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Many IT professionals begin their careers with an associate’s degree or a certificate, and information technology is a great career path for exactly that reason – the barrier to entry is reasonable. However, just having an associate’s or certificate also means being stuck with entry-level jobs, unless you find some way to advance. And the most reliable way to prove you are ready to move ahead is a bachelor’s degree.

If you started your IT career with an associate’s, you’re already halfway to the bachelor’s degree. That’s why so many colleges and universities have developed fully online bachelor’s completion programs. The online format allows working adults to take their courses around their current schedule, and already having general education courses out of the way makes the process smoother and more convenient. For all those working professionals looking for an online IT degree program that works for them, Bachelor’s Degree Center has ranked the 15 Best Online Information Technology Degree Bachelor’s Programs for 2019.

Methodology: Ranking the Top Online IT Degree Programs

To rank the best IT programs online, Bachelor’s Degree Center researched computer science and information technology programs that met basic standards: regional and/or program accreditation; fully online and hybrid programs; and explicit specialization in IT. From our initial list, editors narrowed down the ranking with 5 metrics:

  • Cost (from IPEDS data)
  • Reputation (from Niche score)
  • Alumni Salary, Graduation Rate, and Job Placement (from College Scorecard)

With these five criteria, students can be sure the online degree program is well-developed and certain to have a positive impact on their lives.

1. George Mason University

George Mason University’s online BS in Information Technology degree program comes from the Volgenau School of Engineering/Department of information science & Technology. GMU’s online IT degree program prepares graduates to offer professional technical support to businesses and organizations. Degree candidates typically finish in 3 to 5 years. George Mason’s information technology online degree has received accreditation by the Computing Accreditation Commission known as ABET.

George Mason University was established in 1949 and is classified by the Carnegie Foundation as an institution of higher learning with the highest level of research activity. Originally an extension campus for the University of Virginia, GMU’s Washington DC-metro location has made it one of the most politically influential public universities in the US – and one of the best for career placement. The school is home to more than 35,000 students studying for their degrees on four campuses, three in Virginia and one in South Korea.

Degree: BS in Information Technology

2. Arizona State University

The renowned Fulton School of Engineering offers Arizona State University’s BS in Information Technology degree program that is accredited by the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET. ASU’s online IT degree program is available through their distance-learning platform or through a traditional on-campus experience. Students delve deeply into the information technology subspecialties of network design, security architecture, and database management, among others. Students attending classes on campus can opt for an accelerated program that combines a baccalaureate and a graduate program entitled the Master of Science in Information Technology.

Arizona State University is a research institution of higher learning that operates with five campuses across the greater Phoenix Metro area. ASU was established in 1885 and consists of seventeen colleges/schools that offer 750-degree programs for undergraduate and graduate students. ASU consistently ranks among the country’s top research schools in innovation and research. Arizona State University’s acceptance rate is approximately 84%.

Degree: BS in Information Technology

3. Oklahoma State University

Oklahoma State University’s Bachelor of Technology in Information Technology degree program – the signature program of the Institute of Technology – can be completed entirely online. OK State’s online IT degree program allows students to select from three concentrations – the Software Development Option, the Cybersecurity & Digital Forensics Option, or the Network Infrastructure Option. The Computing Accreditation Commission known as ABET accredits Oklahoma State University’s bachelor’s IT program. Degree candidates must complete 120 credit units to graduate with a BT in Information Technology degree.

Oklahoma State University was founded in 1890 as an agricultural college under the Morrill Land Act, but its roots in mechanical engineering have made it one of the nation’s top institutions for STEM and applied science. The school is located in the small city of Stillwater on a nearly 1,500-acre campus. OSU holds the distinction as being one of just five institutions of higher learning in the country in the Sun Grant Research Initiative.

