Finding the cheapest online IT degree might seem like an easy task, but it isn’t. If you want to get the best value for your money, you need to go for the most affordable online IT degree from an accredited institution that fits your budget. This way, you can rest assured that the curriculum is up-to-date, and you will get the in-demand skills you need to thrive.
This piece is your complete guide to finding the cheapest online schools for IT without compromising the quality of your education. It contains a list of the top 10 most affordable online IT degrees, the benefits of getting an IT degree online, and the best job opportunities for people with IT degrees.
Can I Get an IT Degree Online?
Yes, you can get an IT degree online as long as you have a high school diploma or an equivalent qualification required for the degree. There are associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degree programs hosted 100 percent online by accredited universities.
Why Should I Get an IT Degree Online?
You should get an IT degree online because it gives you the flexibility of learning while attending to work or personal commitments. If you are a working professional, you can hold onto your job while you secure your degree online. You can also benefit from getting an online degree if you are a homemaker or if you simply prefer to travel around the world while you study.
Beyond flexibility, you’ll also gain cost-saving and skill-building benefits from getting your IT degree online. Since you’ll be working with modern technology and the Internet, getting your IT degree online will also help you improve your technical skills.
What Are the Most Affordable Online IT Degree Programs in the US?
The most affordable online IT degree programs in the US are the Associate of Arts in Information Technology by Western Nebraska Community College, and Associate of Applied Science in Information Technology by Navarro College.
They also include Bachelor of Science in Information Technology Management and Cyber Security by Indian River State College, Bachelor of Science in Informatics by Indiana University-Kokomo, Bachelor of Science in Professional Studies – Information Technology Concentration by Tennessee State University.
Cheapest Information Technology Degree Programs Online That Will Help You Stand Out
- Associate of Arts in Information Technology by Western Nebraska Community College
- Bachelor of Science Degree in Information Technology Management and Cyber Security by Indian River State College
- Associate of Applied Science in Information Technology by Navarro College
- Bachelor of Science in Informatics by Indiana University-Kokomo
- Bachelor of Science in Professional Studies – Information Technology Concentration by Tennessee State University
How Much Does an Online IT Degree Cost?
An online information technology degree costs between $106 and $740 per credit depending on the school and program offering. Associate degree programs from community colleges tend to be more affordable than bachelor’s or master’s degree programs. Government and non-profit schools are also more affordable than private, for-profit schools.
Additionally, keep in mind that the cost per credit isn’t the only thing you will be spending. You’ll also need to pay mandatory fees that the school sets. However, since there will be no travel or accommodation costs, you can expect to still pay much less than an in-person degree.
Will Getting an IT Degree Online Save Me Money?
Yes, getting an information technology degree online can save you money because it typically costs less overall than an in-person degree. For an online degree, you don’t need to pay for additional accommodation, transportation, or travel across the globe to attend a university abroad. Some schools also charge less for online credits than on-campus options.
Online IT Programs vs In-Person IT Programs
An online IT program is hosted virtually, while an in-person program is hosted on-site at the university. Both degrees hold the same weight in the job market as long as they are acquired from accredited institutions. They also have a unique set of benefits listed below, which will inform your decision for picking the ideal option for you.
Benefits of an Online IT Degree
- Affordability. An online IT degree doesn’t include most of the indirect costs attached to an in-person degree. You don’t need to pay for travel, accommodation, board, or other fees that may have been mandatory if you enroll on campus.
- Convenience. Online education is typically more convenient than on-campus since students are not bound to any single physical location. Thus, students can attend live classes, submit assignments, and participate in group projects from other parts of the world. All you need is access to the internet and the course.
- Accelerated learning. Many online schools offer accelerated learning options for information technology degrees. Instead of spending the standard four years for a bachelor’s degree, you can complete it in three years. Some schools also allow you to secure your associate or master’s degree in a year or less instead of two years.
- Improved technical skills. Regardless of the IT degree you want, online learning will make it easier for you to cultivate the much-needed technical skills to thrive in a technology workforce. You can efficiently apply hands-on learning and practice skills like programming and data management during online programs.
