The information technology (IT) field offers many of the fastest growing and most lucrative careers, with assortment of satisfying employment opportunities for the tech-minded student. Earning your IT degree online is an important first step toward a rewarding career, and the widespread reliance on information technology in every industry ensures that well-trained professionals will always be in demand. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that jobs for software developers will grow by 24% from 2016–2026 — a rate more than three times the national average.
Earning your IT degree online prepares you for a variety of entry- and mid-level positions in the field, such as network administrator, information security analyst, programmer, and web developer. Many programs also offer professional concentration options enabling you to gain specialized knowledge and distinguish yourself to future employers. Because IT finds its way into nearly all professional fields, this training will enable you to pursue careers in industries as diverse as healthcare, education, business, and the nonprofit sector.
This ranking is a comprehensive introduction to online IT programs, providing an idea of what to expect in terms of curriculum, program requirements, and degree completion times. You will also find a general overview of career prospects, salary potential, and trade organizations for IT professionals.
Bachelor’s in Information Technology Degree Online Ranking Guidelines
We selected the following online information technology programs based on the quality of the program, types of online information technology classes offered, faculty, rankings, awards, and reputation — including the school’s reputation for effectively providing quality online degree programs.
The Best Online Bachelor’s in Information Technology Degree Programs
1. Indian River State College
Fort Pierce, Florida
Located in Fort Pierce, IRSC serves Florida’s Martin, Indian River, St. Lucie, and Okeechobee counties. The college offers applied technology diplomas and technical certificates along with associate and bachelor’s degrees. IRSC is also home to the Cyber Center of Excellence — an institute dedicated exclusively to information security. The center maintains partnerships with major tech companies and organizations, sponsors events, and provides career assistance, making IRSC an attractive place to earn an online bachelor of science in information technology management and cybersecurity.
IRSC students pursuing this information technology degree online take classes in database design and administration, network technologies, information security applications, network security, and cryptography. Distance learners must complete at least one proctored assessment during each online course. In addition to major-specific coursework, the curriculum includes 21 credits of general education and core technical classes. All candidates complete a three-credit capstone seminar before graduating.
Applicants must hold a high school diploma or GED and provide official transcripts from all previously attended institutions. In-state learners are also required to complete and submit a Florida residency declaration. IRSC awards prior learning assessment credit for qualifying military experience, professional certifications, exam scores, and workplace training. IT majors can apply for area-specific scholarships through the Cyber Center of Excellence.
Indian River State College is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).
2. Oglala Lakota College
Kyle, South Dakota
OLC is a public tribal community college serving the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in Kyle, South Dakota. The institution recently began offering bachelor’s degrees in addition to associate-level and certificate programs, expanding its virtual campus to provide online baccalaureate options.
The school combines in-person requirements with online and hybrid course options through its virtual campus, with distance opportunities varying each semester. The distance learning courses offered through OLC’s virtual campus are not self-paced or independent study courses.
OLC’s bachelor of science in information technology includes 28 credits of general education requirements, 51 credits of information technology professional core courses, 18 information technology elective credits, and nine free elective credits. Candidates must also take 15 credits of Lakota studies coursework, completing a total of 121 credits. Core IT courses introduce web design fundamentals, network security strategies, network operating systems, and virtualization principles. All learners are required to take an applied information processing course at the beginning of the program.
Distance classes are presented through the Moodle learning platform and typically feature daily homework assignments. Distance learners can interact with their classmates through discussion boards and email.
Oglala Lakota College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
3. South Texas College
Located in the Rio Grande Valley, South Texas College is a public institution known for its diverse student body. The school operates one of the nation’s largest dual-enrollment/early college high school programs and offers bachelor’s and associate degrees in a variety of disciplines. The school also oversees an array of distance education opportunities.
Candidates pursuing South Texas College’s information technology degree online complete 120–121 credits of general education and professional coursework. The career-focused bachelor of applied technology (BAT) curriculum develops key workplace communication skills in addition to crucial technical and theoretical competencies.
Emphasizing hands-on learning, the program introduces programming languages, core database management concepts, and advanced network design strategies. A required capstone course helps learners synthesize their acquired skills and knowledge in a final work-based study experience. Most classes are presented in an asynchronous format.
While many graduates immediately go on to pursue careers in the private sector, the BAT also provides a solid foundation for graduate-level study. Program graduates can find work as computer programmers, software engineers, information security analysts, and computer user support specialists.
South Texas College maintains an open admissions policy. Applicants must submit official high school transcripts or GED documentation and complete math, reading, and writing placement tests before enrolling in classes. Candidates with sufficient ACT or SAT scores may waive placement tests. Distance learners are encouraged to develop a personalized learning plan with help from the college’s advising department.
South Texas College is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).
4. Florida State College at Jacksonville
A member of the Florida College System, FSCJ got its start as Florida Junior College in 1966. Along with four major campuses, the institution maintains additional centers along the coast. FSCJ offers more four-year bachelor’s programs than many community colleges, with 12 undergraduate options available on campus and online.