Degree: Bachelor of Technology in Information Technology

4. Colorado State University-Global Campus

The Colorado State University-Global Campus online BS in Technology degree program prepares graduates to work in a software engineering or network analysis setting. Degree candidates stay current with cutting-edge technologies that prepare them for future examinations when reaching for professional certificates. CSU Global’s IT programs online offer students a tuition guarantee until a student is no longer enrolled in the university. The program requires students to complete 120 credit units; this includes ten-3 credit courses in Information Technology.

Colorado State University-Global Campus is the distance learning extension of Colorado State University. CSU Global was established in 2007 as the online arm of the Colorado State University system – the first independent online campus for a public university system. CSU Global specializes in adult education options that can be delivered to those adult learners who cannot attend classes on campus. The school offers credits for previously earned regionally accredited credits, life experience, and military experience.

Degree: BS in Information Technology

5. University of Central Florida

The University of Central Florida’s BS in Information Technology degree program is available entirely online. Degree candidates must complete 12 credit hours in the areas of Security in Computing, Communication Network Design, Ethics in Science, and the Concepts of Operating Systems, among others. It is noted that UCF’s online IT degree program does not require the submission of a capstone project. Transfer credits are accepted.

The University of Central Florida is located in Orlando, FL and was established in 1963, about eight years before Walt Disney World opened. UCF’s suburban 1,400+-acre campus is home to more than 10,000 students. The University of Central Florida is a space grant and a public state institution of higher learning. The University of Central Florida operates with thirteen colleges/schools that offer more than 200 different degree programs.

Degree: BS in Information Technology

6. University of Massachusetts-Lowell

The University of Massachusetts-Lowell offers a BS in Information Technology as either an exclusive online program or a hybrid program. US News recognizes UMass Lowell among the nation’s top IT programs online. UMass Lowell is a nonprofit university, which allows it to offer affordable online IT programs. The 120 credit hour coursework includes Web Development, Database Management, Programming, and Systems Administration.

UMass Lowell was established in 1894 as the Lowell Normal School. UMass Lower is a member school of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). The school’s 150-acre urban campus is home to nearly 19,000 students earning degrees from one of the university’s six colleges/schools. UMass Lowell is the second largest public university in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and has earned national recognition in recent years with its extensive online degree offerings.

Degree: BS in Information Technology

7. Oregon Institute of Technology

The Oregon Institute of Technology online BS in Information Technology program is available to residents throughout the Pacific Northwest region of the United States – the only program of its kind in the region. Degree candidates focus on areas that include Analytics, Network Administration, Application Development, and Data Management, among others. The Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET accredits Oregon Tech’s Information Technology degree program.

The Oregon Institute of Technology was established in 1947 as the Oregon Vocational School. Currently, Oregon Tech operates with two additional satellite facilities in Wilsonville, Seattle, and Grande, WA. and Salem, LA. In addition to ABET recognition for its engineering and computer science programs, Oregon Tech is regionally accredited. Oregon Tech offers degrees in health Technologies, Communication, Engineering, Psychology, Applied Sciences, and Management.

Degree: BS in Information Technology

8. University of North Texas

The University of North Texas BS in Information Science that can be completed mostly online as one of its many Online Programs & Certificates. UNT’s online IT degree allows students to study at their own pace. Students must complete 120 credit units to graduate from UNT’s online Information Technology baccalaureate degree. Degree candidates explore IT topics that include Digital Content, Digital Curation, Information Architecture, and Knowledge Management, among others. UNT’s IT degree program is customizable and allows students to select a minor in an area of personal interest.

The University of North Texas is a public institution of higher learning that was established in 1890. More than 38,000 students earn degrees from UNT’s thirteen colleges/schools on the university’s 1200-acre college-town feel campus, despite the fact that UNT is located in Texas’ most populated region. UNT operates a second branch campus in South Dallas. UNT laid the groundwork for the creation of the only public law school in the region and a medical school in Fort Worth.

