Online Information Technology Degree & Career Guide

seasoned information technology worker

By Sarah Stevenson

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts faster-than-average growth in a number of IT areas, including tech support and software engineering. An online information technology degree can help you take advantage of the increasing vigor in the tech job sector. For those with the inclination to pursue their high-tech education using equally high-tech methods, online information technology degrees are a widely available option.

An online IT degree can also prepare you to work in a startlingly diverse range of industries. You might choose to study network support so you can help a financial business keep its computer system running. Alternatively, you might pursue an online information technology degree in software engineering so you can be on the forefront of application development for mobile devices like iPads and smartphones. No matter which direction you choose, your IT degree will be in high demand for the foreseeable future.

Use our resource center to find valuable information on online information technology degrees and the IT career paths you can take:

Online IT Degrees Come in Many Flavors

Everywhere from the World Wide Web to the specialized IT environment of health care, you'll find a myriad of information technology professionals occupying a broad spectrum of job functions. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics lists 10 general types of IT workers:

  • Computer and information research scientists
  • Computer and information systems managers
  • Computer hardware engineers
  • Computer software engineers
  • Computer programmers
  • Database administrators
  • Network systems and data communications analysts
  • Computer systems analysts
  • Network and computer systems administrators
  • Computer support specialists

What to Expect from Your Degree Program

The experience of earning an online degree differs from attending an on-campus institution with respect to the format and sometimes the timing of your classes. Some online information technology courses take place in real time while others are asynchronous, allowing for some flexibility in when you participate. You can expect to take part in classes via online chat rooms, bulletin boards, course management systems, and even interactive multimedia.

In other ways, an online information technology degree is just like an in-person degree: you can expect a similar application and admissions process, and you'll follow a curriculum comparable to that of a traditional program. And if you attend an accredited school, you can be sure that the online degree adheres to high standards of rigor and quality. Not only that, accredited schools can offer a wider range of financial aid options, including federally-funded grants and loans.