An information technology degree online completion program is a smart choice for working adults already in the IT field. If they’ve already earned an associate’s degree or certificate to start their career, then they may be close to a bachelor’s degree than they realize. And the benefits of an IT bachelor’s degree are clear. While you may start a career with a certificate or associate’s, a bachelor’s degree gives you the credentials to move beyond entry-level jobs, earning a higher salary with it.
For working adults going back to school, value is important – it’s an investment, not a hobby, after all. The convenience and flexibility of an online degree program is attractive, but even more importantly, a low cost to get the degree means higher return when your investment results in a higher-paying job and more career potential. Low investment=high return. That’s why Bachelor’s Degree Center is ranking the 10 Most Affordable Online Information Technology Degree Bachelor Programs for 2019 – to guide working professionals to degree completion programs that will make good on their time and money.
Methodology: Ranking the Most Affordable Information Technology Degree Online
To rank the best affordable online information technology degree programs, Bachelor’s Degree Center editors researched fully online and hybrid programs dedicated to information technology. We considered only regionally accredited institutions, giving particular attention to ABET-accredited programs and schools.
When it comes to ranking order, though, only one thing matters for the Most Affordable: tuition cost (drawn from current IPEDS data). Programs are ranked from lowest cost to highest.
1. Daytona State College
Daytona State College’s BS in Information Technology degree online program is affordable and can be completed entirely online. Students graduate prepared for careers as a Computer Systems Administrator, Software Engineer, Programmer, Network Analyst and Database Administrator, among others. Applicants for this affordable online information technology degree must already hold an associate’s degree or have earned 60 acceptable transfer credits. US News recognizes Daytona State’s IT degree as the nation’s most affordable bachelor’s program. The school awards various scholarships each year.
Daytona State College was established in 1957 and is a member school of the Florida College System. Daytona State is a founding member of Florida’s Advanced Technology College for exception high school students to earn college credits before high school graduation. The school’s urban beach locale is home to nearly 20,000 students.
Degree: BS in Information Technology
2. Bellevue University
Bellevue University’s BS in Information Technology degree online program can be completed entirely online. Bellevue’s affordable Information Technology degree online program prepares graduates with the skills required to manage Networks, Routing Configurations, Data Storage, Cloud Services, and Servers in a variety of industries. The IT major curriculum requires students to complete 36 credit units as a part of the baccalaureate degree requirement of 127 credit units. Bellevue provides a generous transfer credit policy that allows up to 90 transfer credits to accelerate their affordable online information technology degree.
Bellevue University is a nonprofit institution of higher learning that was established in 1966. Initially, it began as an adult outreach facility that focused solely on adult education. The school’s campus is considered a southern suburb of Omaha and home to nearly 7,000 students. Bellevue University offers several course delivery methods, online, on campus, as a cohort, and accelerated.
Degree: BS in Information Technology
3. Brigham Young University Idaho
Brigham Young University Idaho’s BS in Computer Information Technology degree online is one of the most affordable online programs in the country. Students who graduate from the information technology degree online are prepared for careers as Webmasters, Network Architecture, IT Managers, Network Engineers, and Software Developers, among others. Students are required to complete 120 credit hours; of which 51 credits are dedicated to the IT major program. Information Technology professionals are in high demand due to the ever-increasing use of technology in most industries.
Brigham Young University Idaho is a private institution of higher learning affiliated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It was established as Ricks Academy in 1888. The school’s 400-acre campus is home to more than 20,000 students who must follow Brigham Young University Idaho’s honor code. Ninety-nine percent of students are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and BYUI’s low tuition makes for an affordable online information technology degree.
Degree: BS in Computer Information Technology
4. Western Governors University
The Western Governors University BS in Information Technology degree online program prepares degree graduates for careers in the fundamental areas of Information Technology – Scripting, Programming, Services/Systems, Security/Networking, and Database Management. WGU’s information technology degree online program can be completed in as little as seven months. The curriculum provides students with opportunities to earn certificates through the coursework without additional fees, adding value to an already affordable online information technology degree. Western Governors University provides students with a generous transfer credit policy, with an average of 34 credit units per acceptance.
Western Governors University is a private university that was established by the 19 state governor commission known as the Western Governors Association in 1997. The first programs offered by WGU were in the field of Information Technology. The school specializes in distance learning options, with more than 90,000 students studying for degrees in Business, Information Technology, Health Professions, and Education.
Degree: BS in Information Technology
5. New Mexico State University
New Mexico State University’s Bachelor of Arts in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) can be completed entirely online through the ABET-accredited College of Engineering. Students are required to complete 120 credit hours to graduate from this Higher Learning Commission accredited program. Degree candidates explore the topics of Cyber-defense, Networks, Databases, Systems Integration, and Systems Software, among others. Active members of the military are offered a discounted tuition fee from New Mexico State University. The curriculum for the information technology degree online overlaps the Engineering Technology and Electronics programs.
