You have no doubt heard of IT, full name Information Technology. With the emphasis on e-commerce becoming more and more of our daily reality, IT more or less controls the way data is transmitted through different channels.
It isn’t exactly easy to nail down a concrete definition of what working in the field of Information Technology means, as IT jobs really run the gamut. You could essentially find yourself checking if everything is running smoothly on a small business’ server or you could be in the realm of network security, making sure the data stored by huge companies like AT&T and Amazon are properly protected and encrypted.
You can earn yourself a valuable and coveted IT position by earning an online IT degree. There are a slew of institutions offering not only computer science degrees, but also more specified fields of study in Information Technology.
By learning online, you take away a lot of the noise and distractions of a physical, face-to-face campus experience. This is especially helpful if your schedule is populated already by a demanding job or a demanding family life.
IT jobs are crucial as they are important support positions found in any major company worth its salt. Information Technology professionals work diligently to make sure software and hardware are running smoothly, safely and as intended.
Whether they are tinkering with a company’s server farm or creating the very programs that the company uses to get work done, IT professionals more or less make everything run smoothly.
Because of the field’s diversity, it’s an extremely smart move to consider getting an Information Technology degree. Let’s take a closer look at where to get an IT degree online and what career path this could put you on.
How to Enter Information Technology
First thing’s first: you should have a grasp of computing. You don’t need to be a computer expert, but you at least need to know the very basics and more intermediate terms and program actions. Operating systems, cloud computing and base knowledge is vital to making your education process smoother and more natural.
If you’re a little rusty in terms of programming or product management, there are a ton of resources out there to help bolster your skills to make you an attractive job prospect. There are online courses and bootcamps specializing in things like coding languages and other important aspects of systems analysis and design.
Do you need an associate’s or master’s degree? Well, requirements change from position to position in Information Technology. Many businesses and companies aren’t too strict when it comes to prospective employees, meaning a bachelor’s or even an associate’s degree can land you a valuable position.
However, going after a master’s degree may be in your best interest if you’re aiming high and want to become a security analyst, software developer or software engineer at a Fortune 500 company.
You can find a number of fantastic online degree programs in Information Technology, with many online degree programs at different schools allowing students to transfer credits from a prior institution so they can pad your education and help you finish strong.
Let’s look at some noteworthy online Information Technology degrees you can apply to right now.
Online IT Degrees You Can Get Right Now
You can earn multiple online IT degrees of varying levels: an associate’s, bachelor’s or master’s degree, and sometimes even doctorates in similar fields. Let’s examine some great colleges and universities that have risen to the challenge of creating comprehensive and extensive degree programs in Information Technology and computer science.
Taking all of their classes and requirements into consideration, we compiled some great choices to explore for all of your tech degree needs.
University of South Florida: Bachelor of Science in Information Technology
The University of South Florida always pops up on lists of some of the best online universities you can attend in the country and its IT program is no different.
Its IT program, a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology, offers a ton of valuable classes to equip you for the real world of Information Technology. Some of the classes offered at the University of South Florida are:
- Discrete Mathematics
- Programming Fundamentals for Information Technology
- Object-Oriented Programming for Information Technology
- Application Maintenance and Debugging for IT
- Network Security and Firewalls
- System Architecture and Integration for Information Technology
These are but a few of the highly specific and helpful courses you’ll be expected to complete to earn your degree. The University of South Florida doesn’t just give you a simple, cursory education.
Liberty University: Bachelor of Science in Information Technology
Liberty University offers a comprehensive Bachelor of Science in Information Technology degree. The courses are 100 percent online. Classes last an average of eight weeks and most students complete the entire degree within 3.5 years. Students are expected to complete classes that add up to 120 credit hours, including:
- Interactive Game Development
- Programming, specifically with C-like languages, (C++, C#)
- Mobile Programming
- Web and Mobile Applications
- Application and Database Development
- Data Networking and Security
- Server-Side Programming
It should be noted that Liberty University is a Christian school and also requires students to take multiple courses in Christian Life and Thought.
