As upcoming college students, most people aspire to choose a degree path that can withstand the test of time and provide career opportunities for life. The field of information technology is one of the most popular fields for upcoming students, likely due to its influence in society.
Information Technology for Prospective Learners
Students interested in being a part of IT teams that design, implement, and troubleshoot some of the country's most sophisticated computer programs and electronic devices should consider degree programs in information technology to meet their goal. Degrees in information technology can provide excellent career opportunities involved with software development, network architecture, or even technological support. If you enjoy working with computers or other electronic devices, a degree program in information technology could be a great option for you to consider.
Read more in our guide below to see which degree program could be the best choice for you.
What to Expect in the Online Bachelor's Program
Students that have expressed an interest or show skills in computers or technology can be great candidates for technology-based degree programs. Over the last decade, the popularity of IT-based degree programs has skyrocketed, making this degree aspect incredibly attractive for upcoming professionals. Some students may ask why this field has grown so popular in recent years and the answer lies in society's demand.
Technology is changing the way that people communicate, learn, and do business in a regular basis. Computers and other electronic devices are quickly becoming more interactive and useful, making IT a great place to find a career. Beginning at the bachelors level, online degree programs can be an excellent choice for tech-minded individuals with the desire to become a part of this field. Online Bachelors in Information Technology programs can be a great introductory option for people with the desire to obtain positions responsible for creating and maintaining IT networks in a multitude of fields.
As you progress through this guide, you should consider online IT programs and what they can provide for you in terms of future and continuous employment. The online Bachelors in Information Technology can be completed in a completely online environment. Some programs take around 4 years to complete and consist of courses that progress from introductory and instructional classes to more advanced courses about IT programming and development. Students in online bachelors programs can expect to take courses that cover some of the more generalized aspects of education, such as Literature, Algebra, and Social Sciences. These general education courses are required in nearly all bachelors program and can be a great entry-point for this program.
Coursework Common in Online Bachelor's Programs
In addition to the general education courses, students can also take courses that pertain directly to their degree major. Information Technology courses can help students learn more about computer languages and what they are used for, computer networks and how they are formed and managed, and the troubleshooting skills required of professionals working in the field.
Most online programs begin with the very basic of skills - computer programming languages. Once you have gained a general knowledge of these common languages, you may then move into writing short sequences and completing minor programming demands in order to get started at the right pace. Some of the more advanced topics covered in the online program may include a look into reviewing computer programs for errors and making corrections. A lot of technology-based careers can involve a support aspect that involves making corrections to help programs operate efficiently.
An interesting aspect about IT based online degrees is that they can lead you into many different specialized fields due to the widened demand of technology in the workplace. Take a look at a few example courses below to see more about what you can learn during your online program.
This course was designed for IT students interested in learning more about information technology and how it is used in current society. This course details network operating systems, their uses, and introductory troubleshooting methods. Students may also explore topics such as local area networks, information security, and developmental information regarding the use of the internet. The goal of this course is to further educate learners for careers in leadership and support.
Intro to Computer Programming
At the onset of an IT degree program online, students may receive a large amount of instruction pertaining to computer programming and languages. Introductory courses under this topic may teach students about some of the common programming languages such as Java and C++ in an effort to help with language development and support further learning in program writing and troubleshooting. Later in this course, students may have the opportunity to expand their learning through the writing of short and simple programming demands.
Careers at the Bachelor's Level
Investing the time and effort into a degree program should pay you back ten-fold. One way to consider what your return on investment could be is checking out some of the common career opportunities for graduates at the bachelors level. Some tips on seeing more about these career options is conducting your own search of jobs available at this degree level to see the wide range of opportunities and fields that can be available to you after graduation.
Our team of educational experts has researched some of the most popular career options for graduates of these online programs in order to share more information about this degree program and its intended trajectory. Our team found that a large percentage of bachelors-level graduates enter the field through entry-level tech positions. Technical support, network support, and computer programming were a few of the more popular positions that were found during this search, which could be great options for you to consider to gain experience prior to advancing to higher level degree programs.
The earnings for these professionals can be another important component to consider prior to dedicating yourself to a certain program. Take a look at the career titles and earning information for professionals in your field below.
- Information Security Analysts: $95,510 on average per year (BLS).