New Mexico State University was established in 1888 as the result of the Morrill Land Act. Its original name was Las Cruces College. NM State holds the distinction as New Mexico’s oldest institution of higher learning. NMSU is also known as a best value because of programs like the affordable online information technology degree. The school’s 900-acre campus is home to nearly 25,000 students. NM State has a student-faculty ratio of 16 to 1.
Degree: BA in Information and Communication Technology
6. University of North Texas
The University of North Texas’s BS in Information Science degree program is offered in a fully online format with a customizable scheduling option by selecting a minor from a different field of study. UNT’s affordable online information technology degree sets forth the ethical and legal responsibilities of IT professionals. UNT’s IT baccalaureate degree requires the completion of 120 credit hours, of which 33 credits must be dedicated to the major’s required curriculum. Students graduate with skills and talents to assist information seekers, and to protect the integrity of information next door, or around the world.
The University of North Texas was established in 1890 as a normal school, training teachers for the schools of the new state. The school has grown to 13 colleges and schools plus a math/science academy for exceptional high school students. UNT holds the distinction of being the flagship school of the University of North Texas system. The school operates from a 1,200-acre campus, which is home to nearly 39,000 students.
Degree: BS in Information Technology
7. Western Kentucky University
Western Kentucky University’s BS in Computer Information Technology degree online program provides students with a comprehensive educational experience that prepares them for a career as a Web Developer, a Network Systems Administrator, a Support Specialist, a Database Administrator, or a Software Developer, among others. The CIT portion of the bachelor’s degree program accounts for 36 credit units, which can be completed online at a student’s convenience. Students transferring to Western Kentucky University may be eligible for the school’s scholarships, potentially making an affordable online information technology degree free.
The Commonwealth of Kentucky established Western Kentucky University in 1906. The school operates three regional campuses in Elizabethtown-Fort Knox, Glasgow, and Owensboro. WKU’s campus is in Bowling Green is home to more than 20,000 students. The school operates with five academic divisions regarding Education, Business, Science/Engineering, Arts, and Health & Human Services.
Degree: BS in Computer Information Technology
8. Purdue Global
The Purdue University Global BS in Information Technology degree online program can be completed 100% online. Purdue Global’s information technology degree online program requires the completion of 180 credit units to graduate. Income transferring students are allowed to transfer up to 75% of the program’s requirements. Degree candidates can opt for Purdue Global’s accelerated learning track. Applicants are required to have a high school diploma or its equivalent. ABET’s Computing Accreditation Commission accredits Purdue Global’s affordable Bachelor of Science in Information Technology program. Students select from four-degree concentrations – Software Development/Programming, Information Technology Management, Assurance/Security, or Network Administration.
Purdue University Global was established in 2018 when Purdue University purchased Kaplan University, a small for-profit school. Purdue Global is the distance learning extension of Purdue University and serves the adult education population. Over 30,000 students are enrolled in Purdue’s online learning options offered. Purdue’s reputation for value makes its BSIT one of the most affordable online information technology degree programs in the nation.
Degree: BS in Information Technology
9. Rogers State University
Rogers State University’s BS in Business Information Technology degree online program can be completed on-campus or online. RSU’s Department of Technology & Justice Studies requires a student to complete 124 credit units to graduate from the affordable online information technology degree program. Degree graduates can select from concentrations – Software Development/Multimedia, Game Development, or Computer Network Administrator. Students graduate prepared for careers as Systems Analysts, Software Engineers, Animation/Multimedia, or Network Specialists.
Rogers State University was established in 1909 as the Eastern University Preparatory School. RSU’s suburban campus and two satellite campuses are home to more than 4,250 students. Rogers State University maintains a strong legacy and tradition with the military. The school offers the Army National Guards’ Guard Officer Leader Development program. The Board of Regents of the University of Oklahoma oversees Rogers State University.
Degree: BS in Business Information Technology
10. Florida International University
Florida International University’s BA or a BS in Information Technology degree online programs are offered on campus and entirely online by the School of Computing & Information Sciences. FIU’s BS or BA in Information Technology degree program requires the completion of 120 credit units to graduate. Students of the FIU Information Technology degree have the opportunity to join the school’s Honors College. FIU is known for value, including the affordable online information technology degree.
Florida International University was established in 1965 with the motto “Hope, Knowledge, Opportunity.” FIU operates two campuses in the greater Miami metropolitan area. The main campus is located in University Park and is home to a majority of the school’s total student body of nearly 57,000. Most students live off-campus; less than 10% of the student body lives on campus.
Degree: BA or BS in Information Technology
Will an Affordable Online Information Technology Degree Pay Off?
The short answer is yes.
Computer science today is about much more than just computer programming. Information Technology professionals are tasked with the responsibility of managing computing environments using hardware, software, databases, and networks, among other components. IT professionals are trained to be critical thinkers and problem-solvers — ready to apply their skills across a variety of industries. Most would agree though, that the entry-level Information Technology jobs salary is above the national average of the general economy.
