While Information Technology (IT) is a career many people begin with no college degree at all – often just a certification or associates degree and hard work – an online information technology degree may be the step they need to take their career to the next level.
Originally published in July 2022, this article received an update by our team in December 2023.
IT degree online programs provide convenience (no need to commute to campus or relocate) and flexibility (no need to change your schedule to work around class times). They’re often very affordable. But for many working professionals, online programs provide one more benefit – they’re fast.
- 10 Fastest Online IT Bachelor’s Degree Programs
- What Will I Learn in an Accelerated IT Degree Online?
- Will I Get a Better Job with an IT Bachelor’s than with an Associate’s?
- Is an IT Certification Easier than a Degree?
Online programs are almost always built with the needs of working adults in mind, and one of the biggest limitations working adults face is time. There’s never enough of it, and busy professionals who are already several years into their careers don’t want to wait to earn promotion and advancement.
Accelerated bachelor’s degree programs give them the chance to earn the credentials they need quickly – sometimes in as little as one year or less. But where to find a quality accelerated information technology degree online? That’s where the Bachelors Degree Center’s ranking of the 10 Fastest Online Information Technology (IT) Degree Bachelor’s Programs comes in.
Methodology: Ranking the Best Accelerated Online Information Technology (IT) Degree Programs
Of course, we can’t rank programs solely on how fast students can complete them – speed is critical, but not at the expense of quality. That’s why BDC ranks our list based on the same 5 factors as our other IT rankings:
- Return on Investment
- Graduation Rate
- Job Placement
With this data (from College Scorecard, Niche, and IPEDS), prospective students know that they’re looking at tech degrees online that will help them get their degree fast, and make the most of it.
10 Fastest Online IT Bachelor’s Degree Programs
1. University of Denver
The University of Denver’s BA in Information Technology degree is an online Information Technology degree that can also be completed in a hybrid of online and in-classroom courses. Each course is 10 weeks long.
The University of Denver allows students to transfer up to 90 transfer credits to their accelerated information technology degree online program. The IT industry continues to grow and employers need information technology project managers across all industries, including:
- Oil and Gas
The BA in Information Technology allows students to develop their fundamental knowledge of technology. This degree will propel their career to the next level. Students will understand the value of strong interpersonal skills to work with teams, customers, and computer users.
They will learn how to build databases and user-friendly and intuitive websites. Students will gain a better understanding of programming, web design, and system analysis. They will be better able to apply quantitative reasoning to their business.
2. Regis University
Regis University’s BS in Information Technology degree is a highly regarded accelerated information technology degree online program. Regis offers three formats in which students can complete their degree program.
The online format allows them access to their assignments at any time. The online classes are eight weeks long and no on-campus visits are needed. The accelerated format has six start times per year, with eight-week terms. Some classes are scheduled on campus. The traditional format has classes full-time in the classroom and has 16-week semesters beginning twice a year.
Students in Regis’ online information technology degree program will:
- gain in-depth knowledge of computer systems and how to design them
- gain an understanding of LANs, WANs, and mobile networks
- learn how to build and maintain web applications
- learn how to protect the networks they build and administer enterprise systems
- learn the value of protecting systems from data breaches, identity theft, and cyber attacks
3. Bellevue University
Bellevue University’s BS in Information Technology degree program is offered online to allow students the most flexibility when completing this degree program.
Bellevue will accept up to 90 transfer credits, making their accelerated information technology degree online program as short as just one year for qualified students. This program is geared toward students who are currently employed as a help desk or computer technician and would like to advance their career.
Bellevue online information technology degree students will gain a strong foundation in network security, data storage, servers, and cloud networking. Students will learn:
- how to configure, install, and upgrade computers and operating systems
- best practices and standards for security within computer environments
- implementation standards for local server and cloud environments
Students will have the opportunity for hands-on experience in which to implement the theory they learned.
4. Georgia Southern University
Georgia Southern University’s BS in Information Technology – known as the WebBSIT – is designed to meet the specific needs of stay-at-home parents, working adults, and other nontraditional students.
This program can be completed 100 percent online and Georgia State University may accept up to 90 transfer credits. This accelerated information technology degree online program gives students the opportunity to propel their careers to the next level.
