University offers its bachelor's degree program in information security and assurance completely online. In the program, students study cyber security, networks, information security management, systems and programming. To ensure a well-rounded education, students also take courses in accounting, management, finance, liberal arts and marketing. In total, the program requires 120-credit hours to complete. Some courses students may take in the program are: Penetration Testing, Application Development, Principles of Finance, Network Security, Strategic Management and Principles of Marketing. The major itself accounts for 51 credits. Business core courses account for 36 credits.

11 Southwestern Oklahoma State University 94.5818:195%

Individuals wishing to earn a degree in health information management can do so through the Southwestern Oklahoma State University online degree program. The program prepares students for careers as health data analysts, health information management system managers, risk managers and systems research specialists. Curriculum includes instruction in computers, health science, management, business and legal requirements. Students will learn to control the circulation and integrity of health records, gather statistical information for long-range health planning goals and obtain health records for use in research. Online courses at the university use the Desire2Learn learning management system, where students are expected to log on and interact with the class daily.

12 Lewis University 94.4913:199%

Looking for a degree program that combines technical knowledge and managerial theory? Then Lewis University's bachelor's degree program in information security and risk management may be a good fit. Offered completely online, the curriculum covers everything from computer forensics and data discovery to ethical hacking. The coursework is hands-on, with the school boasting a successful internship program. By the time graduation rolls around, students are prepared for a number of certifications, including in Security+, Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) and AccessData Certified Forensics Examiner (ACE). The program also focuses on moral issues involved in the information security field.

13 Murray State University 94.1716:199%

At Murray State University, distance students can select one of several online degree programs, including an undergraduate program in computer information systems and a graduate program in information systems. At the undergraduate level, students will take business core courses and programming courses. Students will learn to analyze business requirements, assess technologies, and develop solutions for businesses. At the master's level, students are prepared for management positions in areas such as software development, data analysis, systems planning and information security. Online students at the university have access to many school resources including career services, disability services, a counseling center and services for those who are academically at-risk, low-income or first-generation college students.

14 Capitol Technology University 94.0812:1100%

Looking for both the campus experience and the flexibility of an online degree? Then Capitol Technology University may be a good fit. The school offers a bachelor's degree program in the management of cyber and information technology, in which the last two years can be completed fully online. In the program, students learn management theory, business foundations, computing and telecommunications. Further concentrations are available in: software and internet applications, computers and technology or liberal studies. To further round out education, students enroll in 42 credits of business courses, with classes ranging from project management to computer science. The program requires 121-122 credits.

15 Limestone College 94.0719:1100%

Limestone College offers a computer and information systems security concentration within its Bachelor of Science in Computer Science program. The program can be completed entirely online, at one of the various campuses in South Carolina or a mix of the two. The concentration includes classes in microcomputer applications, security architecture & design, programming, cryptography, risk management, application security and more. Students are prepared for the following certification exams upon graduation: Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), International Association of Computer Investigative Specialists (IACIS), Check Point Certified Security Administrator (CCSA) and Security Professional (CIW) and CompTIA's Security. The curriculum is 123-credits.

16 University of Memphis 93.7414:197%

Distance learning options from The University of Memphis includes a bachelor's degree in management information systems and a master's degree in applied computer science, both offered fully online. The management information systems program combines information on technology in the business world and management issues, highlighting the influence that technology has on organizational and behavioral aspects of businesses. Students can complete the program fully online, or through a hybrid program that combines online and on-campus courses. The applied computer science program educates students on advanced computer science and information technologies at the master's level.

17 Tiffin University 93.6318:198%

Students at Tiffin University can earn an online bachelor of science in information technology with a concentration in systems administration. The program guides students in the administration, design and implementation of secure computer networks, with hands-on applications as part of the curriculum. All courses are designed to assist students in passing industry certification exams with each course focused on the completion of a specific exam, such as CompTIA Security+, Microsoft MCSE and Cisco CCNA. Students will successfully complete at least one industry certification exam before graduating from the program. Online classes are taught in seven week terms, offered in six start dates throughout the year.