FSCJ’s accelerated bachelor of applied science in information technology management program allows students to earn an information technology degree online in as few as 20 months, depending on their previous college experience. Featuring flexible scheduling and small class sizes, the program encourages peer collaboration and community. Distance learners develop a professional network as they learn to supervise and manage IT projects and personnel. They also enjoy industry support through the school’s active IT Advisory Committee.
Emphasizing practical skills, the program takes a hands-on approach to information technology management. Students acquire strong business communication skills, efficient project planning and implementation techniques, and a broad understanding of evolving technologies.
Candidates complete 36 credits of general education coursework in communications, mathematics, the humanities, natural science, and social and behavioral sciences. The curriculum also includes 27 credits of lower-division coursework in topics such as network fundamentals and internet programming. In addition, students must complete 18 elective credits and 39 credits of upper-division coursework.
Florida State College at Jacksonville is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).
5. Eastern Florida State College
Formerly known as Brevard Community College, EFSC is a public school located on Florida’s Space Coast. A member of the Florida College System, EFSC maintains campuses in Cocoa, Palm Bay, Titusville, and Melbourne, as well as an aerospace program at the Kennedy Space Center and a vibrant virtual campus. Known for its high graduation rates and diverse academic programs, the college offers a variety of flexible distance education options.
EFSC’s bachelor of applied science in computer information systems technology allows candidates to develop specialized skills as they earn an information technology degree online. Distance learners can explore their personal interests and potential career paths by selecting a concentration in cybersecurity, computer project management, data science, program development/software development, or networking systems.
Regardless of their specialization, each student completes 36 credits of required general education coursework, which includes a foreign language component. Candidates must also take introductory physics, calculus, and programming classes during their first semester.
Applicants are expected to hold an associate of science or associate of arts from a regionally accredited college. New students entering the program with an AA degree may be required to take additional math and science courses.
Eastern Florida State College is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).
6. Daytona State College
Daytona Beach, Florida
DSC is a comprehensive public institution serving Florida’s Volusia and Flagler counties. Established in 1957, the college began granting four-year degrees in 1971. Today, DSC offers more than 100 career-focused academic programs on campus, online, and through hybrid formats. Distance learners can pursue a variety of credentials, including project management and marketing certificates and an information technology bachelor’s degree.
DSC’s bachelor of science in information technology introduces the concepts and competencies students need to excel in network security, information technology, programming, and digital forensics positions. Using diverse methodologies and scientific concepts, learners work in teams to explore programming languages, digital security, web systems, databases, and operating systems. Core courses emphasize applied math and science skills.
Due to the program’s two + two format, qualifying applicants must hold an associate of applied science, associate of science, or associate of arts degree with an overall GPA of at least 2.5. Under certain circumstances, prospective students with GPAs between 2.0 and 2.49 may gain conditional admission. Individuals who do not hold an associate degree may also be admitted into the program if they have at least 60 transferable credits earned with a
C or higher.
Daytona State College is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).
7. Western Governors University
Salt Lake City, Utah
A private online university, WGU was established in 1997 to make higher education more accessible. While most institutions use a credit-based academic model, WGU takes a competency-based approach to learning. Known for combining academic rigor with flexibility, the university offers an array of programs, including one of the best online information technology degree programs in the country.
Developed by industry experts, the curriculum encompasses five areas: scripting and programming, data management, systems and services, the business of information technology, and networking and security. Unlike many online IT programs, WGU’s bachelor of science in information technology allows students to earn industry-recognized certifications (e.g., CIW and CompTIA credentials) as they master computer information technologies and systems. Certifications are built into the curriculum and do not require additional fees or study time.
The average student enters the program with 36 transfer credits. While some distance learners can graduate in as few as seven months, others require up to 37 months. Self-paced coursework permits learners to advance quickly, bypassing subjects and concepts they have previously mastered. Graduates can go on to work in diverse settings, taking positions as IT managers, computer programmers, network engineers, and software or web developers.
Western Governors University is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).
8. Miami Dade College
MDC is a public college with eight campuses and 21 outreach centers throughout Miami-Dade County. With more than 165,000 students, MDC is the largest member of the Florida College System. MDC’s Virtual College offers five bachelor’s-level distance programs, including an information technology online degree.
Candidates can pursue a concentration in cybersecurity, networking, or application development, tailoring the school’s online bachelor of science in information systems technology to meet their personal and professional goals. Students gain the knowledge and skills needed to control and direct computerized information systems. Participants also learn to design, plan, and manage information infrastructures and resources, exploring theoretical topics and practical applications.
While all online courses are presented asynchronously, the Virtual College uses the same academic calendar as the traditional college. Candidates are expected to participate in discussion forums on a regular basis and sit for one proctored exam per class. MDC provides distance learners with free online tutoring, technical support services, library assistance, and career planning services.