With GSU’s online information technology degree, students will be able to:
- understand the requirements of users to satisfy their needs
- learn how to analyze the needs of users to create an intuitive and effective IT system
- learn how to utilize current technology and apply it properly to the needs of an organization or individual user
- learn the value of working with a team to resolve problems
- build on their current computer skills and techniques to be able to resolve advanced and complex problems
5. Purdue University Global
Purdue University Global’s BS in Information Technology offers busy working professionals an online information technology degree that meets their needs in a fully online format. This online program has courses that are 10 weeks long. While this program is completely flexible, students will need to devote 15 to 18 hours per week to it.
This accelerated information technology degree online program allows students to select from one of four concentrations. Purdue Global gives students a foundation in technical knowledge, thinking critically, and creative skills which they will be able to use in any workplace.
Purdue University Global’s information security and assurance concentration focuses on network administration, computer forensics, and the ability to detect intrusion and respond to it. The IT management concentration focuses on:
- Certified Ethical Hacking
- Project Management
- Application Development
- Information System Security
The network administration concentration focuses on troubleshooting networks and infrastructure design. The programming and software development concentration focuses on the exploration of software development concepts and programming languages needed for web and application development.
6. California Baptist University
California Baptist University’s BS in Computer Information Technology is an accelerated information technology degree online program designed for flexibility; it can be completed in 16 months. Classes begin every eight weeks, with three semesters offered per year.
This program can be taken 100 percent online or a hybrid of online and in-classroom courses. CBU’s Bachelor of Computer Information Technology is intended to help students with personal, professional, and spiritual growth. This program is intended to help students become critical thinkers, lead effectively, and make sound decisions while applying ethical Christian standards.
Students in California Baptist University’s IT program will be able to learn the following:
- resolve technical problems through the strategic application of new technologies.
- have an understanding of the methodologies of information technology.
- become proficient writers and speakers in describing and explaining information technology.
- be informed leaders and help make sound organizational decisions.
- learn the value of blending faith into whatever career path they take.
- be highly competitive in the global market because of their own unique set of skills.
7. Western Kentucky University
Western Kentucky University’s BS in Computer Information Technology is a completely flexible degree program. It can be taken completely online. The online information technology degree requires students to take 120 credit hours to graduate, however, only 36 credit hours must be taken at WKU. With its transfer policy, WKU creates a convenient accelerated information technology degree online program.
WKU IT students will learn the foundation of efficient and safe transfer of information and the best ways to store and analyze that information. They will learn the importance of and how to build computer networks and systems and computer databases. This program prepares students for many career opportunities. Upon graduation, students will be able to find employment as:
- Computer Network Architects
- Database Administrators
- Web Developers
- Software Developers
- Information Security Analysts
- Network and Computer Systems Administrators
8. Liberty University
Liberty University’s BS in Information Technology is just one of many examples of the exceptional, useful online degree programs that have made Liberty the largest and most successful Christian university in America.
This accelerated information technology degree online program provides the utmost flexibility for students as it is 100 percent online. The courses are eight weeks long and this program takes approximately 3.5 years to complete. Students will be better prepared to be leaders in their technology field with a foundation in application and database design.
Students in the Liberty online information technology degree program have four concentrations from which to choose within the BS in Information Technology at Liberty.
- The Application and Database Development concentration focuses on problems commonly found in web applications and architecture.
- The Data Networking and Security concentration will focus on securing data with real-world hands-on experience.
- The Game Design concentration focuses on the skills and tools needed to be successful in video gaming, including design, user interface, and images.
- The Web and Mobile Programming concentration focuses on a foundation in mobile and web programming, including design and images.
9. Regent University
Regent University’s BS in Information Systems Technology is a flexible program that can be taken online or in the classroom. The program uses accelerated eight-week sessions to speed up its classes, and Regent University may take up to 90 transfer credits.
This accelerated information technology degree online degree program puts students in a position to assume leadership roles in their current field. They will learn to manage information, design systems and deploy new technology that is secure and reliable.
Online information technology degree students will:
- design and develop sound and reliable network systems
- manage the most complex information systems in their organizations
- gain a strong foundation in technical knowledge
Upon graduation, students will be able to find employment as Computer Programmers, Software Engineers, Web Developers, or Network Administrators.
10. Western Governors University
One of the most unique modern universities, Western Governors University’s BS in Information Technology is a prime example of innovation in distance learning. This program can be completed online in anywhere from 7 to 37 months.
Western Governors University uses competency-based education, which allows students to take an online assessment to determine if they have mastered the material. If the student passes the assessment, the student can move on past the course.