- Improved digital-centered soft skills. Time management, virtual communication, and computational thinking are a few types of soft skills that will come in handy in the IT workplace. While you can hone a few of them during an in-person program, you’re more likely to learn their application in the digital world when you take an online degree.
Benefits of In-Person IT Degree Programs
- Access to modern lab technologies. When you learn on campus, you’ll get access to the IT lab at the school. Most of these labs are equipped with modern technological resources for all students. They make learning easier and more affordable for those who might not afford expensive IT equipment with high-end specifications.
- Social interaction and networking. You can build social and professional networks online, but it’s easier to make connections with people you meet face-to-face. Apart from the people you’ll meet in your classes, you can join social clubs designed for networking and socializing.
- Boost your interpersonal communication skills. With in-person classes, you can learn communication, collaboration, active listening, persuasion, delegation, and other interpersonal skills that will make you indispensable in the workplace. The more you interact with people and build face-to-face connections, the more you’ll develop these skills.
- Immersive environment. College is a rite of passage for most people, and it goes beyond getting a degree. By attending college on campus, it’s not just going to be about taking classes and writing examinations. You can enjoy an immersive experience.
- Structured and organized learning. Not everyone has the time management and discipline required for an online IT degree. If you belong to this category, you’ll prefer more structured learning in a traditional setting within the four walls of a classroom with people who share similar interests.
Online IT Degree Career Options
With an online IT degree, you can explore a wide range of in-demand career options. As technology continues to be the driving force of innovation, an IT degree is your pathway to the technology industry. This is why the job outlook and salary for IT roles are impressive across the board.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be an 11 percent rise in IT jobs between 2020 and 2030. This means that there will be over 42,000 job openings for IT experts each year. The demand for all other occupations is eight percent, which means IT jobs are three percent ahead of the national average.
The average salary for IT workers is $159,010 per year, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. This amounts to about $76 per hour. How much you earn will vary significantly depending on your job description, level of experience, job title, and location. Independent contractors and freelancers tend to earn higher pay than office staff.
Can I Enroll in an Online IT Program for Free?
Yes, you can enroll in an online IT program for free if you qualify for grants, scholarships, or any other form of financial aid. Students with exceptional high school academic or athletic skills may qualify for full scholarships if they maintain their standing. Partial scholarships that promote technology education for eligible students are also available.
If you don’t qualify for any form of financial aid, you can still learn information technology for free through online courses. There are several free or low-cost courses and tutorials that school platforms offer. Prospective employers may be willing to give you a chance if you’re good at your profession, regardless of whether you got your credentials on-campus or online.
Cheapest Online IT Degree Programs
|Western Nebraska Community College
|Associate of Arts in Information Technology
|$106/credit (in-state), $110/credit (out of state)
|Indian River State College
|Bachelor of Science in Information Technology Management and Cyber Security
|$117/credit (in-state), $400/credit (out of state)
|Associate of Applied Science in Information Technology
|$135/credit (in-state), $348/credit (out of state)
|Bachelor of Science in Informatics
|$236–$307/credit hour (in-state), $341–$1,131/credit hour (out of state)
|Tennessee State University
|Bachelor of Science in Professional Studies –
Information Technology Concentration
|$250/credit (in-state), $350/credit (out of state)
|Kennesaw State University
|Master of Science in Information Technology
|Master of Science in Information Technology
|University of Arkansas
|Professional Master of Information Systems
|Arizona State University
|Master of Science in Information Technology
|Western Governors University
|Bachelor of Science in Information Technology
IT Degrees Ranking Methodology: How We Ranked the Most Affordable Online IT Programs
We chose the most affordable IT degree programs based on tuition and general costs information from the schools’ official websites, the US Department of Education’s database of accredited schools, and the US Department of Education’s College Scorecard tool.
The Cheapest Online IT Degree Programs: A Deep Dive
Common Online IT Degree Courses
The most common online IT degree courses are computer architecture, information security, data analysis, scripting, and software design and management. Most curricula cover these foundational subjects. However, the extent and variety of subjects you’ll need to take will vary based on your skill and education level.
Introduction to Computer Architecture
This course shows you how computer components are combined to make up a network of connected systems. You’ll learn about how the machine interface can be customized through programming languages. This course is usually covered during the early stages of your IT education, but you may enroll in more advanced topics later on.