Prospective students must hold an associate degree from a regionally accredited institution and demonstrate a minimum GPA of 2.5 Applicants must also complete prerequisite coursework in computer science, math, statistics, and economics. MDC offers need-, merit-, and major-based scholarship opportunities.
Miami Dade College is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).
9. St. Petersburg College
Located in Pinellas County, SPC is a member of the Florida College System. While SPC serves approximately 65,000 learners each year and features eight on-campus libraries, the college does not maintain student housing. Many candidates who do not wish to commute to class enroll in one of SPC’s online programs. The college offers 560 web-based courses and 52 degree programs, including an information technology online degree.
SPC’s online bachelor of applied science in technology development and management helps build competent, effective leaders in the information technology field. The 120-credit curriculum features concentrations in cybersecurity, software development, project management, and data analytics.
Along with general education classes and major core coursework, BAS candidates complete 15 credits within their concentration. Combining business principles and key IT concepts, core courses examine topics like managerial risk analysis, software design, and legal aspects of technology management. The program culminates in a three-credit capstone experience.
Program graduates can manage and lead project teams, create fiscal plans, understand the financial implications associated with decision-making, and improve and analyze organizational strategic processes.
Eligible applicants must hold 60 credits earned from a regionally accredited institution, including 15 transferable general education credits. After submitting their official transcripts, prospective students must speak with an advisor and complete an online orientation session.
St. Petersburg College is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).
10. Brigham Young University - Idaho
Founded in Rexburg in 1888, BYU-Idaho is owned and operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The university transitioned from a junior college to a four-year institution in 2001 and presently houses 33 departments within six colleges. BYU-Idaho’s program offerings span a variety of disciplines, including engineering, agriculture, the sciences, performing arts, and management. The university also provides 40 online certificate and degree options.
BYU-Idaho’s online BS in computer information technology trains candidates to solve practical problems through technology. Emphasizing systems development, design, and management within organizations, the program is well-suited for prospective web developers, network engineers, information technology managers, and computer software engineers. The curriculum explores operating systems, networking, database design and development, object-oriented programming, and communications.
Requiring a total of 120 credits, the curriculum includes six upper-division credits, 40 credits of foundational coursework, 51 credits of major-related coursework, and 29 credits of elective courses. Candidates must complete either a senior project or an internship and fulfill a final practicum requirement before earning their information technology online degree.
Applicants who have not previously attended an institution operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints must complete prerequisite coursework through the one-year PathwayConnect program before pursuing their BS. Prospective information technology majors are expected to earn a minimum 3.0 GPA on PathwayConnect coursework.
Brigham Young University-Idaho is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).
11. University of South Florida - Sarasota-Manatee
A member of the University of South Florida System, USFSM was established in 1975 and awards baccalaureate and master’s degrees.
Combining security and technology with web design and development, the university’s online cybersecurity and information technology program provides future programmers and security specialists with a competitive skill set. Along with fundamental programming and mathematics concepts, distance learners survey advanced topics in digital forensics, operating systems architecture, and IT project management. Elective offerings include classes in NoSQL databases, ethical hacking, disaster preparedness, and cryptography. The program culminates in a senior project. Learners may also complete an optional internship at a nearby business.
The flexible curriculum presents students with many opportunities to customize their information technology online degree and develop a specialization to match their career goals. A highly interactive learning platform facilitates student-faculty communication, allowing candidates to collaborate with and learn from industry experts. Graduates can go on to pursue careers as network engineers, technology and project managers, software developers, and systems analysts.
Applicants must submit their high school transcripts and ACT or SAT test scores. The program is competitive and prioritizes applicants with strong academic histories and standardized exam scores. Once admitted, new students must complete an online orientation and advising session.
The University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).
12. Athens State University
Athens State is located in northern Alabama. The university serves junior and senior students through 33 major programs and three colleges. Athens State’s College of Business offers a comprehensive and customizable information technology online degree with 16 minor options.
Centered on core business competencies, the 124-credit online management of technology program provides the necessary framework to take on managerial roles in the information technology industry or pursue graduate study. Encompassing traditional business topics such as accounting, management, finance, marketing, and technology management, the curriculum includes 41 credits of professional coursework. Prior to graduation, all distance learners must take a business policy capstone course and final exam before completing a final technology management assessment. The program culminates in a senior business seminar.
Students are encouraged to pursue an area of specialization, selecting from minors in human resource management, information systems management, international business, contract management, healthcare management, and small business/entrepreneurship. With departmental permission, candidates may also develop an 18-credit tailored minor in a related professional or academic field.
Applicants must hold a 2.0 minimum GPA and at least 36 transferable credits, including 15 credits of general education coursework. Prospective students should also submit official transcripts.
Athens State University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).
13. Indiana University - Kokomo
A regional campus in the Indiana University system, IU Kokomo serves 14 counties and offers more than 60 degrees in a variety of disciplines. Students enjoy a low 18-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio and can complete some programs online. While IU Kokomo’s School of Sciences offers an information technology online degree, students may take distance learning courses from any institution in the Indiana University system and apply those credits toward their BS in informatics.