18 Middle Tennessee State University 93.5419:199%

Fully online, the information technologies professional studies program from Middle Tennessee State University includes 21 core course hours and 18 hours related to information technology. Curriculum addresses software analysis, database management, data communications and operating systems. Prior to beginning the program, new students complete the MTSUOnline Customs, an online orientation that provides information about the university, online learning and the resources available to distance students.

19 Lawrence Technological University 93.2111:186%

The online Bachelor of Science in Information Technology at Lawrence Technological University is a degree-completion program. Meaning, students enter the program with either an associate's degree or junior-level class standing. The program offers three concentrations: systems design, infrastructure and software applications. Some of the coursework includes: database design, project management, systems analysis, information systems management and telecommunications. One thing that sets it apart from similar programs is the electives. Students get to take 27 credits of electives within the subject area and 15 credits of general electives. This allows for a unique do-it-yourself kind of program.

20 Weber State University 93.1920:182%

Weber State University offers distance students and working professionals an online degree program in health information management. The program leads to a career in health care coding and information management. Curriculum includes information systems technologies and their use in health care organizations, management strategies related to information systems and advanced statistical procedures. Students take courses in networks and databases, biostatistics and information technology for business. Online courses use the Canvas learning management system, which supports communication between students and professors, collaboration on projects and dissemination of course materials.

21 University of Mississippi 93.0919:183%

The University of Mississippi Medical Center offers its health informatics and information management bachelor's program online in two formats: progression and traditional. The progression program is for students who hold the RHIT credential, issued by the American Health Information Management Association. Students who are new to the industry and do not hold this credential can enroll in the traditional program, which focuses on information systems related to patient care, facility reimbursement, health planning, health care evaluation and medical research. Graduates will be prepared to work in many settings, including hospitals, clinics, insurance agencies, government agencies or research centers.

22 Viterbo University 93.0612:199%

Students interested in management information systems can try their hand at the Viterbo University distance program in management information systems. The program is suitable for students with a wide range of technology backgrounds, allowing participants to begin a career in the field or build on previous knowledge. After graduation, students will be prepared to lead technical projects and teams with the effective use of information systems. The school has six start dates throughout the year, and students can attend with a full or part-time schedule. Each course is eight weeks long. Students have the option to transfer in credits from previous colleges and may be able to complete the program in as little as two years.

23 Campbell University 93.0316:1100%

Campbell University takes information technology seriously. So much so that the school offers four different bachelor's degrees in the subject: two with a security concentration and two with a management concentration. The security concentrations focus on cyber terrorism, cyber security, computer forensic, network administration and information systems structure and management. The management concentrations focus on programming structures, operating environments, enterprise database development and management, network administration and information systems structure and management. All four programs are offered entirely online, with many of the classes incorporating e-textbooks. Each course is offered within an eight-week term, accelerating the degree programs.

24 University of South Carolina-Upstate 92.9415:197%

A student who wishes to earn a bachelor's degree in information technology using an online program can do so at the University of South Carolina Upstate. The program is intended for students who have already earned an associate's degree from an accredited health information management program. Students can attend the program full- or part-time, with flexible courses that are available online 24/7. Curriculum combines health information management courses with informatics courses focused on technology and business. Students will learn about computer applications, databases and programming as they relate to health information management.

25 Chadron State College 92.7721:187%

Chadron State College offers a bachelor's degree program in business administration, with an emphasis in business information systems. In the program, students complete 36-credit hours of core business classes, ranging from Accounting Principles to Strategic Management. There are seven classes in the business information systems concentration: Web Page Development, Business Programming, Introduction to Computer Applications, Database Management, E-Commerce, Project Management and Systems Analysis and Design. Courses are offered in eight-week terms, to accelerate the program. There's even a help line available to both online and on-campus students that operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

26 King University 92.6812:192%

In King University's bachelor's degree program in information technology, students choose between three concentrations: cyber security, network management and programming. The 124-credit program focuses on a number of managerial topics, including project management, information technology plan development, policy consultation, problem solving and technology research methods. The core major itself consists of 48 credits (12 classes), with the online courses being the same courses that are taught on campus. Before being able to apply for the major, 45 credits must be completed. The program is offered in an accelerated format, so students can complete the degree faster.