Bellevue University: Bachelor of Information Technology
Bellevue University offers a fantastic and renowned IT program. It aims to give you the absolute fundamentals, and more intermediate courses will make your IT skills shine on the job market. Over the course of 127 credit hours, prospective students will take part in some of the following classes:
- Networks and Network Security
- Routing and Configuration
- Servers and Data Storage
- Cloud Computing
- Hardware and Software Management
- Cisco Routing Fundamentals
- Network Infrastructure
At Bellevue University, you don’t even need to have your ACT or SAT scores submitted; although they can help you earn different benefits. However, if you didn’t do as well as you wanted on these standardized tests, you’re not completely cut off from getting a fantastic online education.
Bellevue also has an extensive online library and a 24/7 online technical help desk to help with the transition from physical to online classes. These resources, along with the mastering of fundamentals, make Bellevue a true standout when considering an online IT degree.
The Most Promising Jobs in IT
Now that you have earned your degree in an IT-related field, what’s the next step? What do you do with an Information Technology degree before the ink is even cooled on the paper?
Let’s get to the meat of the issue here. What can you do with a degree in computer science and Information Technology? From entry-level positions to more seasoned professionals, let’s look to the Bureau of Labor Statistics for more information.
Becoming a data scientist is a fantastic position you can land once you attain some valuable know-how in management information systems and applied science.
What a data scientist does is take pertinent data, analyze it and apply the findings toward a certain end. Data science is an extremely large and varied field within computer science and those with a technical and analytical mind excel the most in this position.
You’ll need a number of skills like critical thinking, good teamwork, a meticulous nature and the ability to problem solve in order to survive. Along with those skills, you’ll need to know your stuff in terms of statistics, machine learning and data visualization.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that becoming a data scientist will prove lucrative. The field itself is projected to grow 16 percent over the next decade, which denotes a much faster rate of growth compared to many other occupations.
An impressive full-time position could eventually net you a median salary of $120,000 per year. Becoming a data scientist will most likely require you to have a master’s degree in computer science or a related field.
A software developer creates the software used by a company to conduct business, whether on a desktop or mobile platform. Software developers with a bachelor’s and master’s degree can expect to earn a median salary of $105,000 per year.
The field of software development is expected to enjoy 21 percent growth over the next 10 years, which translates to more than 250,000 jobs being available year after year.
A sales engineer is an individual who specializes in selling technological and scientific products and services to different companies. Selling anything isn’t an easy racket and you’ll have to have a knack for connecting with others, being charismatic and actually believing in your product.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the sales engineer’s occupation will grow by six percent over the next decade, which is more or less average compared to other occupations. A talented and seasoned sales engineer can expect to earn a median salary of $104,000.
Computer and Information Systems Managers
While you can get this position with a bachelor’s degree, work experience is also very important. Many companies expect prospective employees to have five years of prior experience.
You’ll be happy to learn that these positions pay very well, with a median salary of about $150,000. Obviously, that doesn’t come right away, but it’s no doubt a promising thing to look forward to in your future.
The job is expected to grow by 11 percent over the next decade, which is much faster than the average growth of other occupations. Nearly 50,000 computer and information systems manager jobs are up for grabs each year, making the playing field a big one.
Final Thoughts on Online IT Degrees
The field of Information Technology is ripe for the picking as IT and its various offshoots continue rapid expansion in the job market. Nearly every major career option linked to Information Technology is expected to grow significantly, ensuring solid job security for your future.
Now more than ever, it’s easy to earn an online IT degree. It’s becoming the norm for someone to bang out some tough college courses from the comfort of their bedroom rather than fall asleep in a crowded lecture hall.
Learning how to execute important aspects of Information Technology in a comfortable environment as opposed to a computer lab at a college is preferable. You’re not confined by schedules, time constraints or any other unknown variable you’d experience at a physical campus.
Whether you want to help a startup company by developing valuable and secure software or keep tabs on a server farm at Google, you can easily earn your online IT degree in no time to make these goals a reality.