Top Five Online IT Degree Programs

young online it degree professional

By Sarah Stevenson

If you're wondering where the IT jobs are, look no further than the latest tech industry trends: health information, green technology, social media, mobile applications, cybersecurity, computer animation. It's a list that might sound intimidating if you're just starting out in the field. Fortunately, there's no shortage of online IT degree programs to help you take advantage of the burgeoning job opportunities in these industries. In this article, we look at five online IT degree areas that will train you to work in some of the most exciting high-tech sectors in the current employment market.

1. Project Management

Wherever there are large-scale tech projects, there's a demand for skilled project managers. An online IT degree in project management can help you do your part in a diverse array of industries. The green energy industry in particular has the potential to be a mother lode for information technology jobs, particularly in light of changes in federal energy policy and the direction of stimulus dollars toward smart power grid projects.

Online Degrees Available:

  • Bachelor of Science in Information Technology – Project Management
  • Master of Science in Project Management
  • MBA in Information Technology Management
  • Master of Engineering in Project Management
  • PhD in Project Management 

2. Health Information Technology

Thanks to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the field of health care information technology can expect a vigorous boost. Those with an interest in the efficient and effective handling of patient information, insurance claims and other critical data should consider an online IT degree in health information technology.

Online Degrees Available:

  • Associate's degree in Health Information Technology
  • Bachelor of Science in Health Care Informatics
  • Master of Science in Health Care Information Management
  • MBA in Health Systems Management

3. Programming/Application Development

It's no surprise that you can go far in your career with an online IT degree in programming or application development. CIO.com cites application programming as one of the hottest IT skills, with a wide variety of industries looking for developers to create proprietary software systems, mobile device applications, social media applications, and other coveted commodities.

Online Degrees Available:

  • Associate's degree in Programming
  • Bachelor of Science in New Media Communication Technologies
  • Bachelor of Science in Application Development
  • Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering
  • Bachelor of Science in Mobile Computing
  • Doctor of Computer Science in Emerging Media 

4. Cybersecurity

As more and more of our critical personal, financial, corporate and government data is stored on computer networks, information security is becoming a fundamental necessity of daily life. No wonder network security and other specialty security training is becoming increasingly popular among IT professionals. Online IT degrees and certifications are plentiful in this high-demand area of technology.

Online Degrees Available:

  • Certificate in Information Systems Security
  • Associate of Applied Science in Network Management and Security
  • Bachelor of Science in Information Systems Security
  • Master of Information Systems Management in Enterprise Information Security
  • Master of Science in Cybersecurity
  • Doctorate of Business Administration in Computer and Information Security

5. Animation/Digital Entertainment

One of the most coveted industries to work in as an IT professional is the entertainment industry—what could be more enjoyable than programming for games, multimedia entertainment, movies or 3d animation? Movies like "Avatar" have done much to bring the technology of entertainment into the forefront of the public's awareness, but you may want to consider an online IT degree before you jump into this competitive field.

Online Degrees Available:

  • Associate's degree in Digital Design & Animation
  • Bachelor of Arts in Digital Entertainment and Interactive Arts
  • Bachelor of Science in Media Arts and Animation
  • Bachelor's degree in Game Software Development
  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Animation

For more information on these and more online IT degree programs, take a look at our list of accredited online schools.

Sources: BNET.com; CIO.com