Best Online Bachelors Degree in Information Technology


Information Technology is a growing field with a lot of job opportunities and avenues for career growth. So you might have a whole lot of questions about a bachelors degree in information technology.

A bachelors degree in information technology is required by most employers for a well paying job in this field. The best online bachelors degree in IT combines many simple and easy ways to earn college credits online, while also being affordable and sought after by employers.

There are definitely many colleges offering a bachelors degree in IT but only a small number of them are truly affordable with simple and convenient ways for students to complete the IT degree.

Which Bachelors Degree is Best for Information Technology?

There are quite a few IT degree programs with some great features, but what is best for you will depend on your requirements and your unique circumstances.

Here are a few options along with the criteria for selection:

Accreditation

Online

Flexibility

Cost

Graduation Timeline

Option 1

Regional

Yes, Available

Maximum

Lowest

Fast, In about 2 years or more

Option 2

Regional

Fully Online

Some

Less

In about 3 years

Option 3

National

Fully Online

Some

Free

4 years

Option 1: Excelsior or any other Degree Completion College

  • If you are working and have a hectic schedule, this option may suit you well. These colleges allow you to study when you want and take a break from college anytime, while you continue to be actively enrolled at the college.
  • All of these colleges are regionally accredited which is usually the best form of accreditation.
  • There are numerous online courses at the college, but there are also many third-party online course providers such as Sophia and Study.com that are accepted for transfer.
  • The online courses at the college tend to be more expensive, so most students at these degree completion colleges take online courses with Sophia, StraighterLine, Study.com and mix-n-match courses with various online providers.
  • Once individual courses are completed, they can be freely transferred to your transcript at you degree completion college.
  • Taking third-party courses is also a great way to reduce college expenses.
  • A lot of your previous courses can be transferred and you can even write CLEP/DSST exams for credit, so your degree can be completed in almost half the time of 2 yrs for a 4 year degree.

Option 2: WGU or Western Governors University

  • WGU is a regionally accredited, fully online college
  • WGU charges a flat fee of about $4,000 every 6 months for unlimited courses. So someone who is able to complete more courses in a shorter time frame can complete their degree much sooner and for a much lesser cost.
  • WGU has a wide array of bachelors degrees in computer technology as follows:
    1. Information Technology
    2. Computer Science
    3. Cybersecurity and Information Assurance
    4. Cloud Computing
    5. Network Operations and Security
    6. Data Management/ Data Analytics
    7. Software Development

WGU graduates are actively sought by employers and the quality of their online courses is very good.

Option 3: University of the People (UoPeople)

  • UoPeople is a online, tuition-free university located in Pasadena, California
  • The university is a private, non-profit institution and is nationally accredited
  • UoPeople does not have regional accreditation which may be of concern to some students
  • UoPeople charges a small fee for proctoring each online test
  • The quality of the courses is excellent and its academic partners include the Harvard Business School, UC Berkeley and more
  • There is no IT degree but a Computer Science bachelors degree offered at the UoPeople

Is A Bachelors Degree in Information Technology Worth It?

Yes, there are many high paying job roles and positions that someone with an bachelors degree in IT qualifies for. Among them the position with the biggest growth (of 22%) and maximum number of job opportunities is for Software Developers and QA Testers.

As a college graduate, the 1st option is to work with your college career services center and attend campus interviews. If you get a chance to intern in college, that can also be a valuable experience for perhaps your next job.

The other popular option is to go to job boards such as Dice, Monster and CareerBuilder and look for the most popular skills that employers are asking for. Then among these, select one or more that you find interesting and sign up for a certificate course with Coursera or edX for these skills. This completion certificate can now be highlighted in your resume.

Next when urgent job opportunities pop up in the job boards for any of these skills, send in your resume with a cover letter stating your scores and project accomplishments for these skills.

Admissions Criteria for IT Degree Programs

A good high school GPA of at least 3.0 and a good SAT score is likely to satisfy most colleges for the IT bachelors degree. Degree completion colleges such as Excelsior do not have any SAT requirement and instead expect students to have earned a few prior college credits.

In case you do not have any prior college credits, completing a few AP exams, or CLEP/DSST exams will be sufficient for earning college credits before enrollment.

If you are an international student, you will be asked to submit all your college level courses for a foreign credential evaluation with a recommended evaluator. This is needed for awarding US equivalent college credits. Most colleges also require a TOEFL or IELTS for confirming english proficiency.

Is Getting An IT Degree Hard?