- Computer Programmer: $82,240 on average per year (BLS).
Online Master’s Programs at a Glance
With the high interest surrounding the field of information technology, it may be no surprise that some students consider completing higher level degree programs in order to shine in a crowd of IT graduates. Graduates of the online bachelors programs can obtain entry-level positions after completing their degree program, making it not as vital to quickly move forward into online masters programs.
However, deciding to pursue a masters-level degree can help you expand your skills in the IT field while gaining advantage over other recent graduates in the field. The consistency of the online masters program may look slightly different than that of the online bachelors. As you know, approximately one-half of an online bachelors program is general education courses.
In the online masters program, students can take courses that are directly related to their degree major, which can be more helpful in developing more advanced skills within the field of information technology. Online masters programs may also consist of elective courses that can assist you in chiseling your program into one that fits your goals, as well as specialized courses for your degree concentration.
The online Master’s in Information Technology can come with a wide variety of degree concentrations for you to choose from. Some students choose to pursue a generalized program in order to apply their skills in many different fields without any certain specification, while others wish to learn more about how technology influence their area of interest without a lot of extra and irrelevant information.
If you would like more information about the different types of degree concentrations available for this online program, take a look at some of the most common ones below this section.
- Artifical Intelligence
- Software Design
- Mobile Computing
- Data Analytics and Data Science
Coursework for Online Master’s Students
As you can see above, there are many different tracks for you to consider for your degree program. Choosing a specialization can modify your online degree program to include courses that touch on these subjects, making these programs extremely diverse depending on your needs. Each course that you take during your program can help you learn more about each aspect and how it applies to the field as a whole.
At the masters level, students may be expected to complete around 2 years of continuous education in order to graduate. Some degree programs offer a quicker graduation time frame, but may also require you to engage with your classes vigorously or take more courses per term. Some curriculum differences can be found in programs that offer the master of arts or the master of science. Each degree program can lead you into the career you are seeking, but may include some differing classes along the way.
Students enrolled in MA programs may find that they take more courses that cover social, art-related, or general courses to help generalize their knowledge of the degree major. MS students may take more courses that focus strictly on their degree major in order to obtain more applied knowledge throughout. What your online program consists of can translate to what you accomplish as a professional in the field. As you look for degree programs to enroll in, you should always consider whether or not your degree courses are covering the topics that give you to best information for what you want to do.
Our team of educational experts has looked through online Masters in Information Technology programs and pulled out some example courses to help you better understand what may come up while in your program. Read through the courses below to learn more about each provided.
Computer and Network Security
At the masters level, students can begin to dive deeper into some of the advanced elements of information technology. On aspect in particular that students may explore is computer and network security. Students in this course can learn about the methods used to keep networks secure, as well as some of the common techniques for analyzing a system’s security. Topics such as viruses, malware, and other malicious software are explored in this course in order to familiarize students with their components and effects.
An alternative form of ensuring safety in IT is through knowledge in cybersecurity. In order to protect the integrity of computer systems, cybersecurity experts must be available to provide preventative and up-to-date security software to armor computer information systems. This course can help students gain skills necessary in staying ahead of malicious individuals in IT, being current on methods of cyber attacks, and knowledgeable about troubleshooting methods that can save IT systems from these attacks.
Data Science and Analytics
One quickly evolving area for all computer science and IT professionals is within data science and analytics. There are many new entirely online Data Science degrees being brought to an e-learning format, particularly the Masters in Data Science. Likewise Data and Business Analytics is a growing area to combine data into making business decisions.
Careers for Masters Graduates
Your ultimate goal as a masters student should be to gain skills that can help you succeed in your career. The field of information technology is extremely widespread and influences a large majority of popular career fields today. Organizations, private agencies, and even individuals use computer information technology on a regular basis to communication with others, keep record of their services, and even budget their finances.
Individuals that complete an online masters program can help design the programs and software that these people use to conduct their businesses. Before you to take the plunge into an online masters program, take a minute to reflect on what you would like to accomplish in your career. If you – like many others – would like to have financial comfort throughout the course of your career, you should also consider what your degree can provide for you from a financial standpoint. Some of the most popular career options in information technology could be obtained by those that have completed an online masters in the field.
Check out some popular careers and their earnings in the list beneath this section.
