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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

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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.

Our Methodology

Here at TheBestSchools.org, we take the trust and welfare of our readers very seriously. When making our school and program rankings, our top priority is ensuring that our readers get accurate, unbiased information that can help them make informed decisions about online education. That's why we've developed a rigorous ranking methodology that keeps the needs of our readers front and center.

Our proprietary, multi-criteria ranking algorithm analyzes key data indicators — as collected by the federal government — for each school or program. What data we use depends on the focus of each specific ranking, but in all cases, our ranking methodology is impartial: Schools cannot buy better rankings at TBS.

While specific criteria under consideration can vary by ranking, there are a few data points that we value most highly. They are affordability, academic quality, and online enrollment. Below, we break down our algorithm to help you understand what you're getting when you use one of our rankings.

  • Academics
  • Affordability
  • Online Enrollment

Data Sources

The data used in TBS rankings comes primarily from the federal government, and much of it is provided by the schools themselves. We aggregate and analyze this data to build our rankings.

The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) is our primary source. Its data comes from annual surveys conducted by the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Every college, university, or technical school with access to federal financial aid must participate in these surveys, which include questions about enrollment, graduation rates, finances, and faculty qualifications. This is publicly available data, which you can access yourself through the College Navigator.

Additionally, because we value a personal touch and the professional experience of our staff and Academic Advisory Board, we vet all results and adjust rankings as necessary based on our collected knowledge of schools and degree programs. Depending on the ranking, we may obtain additional input from AcademicInfluence.com, subject matter experts, prior TBS ranking lists, or other sources we deem relevant to a particular ranking.

Breakdown of Our Rankings Methodology

About Our Ranking Factors

Here at TBS, we value what you value: quality education, affordability, and the accessibility of online education. These factors guide all of our program rankings.

Each of these factors are further broken down into weighted subfactors. For example, retention rates are weighted more heavily than availability of program options because they are a better indicator of student success.

We chose the following factors for our rankings because of their influence on learning experiences and graduate outcomes. However, students should always balance our rankings against their personal priorities. For instance, a learner who needs a fully online program may prioritize online flexibility more than our rankings do. Our rankings are designed to help you make a decision — not to make a decision for you.

Academics - 75%
Affordability - 15%
Online Enrollment - 10%

In all our school rankings and recommendations, we work for objectivity and balance. We carefully research and compile each ranking list, and as stated in our advertising disclosure, we do NOT permit financial incentives to influence rankings. Our articles never promote or disregard a school for financial gain.

If you have questions about our ranking methodology, please feel free to connect with our staff through contact page.

We thank you for your readership and trust.

The Most Affordable Online Bachelor’s in Information Technology Degree Programs

  1. Indian River State College
    Location

    Fort Pierce, FL

    Tuition

    $1064

    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.

  2. Oglala Lakota College
    Location

    Kyle, SD

    Tuition

    $306

    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 bachelor’s 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.

  3. South Texas College
    Location

    McAllen, TX

    Tuition

    $1825

    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 many 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.

  4. Florida State College at Jacksonville
    Location

    Jacksonville, FL

    Tuition

    $4422

    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.

  5. Eastern Florida State College
    Location

    Cocoa, FL

    Tuition

    $5354

    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.

  6. Daytona State College
    Location

    Daytona Beach, FL

    Tuition

    $6064

    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.

  7. Western Governors University
    Location

    Salt Lake City, UT

    Tuition

    $6500

    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 many 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.

  8. Miami Dade College
    Location

    Miami, FL

    Tuition

    $7062

    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.

  9. St Petersburg College
    Location

    Clearwater, FL

    Tuition

    $7077

    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.

  10. Brigham Young University-Idaho
    Location

    Rexburg, ID

    Tuition

    $7727

    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.

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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

Source: PayScale

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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

Sources: PayScale, Bureau of Labor Statistics

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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 accreditfation 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

This course introduces students to key concepts for web design, covering topics such as network protocols and client–server communications. The curriculum also examines major tools and programming languages, including HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and the document object model.

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