Fastest Online Technology Degree Programs

Earn an accelerated degree in technology to launch your career in software or IT. Explore our ranked list of online bachelor's in technology programs.

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by Nalea Ko

Published on July 27, 2022

Edited by Kristina Beek
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Why spend four years in college when you can earn anaccelerated degree in technology in 2-3 years? Accelerated online bachelor's in technology have shortened 5- or 8-month semesters, rather than the traditional 15-month semesters.

Accelerated degrees, much like degree completion programs, let students graduate faster by applying prior college credits, work experience, and life training. Degree-seekers can also test out of classes to save even more money and time.

A bachelor's in technology degree helps prepare graduates for careers as web developers, software developers, and computer systems analysts — positions that earn median annual salaries between $77,200-$110,140, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Demand for these positions look bright. The BLS projects jobs in computer and information technology to grow by 13% from 2020-2030, higher than the average 8% for all occupations.

The top online schools may offer lower tuition than traditional colleges. Colleges charge about $369-$510 per credit for accelerated degrees, with total tuition costing up to $30,240. In this guide, we cover how to get admitted into an accelerated degree in technology program, possible careers, and average salaries.

How Fast Can I Get an Online Bachelor's in Technology Degree?

Earning an accelerated degree in technology takes 2-3 years. Degree-seekers can always graduate quicker if they have more transferrable credits or test out of subjects.

Bachelor's degree-seekers usually complete about 120 credits. The exact courses vary by school and degree. Typically, the format of an accelerated degree in technology allows students to take a heavier course load, with many completing up to 15 credits each semester.

Programs include about 11-19 core courses, which students take remotely. The online format offers flexibility, but intense course loads may mean that students log into online classes 4-5 days a week.

What Can I Expect From an Accelerated Online Bachelor's in Technology Degree Program?

Accelerated degrees may appeal to people with prior college credits, military training, or career experience. These faster degrees suit working people wanting to change careers or advance quickly.

The compressed format lets students graduate and begin making money faster than a traditional college degree. Depending on whether the school charges tuition per credit or per term, students in an accelerated program may spend less money on college.

Accelerated programs aren't suited for all students. It takes an ambitious student to complete an accelerated program. Instead of taking classes only in the fall or spring, students complete 1-2 courses at a time — all year round.

This fast pace means students juggle a full schedule, but they can also graduate sooner. The asynchronous courses in most online bachelor's degrees allow students to view lectures when convenient, rather than attending class live.

An accelerated program usually offers the same courses and specializations as a traditional program, including:

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What Courses Will I Take in an Accelerated Online Bachelor's in Technology Degree Program?

Computer Operating Systems

This undergraduate course provides a fundamental understanding of the concepts, organization, and principles of computer operating systems. Topics covered include concurrency and deadlocks, file systems, protection and security, scheduling and resource management, and virtual memory. Students create projects within a kernel.

Basics of Computer Programming

A basics in computer programming course covers how to write and develop programs using Python. Students learn how to design simple data structures and use arithmetic operations and data types to perform I/O operations. They also learn binary number and hexadecimal number systems.

Database Management

The lessons in a database management course teach students how to create, manage, and test data security using SQL. Students learn how to run SQL queries, use data modeling and data normalization, and relational database management systems.

Computer Networking

Students e learn networking and communications protocols. Lessons emphasize Internet protocol architecture, link layer protocols, layered network architecture, and routing algorithms and protocols. Many courses require students to have basic programming knowledge of C or C++.

Scripting Languages

Through completing programming tasks, students learn common server-side and client-side scripting languages such as C and C++, CSS, JavasScript, HTML, Python, and SQL. The course usually covers how to use scripting languages for web applications and system administration.

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What Are Admission Requirements for an Accelerated Online Bachelor's in Technology Degree Program?

The admission process for an online vs. on-campus program is similar. However, accelerated bachelor's in technology programs differ from traditional degrees because applicants may need at least 50-60 college credits or an associate degree.

Accelerated programs often accept up to 90 transfer credits, which lets students graduate quicker. Other than prior college experience, online learners do not need any special admissions requirements.

Application

Applicants applying for an accelerated bachelor's in technology degree must submit an online application with a fee. Applications ask questions about a candidate's personal background, school, and family. Online learners may apply directly to the college. An application serves as one component of the admission requirements.