Fundamentals of Information Security
Every IT expert must understand the basics of information security. Even if they don’t specialize in the subject, they need to understand how to protect IT systems from external and internal data breaches. This course also makes it easy for students with information technology bachelor’s degrees to move forward to a Master’s Degree in Information Security.
Introduction to Data Analysis
Data analysis is another vital aspect of information security. In this course, IT students learn how to gather, store, manage, and analyze data. This provides opportunities for a person with an IT degree to work as a database administrator or data analyst.
Fundamentals of Scripting
Scripting can either be taken alongside a data analysis course or as a standalone course. Through this course, students learn how to automate command lines to save time and reduce human error. The specific scripting language you’ll take will depend on your chosen program.
Introduction to Software Design and Management
To succeed as an IT professional, you need to know how to design, develop, and manage computer software. Common computer literacy is not enough for most IT jobs. An IT analyst should know how to write code and develop software with programming languages like Python, C, and Java.
Can I Apply for Federal Aid to Finance My Online Information Technology Degree?
Yes, you can apply for federal aid to finance your online information technology degree if you cannot afford the tuition rates. However, you’ll need to meet the eligibility requirements and agree to the terms of financial aid before you can qualify.
Options to Help Pay for an Online IT Degree
The common options to help you pay for your online information technology degree are federal grants, state grants, federal loans, private loans, and work-study. We give an overview of each type of financial aid in the section below.
Federal and State Grants
A federal grant is awarded by the federal government to students with excellent academic standing who want to further their education. In most cases, grants are awarded to students who can prove that their area of research or education can contribute to the body of knowledge.
Students who qualify for state or federal grants are not required to repay. However, they may be denied renewal of their grant if they don’t meet the terms or fall off the academic track that helped them secure the grant in the first place.
Federal and Private Loans
Education loans are offered by the government, non-government, and private organizations. You’ll get the funds for tuition and living stipends but will need to repay the loan with interest when you graduate and get a job. Repaying student loans can be stressful, so it should be a last resort after you have explored other financial assistance that does not require repayment.
Work-study programs are organized by universities to help students get part-time working opportunities to fund their education. If you attend an online school, you can work and study at the same time. Online learning gives you the flexibility you need to hold on to a job and fund your education simultaneously.
Cheapest IT Degree Programs Online
The cheapest IT degree programs online can be found in associate, bachelor’s, or master’s degree programs. Some schools may also offer accelerated degrees. The one you choose will depend on how far along you are with your education.
Most Affordable Online IT Associate Degrees
- Western Nebraska Community College | Associate of Arts in Information Technology. This is one of the most affordable online IT degrees for in-state and out-of-state students, with tuition rates of $106 and $110 per credit, respectively. The public school provides quality education while offering financial aid options to eligible students.
- Navarro College | Associate of Applied Science in Information Technology. At Navarro College, in-state students are expected to pay $135 per credit. For out-of-state students, the tuition is much higher at $348 per credit. Additional fees also apply to all students regardless of location.
- Minnesota State College Southeast | Associate of Applied Science in Information Technology Support. This 60-credit degree program costs about $13,494 for tuition and fees. When you add books and supplies, the total cost for the duration of the program rounds up to about $15,000+.
- Peninsula College | Associate of Applied Science in Information Technology – Systems Administration. This program is one of the many online degrees offered at Peninsula College to complement its campus programs. Tuition for the program ranges from $147 to $331, depending on whether or not you are a resident of Washington state.
- University of Cincinnati | Associate of Applied Business in Information Technology. This is a two-year program for students who want to learn the application of information technology in a business setting. The program tuition per credit for undergraduate students is $288 for residents and $303 for non-residents.
Most Affordable Online IT Bachelor’s Degrees
- Indian River State College| Bachelor of Science Degree in Information Technology Management and Cyber Security. For this online bachelor’s degree, undergraduate students who enjoy in-state privileges are expected to pay $117 per credit, while those from out of state pay $400 per credit. This is a good deal when you consider the fact that graduates of the program can also get top information technology certifications.
- Western Governors University | Bachelor of Science in Information Technology. Western Governors University charges the same tuition for both in-state and out-of-state students. Students in this program pay $3,625 per term since the school doesn’t charge per credit.