Exploring technology and information within organizations and society, the program emphasizes collaborative study and problem-solving strategies. Well-suited for learners interested in graduate study, the degree features an interdisciplinary curriculum centered on an information technology core. Required courses cover integral concepts in programming, web design and development, project management, and human-computer interaction. Small class sizes allow learners to build peer relationships and receive individualized assistance.
Prospective students are expected to hold a high school diploma or GED certificate. While applicants who have been out of high school for at least three years are not required to submit SAT or ACT scores, they must fulfill a series of prerequisites in English, math, science, and social studies. All applicants should rank in the top half of their high school class, regardless of their graduation date.
IU Kokomo awards over 400 institutional scholarships each year, and the university’s business school sponsors additional, major-specific financial aid opportunities.
Indiana University Kokomo is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
14. Seminole State College of Florida
With four central Florida campuses, Seminole State is the eighth-largest institution in the Florida College System. Founded in 1966 with 700 students, the college has since grown to serve more than 30,000 learners. Seminole State began granting four-year degrees in 2010 and now offers 11 baccalaureate programs, including an online information technology degree.
Seminole State’s career-focused online BS in information technology builds technical expertise and in-demand systems management skills. Distance students learn to design, plan, control, and direct computerized information resources and infrastructures in a variety of settings. The 120-credit curriculum includes 36 credits of general education coursework, 39 required major credits, and a series of interdisciplinary foundation courses. Major classes cover integral networking and computer architecture concepts, operating systems, distributed processing, and database design.
All candidates must select a specialization in either programming or cybersecurity. The 24-credit cybersecurity track introduces strategies for maintaining cloud, wireless network, and mobile infrastructural integrity. Alternatively, students who pursue the 27-credit programming concentration learn to develop mobile and web applications, design software, and integrate software subsystems.
Applicants must hold an associate degree from a regionally accredited institution. All prospective students should demonstrate a minimum GPA of 2.0.
Seminole State College of Florida is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).
15. Oklahoma State University - Institute of Technology
OSUIT offers an online IT bachelor’s degree that prepares students to serve in a variety of in-demand careers or pursue more advanced study. This online IT program also allows individuals to earn one or more professional certifications.
The 121-credit program includes concentrations in network infrastructure, software development, and cybersecurity and digital forensics. Core classes cover subjects like introduction to C programming, web development, information security, script programming, and database systems. Students also take electives based on their chosen concentration.
Additionally, IT students learn about information systems and architecture, applied research, and project management. They also engage in an internship, through which they learn directly from experienced IT professionals.
This online technology degree program features asynchronous courses, which enable students to log in, view lectures, and complete assignments at their convenience. Distance learners can access the LASSO Center, which offers resources like tutoring, student success seminars, and individualized academic support.
First-time college students seeking admission must hold a high school diploma or GED certificate and submit their ACT or SAT scores. Prospective transfer students must provide official transcripts from all previously attended colleges or universities and take a COMPASS assessment exam. Transfer students with less than 24 college-level credits must also submit their high school transcripts or GED scores.
The Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). The school’s IT programs are accredited by the Computing Accreditation Commission (CAC) of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).
16. Broward College
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
BC — located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida — teaches students the skills necessary to work with dynamic databases, engineer complex software, and administer network systems. The school’s online bachelor of applied science in information technology features an accelerated format, enabling students to graduate quickly.
Students take courses on platform technologies, Cisco networking, data analytics, systems development, ethical hacking, and cloud security. Learners also complete a capstone tailored to their area of interest, taking what they learned in the classroom and applying it to a practical challenge in the IT field. Students may earn credit for a co-op work experience, as well.
BC offers a variety of services to distance learners, including certified tutors, laptops on loan, writing assistance, academic advising, and digital library resources. Students may take part in study abroad opportunities offered every academic year. BC’s career center helps students and graduates secure jobs and internships and provides interview coaching and assistance with writing cover letters and resumes.
Applicants interested in earning this information technology degree online must hold an associate degree from a regionally accredited institution, along with a minimum 2.0 GPA. Prospective students do not need to provide ACT or SAT scores during the admissions process. The program also admits individuals who hold at least 60 transferable credits of college-level coursework, even if they do not possess an associate degree.
Broward College is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).
17. University of Houston - Downtown
UHD offers an online bachelor of business administration with a management information systems focus. This degree track prepares students for careers in programming, systems analysis, network administration, e-commerce development, and database systems.
Students take classes on a variety of subjects, including systems analysis and design, enterprise architecture, information technology infrastructure, web technologies, and information systems project management. Students complete this information technology degree online by earning 120 credits, which usually takes four years. In addition to online coursework, learners can take some in-person classes at the school’s downtown or northwest Houston campuses.
The program strongly encourages students to join IT organizations, including the Business Administration Council, CompTIA Association of Information Technology Professionals, and Beta Gamma Sigma. Participating in these groups can help individuals network, learn new skills, and find career opportunities.
