Online schools that offer information technology (IT) degrees enable you to boost your value and skill. An IT degree often gives you many tech and business skills. Since these apply to many fast growing sectors, it may be the perfect time to start.

What is an Online Information Technology Degree?

An IT degree takes a deep look at the computer systems that are used to collect, record, store and access data. Most programs focus on using this knowledge to help a business make decisions.

There are IT degrees at all levels. From bachelor’s to master’s and PhDs. At each of these levels, one may tailor their courses around a certain area in IT. One is a network or database admin.

At the bachelor’s level, you may study hardware, software and networks. Masters in IT usually hone skills related to how to manage a team or project.

Terminal degrees like the PhD in IT highlight how to research and innovate. They also tend to focus on problem solving. As such, they may address the needs of busy top level execs.

What is difference between information technology and computer science?

If you’re looking to put your tech skills to use, there are two paths you can take. One is to earn a degree in IT. The other is to pursue a computer science (CS) degree. Here are a few things that set them apart.

IT looks at hardware, software, networks and databases. In short, computer systems. But IT pros usually focus on how to install, organize, and maintain these systems. They also study ways to design and operate networks and databases to meet goals. One of those goals is to keep data safe.

CS focuses on the machine itself. It seeks to understand computer processes from the inside out. To do this, CS pros need to study math, and learn how to code and program. These are the languages of the computer. They also need to know about software design, operating systems and their uses.

BS in Information Technology

A bachelor’s in IT is the entry point to many careers in this field. Most programs need 120 credits and about four years of full time study. But some online schools omit summer breaks to help students complete the program faster.

The courses in an online BSIT degree go broad and deep. You will often study web site design and cyber security. While learning other basics, you may be able to fine tune your IT major through an area of focus. Data analytics, and cyber security are a few.

How much does an IT degree cost? The median in state tuition for a degree in IT is $5,472. It is $28,049 if you choose an out of state school. What this means is that you’ll be able to find programs that are both easier to afford and more expensive. 

MS in Information Technology

A masters in IT is often the entry point to manager like roles within the IT sector. Most programs entail about 36 credits. If you study full time, you might complete your degree in two years or less.

The study plan in an MSIT program puts focus on manager like skills and knowledge. You will often study ways to lead teams or a business by being able to manage their IT systems. To dive deeper, you might choose a focal area like Info Sec or analytics.

PhD vs Doctor of Information Technology

Both the PhD IT and Doctor of IT (DIT) are terminal degrees. While each touch on research, practice and scholarly input, they do so in distinct ways. You’ll want to know the difference between each of these to choose the perfect one to fit your goals.

A PhD in IT is a research doctorate. PhD IT students seek to add to their field through thought leadership. Most PhD in IT programs run on the practitioner scholar model.

As such, while learning about research methods and a range of IT topics, you will choose one area to cover in depth. This serves as an anchor for your inquiry. You will usually research to come up with a new idea of improved practice.

A DIT degree is a practical degree. DIT students use the theories of their peers and apply them to real work force problems. Most DIT programs run on the scholar practitioner model.

As many students have experience, PhD courses will focus on problem solving skills. Ones that may help in being able to manage a global business and it’s IT problems.

Each program is different. And, you may need to complete around 55 to 64 credits. Many students need from three to five years to earn their degree. But the time it takes can also depend on the online school you choose and your study load.

How much does a PhD or masters in IT cost? The average cost of earning a grad degree from a public school is $11,617 per year. This means you could find programs that are bother easier to afford and more expensive than that.

What can I do with an Online Information Technology Degree?

An IT degree may give you the skills for many other types of work places. Some of these jobs are to manage, while others are in design or research.

If you’re just starting out, a bachelor’s degree is usually the lowest degree you’ll need to break into a career in IT. Some of today’s employers are getting picky though. To step into management or computer research, you will often need a master’s or MBA.

Chief technology officers (CTOs), teachers and policy setting roles may need a PhD or DIT. In general, larger companies favor those with at least fifteen years of IT experience too.

Here are 12 potential jobs for someone with an IT degree. Depending on your experience and skill, there may be entry level and senior roles.