- Indiana University-Kokomo | Bachelor of Science in Informatics. This flexible online bachelor’s degree program offered at Indiana University-Kokomo charges students $236–$307 per credit hour if they are eligible for in-state tuition. The out-of-state tuition is considerably high at $341 to $1,131 per credit hour but still more affordable than many other colleges.
- Tennessee State University | Bachelor of Science in Professional Studies
Information Technology Concentration. Tennessee State University is known for offering career-based programs at an affordable rate for distance learners. The online bachelor’s degree in IT is no exception. In-state students are expected to pay $250 per credit, while out-of-state students pay $350 per credit.
- University of the Cumberlands | Bachelor of Science in Information Technology. Students at this university are allowed to choose from either a Bachelor of Science or a Bachelor of Applied Science in Information Technology. Both online bachelor’s degree options are 120 credits and the tuition is $335 for in-state and out-of-state students.
Most Affordable Online IT Master’s Degrees
- Kennesaw State University | Master of Science in Information Technology. Kennesaw State University is known for providing a range of online master’s degrees. The IT master’s program costs about $383 per credit hour. Currently, the university doesn’t charge separate tuition for in-state and out-of-state tuition.
- Liberty University | Master of Science in Information Technology. Liberty University is a Christian school that admits students regardless of their religious beliefs. The Master’s Degree for IT students is offered online at $565 per credit. Anyone can apply whether they are based in the US or not.
- University of Arkansas | Professional Master of Information Systems. This professional master’s degree offered by University of Arkansas costs about $597 per credit hour for all students, regardless of location. The school has a 70 percent graduation rate, which means student retention after admission is relatively high.
- Arizona State University | Master of Science in Information Technology. If you’re looking for flexibility, ASU Online should be one of your top picks. Tuition per credit is $740 per credit hour for all students, not just those based in Arizona. You can get your degree in 18 to 24 months, depending on your schedule.
- Capella University | Master in Information Technology. Capella University is a great destination for online education. The school offers a flexible master’s degree in IT that costs just $700 per credit. Students may also be eligible for a discount if they enroll in certain qualified programs offered by the school.
Best Online Bachelor’s Degrees
Best Online Master’s Degrees
Most In-Demand IT Jobs With an Online IT Degree
|Information Technology Job
|Information Security Analyst
|Computer and Information Systems Manager
|Database Administrator and Architect
|Computer Systems Analyst
|Computer Network Architect
Best Jobs With an Online IT Degree Explained
Some of the best job titles for people with an online information technology degree are database administrators, information security analysts, and computer systems analysts. They also include computer and information systems managers, and computer systems architects. Learn more about these roles in our following descriptions.
Is an Online IT Degree Worth It?
Yes, an online information technology degree is worth it because it allows you to secure high-quality education at a flexible pace. The convenience that comes with online learning has redefined what it means to be an international student at a top university. Online degree programs also present cost-saving opportunities that are not there with traditional IT degrees.
Beyond flexibility and affordability, information technology degrees also create a pathway to several in-demand and high-paying technology jobs. Finally, most information technology jobs are interrelated, so switching from one field to the other will be relatively easy.
Additional Reading About Information Technology
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Cheapest Online IT Degrees FAQ
A Bachelor’s Degree in IT is the best degree for information technology because it has the right breadth and depth of knowledge needed to secure an IT role. Other great options are a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science, Information Science, Systems Administration, and Network Administration. It does not matter if it is an in-person or online bachelor’s degree.
No, you don’t need a degree for IT jobs but having a degree increases your access to jobs. While there are several entry-level jobs you can get without a degree, you’ll need to secure a degree to get access to higher individual contributor and management roles, especially if you’re interested in the corporate sector.
Yes, online colleges are worth it for anybody who wants flexible education at an affordable rate. The degrees offered by these colleges are of the same quality as the degrees offered at on-site campuses. Just make sure that you enroll in an accredited program.
To become an IT tech without a college degree, you need to explore non-traditional education parts like IT bootcamps, online courses, certificate programs, or certification programs. The important thing is that you have a portfolio that presents proof of the required skills.
About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.