Individuals applying as incoming freshmen must submit their official high school transcripts (or official GED report), along with their ACT or SAT scores. Prospective transfer students must provide official transcripts from all previously attended postsecondary institutions and be in good academic standing.
UHD maintains articulation agreements with Lone Star College, Houston Community College, Lee College, San Jacinto College, and Wharton County Junior College, allowing students from those schools to easily transfer into its online IT program.
The University of Houston - Downtown is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). The school’s MIS program is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).
18. Peirce College
Located in Philadelphia’s Rittenhouse Square neighborhood, Pierce College offers a bachelor’s in information technology degree online that features flexible class schedules and course offerings.
The program has three concentrations: programming and application development; networking, administration, and information security; and competency-based education. This third concentration allows students to earn credit for previously mastered skills/knowledge — a particularly useful option for individuals with significant professional experience.
The 61-credit core curriculum features subjects like networking fundamentals, programming concepts, usability design, network security, and the ethical management of information technology. Students also take a class covering help desk and customer support concepts, where they learn both the technical and social aspects of delivering sound IT assistance to individuals across a variety of settings. Learners complete a total of 121 credits to graduate with a bachelor’s degree.
First-time students applying to Pierce College must provide their official high school transcripts or GED scores. Transfer applicants submit all transcripts from all previously attended colleges and universities. The school features rolling admissions and start dates throughout the year. Students may also choose, on a week-by-week basis, whether they want to learn online or in a classroom.
Enrolled distance learners can access a full suite of resources designed to help them achieve success, such as academic advising, tutoring, disability services, writing assistance, and a digital library. The school’s staff also helps individuals with resumes, cover letter writing, interviewing, and job hunting.
Pierce College is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
19. Colorado State University Global
Greenwood Village, Colorado
Students at CSU Global can earn an information technology degree online. The degree program coursework will prepare students for professional certification exams.
This 120-credit program includes 30 credits of core classes, covering topics like information system security, database management, network enterprise solutions, and IT project management. Students then take 15 credits in their specialization area, choosing form options like computer programming, cybersecurity, data management, project management, and cloud computing and virtualization. Students can tailor their degrees to match their specific interests and career goals.
CSU Global charges the same per-credit tuition for both in-state and out-of-state students. The school also offers a tuition guarantee, with no rate increases as long as a student is enrolled.
Applicants must hold a high school diploma or GED certificate, and preference is given to individuals who possess at least two years of relevant professional experience. Incoming students must also hold at least 12 credits of college-level coursework from an accredited postsecondary institution.
Student who do not meet admission requirements may receive provisional admission. Applicants seeking provisional admission must submit a 400–500-word statement of purpose and a current resume. They must also take a SmarterMeasure Assessment.
Colorado State University Global is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
20. Middle Georgia State University
MGA students can enroll in an online BS in information technology degree program that offers several concentrations, including cybersecurity, cyber forensics, network technology, software engineering, and web application development.
All online classes feature an asynchronous format, which allows students to complete assignments, contribute to discussions, and take exams largely at their convenience. Upper-division courses include subjects like systems analysis and design, database administration, project management, information assurance, and human-computer interaction. Students take 21 credits of core IT classes, as well as another 21 credits of courses relevant to their concentration. Most full-time students graduate within four years.
This online IT program also awards credit for prior learning experiences, including those gained through professional, military, and career training. The university charges a special distance learning tuition rate; all online students pay the same rate, regardless of their state residency status.
To apply, prospective students must submit their high school transcripts or GED scores, along with ACT or SAT scores. MGA maintains articulation agreements with state and county community college systems throughout Georgia, allowing students at those schools to transfer seamlessly and earn their bachelor’s.
Middle Georgia State University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). The school’s BS in information technology program is accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).
21. New Mexico State University
Las Cruces, New Mexico
NMSU’s information and community technology online degree completion program does not require participants to visit the school’s Las Cruces campus. The program focuses on network security, system integration, database management, operating systems, and hardware, offering an experience that prepares individuals for a variety of IT careers.
Online students take classes on software technology, information security technology, multimedia technologies, Windows server administration, and computer systems administration. Additionally, an ethical hacking course gives learners the skills and knowledge needed to test computer networks for vulnerabilities and prevent data breaches that can threaten individuals, businesses, and organizations. Toward the end of this program, students also complete a senior project that leverages their newly gained knowledge to tackle a practical challenge.
This online IT program is well-suited for individuals who already hold about two years worth of college credits. NMSU accepts transfer students with a minimum 2.0 GPA.
NMSU’s distance learners benefit from resources like academic advising, a digital library, a counseling center, and career services. Students may also access peer mentoring, scholarship help, skills workshops, a writing center, and tutoring. All online learning takes place through the Canvas learning management system. Courses may feature synchronous or asynchronous formats, depending on the subject and instructor.
