Many schools offer online bachelor's degree programs in information technology (IT). Most courses in these four-year programs can be completed online, but some schools require on-campus laboratory work. Students may need additional computer hardware and software, which may have minimum system requirements, to meet course requirements.
Students learn about computer basics and may be allowed to choose a concentration such as network administration. There may be several required courses on the important topics of programming and networks. Graduates of these programs may qualify for professional certifications in IT from companies, including Microsoft.
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Bachelor's Degree in Information Technology
The IT field encompasses a variety of disciplines, including web and computer programming, database management, and systems administration. Some online bachelor's degree programs allow students to pick a concentration, such as network administration, security or software.
The coursework required for online bachelor's degree programs, such as Bachelor of Science in Information Technology, can prepare students for industry certification exams, including those offered by Microsoft, CompTIA and CIW. These programs are generally 100% online, but some schools may have an on-campus lab requirement. Students who are interested in an IT degree can also find similar online programs in computer or management information systems, network or database administration, and network security.
Program Information and Requirements
Online IT bachelor's degree programs generally take the same amount of time as traditional, on-campus programs. Because these programs rely heavily on the Internet, schools will typically have a list of minimum system requirements to ensure that students are able to take advantage of all the program's features.
Students may also be required to use a particular operating system and use a machine equipped with a specific amount of RAM. A high-speed Internet connection is also a necessary requirement to access video and live content, such as chat sessions, and other course materials.
While all bachelor's degree programs typically include general education courses, they may also require classes in business, math and economics, as well as core and elective IT courses.
This class can teach students how to build, use, maintain and troubleshoot different types of database systems. Common topics in this course include data manipulation and queries, as well as indexing functions and operators.
Students in this class can learn how to build and maintain networks, as well as study concepts like differences in LAN and WAN technology, packet analysis and IP addressing. Because networks are a fundamental component of the IT field, programs often require or offer multiple courses to cover the subject.
This class may teach either one particular programming language or a survey of different types. Programs may also require or offer more than one programming class so that languages can be covered in depth. Classes may cover algorithms, program documentation and data types.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), database administration positions were expected to grow by 11% from 2014 to 2024, whereas employment for network and computer systems administrators were anticipated to increase by 8%. The BLS also predicted that employment for computer programmers would decrease by 8%.
In 2015, the BLS reported that database administrators earned a median salary of $81,710. Network and computer systems administrators earned a median of $77,810, whereas computer programmers made a median of $79,530 in the same year.
Continuing Education Information
An online bachelor's degree program in information technology can serve as a base for a large number of graduate programs, many of which are available online. For example, graduates may choose to explore a master's degree in computer information systems or information security. Master's degree programs are also available online for information technology.
Fully online bachelor's degree programs in information technology are offered through numerous schools; however, there are schools that require laboratory work to be done on campus. Holders of bachelor's degrees in IT can start their careers as computer programmers or database administrators, among others, or they can further their education by enrolling in a master's degree in IT or in a related program.