Online IT Degree Programs

A student searching for a path into the information technology (IT) field has numerous options to consider: campus-based or online learning? Bachelor’s degree or master’s degree? This in-depth guide sheds light on IT degree programs, coursework, and more, to help students and aspiring professionals make smart, informed decisions.

ONLINE LEARNING & IT BASICS

Each information technology degree level is offered in three different learning modes. Campus-based programs are traditional classroom-based options, requiring students to spend in-person time with classmates and professors. Papers and projects are submitted in-person. Online programs offer a schedule-friendly option, allowing students to “attend” classes whenever, and from wherever, it is most convenient for them. Students might be required to chat or videoconference with professors and classmates. Assignments are submitted online through a course management system or email. Finally, there are hybrid programs, which are a mix of online and campus learning. Much of the coursework is completed and submitted online, but some courses and/or requirements must be completed on campus.

ONLINE IT DEGREES IN DEPTH

An online degree in information technology teaches students how to design, implement, and administer information solutions and processes for seamless communication and data sharing, while still offering flexibility and convenience to students. Online learners receive a solid foundation of knowledge in the field, covering areas such as networks, information technology fundamentals, databases, information security, software development, and operating systems.

SYNCHRONOUS VERSUS ASYNCHRONOUS

Online information technology programs are administered in two formats: synchronous (real-time) and asynchronous (self-paced). Real-time programs focus around a schedule set by the professor. Students must view lectures, chat, collaborate, and turn in coursework at predetermined times. Self-paced programs, on the other hand, give more freedom to the individual student, allowing the learning schedule to go at the pace of the learner. Coursework, reading, tests, and assignment due dates all take place at the convenience of the student.

EQUIPMENT STANDARDS

Most online degree programs have requirements for the minimum level of accepted technology. This usually includes a computer, word processing software, an Internet connection, and an up-to-date web browser. Within the information technology world, however, there may be additional requirements. For instance, online information technology students may need access to a faster computer, specific programs for software development, and tools for working with computer hardware. Contact an administrator for details on the necessary technology and equipment.

Student Profile #1 - Leslie

Leslie enjoys information technology, but was unsure of how much education she really needed before starting her career. Her associate degree gave her foundational principles and encouraged her to follow-up her to pursue a bachelor’s degree in the field.

ONLINE ASSOCIATE DEGREE IN INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY (2 YEARS)

A two-year associate degree in information technology is a solid educational base. Year one offers comprehensive knowledge in general education subjects such as English and math, while creating a base in computer networking and database management. Year two completes the training through exploration of system administration and digital media. The following chart outlines the two-year information technology degree by semester:

First Semester (Freshman) Credits Overview
Fundamentals of Information Technology 3 An introduction to the field of Information Technology including technology concepts, terminology, hardware components and software applications.
Computer Networking 3 Covering the spectrum of computer networking in the theoretical and practical framework.
Computer Programming I 3 The course introduces students to object-oriented computer programming and problem solving.
English Composition 3 This course emphasizes critical reading, writing, and textual analysis with particular focus on argument and research-based writing.
Pre-Calculus 3 Study of functions, equations and systems of equations, sequences and series, trigonometry, and vectors, and assumes prior exposure to these topics.
Second Semester (Freshman) Credits Overview
Computer Programming II 3 The course will cover advanced topics such as threads, data structures, files, database and network application programming.
Database Management I 3 This is an introductory course to the technology of database design and implementation.
System Administration 3 This course will provide the knowledge and hands-on skills necessary to manage a Local Area Network and its resources.
Fundamentals of Digital Media 3 The focus is on using multimedia to communicate technical information effectively to technical and non-technical audiences.
Introduction to Interpersonal Communication 3 Topics include verbal and nonverbal communication, perception, listening, emotions, relationship development, conflict and power.
Third Semester (Sophomore) Credits Overview
Database Management II 3 The course covers database design and administration. Topics include, but are not limited to, logical and physical database design in enterprise environment, enterprise database server administration, stored procedures, triggers, back up, security, transaction management, etc.
Implications of Information Technology 3 This course focuses on the impact brought upon our society by computers and its related technologies.
Fundamentals of Web Development 3 Provides the knowledge and skills to create and manage websites using tools such as Dreamweaver and Dynamic HTML
Applied Statistics for Human Services I 3 An introduction to statistics for students in human services and other related fields of study.
Fourth Semester (Sophomore) Credits Overview
Information Security and Assurance 3 An introduction to the various technical and administrative aspects of information security and assurance.
Information Technology Elective 3 Students can enroll in any number of advisor-approved IT electives.
Intermediate Composition 3 This course emphasizes critical reading and writing, advanced research and argument skills and rhetorical understanding of language as it is used in different discourse communities.
Introduction to Discrete Mathematics 3 A course designed for students interested in information technology and programming that includes topics in logic, number systems, set theory, methods of proof, probability, logic networks, and graph theory.

