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Information Technology Schools and Colleges: How to Choose

IT degree programs help students identify specific areas of interest and prepare them for a range of careers in technology. IT programs can be found at community colleges, technical schools and 4-year colleges and universities.

Information technology (IT) involves using telecommunications and computer equipment to store, organize, protect and transmit data. To master these skills, students can pursue associate's, bachelor's, master's and even doctoral degrees in IT.

Information Technology Schools

The following list includes a number of public and private schools that offer undergraduate and graduate degrees in information technology.

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Undergraduate Tuition (2015-2016)
Brigham Young University Provo, UT 4-year, private not-for-profit Bachelor's $5,150
Middle Tennessee State University Murfreesboro, TN 4-year, Public Bachelor's In-state $8,080; Out-of-state $24,808
Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Wilkes-Barre Lehman, PA 4-year, public Associate's, Bachelor's, Master's In-state $13,598; Out-of-state $20,284
Temple University Philadelphia, PA 4-year, public Bachelor's, Master's In-state $15,188; Out-of-state $25,494
Florida State University Tallahassee, FL 4-year, public Bachelor's In-state $6,507; Out-of-state $21,673
Indiana State University Terre Haute 4-year, public Bachelor's In-state $8,580; Out-of-state $18,708
University of Missouri-Kansas City Kansas City, MO 4-year, public Bachelor's In-state $7,837; Out-of-state $18,366
Kentucky State University Frankfort, KY 4-year, public Bachelor's In-state $7,754; Out-of-state $18,056

Sources: *National Center for Education Statistics (NCES); School websites

School Selection Criteria

Undergraduate students interested in a more solid foundation in the liberal arts and sciences often choose a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) program in IT. B.A. programs encompass English and other areas of communication, while students in Bachelor of Science programs are more likely to take courses in business management, information systems and mathematics, with fewer liberal arts requirements. Additional considerations include:

  • Students often look for a school that provides a concentration in their area of interest, like software development, programming, information security, network architecture, or educational technology.
  • Students with a more general interest in IT can find programs at the associate's and bachelor's degree levels that don't require specialization, which may also allow students to complete the first year or two of coursework before deciding on a degree track.
  • To pursue a career in high-level IT research or teaching, students with a significant background in IT might consider a doctoral program.
  • Professionals or entrepreneurs seeking to further their careers may want to look at master's degree programs in IT, which build on programming and writing skills.

Associate's Degree in Information Technology

These programs usually last two years and prepare students to enter the job market quickly. Students can choose a focus area, such as website development, programming or database administration. An internship may need to be completed for graduation.

Bachelor's Degree in Information Technology

B.S. and B.A. programs in IT take four years to finish and usually have a broader scope in their course requirements than associate's degree programs do. A B.A. program is more likely than a B.S. program to alternate IT-focused classes with arts and humanities courses. Bachelor's degree students may be required to complete an IT project toward the end of the program.

Master's Degree in Information Technology

Ambitious IT students or professionals already in the workforce often consider enrolling in a master's degree program in IT emphasizing on-the-job project development. Master's degree students may be required to choose a concentration area. Students have the option to choose a thesis or non-thesis program.

Ph.D. in Information Technology

Doctoral programs are designed for students and professionals who want to research current developments in information systems. Coursework includes extensive independent study and research in scholarly literature, generally culminating in a dissertation.

A number of public and private colleges and universities offer programs in information technology. Associate's and bachelor's programs can lead to entry-level careers in the field, while master's and doctoral programs can prepare students for IT leadership and teaching roles.

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