Test Scores

Undergraduate programs may require entrance exams or standardized test scores from ACT or SAT. Non-native English speakers need to take the TOEFL test to measure their English language proficiency. But, students rarely need to take an entrance exam to qualify for admissions to an accelerated degree in technology.

Letters of Recommendation

Many bachelor's in technology degrees require 1-3 letters of recommendation. Letters must be written from professional recommenders, not relatives. Students usually ask supervisors, former teachers, or counselors to write letters of recommendation. Recommenders speak to the student's ability to complete a degree, along with their work history, education, background, and volunteer experience.

Essays

Personal essays allow admissions committees to learn more about the applicant. College application essays may offer prompts for applicants or ask broad questions about a student's motivation, personal hardships, or career aspirations. Applicants typically write short essays of about 500-600 words.

Official Transcripts

The admissions process requires applicants to attach supplemental documents to the online application —including transcripts. Some colleges accept unofficial transcripts and allow students to send official transcripts at a later time. Bachelor's in technology degrees may accept up to 90 transfer credits from community colleges or four-year schools. Colleges may require the applicants to have at least a 2.5 GPA.

What Can I Do With an Accelerated Online Bachelor's in Technology Degree?

Career Outlook

Employers typically view accelerated vs. traditional degrees as the same. Both programs offer the same credential and career prospects.

Colleges and universities in 2018-19 issued 88,600 bachelor's degrees in computer and information sciences, a jump from 39,600 in 2009-2010, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. As one of the most popular majors, bachelor's in technology degrees offer high-paying careers in fast-growing fields.

The BLS reports employers will add 667,600 jobs in computer and information technology from 2020-2020, which is more than average.

The degree helps prepare graduates for many careers: computer network architects, computer programmers, computer support specialists, computer systems analysts, database administrators, and software developers. According to the BLS, computer programmers make a median annual wage of $93,00, and computer systems analysts make a median salary of $99,270.

Find out what technology careers await graduates who earn an accelerated degree in technology.

Career Paths

Computer Network Architects

Computer Network Architects need at least a bachelor's in technology degree for the job. Many also have specialized work experience in network and computer systems. Computer network architects design and maintain networks for businesses. The job requires working with other IT workers and companies that supply technology equipment.

Median Annual Salary: $120,520

Computer Programmers

Computer programmers have an extensive knowledge of programming languages which they learn in college or coding schools. Some gain certification in Java, Oracle, or Python. This job usually requires a bachelor's degree. After gaining experience, computer programmers can become computer systems analysts or software developers.

Median Annual Salary: $93,000

Database Administrators and Architects

Database administrators manage an organization's important data like financials and customer information. The job requires creating databases and preventing the loss of data. Database administrators have a firm grasp of SQL. Employers usually prefer hiring database administrators who hold a bachelor's degree.

Median Annual Salary: $98,860

Software Developer

Software developers create programs or web applications. This requires testing programs, and creating diagrams that help programmers write code for programs. Software developers need strong math skills, problem-solving skills, and knowledge of multiple programming languages.

Median Annual Salary: $110,140

Web Developer

Employers typically hire web developers with a college degree, but some hire those with a highschool diploma and coding training. It takes technical knowledge to become a web developer, a job that requires creating and testing websites. Writing code for websites requires using CSS, JavaScript, and HTML.

Median Annual Salary: $77,200

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Continuing Education

Tech workers can advance in their careers to management positions by earning professional credentials or higher degrees.

After earning an online bachelor's in technology, many pursue a master's in technology degree that takes up to two years. Common graduate programs for tech graduates include master's in technology management, master's in information systems and technology, or master's in computer science degrees.

Professional agencies, such as CompTia, provide credentials to help tech workers excel. After earning entry-level credentials, tech workers can become certified in infrastructure, cybersecurity, data and analytics, and project management.

How Do I Choose an Accelerated Online Bachelor's in Technology Degree Program?

Cost

The cost of accelerated degrees in technology varies by school. Tuition can range from $300-$600 per credit for accelerated degrees. Public four-year schools charged an average of $9,400 in 2019-2020 and $36,700 at private four-year colleges, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

Private schools often charge more than public schools, and students who attend courses as residents pay less than out-of-state students. Some online programs offer in-state tuition rates to all students regardless of where they live.