This accelerated information technology degree online program provides students with a foundation in computer information systems and technology.
Students in WGU’s online information technology degree program have five concentrations from which they can choose:
- Systems and Services
- Networking and Security
- Scripting and Programming
- Data Management
- The Business of IT
Students will gain a foundation in IT services and support. They will design secure networks, write scripts and programming. Students will learn the value of managing data. They will learn how technology impacts every piece of an organization and the best way to implement new technology.
What Will I Learn in an Accelerated IT Degree Online?
Accelerated information technology degree requirements will be the same as a traditional information technology degree – just faster. The key difference is the information technology major subjects will be taught at a quicker pace with online courses.
The online information technology courses needed to receive a fast bachelor’s degree from an accredited online college can be finished in less than four years. In fact, students looking for the quickest degree can fulfill information technology degree requirements at certain colleges in just over a year.
A bachelor of information technology syllabus will have a similar appearance for both traditional and accelerated programs. However, traditional information technology course subjects are taught over a 16-week timeframe. Online information technology courses from accelerated programs compress the subjects and can be completed in shorter five- to eight-week sessions. An online IT degree can be the quickest degree to obtain for many students.
Besides general education, typical offerings found on a bachelor of information technology syllabus include coursework and electives in computer science:
- Computer Programming
- Hardware and Software Troubleshooting
- Network Management
- Information Assurance
- Cloud Computing Administration
- Data Analytics
- Database Management
- Information Management
Information technology major subjects in an accelerated online program can usually be completed at a student’s own pace.
Self-paced accelerated information technology programs will allow online learners to take as many or as few courses they find manageable to get the fastest degree. Accelerated information technology degree holders will have the same job opportunities as traditional degree holders. Students in fast degree programs will be taught subjects that prepare them for careers as data analysts, information systems managers, information technology consultants, and technical support specialists.
For enrollment and financial aid information, it’s always best for potential online students to contact the online learning office of their college. If you’re seeking an online bachelor’s degree, such as a bachelor of science in information technology, look for the program’s accreditation.
Will I Get a Better Job with an IT Bachelor’s than with an Associate’s?
A bachelor degree in information technology offers more job opportunities and room for advancement than an IT associate degree online. An online IT associate degree will take less time to earn with programs completed in less than two years. A bachelor IT degree will take longer to finish, but online tech degrees can be earned in under two years with accelerated degree options. The fastest online degree programs can be as little as 10 months.
The average IT associates degree salary for individuals with two to four years of work experience is $42,440. In comparison, computer specialist careers that require a bachelor’s degree in IT earn a median wage of approximately $68,050. That’s according to data compiled by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Entry-level IT jobs requiring a bachelor’s will usually have a starting salary upwards of $40,000. IT professionals with a master’s degree in one of the in-demand specializations can expect even higher.
After an online IT associate’s degree is earned, potential job opportunities include a career as a web developer or computer support specialist. Bachelor degree holders could secure jobs as:
- Computer Programmers
- Software Developers
- Computer Network Architects
- Network Administrators
- Computer Systems Administrators
Employers may look at an applicant with an IT associates degree online if he or she has also completed certification programs. Professional certifications that online IT associate’s degree holders should consider include Cisco Certified Network Associate, CompTIA A+, and Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer.
Is an IT Certification Easier than a Degree?
Even the fastest bachelor’s degree takes longer than a certification. Information technology certification programs do require less of a commitment than degree programs. Despite the reduced timeframe and cheaper cost, information technology certification programs have a narrow focus.
Top IT employers desire candidates who have degrees that have given them a well-rounded knowledge base of various hardware and software components. Once employed, the company may pay to send staff to various information technology certification programs.
IT degree graduates who want their resumes to stand out from the competition may also decide to earn information technology certifications. Recruiters prefer candidates with information technology certifications because it means less training is required to prepare the worker for the job. Certifications enhance hard skills, but will not focus on soft skills. Industry certifications can help build your resume as well.
Bachelor and associate IT degree programs teach more than technical skills. They provide candidates with a solid business foundation. Students learn about finance, business strategies, leadership, effective communication, and analytics before taking specialized information technology courses. The good news is that many of the subjects taught in degree programs will prepare learners to pass examinations for information technology certification programs.
Depending on your high school GPA, SAT, or ACT scores, you may not be ready for a bachelor’s program. A certification can be a great start and give you the experience that you need.
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