Degree: BS in Information Technology

9. Florida International University

Florida International University’s two IT programs online, from the Computing and Information Sciences division, include a Bachelor of Science or a Bachelor of Arts in Information Technology that is available either online or on campus. FIU’s BA online IT degree is designed for students completing another BA degree or one who already holds a baccalaureate degree. FIU’s BS online IT degree is a stand-alone degree that is designed for students vying for a career as a technical support team member. Students studying for the BS in Information Technology also have the option of selecting a software track.

Florida International University was found in 1965 in the Magic City of Miami. The school holds the distinction as being the largest institution of higher learning in southern Florida. Florida International University is a member school of the State University System of Florida. FIU’s 550+-acre campus is home to nearly 57,000 students studying from the 190+ programs offered by Florida International University.

Degree: BA or BS in Information Technology

10. University of Wisconsin Stout

The University of Wisconsin-Stout BS in Information & Communication Technologies degree program is designed for working learners, tech college graduates, and even high school students. UW Stout’s IT program offers students an opportunity to select from ten minors; however, not all minors are available online. These include Web Technology, Video/Photography, Enterprise Technology, Print Management/Graphic Media, and Information Security Management, among others. UW Stout offers a generous transfer credit policy. The University of Wisconsin’s online IT degree programs require students to complete 120 credit hours.

James Stout, a Wisconsin Senator, established a school for manual training in 1891, which eventually grew to be the University of Wisconsin Stout. UW Stout is a member school of the University of Wisconsin System. With its roots in applied sciences and technical professions, UW Stout has emerged as one of the region’s best institutions for working adults. The school’s campus is located in rural Menomonie on 120+-acres and home to nearly 9,500 students.

Degree: BS in Information and Communication Technologies

11. Loyola University Chicago

Loyola University Chicago’s Bachelor of Art in Information Technology can be completed entirely online or as a hybrid online IT degree. Loyola Online’s BA in IT program provides students an opportunity to accelerate the baccalaureate track using an eight-week class format. The Higher Learning Commission accredits the university; an institution of higher learning who has been providing distance education for more than a century. Loyola Online permits incoming students to transfer up to 18 credits towards their major’s requirements.

The Jesuits established Loyola University Chicago in 1870. At present, Loyola is recognized as one of the largest Catholic institutions of higher learning in the nation. Loyola’s students earn degrees from 11 schools/colleges across 6 campuses in the greater Chicago metro area. The school’s Lake Shore campus sits along Lake Michigan, eight miles from Chicago’s Loop. Loyola’s student enrollment exceeds 16,000.

Degree: BA in Information Technology

12. University of Cincinnati

The ABET-accredited School of Information Technology offers the University of Cincinnati’s BS in Information Technology degree program. UC’s online degree IT degree program prepares students for a career as a Web Developer, a Computer Programmer, or a Software Developer, among others. UC provides an option for those students who wish to earn their master’s degree concurrent with their bachelor’s degree.

The University of Cincinnati was established in 1819 and currently holds the distinction of being Ohio’s second largest institution of higher learning. UC is a public space grant university and one of the NSA’s academic excellence centers. The school operates with two campuses and fourteen colleges/schools. The main campus is located in downtown Cincinnati and the Medical campus is located in Uptown Cincinnati.

Degree: BS in Information Technology

13. University of Minnesota-Crookston

The University of Minnesota-Crookston BS in Information Technology Management degree program is available entirely online. UMC’s online IT degree requires students to successfully complete 120 credit hours of coursework that covers the school’s core education requirements, IT program requirements and electives. Graduates are prepared to enter the workforce as an Applications Developer, a Systems Engineer, a Chief Information Officer, or a Computer Applications Support Specialist, among others. UMC partners with cutting edge tech companies which allows students hands-on learning experiences with emerging software, without any additional charge.

The University of Minnesota-Crookston was established in 1966 and is one of the five member schools in the University of Minnesota system. The 100+-acre rural campus is situated in a large agricultural area known as Red River Valley. The school’s programs follow a curriculum that includes applied skills and experiential learning applications.