IT Manager

IT managers plan, coordinate, and direct computer related activities in a business.

Chief Information Officers (CIOs)

CIOs figure out the information goals of a business. Then oversee the putting in place of technology to meet those goals.

Chief Technology Officers (CTOs)

CTOs report to CIOs. They use their tech skills to test new tech and see how it can help their business.

IT Directors

IT Directors are in charge of an IT department. They supervise and hire people, set budgets and put policy into action.

IT Security Managers

These pros oversee network and data security. They keep employees aware of security threats, manage investigations and stay up to date with trends.

Network Administrators

Network admins manage the day to day operations of servers, desktop and mobile systems.

Database Administrators (DBAs)

DBAs use specific software to store and organize data for a business. They make sure data is both safe from threats and accessible to users.

Information Security Analysts

Info Sec analysts are on the front lines to protect data and systems from breaches. They monitor networks, install and use software and conduct penetration testing.

Information Research Scientists

Research often means design and innovation. Also, using technology to solve problems in many fields.

Nursing Information Systems Manager

These pros know both nursing and IT. They use their skills to design or apply computerized health care systems.

IT Project Manager

IT PMs put into place the systems that manage documents for an enterprise. These systems capture, store, retrieve, share, and get rid of e records.

IT Support Specialist

Support specialists use their IT skills to help people figure out and solve problems

Is a Degree in Information Technology worth it?

Earning an IT degree online may help you enter or advance your career in some high growth areas. Many of these are computer and IT roles with above average salaries.

Each field within the larger picture of IT has its own job outlook. But the BLS predicts all computer and IT careers will grow by an average of 13% to 2026. That means about 557,100 new jobs.

There are three main reasons for this high demand. Cloud computing, being able to collect and store big data, and information security. All of these which are here to stay.

In fact, the need for cyber security experts is growing by 28% to 2026. The amount of times cyber attacks and data breaches happen is very high.

At last check, the average yearly salary for careers in IT and computer tech jobs was $86,320 in May 2018. Because this is an average, there are careers where salaries may be higher (or lower).

Let’s take a look at IT Managers. You’ll need a bachelor’s degree to enter this field and experience too. With more years on the job and a grad degree like a master’s or MBA, there may be room to climb the ladder.

The field itself is growing at a 12% clip which is faster than average for all occupations. Plus, average yearly salaries range from $85,380 to $208,000 plus.

Salaries for jobs with an Online Information Technology Degree

Occupation Average Salary Employment
IT Manager $152,860 391,430
Network Architect $107,870 157,830
Network Administrator $86,340 375,040
Information Security Analyst $96,040 96,870

Top States for Employment with an Online Information Technology Degree

State Employment Annual Mean Wage
California 63,640 $180,250
New York 27,070 $190,310
Texas 22,350 $154,650
Massachusetts 17,820 $156,620
Illinois 17,770 $143,900

What classes will I take with an Online Information Technology Degree?

The classes you can take when going for your online IT degree vary by level. Certain programs also give you the option to focus on a certain area within the field. Cyber security, IT Management and Info Sec are a few.

Bachelors in IT courses usually provide a broad overview of computer systems. You may also need to fulfill gen ed credits along the way. Some examples of IT courses at this level are:

  • Intro to Information Assurance
  • Basics of Networking
  • Project Planning

Masters in IT courses are less broad. The focus is on melding business expertise with knowledge of information management systems. Apart from systems and database design, you may study project management tools and:

  • Human Computer Interaction (HCI)
  • Cyber Law
  • Computer Security

PhD and DIT programs ask for a fair bit of research. As a result, you may find a few courses that relate to how to collect data. Plus, how to analyze, write and present findings in a clear concise way. Some topics might be in areas such as:

  • Enterprise Database Design
  • Cloud and Grid Computing
  • Leadership

Below are a few common online IT classes and what you might study in them.

Fundamentals of IT

This class may offer a broad intro to IT. From tools to their uses. It may also touch on HCI, networks and how to program. While learning these areas, you may also learn about web systems and how to keep info safe.

