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Best Online Bachelor's in Information Technology (IT) Degree Programs

Explore the best online IT bachelor's degree programs, including program requirements and common coursework. Also, learn about IT specialization areas, certifications, and the different kinds of IT careers.

Best Online Bachelor's Programs in Information Technology (IT)

When compiling our list of best schools with online bachelor's degree programs in IT, we factored in affordability, program length, and flexibility. Read below to learn about the top online IT bachelor's programs.

1. East Carolina University

Location Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
Greenville, NC $7,188 81%

East Carolina University offers an online Bachelor of Science in Industrial Technology (BSIT) degree completion program that features a concentration in information and computer technology. East Carolina University's BSIT prepares students for a technology or management-focused career. Online classes center on such topics as:

  • Technical writing
  • IT management
  • Server programming and technology
  • Digital forensics

This online program is for those with a qualifying Associate in Applied Science degree that is in the field of technology and only has part-time enrollment available.

2. George Mason University

Location Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
Fairfax, VA $12,462 76%

George Mason University's 100% online Bachelor of Science in Information Technology degree program has the distinction of receiving accreditation by the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET. Students in this online program can choose from 5 different concentrations:

  • Web development
  • Cybersecurity
  • Health information technology
  • Database technology and programming
  • Network and telecommunications

Each concentration requires specific coursework, and other core coursework requirements include classes in information security fundamentals, global IT issues, and ethical and social issues in IT. Students can earn their online IT degree in about 4 years, including a final 2-semester capstone course sequence that consists of a design project.

3. Concordia University

Location Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
Saint Paul, MN $22,275 99%

Concordia University has an online Bachelor of Arts in Information and Technology Management degree program that can be completed 100% or in a hybrid format. Classes in this program follow a 7-week long format and are asynchronous, which means students never have to be available for live or streaming classes and can learn when and wherever it's most convenient. To prepare students for an IT management career, classes cover topics such as project management and data management.

4. Missouri State University

Location Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
Springfield, MO $7,376 91%

Missouri State University's online Bachelor of Science in Information Technology degree program has three concentration options:

  • IT infrastructure
  • Application development
  • Cybersecurity

Along with classes within the chosen concentration, students also take core courses in PC hardware, Java, databases, and system design. The program's curriculum was designed in conjunction with industry IT leaders to prepare students for a successful IT career. Missouri State University's IT bachelor's degree helps students develop a well-rounded skill set in business, programming, and cybersecurity.

5. Western Kentucky University

Location Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
Bowling Green, KY $10,512 96%

Western Kentucky University offers a Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Technology degree program, which features 100% online classes. This program also offers some on-demand classes that require no discussion element and can be completed in as little as 7 weeks or as long as 9 months, depending on your preferred speed. Western Kentucky University accepts transfer credits from Associate in Applied Science degrees, which means transfer students can earn their bachelor's degree with only 36 credit hours needed. With no concentrations offered, students can choose elective courses that best align with their career goals and interests.

Rank School Name Location Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
6 Ohio University Athens, OH $12,192 94%
7 Murray State University Murray, KY $9,084 97%
8 Central Washington University Ellensburg, WA $8,072 90%
9 University of Nebraska at Omaha Omaha, NE $7,790 87%
10 Indiana State University Terre Haute, IN $9,090 93%
11 Davenport University Grand Rapids, MI $18,414 97%
12 Misericordia University Dallas, PA $33,240 100%
13 Campbell University Buies Creek, NC $32,500 100%
14 Florida International University Miami, FL $6,556 89%
15 Oral Roberts University Tulsa, OK $27,728 90%
16 University of South Florida Tampa, FL $6,410 91%
17 North Carolina A & T State University Greensboro, NC $6,612 97%
18 New Mexico State University Las Cruces, NM $6,686 99%
19 Arizona State University Scottsdale, AZ $10,317 82%
20 Coastal Carolina University Conway, SC $11,716 99%
21 California Baptist University Riverside, CA $33,478 95%
22 DePaul University Chicago, IL $39,975 98%
23 Southern Illinois University Carbondale, IL $14,704 93%
24 Champlain College Burlington, VT $41,010 100%
25 Loyola University Chicago Chicago, IL $44,048 98%
26 Barry University Miami, FL $30,014 100%
27 Kennesaw State University Kennesaw, GA $6,347 91%
28 Tarleton State University Stephenville, TX $7,292 89%
29 Point Park University Pittsburgh, PA $31,450 100%
30Trevecca Nazarene University Nashville, TN $ 25,598 100%
31 Georgia Southwestern State University Americus, GA $5,381 94%
32 Regis University Denver, CO $36,810 99%
33 University of South Carolina Spartanburg, SC $11,852 97%
34 Columbus State University Columbus, GA $6,134 92%
35 Siena Heights University Adrian, MI $27,124 100%

All statistics provided by the National Center for Education Statistics, tuition based on 2018-2019 school year

Learn.org's school ranking methodology categorizes and assesses data from schools and other reliable sources, such as the U.S. Department of Education, and weighs the information based on quality, cost, value and other factors critical to students' academic decisions.