27 Granite State College 94.5711:170%

Granite State College blends hands-on practice with classroom learning in its Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management program. Students achieve many outcomes in the program, including analyzing health data to ensure accurate and full processing and completing code diagnostics and procedural data. The program can be in an array of formats: online, on campus, in the evenings, through weekend intensives or a mix of all of the above. It's 120-credit hours, consisting of courses in everything from Health Care Policy to Organizational Behavior. Graduates enter many careers, including health information management technician, coding Specialist, clinical data analyst and quality improvement specialist.

28 Northeastern University 92.5513:177%

At the bachelor's level students at Northeastern University can earn an online degree in information technology completely online. The degree focuses on career specialty areas, such as system and network administration, security, networking and web and multimedia design. Students learn the principals and methods of information technology and gain the skills needed to use IT tools in a variety of settings. Master's level students can study information technology as it relates to geographic information technology, informatics, information assurance, project management or technical communication.

29 University of Alabama at Birmingham 92.4518:190%

Individuals who hope to work in information technology, networking equipment, management consulting or software engineering can earn their IT degree fully online from The University of Alabama at Birmingham. The information systems bachelor's degree program includes several concentrations for students to focus their studies in an area of interest. At the master's level, the management information systems degree is designed for working professionals and can be earned in as little as two years. Students in this program can concentrate on IT management, information security or web and mobile development. UAB uses the Canvas online documentation site for its distance students.

30 Hodges University 92.4314:199%

Having options and flexibility is what sets apart the Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Technology (CIT) program at Hodges University. Students can complete the 120-credit program fully online (or on campus), at their own pace. And within the program, they can concentrate on database systems, forensics, information security, networking, web design and development and software development. The core program includes the following classes: Hardware Support Essentials, Hardware and Operating Systems, Program Design and Problem Solving, Introduction to Web Design and Introduction to Database Management Systems (DBMS). Courses prepare students for many certifications, including A+, Microsoft Office Specialist and Network+.

31 University of South Alabama 92.3419:191%

Students at the University of South Alabama can earn a bachelor's degree in information systems through online coursework without every stepping foot onto campus. The program includes core courses on programming, systems architecture, database design, information systems and productivity applications. Students also complete a senior project and a senior seminar class at the end of the program. In addition to required core courses, students choose one of five elective groups in the areas of networking, data management, web publishing, digital forensics or health informatics.

32 University of Illinois at Springfield 92.0913:196%

The University of Illinois at Springfield has numerous online options for students interested in information technology, with undergraduate programs in computer science, information systems security and management information systems. Students ate the graduate level can earn degrees in computer science or management information systems. Students may also earn an online graduate certificate in IT project management in addition to, or instead of, the full degree plan programs. UIS has a 2+2 agreement with local community colleges, allowing the easy transfer their credits towards a bachelor's degree earned at the University of Illinois at Springfield. Online courses use the Blackboard learning management system where students can interact with peers and professors, access course materials and submit assignments.

33 Indian River State College 92.0025:179%

Indian River State College offers a fully-online bachelor's degree program in information technology management and cyber security. The program teaches students how to operate, build and manage computer networks. The curriculum consists of classes in database design and administration, network security and cryptography, computer forensics, network technologies for information professionals and web application development. The program even includes some courses that make graduates good job candidates in the business world in general, including Business Writing and Legal and Social Aspects of Business. The school boasts that each online course has a “personal touch” and “consistent format” built by current faculty.

34 Brigham Young University-Idaho 91.9924:171%

BYU-Idaho offers its Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Technology program entirely online. The 120-credit program requires 40 credits of foundational, general core courses, 51 credits of major courses and 29 elective credits. Students learn the following subjects in this program: systems analysis, systems design, project management, database design and development, operating systems, networking, enterprise development, systems security, data warehousing, mobile application development and web design and development. After graduation, students are qualified to enter an array of fields, ranging from information technology management to database administration.

