Online IT Certification Programs Certification Programs and Resources for IT Professionals

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Advancements in information technology are coming so fast that it can be tough to keep up with new developments. That’s why it is more important than ever for working professionals to pursue certificate programs that allow them to stay up-to-date on the most important aspects of their work. In addition, IT certifications online can help those who aren’t yet IT professionals but who hope to take their tech-savvy to the next level. Read on to learn more about these programs that can open doors to an ever-changing career.

Find IT Certifications Online

With so many IT certifications online, it can be tough to figure out which one might be the most advantageous. Our search tool can help make a tough job easier by allowing aspiring students to narrow down the options based on price, institution and length of program.

Degree Level
School Type

Types of Online IT Certifications

There are numerous reasons to choose IT certifications online. Many students opt for a certificate to enhance their already budding career, while others are looking for a new career path. Still others simply want to learn more about pertinent issues. Here’s why doing that through online means is a great idea.

Remain Up-to-Date on Industry Developments

The industry changes on an almost daily basis, with new versions of computer languages, networks and technologies appearing regularly. Some of these changes demand that the IT expert learn even more in order to stay competitive; for instance, a new programming language is a must-learn for someone who is creating apps or computer
programs. Certificates that are focused on that particular
language can ensure that the IT worker is up-to-date and
ready to code with their colleagues.

Advance in the IT Field

Those who are working in the IT field must stay on top of the latest trends and tech. This need to constantly learn in order to stay competitive in the field can be fulfilled through online IT programs. Students can work at their own pace, which allows them to continue working in their current job while they explore new and exciting courses and gain the knowledge that might lead to better job opportunities in the future.

Gain Knowledge to Help with Personal Endeavors

Those who choose to earn IT certifications online don’t have to be actively working in the IT field. Those who are simply curious about information technology can enjoy the courses, and those who work in other fields might want to become the ‘go-to’ person in their office to help with simple IT issues. Knowing a bit about how IT works might actually
help when promotion time rolls around.

Significantly Broaden the Knowledge Base

Sometimes the IT professional needs to branch out into other areas of the industry that can help them make the most of their current role. For instance, someone who knows a great deal about computer languages might need to know more about cyber security to better encrypt and protect the products they create; therefore, a certificate in
IT security can be the best way to broaden that base of
knowledge without having to go back to school full-time.

Continue Working While Pursuing an Education

This is true for anyone who chooses to attend school online rather than in a traditional classroom. Those who are interested in IT can find online flexibility very useful, as it doesn’t take away from the time necessary to work and make a living. Those who are working in a different
field can look to IT certifications online in order to open new
career doors without sacrificing their work in the current field.

Spotlight: 10 Online IT Certification Programs

For individuals in the information technology sector, there are thousands of certifications available from a wide variety of providers. Many of these institutions are traditional schools with information technology certificate programs offered online, while others are online-only schools. A few of the standouts are listed here to give potential students an idea of what to expect when they begin researching program options.

  • Certificate Programs in Software Development and Programming

    Offered by: UC Berkeley Extension
    Cost: Approximately $3,600
    Length: Four to eight courses
    Format: Hybrid
    Outcome: Software Development and Programming Certificate

    This program begins by teaching coding concepts and skills, then moves on to software development areas, including databases, network administration and data communications. The program offers a balance between information technology theory and practical skills in an aim to provide the broadest professional outlook possible.

  • Project Management and Information Technology

    Offered by: NYU
    Cost: $33,820
    Length: 18 credits
    Format: Fully online
    Outcome: Graduate Certificate in Information Technologies

    Designed around training future information technology professionals in working databases, this program will prepare students to understand how databases gather, process, store, and share information. Technical skills and knowledge will be provided in conjunction with management training so that graduates will be prepared for any of the potential roles that await them in the information technology industry.

  • Undergraduate Certificate in Information Science and Technology

    Offered by: Penn State
    Cost: $535 or $579 per credit
    Length: 12 credits
    Format: Fully online
    Outcome: Certificate in Information Science and Technology

    Penn State’s program will prepare students for a wide variety of potential information technology roles, including web development, technical support or data center support. Students also have the option to using credits earned toward a later associate or bachelor’s degree if they choose.

  • Information Technology Graduate Certificate

    Offered by: Boston University
    Cost: $14,240
    Length: 16 credits
    Format: Fully online
    Outcome: Graduate Certificate in Information Technology

    This program is unique in that it provides hands-on experiences, fully preparing graduates to contribute to software design and implementation. Big picture theory is also taught, so students will be able to provide strategic contributions to their organization.

  • Information Technology Certificate

    Offered by: University of Massachusetts, Boston
    Cost: $9,855
    Length: 45 weeks
    Format: Fully online
    Outcome: Information Technology Certificate

    Intended to serve as an introductory program to non-information technology professionals, this certificate program will address foundational information technology theories. Specifically, students will learn the modern operations and uses for IT systems so that they may begin to contribute that knowledge to their organization.

  • Information Technology Certificate

    Offered by: University of Virginia
    Cost: $6,840 (in state) and $15,876 (out of state)
    Length: 18 credits
    Format: Fully online
    Outcome: Information Technology Certificate

    UVA’s certificate prepares recent high school graduates for entry-level careers in the IT field. As a result, prospective students who do not have an information technology background are encouraged to enroll and work toward any of the wide range of information technology jobs available.

  • Business Information Systems Certificate

    Offered by: Southern New Hampshire University
    Cost: $960 per course
    Length: Four courses
    Format: Fully Online
    Outcome: Business Information Systems Certificate

    This program is unique in that it combines information technology and business elements. Students will gain IT systems knowledge and skills, then learn how to apply those concepts to the business world in order to improve the performance of an organization.