Overview of Online Bachelor's Programs in Information Technology (IT)

Online bachelor's degree programs in information technology usually lead to a Bachelor of Science degree. Generally, these programs require 120 total credits with coursework that includes general education classes and IT-focused classes. Most programs consist of 100% online classes and have no real-world or on-campus residency requirements. Depending on the program, students can attend part- or full-time.

Classes in online IT bachelor's degree programs are usually asynchronous, meaning there is no exact time a student needs to be online. However, some programs may require students to 'attend' live classes or lectures. Online classes are similar to on-campus classes in that they require assignments, discussions, readings, and group projects, which are all completed online.

Students can typically earn their online IT degree in about 4 years if they are incoming college freshmen. However, some IT programs accept transfer credits or are designed especially for students with an Associate in Applied Science degree, which means these students can complete their degree in less than 4 years.

Common IT Specialization Areas

Many online bachelor's degree programs in IT offer specialization areas that require students to complete a set of classes that center on a specific area of IT. This focused coursework is in addition to core IT and general education coursework. Below, you can explore some common IT specialization areas.

Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity focuses on protecting network systems from intrusions, identifying various digital threats, and enacting strategies that stop breaches. In this specialization, students take courses in:

  • Cybersecurity fundamentals
  • Network security
  • Computer forensics
  • Hacking techniques

Health Information Technology

This specialization sits at the intersection of IT and healthcare with an emphasis on telemedicine, electronic healthcare records, and health information systems. Students also study IT security in relation to health systems.

Application and Web Development

Application and web development centers on the study of how to create and program different kinds of mobile apps and how to build websites. Common courses within this specialization include:

  • Mobile game development
  • Data visualization
  • C# programming

Network Infrastructure Administration

A specialization in network infrastructure administration prepares students to manage the network systems of business and other organizations. In this specialization, students take classes on networks and databases as well as cloud computing and data communications.

Common Courses

The coursework in an online bachelor's degree in IT program varies by university. However, students can expect to take general education courses in literature, history, communication, natural sciences, and the social sciences.

Some programs may require that students complete foundational courses in statistics, discrete math, programming, and computing before fully beginning their degree program. Students then take core and elective coursework within the IT field.

Below, you can explore some common IT coursework that is found in online IT bachelor's degree programs.

  • Computer Programming - This is a foundational course that covers computing concepts, such as variables, testing, data files, arrays, and subroutines among other topics, and teaches students problem-solving skills related to programming.
  • Web Development - A course that focuses on the different kinds of applications used for web development. This course teaches students about HTML, scripting languages, and CSS. Some classes may cover how people interact with the web as well.
  • Database Management Systems - This course teaches students how to develop, create, and manage databases. Specific topics students study include file processing logic, transaction control, and query optimization techniques.
  • IT Project Management - Students learn how to manage the entirety of an IT project, including how to oversee staff, create a budget, and direct resources.
  • Information Security - This class teaches students how to protect computer systems, how to detect threats, and how to respond to intrusions. Students also study different kinds of malicious computer attacks and methods for reporting attacks.

Choosing an Online IT Bachelor's Program

When choosing a bachelor's degree program in IT, there are a few things that you should take into consideration, including the program's cost, its flexibility, and whether it is accredited.

Cost

The total cost of online bachelor's degree programs in IT includes your tuition and additional fees. Depending on the school, total tuition for these programs can range from about $30,000 to $60,000. However, most schools also charge additional fees on top of that tuition price. Examples of fees include:

  • Online program fees
  • Resource fees
  • Graduation fees
  • Enrollment fees
  • Technology fees

These fees help schools administer their online programs and student portals as well as sometimes paying for course materials, such as e-books. Fees can range from $75 to $500 and upwards. Check with your school to find out which fees apply to your degree program. You can also ask for an estimate of your total cost with tuition and fees included.

Flexibility

You should consider what attendance options IT programs offer when picking a program. For example, some programs only offer part-time attendance, while others offer both part- and full-time. Make sure the programs you are researching have the right attendance options that allow you to complete your degree in the format and time you want.

Accreditation

When a school or program is accredited, it has proven that it has met an impartial standard in terms of quality. The accreditation process varies by independent agency or organization but usually requires a school or program to provide student data, meet an academic standard, and conduct a site visit.

School Accreditation

Agencies that offer regional school accreditation are approved by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Seven agencies offer regional accreditation to educational institutions, including:

  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
  • Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) Western Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)
  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)
  • Higher Learning Commission (HLC)

Program Accreditation

One organization that accredits IT programs is the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, Inc. (ABET). To become accredited, a program must evaluate student progress and outcomes and meet educational objectives. Additionally, the program must also have faculty with experience in the field and offer students all the support services and facilities they need. Most importantly, the program must have a curriculum that includes courses on topics such as system administration, information management, programming, and networking.