For most people who are comfortable with either science or math, an IT degree is not hard at all. But sometimes, it may take a bit of practice to master some of the topics such as computer logic, programming or data structures. But this certainly gets a lot easier with adequate practice.

Years ago, I had this exact same experience and I used to get nervous in class when I was randomly asked the logic for a specific coding problem. But as soon as the final project arrived, I wrote an inventory control system for a small business. Since then, coding has been something that always excites and motivates me.

Of course, it’s not necessary to become a software developer; some IT graduates become QA testers, others become system administrators, cloud computing specialists and so on.

Which Is Easier, IT or Computer Science?

There is significant overlap between IT and Computer Science. But with computer science, it is possible to specialize in artificial intelligence or robotics or some other core specialization.

With an IT degree, it is possible to focus more on software application development and related topics. There is usually more breadth in an IT degree and more depth in a Computer Science degree. But this can vary from one college program to another.

In general, what is easier depends on two factors:

  1. How these two programs are structured in your particular college or university
  2. What you are more interested in learning about

For example, there are many more certifications and many varied topics covered in WGU’s IT degree than in the computer science degree.

With an IT degree, it is possible to study many different topics so you can figure out what you are more interested in for building your career on.

One important point to note about an IT or Computer Science career is that, with any technology field, new innovations and upgrades are the only constant. So as an IT professional, it will be important for you to be continuously learning new technologies regularly.

Which Pays More, IT or Computer Science?

Both are comparable but the pay depends on which skills and job type you choose that will determine your salary.

As per the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median pay for a few computer related occupations requiring a bachelors degree are as follows:

  • Computer Network Architects: $116,780
  • Software Developers and QA analysts: $110,140
  • Web Developers and Digital Designers: $77,200

Most employers are ok with an IT or a Computer Science degree for most computer technology related positions. With adequate experience, even electrical or electronics engineers land excellent positions as computer systems administrators and so on.

Which IT Jobs Are In Demand?

The maximum growth and the maximum number of job opportunities are available for software developers and QA analysts/testers. While most IT job roles have an 8% to 15% job growth, software developers jobs have a growth rate of 22% which is among the highest for any industry.

The only other IT job role with excellent job growth is 31% for information security analysts, but even in this case, the number of job opportunities for software developers is about 10 times higher than that for security analysts.

Second Bachelors Degree In Information Technology Online

Due to the huge number of opportunities in IT, many professionals from other fields make the switch to IT. Getting a second bachelors degree in IT becomes the starting point for this career change.

With a degree completion college such as Excelsior or Thomas Edison, it is possible to accelerate the completion of the second bachelors degree by transferring many of the core degree credits from the previous bachelors degree to the current IT degree.

The sooner someone completes their second bachelors degree in IT, the more years s/he can benefit with a lucrative IT career.

How Stressful Are IT Jobs?

Most IT jobs have the stress of project deadlines on a periodic basis. As someone in IT, its important for each professional to make the best of use of their leisure time in between projects or when the work to be done is more of the routine nature.

By learning to take adequate breaks in between projects, most IT professionals are able to have a good amount of work-life balance.

But no matter what, there are definitely times in IT when an application or feature doesn’t work correctly and there is a need to quickly fix the issue in a matter of a day or two. Most IT projects are large ones and the impact of delays can many times be devastating monetarily.

Therefore, people in IT learn to work hard and play hard to meet the various demands of their work and personal life. Staying physically fit also becomes extremely important and many IT companies offer gym memberships or gym discounts for their employees.

With age and experience, many IT professionals move to managerial and leadership roles but the stressful nature of the job usually continues. Therefore, IT is a good choice for active and energetic individuals irrespective of their physical age.

In general, government jobs in IT tend to be lower stress than a job in a private company. Also, an IT job in say a retail shop or in a hospital is likely to be much less stressful and a slower pace than a similar IT job in a technology company.

How Useful Is An IT Degree?

An IT degree will provide many excellent job opportunities, a superior lifestyle, home ownership and so much more. Though there are people in IT who have unrelated degrees in Arts and other fields, employers usually give 1st preference for IT jobs to candidates with an IT, Computer Science or Technology degree.

So having an IT degree sets the professional up at the top of the candidates’ resume pile. Even interviews for IT graduates are much nicer since employers are more confident in the abilities of an IT graduate to successfully perform in an IT job role.

As of 2020-21, IT professionals have the least unemployment rates of any other occupation or field. Great salaries, generous annual bonuses and other perks such as free lunches, health and retirement benefits are a standard policy in most large and small IT firms.

If you are a renter, landlords are most likely to prefer an IT tenant than any other due to the stable employment with ample career growth.

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