35 Upper Iowa University 91.9417:185%

Upper Iowa University provides several degree of study in information technology, including information systems and software engineering. The school also offers online minors in the same subject areas. Online courses at the university use the Pearson LearningStudio as their course management system. Students with prior schooling or an associate's degree can transfer up to 90 credits towards their degree. The school has articulation agreements with local community colleges as well, to facilitate transfer of credits.

36 Austin Peay State University 91.8218:199%

Through Regents Online Campus Collaborative, Austin Peay State University offers a completely-online bachelor's degree program in information technology. The program requires 120-credit hours with courses in information technology, information systems and database management. The program includes a number of professional courses in administration and supervision, organizational systems, statistical methods and written communications. A Culminating Special Project, consisting of either an academic research paper or a creative activity project resulting in a tangible product is required before students are eligible to graduate.

37 Immaculata University 91.709:1100%

Immaculata University offers a comprehensive health information management education in its bachelor's degree program. The 126-credit program consists of liberal arts courses, 59 credits of major courses and an internship during the last two semesters of the program. Classes within the major range from Medical Terminology to Health Data Management. The program can be completely entirely online, on campus or in the evenings. Instructors are professionals who currently work in the field. This helps students more effectively learn how to manage patient health information and data, interpret coding and classification systems, use clinical applications and understand various medical terminology.

38 Mercy College 91.5818:195%

Want to learn how computers are used to solve business problems? Then Mercy College's Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems program may be the perfect match. This 120-credit program is offered completely online or at the Dobbs Ferry or Bronx campuses. Full-time students can complete the program in four years. Graduates of the program have gone onto to become: programmers, systems analysts, help desk specialists, database programmers, network engineers, database administrators, network administrators and web administrators. Plus, online learners have access to academic advising, career services, an orientation process, an online learning center and financial assistance.

39 Tennessee State University 91.4015:198%

The information technology program from Tennessee State University provides students with a Bachelor of Science in Professional Studies degree completely online. Before graduation, students must earn 120 course credit hours, including 60 hours of general education requirements, 21 hours of professional core courses, 15 hours of information technology courses and elective courses. Students also must complete a 3 hour culminating special project before they are eligible for graduation. Areas of study include database management, software analysis and design and data communications.

40 University of the Incarnate Word 91.3014:1100%

The University of the Incarnate Word offers an online bachelor's program in business administration with a focus in information systems. The program is designed to provide students with the technical skills, ethical considerations and understanding of organizations needed to hold a professional-level business position. In business administration, students take courses in accounting, macroeconomics, marketing and business law. For the information systems specialization, students study programming languages, database design, networks and e-business strategy. Courses are delivered in six eight-week terms over the year. Classwork is fully online, with no proctored exams required. There are no set times that students must log on, and classwork can be completed at any time during the week.

Information Technology Degree Search Tool

To say the field of information technology is large would be an understatement; the same is true of online degrees available in the field. After using the guide to understand varied degree levels and myriad concentrations available, students may feel like their heads are spinning. Thankfully, once students have decided where to focus their studies, the search tool below can help narrow their search by highlighting programs matched to all their needs and wants.