IT Career Options

With a bachelor's degree in IT, you can pursue a computer and information technology career, including as a network administrator, a database administrator, or a computer systems analyst.

Network and Computer Systems Administrator

The primary job duty of network and computer systems administrators is overseeing all of an organization's computer, network, and communication systems. Specific job responsibilities include:

  • Installing, upgrading, and repairing hardware and software
  • Managing computer and network security
  • Maximizing system performance
  • Reacting to and solving network and computer issues
  • Helping employees with their workstations and computers

Network and computer systems administrators need a bachelor's degree in the computer or information science field.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), network and computer systems administrators earned a median salary of $82,050 in 2018, and the number of jobs is expected to increase by 5% from 2018-2028.

Database Administrator

A database administrator is responsible for developing and maintaining different kinds of databases so that others can access information. Database administrators are required to:

  • Secure databases from security threats
  • Backup databases
  • Run performance tests
  • Upgrade databases
  • Fix errors, bugs, or issues with databases

Database administrators generally need a bachelor's degree in IT or computer science and a good understanding of programming languages.

In 2018, the BLS reported that database administrators earned a median salary of $90,070, and the number of jobs is expected to increase by 9% from 2018-2028.

Computer Systems Analyst

Computer systems analysts design, manage and monitor the computer systems of an organization. While the exact job duties of a computer systems analyst depend on the environment they work in, typically they are responsible for:

  • Collaborating with management about the organization's computer system needs
  • Conducting cost/benefit analyses
  • Using data modeling to create computer systems
  • Installing and managing hardware and software
  • Training users to use computer systems

For this profession, you need a bachelor's degree in IT or a related field. Some positions may require that you have some business-related experience or have taken business coursework.

Computer systems analysts earned a median salary of $88,740, and the number of jobs is expected to increase by 9% from 2018-2028, as per the BLS.

Upgrading an IT Career

To advanced your IT career, you can earn a graduate degree or achieve IT certifications.

Earn a Master's Degree

One way to advance your IT career is by earning a master's degree in IT or a related field or earning a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree. While a bachelor's degree is the most common educational requirement for IT jobs, some employers prefer job candidates who have an advanced degree.

Master's in IT or Computer Science Degree

One type of advanced degree you could earn is a master's degree in IT or computer science. This type of degree has the same focus as an IT bachelor's degree but further develops your skills and knowledge. There are several careers, such as database administrators, that require a master's for higher-level positions.

Master of Business Administration (MBA) Degree

You could also earn an MBA, which gives you foundational knowledge in business concepts. Many IT manager positions, which are higher-level positions, require an MBA and significant experience in the IT field. Likewise, a computer systems analyst can improve their job prospects by earning an MBA with an IT concentration.

Professional IT Certifications

Many employers prefer or require that you have earned specific IT certifications in the products you use in your job. Earning IT certifications prove that you have specific knowledge of certain IT concepts and technologies. These certifications show potential employers that you have the necessary skills for the job.

Below are some common IT certifications.

  • CompTIA - CompTIA offers several certifications in the areas of network management, Linux, IT management, and IT security.
  • Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)- This certifies that you are an expert in routers and switches. It proves you can manage, configure, and install computer networks.
  • Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) - This certification has several specialty areas, including cloud, server infrastructure, devices and apps, and communication. Overall, this proves you are skilled in different Microsoft technologies.

To earn these certifications, you generally need to pass an exam.

Online IT Bachelor's Programs vs. Computer Science Bachelor's Programs

If you are considering an IT bachelor's degree, you might also have looked into computer science bachelor's degrees. Both degree options are readily available online and feature similar coursework. However, there are some key differences in the type of career each program prepares you for and the core classes each requires.

Career Types

There is some overlap in the type of careers both IT and computer science degree programs prepare you for, including a career as a systems analyst or database administrator.

IT Careers

Generally, an IT degree program prepares you for a career as an IT project manager, a network administrator, or a technical support specialist.

IT careers require that you have management, interpersonal, and customer service skills, while computer science-focused careers don't typically require as much human interaction. IT professionals need to be able to have good working relationships with their customers and with co-workers to do their jobs successfully.

Computer Science Careers

Computer science degree programs have a larger computer engineering focus, which means you can pursue a career as a software or hardware engineer or a quality assurance engineer.

Computer science careers require that you have advanced math and programming skills. You must also have strong analytical skills to understand the theories behind programming, complex codes, and algorithms.

Core Courses

While the curriculum of IT and computer science programs are very similar, computer science has a larger focus on engineering and programming. Common core courses in a computer science bachelor's program include:

  • Software engineering
  • Algorithms
  • Computer programming
  • Operating systems

The main difference is the courses in an IT degree program prepare you for maintaining computer systems and networks, while computer science degree programs prepare you for designing them.