Program Format

Earning an accelerated degree in technology takes motivation and discipline considering the fast-paced format. Students can juggle the heavier course load easier with an asynchronous format that lets students work independently with deadlines, instead of attending live courses. Generally, accelerated degrees require students to study on a full-time basis, which allows them to graduate sooner.

Location

You may not need to live near campus, or even in the same state to earn an online bachelor's in technology degree. Many programs feature a fully online curriculum, including virtual labs. However, some degrees require students to complete on-campus labs or clinics. Fully online programs may not suit students who need the peer-to-peer interaction.

Accreditation

Most employers and colleges require that applicants graduate from accredited colleges. Accrediting agencies provide accreditation to schools and programs that meet quality standards for graduation rates, curriculum, and faculty. Online bachelor's in technology degrees may have program accreditation from the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology.

Student Support

Earning an accelerated degree in technology can be more difficult without student support services. Programs may offer academic counseling, student mentorships, tech internships, and career services. Online divisions also offer virtual services for online learners.

Fastest Accredited Online Bachelor's in Technology Degree Programs

Rankings compiled by the BestColleges Ranking Team

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#1

City University of Seattle

School Information
Location Seattle, Washington
Graduation Rate 33%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
Percent Online Enrollment 80% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online or Hybrid | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $495

Out of State | $495

Credits to Graduate

180

Students with transfer credits can complete CityU's accelerated degree in technology in as little as two years. The BS in cybersecurity builds career skills including risk, compliance, and governance in data security and cybercrime.

The program features an optional technology and computing internship. CityU accepts applications on a rolling basis throughout the year. The National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security designated CityU as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education.

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#2

DePaul University

School Information
Location Chicago, Illinois
Admission Rate 68%
Graduation Rate 74%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 30% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $722

Out of State | $722

Credits to Graduate

192

DePaul's BS in information technology suits students with at least 45 transferable college credits. The accelerated degree in technology culminates in a capstone involving software projects for community clients. 

In addition to meeting minimum credit-transfer requirements, applicants need a GPA of at least 2.0 and must be in good standing at the last school they attended. Prerequisites include English, science, and pre-calculus courses.

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#3

Maryville University of Saint Louis

School Information
Location Saint Louis, Missouri
Admission Rate 83%
Graduation Rate 71%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 76% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $622

Out of State | $622

Credits to Graduate

128

Maryville's online BS in cybersecurity offers a choice of three tracks: offensive cybersecurity, defensive cybersecurity, or cybersecurity. Coursework explores subjects like digital forensics, incident response and malware, and ethical hacking.

Students can complete the online bachelor's in technology in 2.5 years. Applicants must hold a high school diploma or GED certificate and a minimum 2.5 GPA. Maryville does not require SAT or ACT scores for admission consideration.

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#4

Tarleton State University

School Information
Location Stephenville, Texas
Admission Rate 56%
Graduation Rate 49%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 54% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $440

Out of State | $440

Credits to Graduate

120

Tarleton's online bachelor's in IT emphasizes core programming, database management, networks, and computer information systems skills. Students can complete the BAAS in IT in two years.

Applicants must hold a minimum of 30 transferable credits and at least a 2.0 GPA. Tarleton's accelerated degree in technology also awards 12-33 credits for prior experience, including academic courses, technical training, or certifications. 

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#5

Drexel University

School Information
Location Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Admission Rate 75%
Graduation Rate 69%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 38% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $446

Out of State | $446

Credits to Graduate

185

Drexel's BS in computing and security technology builds practical skills through experiential learning. The accelerated degree in technology suits career switchers with an associate degree or at least two years of college credits.

Students may choose a concentration in computing technology or computing security, each culminating in a senior project. Transfer applicants must have a minimum of 24 college credits with a grade of "C" or better from a regionally accredited school within the last 10 years.

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#6

California Baptist University

School Information
Location Riverside, California
Admission Rate 78%
Graduation Rate 63%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 55% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $613

Out of State | $613

Credits to Graduate

48

CBU's online BS in computer information technology delivers a curriculum including web development, database management, and network troubleshooting. The program can lead to a variety of CompTIA certifications.

CBU's online bachelor's in technology requires foundational coursework in the Bible and Christian thought. CBU prefers applicants with at least 24 transferable college credits, but will consider students with a high school diploma or equivalent. Applicants also need a minimum 2.0 GPA.