Student Profile #2 - Carrie

Carrie declared her information technology major during her freshman year. During the summer between junior and senior year, she completed an internship with a bank in Colorado and garnered a position at an IT specialist after graduation.

ONLINE BACHELOR’S DEGREE IN INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY (4 YEARS)

Most information technology online bachelor’s degrees last between four and five years. During this time, online students learn how to design, implement, and analyze networks and systems; create and manage storage systems; implement best practices to safeguard against security risks and breaches; and administer and maintain database systems.

Courses students can expect to take in the final two years of the online degree may look similar to the following:

Fifth Semester (Junior) Credits Overview
Human Computer Interaction 3 This course will provide the knowledge and hands-on skills to design, implement, manage and trouble-shoot the logical and physical network infrastructure components.
System Analysis & Design 3 A broad study of systems development life-cycle, from the initial stages of systems requirement analysis to the implementation of the system.
Information Technology Elective 3 Students can enroll in any number of advisor-approved IT electives.
Natural Science Elective 3 Students can enroll in any number of advisor-approved science electives.
Network Infrastructure Management 3 This course will provide the knowledge and hands-on skills to design, implement, manage and trouble-shoot the logical and physical network infrastructure components.
Sixth Semester (Junior) Credits Overview
Information Technology Elective 3 Students can enroll in any number of advisor-approved IT electives.
Technical and Scientific Writing 3 This course readies students for the kinds and purposes of professional writing they will do in their professional careers in technology, science, and engineering.
Natural Science Elective 3 Students can enroll in any number of advisor-approved science electives.
Seventh Semester (Senior) Credits Overview
Senior Design Project Management I 3 The objective of this course is to develop a prototype for the senior project.
Information Technology Elective 3 Students can enroll in any number of advisor-approved IT electives.
Arts/Humanities Elective 3 Students can enroll in any number of advisor-approved arts electives.
Eighth Semester (Senior) Credits Overview
Senior Design Project Management II 3 This course focuses on the knowledge and skills required to complete the second phase of the capstone senior experience: Final Product.
Management in Information Technology 3 General management techniques and specific issues and tools for project management in information technology.
Information Technology Elective 3 Students can enroll in any number of advisor-approved IT electives.
Arts/Humanities Elective 3 Students can enroll in any number of advisor-approved arts electives.

Student Profile #3 - Robert

Robert’s online bachelor’s degree in information technology came to an end just as he was beginning to find his passion. He built upon his extensive knowledge by entering a master’s program. He was able to dive more deeply into information technology and find a well-paying position doing what he loved.

Master’s Degrees in Information Technology

For those who wish to continue beyond a bachelor’s degree in information technology, a master’s degree and another two years of coursework await. An online master’s degree is a much more specialized experience, and students often choose between two tracks as they continue on. Career-minded individuals tend to choose a non-thesis track, where their degrees culminate in comprehensive tests or projects. For those who wish to pursue a doctoral degree, the thesis option is ideal.

The variance between degree programs makes it difficult to list a specific curriculum for information technology at the graduate degree level, but the following is an example of potential core classes:

Master’s Program Core Courses Overview
Orientation to Graduate Studies An introduction to the planning skills and work habits that create an atmosphere of graduate study success.
Information Technology Foundations A fundamental study of technology and its applications, as well as the economic and social issues they have raised.
Information Technology Infrastructure A study of systems analysis and design, using selected engineering and management science techniques and practices.
Information Systems Analysis, Modeling, and Design A study of systems analysis and design, using selected engineering and management science techniques and practices.
Information Technology Project Management An examination of the fundamental principles and practice of managing programs and projects in an information processing and high-tech environment.
Economics and Financial Analysis for Technology Managers A study of the financial tools managers uses to find answers to four important questions used to find the financial condition of the firm.
Foundations of Project Management An overview of the theory and practice of managing projects in any organization.
Project Risk Management An in-depth analysis of risk management methods and cases and project management risk monitoring from strategic, applied perspectives.
Project Communications An overview of conflict resolution processes and methods and the skills needed to manage the human elements within project management.
Financial and Strategic Management of Projects An investigation of financial and strategic decision making in the management of projects.