Degree Level:
Student Population:
School Type:
see map
Liberty University Lynchburg, Virginia Four or more years TUITION
Private not-for-profit
  • Associates of Arts in Business Management Information Systems
  • Bachelor of Science in Information Technology - Application And Database Development
  • Bachelor of Science in Business Management Information Systems - Gaming Technologies
  • Bachelor of Science in Information Technology - Data Networking And Security
  • Bachelor of Science in Information Technology - Gaming Design
  • Bachelor of Science in Management Information Systems - Web Development
  • Bachelor of Science in Business Management Information Systems - Intelligence
  • Bachelor of Science in Management Information Systems - Database
  • Bachelor of Science in Management Information Systems - Data Networking
  • Bachelor of Science in Management Information Systems - Application Development
  • Bachelor of Science in Business Management Information Systems
  • Bachelor of Science in Business Management Information Systems - Information Assurance
  • Bachelor of Science in Information Technology - Web Development
  • Bachelor of Science in Business Management Information Systems - Accounting Information Systems
  • Master of Science in Information Systems
University of Minnesota-Twin Cities Minneapolis, Minnesota Four or more years TUITION
  • Bachelor of Science in Information Technology Management
University of Florida Gainesville, Florida Four or more years TUITION
  • Master of Science in Industrial And Systems Engineering - Information Systems Engineering
  • Master of Arts in Urban And Regional Planning - Geographic Information Systems
Arizona State University-Tempe Tempe, Arizona Four or more years TUITION
  • Bachelor of Science in Graphic Information Technology- Webtechnologies
  • Bachelor of Science in Information Technology
  • Master of Science in Technology - Graphic Information Technology
Western Governors University Salt Lake City, Utah Four or more years TUITION
Private not-for-profit
  • Bachelor of Science in Information Technology?Software
  • Bachelor of Science in Information Technology?Security
  • Bachelor of Science in Business?Information Technology Management
  • Bachelor of Science in Information Technology?Network Design And Management
  • Bachelor of Science in Information Technology
  • Bachelor of Science in Information Technology?Network Administration
  • Master of Science in Information Security And Assurance
  • Master of Science in Information Technology?Network Management
  • Master of Business Administration in Information Technology Management
Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus University Park, Pennsylvania Four or more years TUITION
  • Master of Geographic Information Systems
  • Master of Professional Studies in Homeland Security - Information Security And Forensics
University of Washington-Seattle Campus Seattle, Washington Four or more years TUITION
  • Master of Science in Geographic Information Systems
University of South Florida-Main Campus Tampa, Florida Four or more years TUITION
  • Bachelor of Science in Information Technology
  • M.S. in?Management Information Systems
  • M.S. in?Information Technology
Florida State University Tallahassee, Florida Four or more years TUITION
  • Master of Science in Information Technology, Ms
  • Master of Science in Management Information Systems, Ms
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Guide to the Online Information Technology Degree

The educational path to an IT career can vary from earning an associate degree to a doctorate – with a wide range of degrees and certifications in-between. The development and expansion of IT online degree programs to meet demands for qualified professionals make it possible for students with hectic family schedules and job commitments to train for a promotion, a different position or an entirely new career. The progressive nature of online programs allows students to go as far as they like, entering the field along the way. For example, an online associate degree lays the building blocks for those seeking IT scholarships for further studies.

The following guide helps students determine where they are in the progression of IT careers, from entry level to advanced occupations. Discover the degrees and certifications that apply to jobs in fields such as hardware, software, engineering, programming, support, networks, telecom and IT security.

The Online IT Degree: Timelines and Accomplishments

Information technology education is modular, building upon a basic foundation and advancing in technical expertise. This overview of degree options includes some examples of credit requirements and time needed for completion, and illustrates key industry roles as they may map to educational requirements.

IT Associate Degree

Program: 90+ quarter credits or 60+ semester units, 2 years.

The associate degree is the starting point for many students in exploring IT through courses such as introduction to computer science, basic programming languages, operating systems, technical communication, website development, database concepts and introduction to networks and security. At the same time, the AS degree includes the core studies in general education – humanities, math, sciences, arts – required of all students at the post-secondary level. Programs differ by school, with degrees such as Associate of Science (AS) in information systems administration or Associate of Applied Science (AAS) with an IT support specialization.

Graduates have the fundamentals needed to transfer to a 4-year degree program, where they may focus on classes in their chosen field. Typical post-AS degree employment options include beginning applications programmers, computer technicians, support desk personnel and website developers.

Daytona State College
  • Enrollment: 21,226
  • Tuition: $3,371
  • College Type: Public
  • State: Florida
  • Computer Information Technology
  • Internet Services Technology

IT Bachelor’s Degree

Program: 180 quarter credits or 120 semester units, 3-4 years.

Students pursuing their IT bachelor’s degree online have two main options: 1) entering with an associate degree in-hand, or 2) beginning their program as a freshman. For those who transfer their credits to a 4-year school, the Bachelor of Science (BS) degree begins with classes that advance student knowledge beyond introductory courses. Those entering at the freshman level may take introductory core IT courses along with general education classes, advancing to more challenging, career specific coursework. Studies can include major tracks in information security and assurance, database management, network administration and advanced software development. Students may undertake courses in technical communication, systems design and architecture, database design and modeling and digital forensics

The BS can build a foundation for entry- and mid-level career positions across the IT spectrum. Post-BS degree employment options include computer systems analysts, database administrators, network architects or administrators, and software developers for systems and applications.