Principles of Programming

In this class, you may learn about the design of object oriented programs. This can involve both principles and practices. There’s usually a focus on logic and coding.

Information Technology Management

IT Management usually draws from management science. You may learn how to oversee IT services, teams and group dynamics.

Cybersecurity and Information Assurance

This class is all about data and how to protect networks and systems. You’ll often study ways to prevent, detect and recover from a breach. Other topics might look at the ways of testing to find any areas that might be vulnerable.

Network and Telecommunication Management

This class may touch on hardware, software and structures. You may also learn about communications theory. There’s usually some discussion of cost benefit analysis too.

How long does it take to get an Information Technology Degree online?

Students going for a bachelor’s degree in IT online may need four years. An online masters in IT may take two years of full time study. For those with a master’s degree, a PhD in IT may take three to five years full time.

One thing many online schools offer is a way to speed up this process. You may be able to transfer in credits to reduce your course load, for example. Sometimes, you can also study all year. Without a summer break, you may also be able to complete it faster. But if you prefer a slower pace, there are part time programs too.

University Level of Degree # of Credits Required Starts Per Year Minimum Months to Complete
Southern New Hampshire University Bachelors 120 6 48
University of Phoenix Bachelors 120 Multiple 48
American Public University Bachelors 120 Monthly 48
Purdue University Global Masters 60 4 24
Montclair State University Masters 33 3 24
American Intercontinental University Masters 48 Multiple 12
Capella University PhD 90 Multiple 53
Walden University DIT 64 Multiple 42
Northcentral University PhD-TIM 60 Multiple 50

15 Online Information Technology Degrees

Many online schools offer more than one level of IT degree. Here are 15 Schools that offer online IT degrees and where you can find them.

  1. Southern New Hampshire University
  2. University of Phoenix
  3. De Paul University
  4. American Public University
  5. University of Massachusetts – Lowell
  6. Montclair State University
  7. Purdue University Global
  8. University of Maryland
  9. American Intercontinental University
  10. George Mason University
  11. Capella University
  12. Walden University
  13. University of the Cumberlands
  14. Northcentral University
  15. Colorado State University

FIND AN ONLINE INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY DEGREE

Let’s take a closer look at the online IT degrees that these 15 schools have to offer.

1

Southern New Hampshire University

BS in Information Technology

Fully Online


This online BSIT program entails 120 credits. It kicks off with intro courses to help you learn the basic IT concepts and tools. Then moves into advanced course work in systems design. As you move through the program, you will build a personal portfolio. SNHU also offers areas of focus in things like:

  • Data Analytics
  • Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
  • IT Management

Tuition and Fees: 
$320 per credit hour plus fees.

Financial Aid:
Eligible students may apply for financial aid.

Credit for Experience:
Possible to earn math credits for what you already know. Also, students with some IT certifications may be eligible to receive credit.

Credit for Military Experience:
Students need to send Official Joint Services Transcripts when they apply.

Accredited:
New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).

2

University of Phoenix

BS in Information Technology

Fully Online


This online BSIT program entails 120 credits. You can take one five week course at a time. Some of the topics you study include network and cloud infrastructure. On the design side, you will also learn to develop a database. You can also take electives to prepare you for certification exams. There are also many options if you want to tailor your BSIT degree:

  • Cyber Security
  • Networking
  • Software Development

Tuition and Fees: 
$398 per credit hour plus fees.

Financial Aid:
Eligible students may apply for financial aid.

Credit for Experience:
Eligible students may be able to transfer credits.

Credit for Military Experience:
May provide credit for military training.

Accredited:
HLC

3

De Paul University

BS in Information Technology

Fully Online


This online BSIT program consists of 192 credit hours (about 48 courses). It studies the ways to design software that meet the needs of a business. The courses start with intro level computing and web design topics. Then move to how to apply program knowledge, host based security and data analysis. There are three areas of focus:

  • Interactive Web Scripting
  • Applied Programming
  • Web Development

Tuition and Fees: 
$655 per credit hour plus fees.

Financial Aid:
Eligible students may apply for financial aid.

Credit for Experience:
N/A.