- Computer Systems Analyst: $88,270 on average per year (BLS).
- Database Administrators: $87,020 on average per year (BLS).
Overview of the Online Doctorate
Now that you have learned more about the online bachelors and masters in this field, you should take a look at the advantages of completing your Doctorate in Information Technology online. Doctorate level degree programs can provide you with the skills needed to make a difference within your field at many different levels.
Some students choose to pursue a Ph.D. in order to conduct research about different technologies and even make suggestions for constant improvement in this quickly-growing field. Others may pursue Doctorates as a method for gaining skills that can translate into more effective leadership or more advanced practical knowledge of information technology to use in their daily duties.
If you decide to move forward into an online doctorate program, you should be prepared to involve yourself in self-motivated research, independent program planning, and displaying the skills you have learned in previous degree programs. At this point, students may generally be combining all of the knowledge that they have gained throughout their program and creating original programs or research projects to help advance their field.
Course work for the online program can be completed via a helpful online system, which can assist you in staying focused on full-time employment or time at home. The school that you choose to enroll in can play a role in whether or not your program is 100% online. Some programs do have some requirements that can result in your attendance on campus or even supervised work experiences in local IT agencies. These are aspects of a program that you will want to know prior to going into a program, so be sure to know all that you can about your program before submitting your application.
Doctorate Courses in Your Program
Your journey through the online Doctorate in Information Technology can be exciting and filled with many advanced topics related to your field. Research-based programs may take a look into the theoretical foundations of information technology, as well as research methods that can be used in the field.
Students may also be assigned their own individual research projects to complete during specific courses. Applied doctorate programs may provide students with a progressive outlook on their field and include management and design components not found in lower degree programs. In order to give you a clearer look at what you can expect in your program, our team has provided a few real examples of courses typically found in online doctorate programs in this field.
As you can see below, course work for these programs can focus on innovation in the field, as well as advanced design methods for professionals interested in providing constant change and improvement to the technologies already being used in society. Read more below to see details about each course.
Principles of Programming
At later degree stages such as doctorate programs, students can utilize what they have learned in previous programs to develop programs with higher uses in society. This course can help students utilize their skills in programming to develop more innovative and relevant programs for use in business. Students can expect to use their programming skills in this course during the development of unique and versatile programs.
Enterprise Database Design
Looking deeper into operating systems and their functions, students in this course can explore some advanced methods for database management. This course explores the use of DBMS as well as topics such as data modeling, manipulation, storage, and structured query language. Some of the more advanced topics that may be discussed in this course may include a look a data analytics, data warehouse architectures, and modeling. The purpose of this course is to create innovative IT specialists for a changing society.
Careers for Doctorate Earners
A lot of students choose to pursue doctorate-level degree programs in an effort to be the best they can be. Others may be more focused on the goal of obtaining influential positions in the IT field that can provide for financially stable lifestyles and long-term comfort.
If you move forward and complete your online doctorate program, you could potentially obtain careers in large-scale tech organizations or even businesses within your own hometown. Our team of experts has reviewed some of the career options for doctorate earners in order to show you what is available for you after graduation.
- Computer and Information Research Scientists: $114,520 on average per year (BLS).
- Software Developers: $103,560 on average per year (BLS).
Professional Organizations to Know
After completing a degree program, entering into a new field can be overwhelming in both positive and negative ways. It is best to find a support system as a new professional to help you navigate your field and become comfortable in your new role. Organizations that consist of like professionals are present in a wide range of different specialized fields all over the United States.
These groups – called professional organizations – can be supportive resources when researching new and changing information about your field, seeking partnerships with others in your field, and even when seeking new positions for different companies.
Becoming a part of these organizations can be as simple as filling out an application and paying a yearly membership fee. With access, you can take part in conferences that can expand research and learning in the field and even use resources set aside specifically for members. As you look through the list of example organizations below, consider how becoming a member could help improve your career quality.
The Association for Information Technology Professionals
New graduates or current professionals looking for networking opportunities or supportive resources in their field can seek out membership through the AITP. This organization can provide members with up to date information on changes in the field and introduce new technologies as they arise.
Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility
Professional organizations such as the CPSR can provide members with fellowship and purpose. This organization operates under the function of teaching others how to use computers responsibly and for greater purpose.