University of Texas
  • Enrollment: 36,388
  • Tuition: $9,152
  • College Type: Public
  • State: Texas
  • Bachelor of Applied Technology in Computer Information Technology (Bat-Cit)
University of Massachusetts
  • Enrollment: 14,939
  • Tuition: $11,847
  • College Type: Public
  • State: Massachusetts
  • Bachelor of Science in Information Technology
  • Bachelor's in Information Technology: Business Minor Option
Central Washington University
  • Enrollment: 12,883
  • Tuition: $5,627
  • College Type: Public
  • State: Georgia
  • Bachelor of Applied Science - Information Technology And Administrative Management
  • Bachelor of Science - Information Technology And Administrative Management (Itam)
Southern Polytechnic State University
  • Enrollment: 6,351
  • Tuition: $11,010
  • College Type: Public
  • State: Minnesota
  • Bachelor of Applied Science in Information Technology
  • Bachelor of Science in Information Technology
Campbell University
  • Enrollment: 5,742
  • Tuition: $25,000
  • College Type: Private
  • State: North Carolina
  • Bachelor of Applied Science in Information Technology Management
  • Bachelor of Applied Science in Information Technology Security
Minot State University
  • Enrollment: 4,097
  • Tuition: $5,920
  • College Type: Public
  • State: North Dakota
  • Bachelor of Applied Science in Applied Business Information Technology
  • Bachelor of Science in Management Information Systems

IT Master’s Degree

Program: 56 quarter credits or 36 semester units, about 2 years.

IT master’s degree programs examine advanced theory and applications of specializations as they relate to management roles in business, finance, manufacturing, healthcare, government and nonprofit organizations. The Master of Science (MS) degree combines advanced core specialty classes with IT problem solving to tackle real business challenges. Students moving up the chain of command can also undertake studies in ethics, business intelligence and analytics, information security and assurance and project management.

Among the potential post-MS degree employment options are roles requiring work experience as well as educational qualifications: chief information officers, computer security specialists, information technology project managers, IT business analysts, network systems analysts, systems architects and web administrators.

IT Doctorate

Program: 45-60 credits, 3+ years.

The PhD represents the apex of achievement in higher education. Coursework may concentrate on top-level theories, strategies and applications of IT specializations in technology pertinent to management and scholarship. Students undertake advanced research, using methodology applicable to industrywide issues, business problems and higher education in technology. The program typically involves in-depth independent research that evolves into a dissertation that contributes to the knowledge of the field.

Post-PhD options include leadership roles in business and industry, national security, international e-commerce, engineering, public and private research, consulting and post-secondary IT education.

Professional IT Certifications (Post-baccalaureate and Post-graduate)

Certifications benchmark the expertise of IT professionals working with hardware and software systems or methodologies. There are hundreds of certifications available across the range of IT specializations. Commonly sought certifications that are vendor neutral include these:

  • International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium (CISSP)
  • CompTIA: A+, Network+, Security+, Cloud+ and others
  • DRII Certified Business Continuity Professional

Many other IT certifications are vendor specific, for example:

  • Oracle Database and Network Professional
  • Cisco (CCNP, CCNA, CCIE)
  • Brocade Certified Network Engineer (BCNE)
  • Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD)
  • HP ExpertOne
  • Google Apps

Education programs leading to certifications or the aptitude to pass certification examinations are offered by vendors, professional IT organizations, and by online colleges, universities and trade schools. A certification can qualify IT personnel for advancement or new roles in technology professions.