Credit for Military Experience:
N/A.

Accredited:
Higher Learning Commission

4

American Public University

BS in Information Technology

Fully Online


This online BSIT program requires 120 credits. It features core topics like how to program, database design and security measures. Some of the course work also meets certifications like Certified Internet Webmaster (CIW). You can also group together courses to hone certain skills. Some of these areas are:

  • Mobile Computing
  • Web Development Using .Net
  • E commerce

Tuition and Fees: 
$270 per credit hour plus fees.

Financial Aid:
Eligible students may apply for financial aid.

Credit for Experience:
Prior Learning Assessment (PLA), transfer credits.

Credit for Military Experience:
CCAF, JST, DANTES, and ACE-evaluated training.

Accredited:
Higher Learning Commission, National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education.

5

University of Massachusetts – Lowell

BS in Information Technology

Fully Online or Hybrid


This online BSIT program entails 120 credits. It offers courses in Microsoft Office, how to program, computer ethics and more. Students also choose ten courses from a menu of electives. Multi media and LAN/WAN tech are a few. Also, there are a few focal areas to choose from. Each is a cluster of 6 credits.

  • Intro to Graphic Design
  • Intro to Homeland Security
  • Computer Aided Drawing

Tuition and Fees: 
$380 per credit hour plus fees.

Financial Aid:
Eligible students may apply for financial aid.

Credit for Experience:
Eligible students may be able to apply up to 90 credits.

Credit for Military Experience:
Will review military transcripts.

Accredited:
New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).

6

Montclair State University

MS in Information Technology

Fully Online


This online MSIT program consists of 33 credits. It has a focus in Applied IT and so, is a Professional Science Master’s or PSM degree. The applied IT focus means you will study from the point of view of a business and its goals. How to manage and put into use computer systems that support them. Course topics include:

  • IT Project Management
  • Software Process Management
  • Cyberlaw

Tuition and Fees: 
$1,851.56 per 3 credits (one course), plus fees.

Financial Aid:
Eligible students may apply for financial aid.

Credit for Experience:
No more than 6 credits depending on eligibility.

Credit for Military Experience:
N/A.

Accredited:
Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

7

Purdue University Global

MS in Information Technology

Fully Online


This online MSIT program entails 60 quarter credits. Part of the program looks at technical areas. Things like SQL design, networks, database design and the like. While learning these topics, you also learn how to manage IT projects and systems in a business setting. There are three areas of focus:

  • Business Intelligence
  • Information Security
  • Project Management

Tuition and Fees: 
$420 per credit plus fees.

Financial Aid:
Eligible students may apply for financial aid.

Credit for Experience:
Has a transfer credit policy. Purdue BSIT grads may get waivers to complete their degree faster.

Credit for Military Experience:
N/A.

Accredited:
Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

8

University of Maryland

MS in Information Technology

Fully Online


This program entails 36 credits. It offers a core of IT courses. You’ll also study IT project management. While building IT skill sets, you might prepare for certifications through an area of focus. Some of these are:

  • Homeland Security Management
  • Informatics
  • Information Assurance

Tuition and Fees: 
$499 (out of state rate) per credit plus fees.

Financial Aid:
Eligible students may apply for financial aid.

Credit for Experience:
Eligible students may get up to 6 transfer credits.

Credit for Military Experience:
Follows ACE guide.

Accredited:
Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

9

American Intercontinental University

MS in Information Technology – Information Assurance and Security

Fully Online


This online MSIT comes with a focus in Info Sec and is 48 credits. While learning cyber security, you will also work to build manager like skills. These may help you learn to lead departments, teams and IT security projects. Key courses for this major include:

  • Applied Cryptography
  • Legal Issues
  • IT Auditing and Security Risk Management

Tuition and Fees: 
$611 per credit plus fees.

Financial Aid:
Eligible students may apply for financial aid.

Credit for Experience:
Eligible students may get transfer credits/credit for prior learning.

Credit for Military Experience:
Eligible students may receive credit for military training.