  • Certificate in Data Mining

    Offered by: New Jersey Institute of Technology
    Cost: Approximately $10,576 (in state) and $14,996 (out of state)
    Length: 12 credits
    Format: Fully Online
    Outcome: Certificate in Data Mining

    This program, designed for data analysis professionals, will teach them how to most effectively utilize their organization’s data through data mining techniques. Specifically, students will use large databases to glean useful information and most effectively apply that information to improve the competitive advantage of organization.

  • Information Systems Security Certificate

    Offered by: Villanova University
    Cost: $5,595
    Length: Three courses
    Format: Fully online
    Outcome: Information Systems Security Certificate

    This certificate program provides detailed instruction on the latest security risks and defense strategies to deal with them. IT professionals who complete this program will be better prepared to secure their organization’s data from cyber threats. The curriculum also prepares students for CompTIA certification.

  • Information Technology Graduate Certificate

    Offered by: Dakota State University
    Cost: $442.05 per credit hour
    Length: Nine credits
    Format: Fully online
    Outcome: Information Technology Graduate Certificate

    This program has been specially developed for both IT professionals as well as those who do not work in the industry. Besides covering the fundamental concepts underlying most information technology subjects, more advanced topics such as wireless networks, smartphone applications and web applications are also addressed.

Certification Courses & MOOCs in IT

Not all knowledge concerning information technology needs to be obtained from a formal program or for a fee. There are many free, open-course offerings from various schools and companies online that cover a wide variety of IT topics, including introductory courses and advanced professional development classes. Here’s a sampling of what’s available.

Course Offered by Length Outcome
SharePoint Basics for IT Professionals edX Six weeks Verified Certificate
Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions edX Five weeks Verified Certificate
Implementing DHCP in Microsoft Windows Server edX Six weeks Verified Certificate
Client-Server Communication Udacity Five weeks Students will learn how clients work with servers to provide the user with requested information
Deploying a Hadoop Cluster Udacity Three weeks Hadoop clusters and their applications are explained. Students will also learn how to use their own Hadoop cluster to work with Big Data projects
Intro to DevOps Udacity Three weeks Intended for IT professionals, this course will teach how to implement scalable software for their business organization
Data Communication Networks MIT Open CourseWare Self-paced; originally offered as a 13-week course Fundamental knowledge concerning the various types of computer networks and why they are built the way they are
Information Technology I MIT Open CourseWare Self-paced; originally offered as a 13-week course The basic technical concepts for information technology, as well as anticipated future trends in the field
Microsoft Access 2010 ALISON Four to five hours Diploma, certificate or PDF
Microsoft Digital Literacy – IT Basics, Internet & Productivity Programs ALISON 15-20 Hours Diploma, certificate or PDF

Apps & Podcasts for Techies

Staying current with recent news and developments in the tech industry is absolutely necessary. That’s where apps and podcasts can come into play, with each serving as a way for information technology professionals to continue their education, whether for professional or academic reasons. Both can be experienced on a smartphone, and podcasts can be enjoyed on practically anything with an Internet connection and speakers.


Almost everyone has a smartphone these days, and being able to run apps is one of the biggest reasons people use them. These apps can serve as references, study guides, diagnostic tools or any other purpose the IT user can think of. Some of the more useful apps are presented here.

Computer and IT Quiz

See Description
Computer and IT Quiz

This app is intended to help anyone learn about practically anything relating to computing and technology. The app lets users take quizzes to test their information technology knowledge on a wide range of subjects.

Computer Science Dictionary

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Computer Science Dictionary

This dictionary app consists of over 4,000 terms. Students will appreciate this app as a study tool while information technology professionals will like having it as a handy reference asset.

Database Management Systems

See Description
Database Management Systems

This app covers a plethora of database management systems topics. From basic introductory topics to more complex data management theories, this app is essential for anyone trying to fully understand database management systems.

Calcbot – The Intelligent Calculator and Unit Converter

See Description
Calcbot – The Intelligent Calculator and Unit Converter

This isn’t just any ordinary calculator; it is specially designed to handle conversions in many different contexts, including information technology, such as converting kilobytes to gigabytes and related calculations.

Prompt 2

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Prompt 2

Prompt 2 is a serious app for individuals who want to be able to access their servers from their smartphone using SSH technology. Ideal for those who need to diagnose a server on the go or make small changes without having to go back to the office.


Information technology is inherently fast-paced and ever-changing. Newly developed technology is regularly announced, and methods for utilizing existing technology are constantly being discovered. One great way to stay on top of what’s happening in information technology is to listen to podcasts. These audio shows are released regularly and provide an entertaining way to get inspired and informed.

Accidental Tech Podcast See Description
Recent Episode to Try: Episode 175: Dance Palace

The Accidental Tech Podcast provides an entertaining look at technology – and anything else on the hosts have on their minds at the time of the show. Tech topics usually include discussions about the newest and greatest tech gadget as well as technical talks about computer coding.

DABCC RadioSee Description
Recent Episode to Try: Episode 246: DataCore Software

This podcast has an interview-based format with the primary goal of talking about all things relating to cloud computing and virtualization. Much of the content is fairly technical and would be well suited to experienced professionals in the IT field.

Hacker Public RadioSee Description

This interesting podcast is self-described as covering anything that is “of interest to hackers.” While most IT students and professionals probably don’t see themselves as future hackers, many of the topics in this podcast cover technical computer and information technology.

This Week in TechSee Description
Recent Episode to Try: Episode 568: A Dongle for Your Dongle

This is one of the most prominent and popular podcasts, published weekly and discussing all news as it relates to technology. Many shows feature special guests, such as prominent journalists and industry movers-and-shakers.

This show is tailored to listeners who are interested in home servers and network storage. While many of the topics revolve around consumer products, the concepts and technology are relevant to most information technology professionals.

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