5 Best Online Information Technology Degree Programs

Evan Thompson
Updated February 27, 2024
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Information technology (IT) moves fast. A decade ago, roles like cloud architect and mobile app developer were brand new or didn’t even exist. Now they’re common titles for professionals in tech.

Career options within IT are always evolving to keep up with new technologies, like virtual reality. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects computer and IT jobs to grow much faster than the average for all other occupations between 2022 and 2032.

Earning an online information technology degree is one way to enter this growing field. Online education is a flexible path to securing a bachelor’s degree, the entry-level requirement for many computer and IT roles. Online IT degree programs also allow students to keep working full time while they study, potentially lowering their out-of-pocket tuition costs.

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Top 5 Information Technology Degree Programs

Read About Our Methodology Herearrow-circle-right

#1 5 Best Online Information Technology Degree Programs

University of Central Florida

  • Location-markerOrlando, FL
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$4,478
  • Out-of-state$19,810
  • Retention Rate91%
  • Acceptance Rate44%
  • Students Enrolled69,402
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment59%
  • AccreditationYes
#2 5 Best Online Information Technology Degree Programs

Florida State University

  • Location-markerTallahassee, FL
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$4,640
  • Out-of-state$19,084
  • Retention Rate93%
  • Acceptance Rate36%
  • Students Enrolled42,450
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment47%
  • AccreditationYes
#3 5 Best Online Information Technology Degree Programs

Brigham Young University

  • Location-markerProvo, UT
  • 4 year
  • Campus
Average Tuition
  • In-State$5,790
  • Out-of-state$5,790
  • Retention Rate90%
  • Acceptance Rate67%
  • Students Enrolled34,318
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment12%
  • AccreditationYes
#4 5 Best Online Information Technology Degree Programs

Cornell University

  • Location-markerIthaca, NY
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$56,550
  • Out-of-state$56,550
  • Retention Rate97%
  • Acceptance Rate11%
  • Students Enrolled24,027
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment4%
  • AccreditationYes
#5 5 Best Online Information Technology Degree Programs

University of South Florida

  • Location-markerTampa, FL
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$4,559
  • Out-of-state$15,473
  • Retention Rate91%
  • Acceptance Rate48%
  • Students Enrolled44,246
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment55%
  • AccreditationYes

What Is Information Technology?

Information technology is the use of computer systems, software, and networks to process and distribute all kinds of data. For example, a cellphone is a type of IT. So are email, social media, cloud computing, and many other tools we use daily.

Generally, IT workers assist companies and organizations with computer support and security administration. They manage hardware, software, networks, and communication.

But IT is a very broad field, constantly growing and in high demand. Almost every industry needs these services, including retail, manufacturing, and healthcare.

What Is an Online IT Degree?

An online information technology degree prepares you for IT careers through online classes. IT programs often focus on the study of IT technologies and how business and society use them. Key concepts covered in most online IT programs include:

  • Networking systems
  • Programming languages
  • Data management
  • Network security protocols and governance
  • Technical communication

An IT program combines IT and general education to provide a comprehensive education. They build a base of knowledge in IT and practical skills you can apply to a career. Some programs offer specializations, such as data analytics, cybersecurity, and business management.

What Can You Do With a Degree in Information Technology?

An online IT degree qualifies you for many high-paying and growing tech jobs. Examples include database administrator, information security analyst, and software developer.

These roles tend to offer competitive salaries. The median annual wage for computer and IT jobs was $100,530 in May 2022, according to the BLS. That’s almost twice as much as the median annual wage for all occupations, $46,310.

Popular IT Degree Jobs

IT Degree Jobs
RoleMedian Annual Salary (May 2022)Job Growth Rate (2022-2032)
Database Architects$112,1208%
Software Developers$124,20025%
Computer Network Architects$126,9004%
Information Security Analysts$112,00032%
Computer Systems Analysts$102,240%10%
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Why Accreditation Matters for IT Degree Programs

If you’re considering an IT degree, make sure to choose an accredited school. Why? There are several reasons.

Accredited institutions meet high standards for academic quality. You’ll also qualify for federal financial aid if you enroll at an accredited school. What’s more, many employers prefer candidates who graduated from accredited institutions.

A small number of information technology programs hold programmatic accreditation. Check ABET’s list of accredited programs to learn more.

Most IT degree programs hold accreditation through an institutional accreditor. You can find out a program’s accreditation statuses by visiting the Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.

Resources for Information Technology Students

Association for Women in Computing: Founded in 1978, AWC supports women in IT and computer science. The organization offers networking events, continuing education courses, mentorship opportunities, and scholarships.

CompTIA: Members of the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) can earn professional certification and stay current with IT best practices by taking continuing education courses. Resources include IT career tools and guides detailing cybersecurity, networking fundamentals, and workforce development.

Information Systems Security Association International: If you want a career in cybersecurity, you can join ISSA International. Member benefits include access to networking events and savings on IT products and services.

Frequently Asked Questions About IT Degree Programs and Jobs

question-mark-circleIs information technology a good degree?

​​An information technology degree is often considered a “good” degree because it leads to careers that are in high demand and pay competitive salaries. Computer and information technology is one of the fastest-growing sectors, according to the BLS.

The median salary for tech jobs is 125% higher than the national median wage, according to CompTIA. Some professionals, like information security analyst, earn median annual salaries over $100,000. Choosing an affordable information technology program can boost your degree’s return on investment.

question-mark-circleWhat degree is best for an IT job?

Many IT jobs look for candidates with bachelor’s degrees in information technology, computer science, or a related field. Earning a bachelor’s degree demonstrates a broad knowledge of the field.

IT majors can also take specialized courses to gain career-focused skills. For example, some programs offer concentrations in cybersecurity, digital forensics, and information management.

question-mark-circleCan you get an IT job without a degree?

Some IT jobs do not require a college degree. For example, some computer support specialist jobs do not require a degree. Similarly, some employers hire graduates from tech bootcamps for entry-level roles.

That said, many information technology occupations require a bachelor’s for entry-level positions. Earning a bachelor’s degree can help professionals build a broad skill set that employers look for in applicants.

question-mark-circleIs a degree in information technology hard?

Earning a degree in information technology can be challenging. The major requires technical skills, including some programming knowledge. IT majors also need to take math courses.

But since IT emphasizes the use of computer systems, it’s less theoretical than computer science. For some college students, IT is more straightforward than computer science.

question-mark-circleWhat field in IT pays the most?

The highest-paying information technology positions include computer network architect, software developer, and information security analyst.

Other professionals, such as information systems management, also earn high median salaries, but they typically possess more prior work experience. For example, computer and information systems managers earned a median annual salary of over $164,000 in May 2022, according to the BLS.

All rankings and school descriptions on this page were created and reviewed independently by the ASO Rankings Team.

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