Earning your online bachelor's degree in information technology (IT) can set you on a path to an exciting and ever-changing career in an in-demand field. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the number of computer and IT jobs will grow by 11% from 2019-2029. Students with an interest in IT can expect ample job opportunities upon graduation, making this an attractive choice for tech-minded students.
From software developers and programmers to cybersecurity specialists, a bachelor's degree in IT can prepare you for many solid careers. It can also be an excellent stepping stone to more advanced degrees in the computer technology field. Keep reading if you're ready to learn about what an information technology degree can do for you.
What Is Information Technology?
Information technology is the study, development, and implementation of computer-based technical systems. In practice, IT investigates how technology can be applied to solve business and organizational issues across the board, on a large scale. Those working in information technology aim to help others solve and understand tech problems so they may do their jobs better.
What Are the Best Bachelor's in Information Technology Programs of 2020?
|1||University of South Florida-Sarasota-Manatee||Sarasota, FL|
|2||Florida International University||Miami, FL|
|3||University of South Florida||Tampa, FL|
|4||Colorado State University Global||Greenwood Village, CO|
|5||Hallmark University||San Antonio, TX|
|6||Northeastern University||Boston, MA|
|7||Bellevue University||Bellevue, NE|
|8||Western Governors University||Salt Lake City, UT|
|9||Peirce College||Philadelphia, PA|
|10||Kennesaw State University||Kennesaw, GA|
Should I Get a Bachelor's in Information Technology?
Earning an online bachelor's degree in information technology can open the door to interesting and in-demand careers. From information systems managers to computer systems analysts and software developers, graduates who develop a foundation in information technology have the skills needed to assume many technical roles with confidence.
Students who graduate with a bachelor's degree in information technology have the credentials needed to find entry-level employment in the field, and they are also in a position to immediately begin earning a healthy paycheck. Many companies are looking to hire professionals who can help them grow from a technical standpoint.
What Will I Learn in an Information Technology Program?
The rapidly growing field of information technology encompasses many disciplines, from engineering to technical support. IT professionals may build communication networks for businesses, create databases to keep information safeguarded, and help users troubleshoot technical problems. These workers have many crucial skills that companies and organizations need to thrive.
Earning your online bachelor's degree in information technology can help you build the skills needed to play an integral role in the private or public sector. Although every school is different, IT programs may feature many similar classes and concentration options, including those listed below.
Introductory cybersecurity courses are designed for students with little to no experience and cover basic terminology and concepts. Topics may include security management, wireless networking, cryptography, and organizational policy. Students develop an understanding of the role of computers and networking in a security context.
- Introduction to Networking
This course introduces students to the main elements that work together to form the internet. Upon completing this course, students should feel capable of performing basic computer networking tasks, such as creating private networks and DSL connectivity configurations.
- Introduction to Operating Systems
Introduction to operating systems courses cover the core concepts of operating systems, including scheduling synchronization, file systems, memory management, and security more.
- Programming Languages
A crucial class for future IT professionals, coursework touches on many program languages, including C++, Java, Scheme, ML, Perl, and Python. Coursework typically focuses on fundamental concepts and the differences between programming languages.
- Data Analysis
Data analysis courses introduce students to the tools and concepts used to perform daily analysis duties in the technology realm. Participants learn the fundamentals of data analysis, data ecosystems, and data mining. Upon completion of this course, students should be equipped with a basic understanding of how to handle data in the technology sector.
This popular concentration focuses on methods used to safeguard the sensitive information that businesses, organizations, and individuals need to protect. From financial and identification information to medical history and homeland security data, IT professionals concentrating in cybersecurity learn how to protect important data.
- Computer Systems and Network Administration
IT students concentrating in computer systems and network administration learn the technical skills needed to administer complex and complicated IP networks. These skills can be applied in many areas, including in the healthcare field and the government sector.
- IT Management
Concentrating your studies in IT management helps you prepare for advanced positions in the workforce upon graduation. Students with a focus in management hone their leadership skills and fine-tune their communication styles to better prepare for management positions.
- Programming and Software Development
Providing students with an in-depth knowledge base of software development strategies and practices, this concentration may be an attractive choice for those who have a special interest in the technical side of information technology. Students can expect to focus on a variety of platforms, including mobile and web applications.
By pursuing this diverse concentration, students prepare to employ their IT skills in organizations such as banks, corporate offices, and internet companies. Upon graduation, students should have a firm understanding of computer communications, networking, and wireless communications.
What Can I Do With a Bachelor's in Information Technology?
Earning an on-campus or online bachelor's degree in information technology readies you for careers in many different sectors. Because nearly every field needs IT professionals to assist with computer, software, and technical needs, graduates of these programs have ample options when it comes to employment. The list below describes a few of the top careers you can consider after completing your IT degree.
- Software Developer
Depending on their organization, software developers may be in charge of building and maintaining different types of computer systems and networks. They may also develop applications that make it possible for other employees to perform specific tasks on computers and other devices.
- Information Technology Consultant
An IT consultant focuses on integrating information technology into businesses and teaching clients and employees how to properly use it. These consultants generally work to bridge the gap between a company's technical team and its staff members, aiming to build a clear understanding of how IT can help a business reach its goals.
- Computer Forensic Analyst
Computer forensic analysts use a variety of tools to find electronic data. These professionals take advantage of their specialized knowledge to recover hidden, lost, or deleted data. Their findings are sometimes used in legal proceedings as evidence.
- Computer Network Architect
Computer network architects work to design different types of data communication systems. Requiring extensive knowledge, these professions build wide area networks, local area networks, and intranets. They may also be responsible for upgrading software, such as network drivers and routers.
- Computer Programmer
A computer programmer writes the code needed to make software applications function properly. These professionals have a keen understanding of computer languages and use their technical skills to run and test software for businesses, organizations, and government agencies.
How to Choose an Information Technology Bachelor's Program
When looking for an information technology program, it's crucial to keep a few factors in mind. First, ensure that your target school and program have the appropriate accreditation. Schools should be regionally accredited by the appropriate accreditation agency, and many of the best IT programs hold accreditation from an organization like ABET.
You should also make sure that the program you're applying to offers the concentration or specialization you hope to study. Lastly, you'll want to find a program that fits your budget. To begin your search, learn more about the best online bachelor's in information technology programs of 2020.
How to Get Into an Information Technology Bachelor's Program
Although every bachelor's in information technology program has different prerequisites, there are some common requirements you can expect to see across the board. For example, most schools require a minimum GPA, which typically ranges from 2.5-3.0. You may also need to take certain courses before enrolling. If the program you're applying to is highly competitive, it may also ask for letters of recommendation and standardized test scores.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Bachelor's in Information Technology?
Earning an on-campus or online bachelor's degree in information technology generally takes four years of full-time study, with students completing a minimum of 120 credits. Learners who attend school on a part-time basis face a longer timeline. For those who want to graduate early, accelerated options may be available. These can cut down on the time spent in school dramatically.
How Much Does It Cost to Get a Bachelor's in Information Technology?
The cost of an on-campus or online degree in information technology can vary substantially depending on a number of important factors.
For example, students attending a public school in their state of residence can expect to spend less on tuition than those enrolling in an out-of-state program. Additionally, private institutions are typically more expensive than public schools. Online programs may also be less expensive than on-campus options — some schools charge all distance learners the same price, no matter where they live.