New Mexico State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
22. Eastern New Mexico University
Portales, New Mexico
ENMU — located in Portales — offers an online bachelor’s degree in arts and sciences with a concentration in information systems and programming design. This option operates as a degree completion track, and most full-time students can complete their BAAS in two years or less.
Online learning takes place on the Mediasite digital learning platform, and students can log in and complete class requirements largely on their own time. Distance learners interact frequently with their instructors and peers, maintaining many of the benefits of on-campus learning.
This online IT program’s core curriculum covers topics like electronic business strategy and design, information systems security, advanced programming, web development, and discrete mathematics for computer science. Students may also choose from electives focused on project management, systems analysis and design, database management, and network infrastructure design.
Eligible applicants must hold an associate degree from a regionally accredited college or university or possess a significant number of credits in information technology or a related technical field. Prospective students submit official transcripts from any previously attended postsecondary institutions. ENMU accepts transfer credits from virtually all accredited colleges and universities across the country.
Online students can access counseling and services for veterans, as well as academic advising, tutoring, writing assistance, and digital library resources. Learners may also receive career counseling and job placement assistance through the university.
Eastern New Mexico University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
23. Vincennes University
Based in southwest Indiana, VU offers an online bachelor’s degree in technology with an information technology concentration. The program focuses on practical technological skills, while also helping students understand the ethical, business, and management aspects of the IT field.
This bachelor’s degree completion program requires incoming students to hold an associate degree in information technology (or a closely related discipline) from an accredited postsecondary institution. Individuals applying to this online technology degree program must provide official transcripts from all previously attended colleges or universities.
This program, which typically takes two years to complete, features courses on ethical hacking, information technology management, data warehousing, and enterprise resource planning. Students also take a class on data security and disaster recovery where they learn to prepare businesses, organizations, and government agencies for potential data security threats. The course includes the creation of a business continuity plan using industry best practices.
To receive a bachelor’s degree, students must accrue 120 total credits, including those earned through their associate program. Students take 60 of these credits at VU.
Distance learners can access a variety of services, including a career center, personal counseling, disability services, online library resources, tutoring, and a writing center. The university also offers support services for active-duty military members, veterans, and military families. VU charges tuition based on residency status.
Vincennes University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
24. Excelsior College
Albany, New York
Excelsior’s online bachelor of science in information technology program allows students to transfer in up to 117 credits from other colleges and universities. The school also provides credit for experiences gained through job, military service, and career training programs. The flexible nature of this program helps students earn an information technology degree online in less than four years.
Students gain expertise in critical areas of IT, including cybersecurity, database administration, network communication, project management, software development, and system administration. Learners may opt for a general IT track or pick from concentrations in cybersecurity technology or network operations.
This online IT program’s core curriculum includes classes on object-oriented programming, operating systems, computer systems architecture, and web development and design. A course on human-computer interactive design examines methods and techniques used to develop better user experiences on smartphones, tablets, and computers.
Incoming first-time students submit their high school transcripts or GED scores, and transfer students must provide transcripts from all previously attended postsecondary schools. Excelsior may grant transfer credits for courses in which a student earned a
C- or better.
The college charges all online students the same tuition, regardless of their state residency. Veterans and active-duty military members may qualify for additional tuition discounts.
Excelsior College is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). The school’s BS in information technology program is accredited by the Computing Accreditation Commission (CAC) of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).
25. Minot State University
Minot, North Dakota
Located in a small city in northern North Dakota, MSU was founded in 1886. The school operates as the third-largest university in the state and belongs to the North Dakota University System. MSU offers dozens of undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs to distance learners, including an online BAS in applied business information technology.
Individuals interested in earning this information technology degree online complete business classes like fundamentals of management and spreadsheet applications. Students also enroll in several technology classes, including introduction to website design, data and information management, and enterprise architecture. As a culminating experience, learners complete a management information systems project. Students can also take advantage of the university’s internship program, applying classroom knowledge to solve practical problems in a professional setting.
Major student learning goals of this program include learning to plan how to use technology with external and internal constituents, evaluate/analyze technology solutions, identify and design technological improvements, and recommend new technologies and management solutions.
Graduates are qualified to find employment in a variety of IT settings, working as IT managers, system analysts, web designers, and information security analysts. To gain admittance into this program, applicants should already hold an associate of applied science degree.
Minot State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
The Advantages of an Information Technology Education
While an associate degree offers an introduction to key IT concepts and tools, a bachelor’s degree serves as the minimum requirement for most positions in the field. A typical bachelor’s curriculum provides you with a well-rounded understanding of core IT principles, preparing you for most entry- and mid-level positions. Many bachelor’s degrees also offer specialization opportunities.
Advanced positions in the field — particularly management roles — may require a master’s degree. An IT graduate program builds highly specialized knowledge along with the management skills necessary to succeed at the highest levels. Regardless of your career aspirations, earning a bachelor’s degree represents a key step on your journey. In the following section, you’ll find information about career and salary prospects for an assortment of IT career paths.