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#7

University of Charleston

School Information
Location Charleston, West Virginia
Admission Rate 50%
Graduation Rate 38%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 75% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $380

Out of State | $380

Credits to Graduate

120

Students can complete UC's accelerated degree in technology in two years. The curriculum aligns with the seven main categories of cyber operations, according to the National Cybersecurity Workforce Framework. The degree includes an optional practicum and culminates in a cybersecurity capstone.

Applicants need a minimum 2.0 GPA and college experience for admission consideration. Specifically, prospective enrollees must satisfy prerequisites or complete placement testing in hardware/software, networking, and security. 

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#8

King University

School Information
Location Bristol, Tennessee
Admission Rate 62%
Graduation Rate 59%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 71% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $305

Out of State | $305

Credits to Graduate

124

King's online degree in technology offers a choice of three tracks: cloud computing and systems administration, cybersecurity management, or digital business and game development. The program features five-week courses and takes 16 months to complete.

Applicants must submit official transcripts for high school and any colleges previously attended. Students must demonstrate completion of core competency units including English, algebra, geometry, science, and social studies.

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#9

Western Governors University

School Information
Location Salt Lake City, Utah
Graduation Rate 21%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Term

In State | $3,575

Out of State | $3,575

Credits to Graduate

128

Program Information

Program Accreditation | Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs

WGU offers its online degree in IT management through the college of business. The curriculum emphasizes broad management skills and also explores business of IT, network and security, and data management. The BSBA in IT management culminates in a professional portfolio and capstone project.   

Applicants must submit official academic transcripts and complete an intake interview via phone with an enrollment counselor at WGU. Additionally, prospective students must make tuition arrangements by the 22nd of the month prior to their start date. 

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Frequently Asked Questions About Fastest Online Technology Degree Programs

Can I get a bachelor's degree in one year? true

Yes. Traditionally, it takes four years to earn a bachelor's degree, but many accelerated programs allow students to graduate in 2-3 years — or less. Some degrees let ambitious students graduate in 12-18 months.

Applying for an accelerated degree in technology usually requires students to have 50-60 prior college credits from a community college or four-year university. Admitted students usually have completed most of their general education requirements.

Schools may accept up to 90 credits, including prior learning credits for work experience, military training, or life learning. This fast-paced format means students must study full time.

Are accelerated degree classes worth it? true

Earning an accelerated degree in technology can be difficult. The pace in an accelerated degree is faster than a traditional bachelor's program. Students enrolled in accelerated degrees take on heavier course loads and must manage their time and deadlines to not fall behind. Students must dedicate themselves to full-time, rigorous study to graduate sooner. .

Accelerated degrees also feature online formats that do not require on campus visits. Students can save time and money by not commuting to campus. Students who can manage the fast pace of an accelerated degree can save money and time.

Are accelerated bachelor's degrees as valuable as traditional degrees? true

Yes. The education in an accelerated degree in technology is the same as an on-campus program. When students graduate, the degree does not physically look any different from what on-campus learners receive.

Earning an online bachelor's in technology fast saves money and time, which means students can jump into the workforce fast. A 2017 Hanover Research report states that students who complete college in three years could see a 35% discount on tuition and fees. However, an accelerated degree program may require a more stringent admission process. Applicants often need to have college credit or even an associate degree from an accredited school.

Is an accelerated bachelor degree in technology right for me? true

The structure of accelerated degrees can be challenging, especially for students who juggle work or family obligations.

Accelerated degrees allow students to graduate quicker through numerous methods. Many programs accept prior learning credits and compress courses by allowing students to go to school all year round. Often, students must complete the same number of credits required from traditional college students in less time.

This accelerated model does not work for every student. Students enrolled in an accelerated degree often need to go to school in the winter and summer months to stay on track to graduate.

Are accelerated degree programs affordable? true

Accelerated degree programs may help reduce overall tuition. A study by Hanover research, which compared tuition information from Purdue University and the U.S. The Department of Education found that students attending three-year degrees could save up to $3,216. However, students who qualify for the full Pell Grant award may lose out on money by studying for three vs. four years.

The time students save in college could make an accelerated degree worth it. Students may graduate quicker and begin earning a paycheck sooner.

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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