Degree: BS in Information Technology Management

14. DePaul University

DePaul University’s BS in Information Technology degree program is offered either on–campus or online by the College of Computing & Digital Media. Coursework for DePaul’s University’s online IT degree includes Project Management, Web Technologies, Programming for Problem-solving, and Databases, among others. The Information Technology program from DePaul offers students an opportunity to concentrate on a web-development education track. Students must complete 196 credit hours (48 courses) and a community-based capstone project to earn their baccalaureate degree in Information Technology.

The Vincentians established DePaul University in 1898. DePaul is a private university affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church. The school is considered one of the country’s largest Catholic institutions of higher learning, and the largest in terms of student enrollment. DePaul University operates from one main campus (36-acres) and a satellite facility.

Degree: BS in Information Technology

15. Central Washington University

Central Washington University’s Bachelor of Applied Science in Information Technology degree program is available online, on the Ellensburg campus, or as a hybrid platform. Students applying for CWU’s online IT degree program must already hold an associate’s degree in a computer-related area. Degree graduates explore the areas of Wireless Communications, Server Management, Database Management or Web Development, among others. Students select from a specialization of Cybersecurity, Information Technology, Project Management or Administrative Management.

Central Washington University was established in 1891 as a normal school by the state’s legislative body. The school’s 375+-acre college town/rural campus is located about one hundred miles from the city of Seattle. The school operates with four academic divisions — The College of Business, The College of Arts & Humanities, The Colleges of the Sciences, and The College of Education/Professional Studies.

Degree: BAS in Information Technology

Is a Local IT Program Better than an Online IT Degree?

When you are looking at information technology online schools, you may wonder if the online programs with name-brand recognition are better than a local program. You can look up IT programs near me to clarify the schools in your local area before you compare them to an online program, but you should be aware that the prestige associated with any program will depend on the school and the details of the program.

The advantage of an online IT degree is flexibility and scheduling. You do not need to attend a traditional school and can work around your current schedule. Adults who have a job or need to work around other obligations may find that the online program fits their needs. Local IT programs have the advantages associated with traditional schools and the resources available through the school, which may offer some advantages if you can work with the school’s schedule. Identifying the program that is better for your situation will depend on your goals and situation.

Will Employers Trust an Online IT Degree?

An online IT degree is a concern for those who are not certain about the impact of the program on an employer’s hiring processes. In general, employers will view the degree in the same way as long as the school has information technology accreditation. Accredited information technology programs have a third party stating that the school meets or exceeds a specific standard.

In the case of an IT program, you want to check into the third party associated with accreditation. Information technology is usually accredited by ABET, but you will notice that some programs may have further accreditation or a different accrediting group. Keep in mind that the organization accrediting a school may have different standards. If you are unsure about a program’s credibility with an employer, then find out the standards set by the organization and make sure that the program is accredited through ABET. Accredited information technology programs are considered similar or even better than some local programs when you apply for a new position.

Why is ABET Accreditation Important?

When it comes to evaluating why ABET accreditation is so important for an employer, you will want to understand the basics of the accreditation. What is ABET accreditation? ABET accreditation is a guarantee that a school meets or exceeds the ABET standards for STEM programs. It applies to information technology as well as other STEM studies, so it sets a high standard for the school

ABET accredited online schools must follow through with any curriculum required for their students to maintain their accreditation. ABET accreditation requirements set a clear standard for schools and institutions. The accreditation applies to programs within a degree-granting institution, like a college or university. The program must have an appropriate name based on the curriculum and must be a program that fits into one or more of the accreditation commission options through ABET. The final requirement is the readiness review by ABET to ensure that the curriculum meets the standards of ABET.

When it comes to ABET accreditation advantages, you want to look at the high standards set by the ABET accreditation commission. The standards give employers confidence in a school’s IT program and ensures that the school has a high standard for their curriculum. When you complete the program, you will be ready to take on complex tasks in the workplace.

Preparing for a career in information technology starts with your education. By going through an online program, you will be able to work around your schedule and long-term goals. The key is finding a program that is accredited so employers are confident in your skills and will consider you for a new position.

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