Average Salary by Degree Level
|Degree Level||Average Salary|
|Associate Degree in Information Technology||$57,000|
|Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology||$63,000|
Information Technology Degree Salary Information
Earning your information technology degree online prepares you for positions in information security, technical support, software development, and database management. While precise roles and responsibilities vary widely, these careers generally require strong analytical and critical thinking skills, as well as the ability to work in a fast-paced environment. Given the rapidly changing nature of the field, IT professionals should also stay up-to-date on technological advancements and engage in ongoing professional development activities.
- Database Administrator:
- These specialists assume responsibility for maintaining an organization’s data, such as financial information or other company records. Administrators arrange, evaluate, and safeguard complex digital databases for organizations that keep extensive records, such as insurance companies, educational institutions, and financial organizations.
Database Administrator salary based on experience:
- Entry Level: $53,000
- Mid-Career: $62,600
- Experienced: $78,000
- Late Career: $90,600
- Information Security Analyst:
- Digital security is among the most significant concerns for modern IT organizations, and information security analysts work to ensure the safety of confidential data. Many companies and organizations that use computer systems employ security analysts who determine potential threats and devise measures to safeguard computer networks.
Information Security Analyst salary based on experience:
- Entry Level: $59,000
- Mid-Career: $66,000
- Experienced: $81,000
- Late Career: $92,000
- Network Administrator:
- Large organizations use complex computer networks, and network administrators oversee and maintain these systems. These specialists supervise day-to-day operations and address network-related issues that may arise. They may also take responsibility for upgrading an organization’s computer networks and devising general networking practices.
Network Administrator salary based on experience:
- Entry Level: $49,000
- Mid-Career: $52,000
- Experienced: $59,000
- Late Career: $64,000
- Computer Systems Analyst:
- Also referred to as systems architects, these analysts evaluate an organization’s computing systems to maximize operational efficiency. Combining both business and IT principles, systems analysts focus on realistic solutions to meet business needs and maximize profits.
Computer Systems Analyst salary based on experience:
- Entry Level: $56,000
- Mid-Career: $60,000
- Experienced: $70,000
- Late Career: $77,000
- Software Developer:
- One of the more creative positions in the IT field, software developers design computer programs and applications, such as word processors or mobile applications. Developers typically work as part of a team, with different members responsible for designing separate aspects of a piece of software.
Software Developer salary based on experience:
- Entry Level: $61,000
- Mid-Career: $67,000
- Experienced: $80,000
- Late Career: $90,000
Choosing an Online Information Technology Degree Program
Several factors determine which online information technology degree is best for you, such as program format and tuition. Cost is a top concern for most students; as a general rule, public and in-state programs offer lower tuition rates than out-of-state or private schools. If you’re trying to narrow your list of schools, looking at tuition is an easy way to start. The following list outlines some of the factors to consider when researching online IT programs.
- Program Cost:
- Program costs can vary significantly, with private schools typically charging the highest tuition rates. While in-state schools typically offer lower rates, many online programs provide special tuition discounts for distance learners, sometimes allowing you to pay the in-state tuition rate — no matter where you live — if you only attend courses online.
- Transfer Policies:
- Some schools offer generous credit transfer policies, allowing you to transfer many previously earned college credits to complete your degree more quickly. Some online programs even allow you to earn credit for relevant professional experience and training.
- School Size and Type:
- Online programs generally offer similar experiences, but school size and type can make a difference. Public schools are typically much larger than their private counterparts, which can result in more course options but less individual attention from faculty. Private schools may offer fewer course options but more specialized degrees.
- Program Length:
- Many online technology degree programs feature variable enrollment options, offering the ability to complete your studies either full time or part time. A full-time program enables you to complete your degree more quickly, while a part-time program offers more freedom and flexibility.
- On-Campus Requirements:
- While many distance programs enable you to earn a degree without ever visiting campus, some do include varying amounts of classroom learning. Programs may require monthly or even weekly campus sessions to augment online work. Students may also need to complete intensive campus residency sessions, which typically take place once or twice a year.
Accreditation for Online Information Technology Degrees
A school’s accreditation status is one of the most important factors to consider when choosing between online information technology degree programs. Accreditation indicates that a school meets national education standards and confers a professionally and academically appropriate degree. This becomes particularly important when selecting a distance education program — some schools may try to misrepresent themselves online.
Institutional accreditation comes in two types: national, which typically serves professional and vocational colleges, and regional, which serves more traditional academic institutions. When researching online technology degree programs, look for schools that hold regional accreditation from organizations like the Higher Learning Commission or the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Administration work together to oversee accreditation standards, and both agencies keep a list of accredited schools and sanctioned accreditation agencies on their respective websites.
Some IT programs may also hold individual programmatic accreditation, which is typically awarded through the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) or its subsidiary the Computing Accreditation Commission (CAC). ABET or CAC accreditation shows that a program meets designated IT education standards, indicating professional reputability.