Accredited:
Higher Learning Commission

10

George Mason University

MS in Applied Information Technology

Fully Online


This online MS in AIT program entails between 30 and 36 credits. It includes core courses such as computing platforms. You’ll also be able to explore cyber security in depth. Some of the topics are:

  • Software Development
  • Network and Systems Security
  • Cloud Computing Security

Tuition and Fees: 
$589 per credit (VA residents), $1,246.75 (out of state students) plus fees.

Financial Aid:
Eligible students may apply for financial aid.

Credit for Experience:
N/A.

Credit for Military Experience:
N/A.

Accredited:
Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC).

11

Capella University

PhD in Information Technology

Online plus Residency


This online PhD in IT entails 90 quarter credits and is research focused. As such, they often teach how to use and make sense of data, and how to present it in a clear way. Yet other topics deal with ways to lead and teach IT. To anchor your research, you can focus your PhD in any of these areas:

  • Information Assurance and Cyber Security
  • IT Education
  • Project Management

If you prefer a practice focused program, Capella offers a DIT also. It consists of 82 quarter credits. There is some overlap in terms of courses but this one weighs more on strategic planning. Focal courses cover information assurance and cyber security.

Tuition and Fees: 
$540 – $800 per credit plus fees.

Financial Aid:
Eligible students may apply for financial aid.

Credit for Experience:
N/A.

Credit for Military Experience:
N/A.

Accredited:
Higher Learning Commission, Project Management Institute (PMI) Global Accreditation Center for Project Management (PMI GAC), National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance/Cyber Defense (CAE IA/CD).

12

Walden University

Doctor of Information Technology

Online plus Residencies


This online DIT program comes with two tracks. As a result, you can enroll with either a bachelor’s or master’s degree. Those who enter with a grad degree need to complete 64 credits. The DIT program has a set of research courses, core IT topics, and seminars. Together, these center on strategy and problem based learning. Some seminar topics are:

  • Information Security
  • IT Systems
  • Project Management

Tuition and Fees: 
$995 per credit plus fees.

Financial Aid:
Eligible students may apply for financial aid.

Credit for Experience:
Evaluates transfer credits and has a Center for Degree Acceleration (CDA).

Credit for Military Experience:
N/A.

Accredited:
Higher Learning Commission

13

University of the Cumberlands

PhD in Information Technology

Fully Online


This online PhD in IT entails 60 credits. These center around research courses, focal content topics and a dissertation. The main focus of the program is predictive analytics. You will study data science, big data and:

  • IT for a Global Economy
  • Cyber Security
  • Digital Forensics

Tuition and Fees: 
$500 per credit plus fees.

Financial Aid:
Eligible students may apply for financial aid.

Credit for Experience:
Will assess with possible maximum transfer of 18 semester hours earned beyond the master’s degree.

Credit for Military Experience:
N/A.

Accredited:
Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC), National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance/Cyber Defense (CAE IA/CD).

14

Northcentral University

PhD in Technology Innovation Management

Fully Online


This online PhD consists of 60 credits. The goal is to help students learn to manage IT related projects and systems from start to finish. This means in depth courses in areas like:

  • Tech Innovation Management
  • Risk Management
  • Leadership

Tuition and Fees: 
$3,129 per 3 credit course plus fees.

Financial Aid:
Eligible students may apply for financial aid.

Credit for Experience:
Will assess credit for prior learning.

Credit for Military Experience:
N/A.

Accredited:
WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).

15

Colorado State University

PhD in Systems Engineering

Online, Select courses have in person attendance options


This online PhD offers two tracks. One consists of 72 credits and is for those who do not already have an MS degree. The other is a 42 credit program for post master’s students. A main focus of this program is problem solving through research. Students take courses in areas such as:

  • Engineering Architecture
  • IT Project Management
  • Cyber Security

Tuition and Fees: 
$1,085 per credit plus fees.

Financial Aid:
Eligible students may apply for financial aid.

Credit for Experience:
Will assess credit for prior learning.

Credit for Military Experience:
Eligible students may transfer credits.

Accredited:
Higher Learning Commission

*Unemployment Earnings.  Sources for school stats and data include the NCES and IPEDS.