Markers of a Successful Online IT Degree Program

The sheer number of online schools with IT degrees, with options from associate to doctoral programs, can be overwhelming. Courses may be offered entirely online, or in online/on campus hybrid programs, each with their own admissions criteria and academic requirements for graduation. From beginning students to the most advanced technical wizards, it’s vital to choose a program that best matches career goals and the required studies to attain them. Here are some core considerations regarding what makes an online IT program successful:


Accreditation is the voluntary, independent review performed on institutions offering IT degrees to verify the academic quality of the school. It attests to other universities and potential employers that the degree earned meets specific standards related to computer software, hardware and security. The U.S. Department of Education recognizes the expertise of regional accreditation agencies endorsed by the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity. Proper accreditation protects the value of a graduate’s degree. Schools that are not accredited may be disqualified from participation in federal financial aid programs. And students transferring from colleges lacking accreditation may not receive credit for previous classwork. Schools offering an IT degree online may hold accreditation from the Distance Education Accrediting Commission. The Accrediting Board for Engineering and Technology is the agency of choice for more than 3,400 schools offering computing and engineering majors.

Asynchronous course delivery

For many students, the main reason they are pursuing an IT degree online is the advantage of having a flexible, round-the-clock course delivery system. In an asynchronous program, students work at their own pace to complete course objectives. That means they need 24/7 access to all course materials, including streaming lectures, digital homework, lab sessions and examinations. Self-paced courses still have deadlines for deliverables such as research papers, spot exams, collaborative assignments and class discussions facilitated by online bulletin boards, multimedia and teleconferencing.

Flexible start dates

Unlike traditional degree programs with registration for fall, winter and spring semesters, many online IT programs open new courses based on student demand. Online schools set their own course schedules and may create new sections every eight to ten weeks. In addition, there are often introductory sessions to acquaint students with the virtual classroom software. These and other first-semester courses remain in rotation through the school year so entering students can join when they are ready, rather than waiting for the end of a semester.

Career advising and resources

IT students should search for online degree and certificate programs that have faculty and resources that connect with industry associations and employers. Most schools have career and course advisors, however, the more successful schools integrate education with professional advancement. They may sponsor career fairs with recruiters and host online resources for creating resumes and performing IT-related job searches. Faculty mentors design research and project assignments that may be done in the workplace and result in documents that go into student portfolios. Degree programs requiring internships should maintain IT resources or employer networks for placing technologists where they can best highlight their abilities.

IT: Jobs on the Rise

Technology occupations are among the fastest-growing professions in the country. The BLS expects employment for information security analysts to expand by 37 percent during the 2012-2022 decade, adding more than 27,000 new positions. U.S. News & World Report ranks the best technology jobs for 2015, including:

  • Software developer
  • Computer systems analyst
  • Information security analyst
  • IT manager
  • Computer systems administrator
  • Database administrator
  • Computer programmer
  • Computer support specialist
Inside IT: Interview with a Recent Online Graduate

Alexis D. graduated from an online Bachelor of Science in Information Technology program recently. By the time she received her diploma, she was already fielding job offers. Prior to enrolling, Alexis worked as a secretary at a law firm in California. Today, she serves as a network administrator with an Orange County credit union, and she plans to pursue an online graduate specialization in information architecture.

It sounds like you do well with online learning. What do you value the most?

The most? The lower cost of getting a degree and a quicker way to get it. Semesters and classes are shorter and you can get more done in a year. But I also like that you can re-watch class presentations and lectures as many times as you need to absorb the information.

What did you do before joining your BS program?

I had a high school education and raced into the working world without considering college. I had friends who were making decent salaries as secretaries. But it gets old fast when you can’t make enough money to do the things that interest you. I learned HTML coding on my own and built a few websites for friends — and discovered how much I love it.

As for your specific degree program, what did you appreciate?

In a single word: scheduling. The classes I took in database fundamentals and networking concepts were available several times during the year. If I wanted another course one semester, I took it knowing I could get my foundations covered later and still graduate on time.

Did you have challenges keeping up?

I would have if I hadn’t gone through orientation! To put it simply, every class has study modules and every module has a deadline. You know what’s expected of you and when it’s expected. I can’t think of any other part of my life that has lent itself to such precise scheduling. It wasn’t a matter of when I did my work as long as I sent it in on time. The work was difficult, but I had lots of support from my faculty adviser and the other students.