Information Technology Concentrations
While a bachelor’s offers a broad introduction to IT concepts, many programs also give you the option to specialize in one area, such as network security or software design. Choosing a specialization can help you stand out to employers and increase your career prospects. The table below describes a few common IT concentration areas.
- Information Security:
- This concentration explores common practices for safeguarding digital information. Students receive an overview of threat assessment and detection strategies, security measures, and response procedures. Programs examine a variety of digital threats like hacking, viruses, and malware to build a varied skill set for defending against common intrusions.
- Careers This Concentration Prepares For: Security analyst, network security administrator
- Web and Applications Development:
- This concentration functions similarly to software development, teaching students the tools to create applications and other programs. Courses typically cover common programming languages, such as Java and C++. Students can gain an understanding of all stages of the software development process, from initial concept to quality assurance testing.
- Careers This Concentration Prepares For: Software developer, web developer
- Database Administration:
- Database administration students gain the skills needed to design and maintain databases for all types of information. Most programs explore performance management, disaster recovery, and data security, training learners to maximize information security and ensure organizational continuity.
- Careers This Concentration Prepares For: Database administrator, systems analyst
- Digital Forensics:
- This specialization branches off from information security, training students to defend computer networks against cyberattacks and investigate unauthorized intrusions to improve network security. Most programs stress the collection, analysis, and preservation of digital evidence in the context of threat mitigation, fraud investigation, and law enforcement.
- Careers This Concentration Prepares For: Digital forensics analyst, cybercrime investigator
- Network Administration:
- Network administration students explore standard practices for the design, implementation, management, and troubleshooting of complex computer networks. Courses commonly cover topics in data management, interconnecting network devices, leadership and management strategies, and security procedures. Many programs also explore specialized security topics, such as cloud security and specific operating systems.
- Careers This Concentration Prepares For: Network administrator, computer systems analyst, network support specialist
How Long Does It Take to Get a Degree in Information Technology?
Degree completion time can have a major impact on your online program choice, particularly if you’re currently employed full time or trying to enter the workforce quickly. Several factors affect the time it takes to earn an information tech degree online, including enrollment options, course requirements, and program format. A typical bachelor’s degree requires about 120 credits and takes full-time learners around four years to complete.
Many information technology degree programs emphasize flexibility, allowing you to enroll either full time or part time, depending on your availability. Some programs even let you to switch your enrollment status between semesters, taking extra courses when you have more free time. Some programs cater specifically to students who work full time, enabling participants to take a lighter course load each term to maintain a productive balance between work and school. Part-time enrollment can be more expensive overall, but it’s a viable option if you want to remain in your current job while studying.
Courses in an Online Bachelor’s in Information Technology Program
- Cybersecurity/Information Assurance:
- This course explores the fundamentals of information security and introduces students to major models, mechanics, and protocols for safeguarding data. The curriculum typically offers an overview of topics such as cryptography, threat assessment, vulnerability scanning, data recovery, and software applications for security.
- Cyberlaw and Ethics:
- Developments in information technology have created an assortment of legal concerns and ethical issues for modern IT professionals. This course examines IT in historical, social, and legal contexts, briefing students on major concepts such as privacy, data collection, and ethical relations for IT management.
- Business Systems Analysis/Design:
- IT holds many uses in business operations, and this course explores the major concepts and methodologies of business information systems. Coursework may emphasize the relationship between an organizational structure and its use of information technology, offering effective IT solutions to business problems.
- Computer Platform Technologies:
- This introductory course covers major hardware and software components, briefing students on the relationship between these two key aspects of computing. Hardware topics commonly include CPU, memory, buses, and input/output devices. Software topics examine operating systems, file systems management, and process management.
- Website Design:
Information Technology Membership Associations
IT professionals must stay up to date on rapidly developing tools, practices, and concepts. Professional organizations can further develop the skills and knowledge of IT workers, while also helping them make useful connections with other members of the industry. Below, you’all find a list of five of the top professional IT organizations, along with the benefits they offer members.
- Association for Computing Machinery:
- ACM focuses on professional development, education, and public policy advocacy. The organization also hosts more than 170 professional IT conferences around the world.
- Association of Information Technology Professionals:
- AITP hosts local chapters around the country to serve current and aspiring IT professionals, offering member services like professional certifications, career resources, mentorship opportunities, and on-demand training. AITP also hosts both live virtual events and conferences for IT professionals.
- Black Data Processing Associates:
- A premier organization for Black IT professionals, BDPA has operated since 1975. Today, the group serves members through more than 30 chapters across the country. Member services include scholarships, a job board, and an annual conference.
- Network Professional Association:
- Established in 1993, NPA serves IT professionals around the world, offering a variety of professional publications, events and conferences, career resources, and leadership training. Members also benefit from networking opportunities through local chapters and discounts on IT software.
- Women in Technology:
- Based in Washington, D.C., WIT offers an assortment of support services to women employed in the IT field, including mentorship opportunities, leadership training, job fairs, and other professional events. The organization also hosts a job board and an annual awards ceremony that honors female leaders in technology.