ONLINE PHD IN INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

An online doctorate degree in information technology is the highest educational achievement in the field. PhD students spend no less than four years beyond a master’s degree completing quantitative and qualitative research. The dissertation is the usual requirement for graduation. Here, students demonstrate what they have learned, including their ability to synthesize—and apply—knowledge and theory.

Schools with Information Technology Programs

Search A School
State
DEGREES OFFERED
TUITION COST
STUDENT POPULATION
City
SCHOOL TYPE
PROGRAM TYPE
Total Results:
SCHOOL NAME CITY, STATE STUDENT POPULATION SCHOOL TYPE TUITION PROGRAM TYPE PROGRAMS
University of Phoenix-Online CampusPhoenix, AZ307,871Private, 4-year$9,216Both
Associate
  • Information Technology
Bachelor’s
  • Computer and Information Sciences- General
  • Computer and Information Systems Security/Information Assurance
  • Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services- Other
Master’s
  • Informatics
Associate - ONLINE
  • Associate of Arts in Information Technology with a concentration in Cisco Networking
  • Associate of Arts in Information Technology with a concentration in Health Care IT
  • Associate of Arts in Information Technology with a concentration in Web Administration
  • Associate of Arts with a concentration in Information Technology
  • Associate of Arts with a Concentration in Information Technology/Database Development
  • Associate of Arts with a concentration in Information Technology/Information Technology Support
  • Associate of Arts with a concentration in Information Technology/Networking
  • Associate of Arts with a concentration in Information Technology/Programming
  • Associate of Arts with a concentration in Information Technology/Web Design
Bachelor’s - ONLINE
  • Bachelor of Science in Information Technology with a concentration in Advanced Networking
  • Bachelor of Science in Information Technology with a concentration in Business Systems Analysis
  • Bachelor of Science in Information Technology with a concentration in Information Management
  • Bachelor of Science in Information Technology with a concentration in Information Systems Security
  • Bachelor of Science in Information Technology with a concentration in Mobile Development
  • Bachelor of Science in Information Technology with a concentration in Multimedia and Visual Communication
  • Bachelor of Science in Information Technology with a concentration in Networking and Telecommunications
  • Bachelor of Science in Information Technology with a concentration in Software Engineering
  • Bachelor of Science in Information Technology with a concentration in Web Development
Arizona State UniversityTempe, AZ72,254Public, 4-year$9,208Both
Bachelor’s
  • Computer and Information Sciences- General
  • Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services- Other
Bachelor’s - ONLINE
  • Bachelor of Science in Graphic Information Technology - Concentration in Web Technologies
  • Bachelor of Science in Information Technology
Master’s - ONLINE
  • Master of Science in Technology in Graphic Information Technology
Liberty UniversityLynchburg, VA64,096Private, 4-year$18,562Campus
Bachelor’s
  • Computer and Information Sciences- General
  • Information Technology
Lone Star College SystemThe Woodlands, TX63,029Public, 2-year$960Campus
Associate
  • Computer and Information Sciences- General
University of Central FloridaOrlando, FL58,465Public, 4-year$4,426Campus
Bachelor’s
  • Computer and Information Sciences- General
  • Information Technology
Master’s
  • Computer and Information Sciences- General
Doctorate
  • Computer and Information Sciences- General
Ohio State University-Main CampusColumbus, OH56,867Public, 4-year$9,168Campus
Bachelor’s
  • Computer and Information Sciences- General
Kaplan University-Davenport CampusDavenport, IA56,606Private, 4-year$13,365Campus
Associate
  • Information Technology
Bachelor’s
  • Information Technology
Master’s
  • Information Technology
University of Minnesota-Twin CitiesMinneapolis, MN52,557Public, 4-year$12,060Online
Bachelor’s - ONLINE
  • Bachelor of Science in Information Technology Management