With the beginning of distance-learning platforms, these online options opened up education opportunities across the country, and across the world. Many students interested in earning an information technology degree now had an opportunity to simply sign on to the Internet and be able to earn an associate’s or bachelor’s degree online.
In just a few short years, these IT program options offer the possibility of finding a cheap online information technology degree program that could open many opportunities to entry-level information technology jobs for recent graduates. You may choose specializations that can get you into fields like
- information systems
- information security
- project management
- network security
- management information systems
- data management
- application development
- cloud computing
- web design
- data analytics
- computer information systems analysis
- information assurance
- human computer interaction
- healthcare informatics
Earning an online information technology degree is an affordable way to prepare for entry-level information technology jobs for recent graduates in what most industry experts believe to be one of the fastest-growing industries.
*Reminder* Be vigilant and determine if a cheap online information technology degree program is a post-secondary degree that, when earned, will be acceptable to future employers.
In addition to being more affordable, enrollment for online higher education is often less competitive than traditional programs. Whether you have a perfect GPA or not, online programs are often more accepting. Financial aid is available just like in any degree program. That makes it a more attractive option for working adults than four years of a conventional full-time program. Plus, there are usually no extra out-of-state fees for online classes, and part-time students get just as much attention.
Can I Go On to Graduate School with an Online IT Degree?
Of course, you may get even farther with a master’s degree. An online bachelor’s degree is a good start, and may take you just as far in your career as you want. But many online colleges offer master’s programs for online learners that build on your degree and your experience.
With further online education, you can learn more about programming languages, operating systems, information systems security, and other in-demand skills through your online courses. Online students may also add electives in business administration to move into leadership positions.
What are Some Entry Level Information Technology Jobs?
The strong demand for information technology professionals creates a winning IT job market for those thinking about entering the information technology workforce. Just look at Bureau of Labor Statistics data. While there are a limited amount of entry-level information technology jobs for those who do not hold any type of degree, the majority of entry-level IT job titles require applicants to hold either an associate’s degree, a bachelor’s degree, or higher.
A few select examples of entry-level IT job titles are listed below.
Computer Programmer– A computer programmer is likely to be one of the most widely available entry-level information technology jobs.
Computer Systems Analyst– A computer systems analyst researches system’ processes to identify problematic issues. They are also responsible for designing solutions to meet the problems that were discovered during the inquiry.
Systems Engineer– A systems engineer is responsible for the implementation of new computer networks or, the professional who repairs computer systems experiencing problems.
Web Developer– A web developer is responsible for maintaining the functional integrity of the website they manage. They are also involved in the original design of the website.
So, if you are still asking yourself — What are some entry-level information technology jobs available? — Check it out online.
Can I Get a Tech Job without Experience or a Degree?
One of the most attractive aspects of the Information Technology industry is that the requirements to enter the field are very flexible. Experience and education are interchangeable, and there are entry-level tech jobs no experience required, and entry-level tech jobs no degree required.
However, it is important to understand that in place of formal education, employers anticipate skills, motivation, and aptitude in its place. These entry-level tech jobs no degree required positions are the perfect opportunity to work in the information technology field while saving for a degree program or gaining an understanding of which occupation within the IT field would be of most interest. The following entry-level jobs may be of interest in the entry-level tech jobs no experience category:
A Digital Marketer proficiently uses the digital tools of search engine marketing (SEM), social media marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), and email campaigns, among others.
A Multimedia Artist uses cutting-edge digital tools to create special effects and animation for the gaming, advertising business, and movie industry, among others.
A Cyber Security Analyst is an entry-level position that supports the more senior members of a cybersecurity team. This supportive role includes managing settings, reviewing logs and implementing routing testing, and great mentorship.
A Mobile App Developer is tasked with the responsibility of coding, implementing, and troubleshooting functions of a mobile application. This is a true specialty where experience and skill are critical.
What are Some of the Best States for an IT Career?
Information technology is an industry that is constantly growing and evolving. In the last few years, the IT industry has seen a rise in demand for skilled professionals. With this increased demand, states have been competing with each other to attract these IT professionals.
There are many states where an information technology career can be successful. But, there are some states that are more attractive than others.
The best states for an information technology career are those which offer a variety of opportunities and benefits to their residents. For example, Texas has one of the largest concentrations of IT jobs in America and offers many incentives to its residents such as low cost of living and high salaries for professionals.
A few of the best states for an information technology career include California, New York and Massachusetts. These three states have a high concentration of IT jobs, but they also have a high cost of living. While Silicon Valley might be located in California, other states are becoming known for IT jobs.
Some of the best states for an IT career are Colorado, Arizona, Virginia, and Georgia. These states have growing IT sectors, but still have a lower cost of living than California or New York.
The best states for an information technology career are those with a high rate of employment in the IT industry. These states have a high demand for IT workers and are on the lookout for people to fill these vacant positions.
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