Many community colleges and universities offer online degrees in computer technology, computer science, and information technology. Two-year programs in computer information technology can prepare graduates to become help desk specialists and computer support professionals, while baccalaureate programs can prepare graduates for jobs ranging from systems administration to computer hardware engineering. Graduate programs may be ideal for those who have earned a bachelor's in a computer science field and want to work in information systems management or postsecondary instruction.
Associate's Degree in Computer Information Technology
An associate's degree in computer information technology prepares students to design, construct, test, and evaluate computer electronic components. Participants in this program learn traditional computer science skills, as well as skills in electronics engineering, software development, computer maintenance, network maintenance, and Website design. Programs are available to students who have completed high school or earned their GED equivalency. Programs are commonly offered as an Associate of Science or an Associate of Applied Science degree program.
Program Information and Requirements
Associate's degree programs in computer information technology range in length from 60-70 semester hours. The programs can be completed in about two years if students are enrolled full-time. Students access course material through Websites and downloadable multimedia presentations. Instructors communicate to students through e-mail and online discussion boards. Assignments, quizzes, tests, and feedback are often administered through the Blackboard and WebCT online learning platforms.
This program requires the use of a computer with a reliable Internet connection. Common software programs, like the Microsoft Office Suite, are required and sometimes included with enrollment. The computer must be able to support multimedia files with an updated media player and Web browser.
Computer Hardware and Software
This course introduces students to the hardware and software components of personal computers. Concepts include the installation, design, management, and repair of programs and hardware. Emphasis is also placed on network troubleshooting, virus protection, telecommunication, and the ethical protocol of PC technicians. Students culminate their study in the construction of a computer from component parts.
This introductory and developmental course teaches students the fundamentals of computer science and trains participants in core concepts in computer programming. Core concepts include modular program design, elementary file processing, pointer types, data structures, and structured programming methods.
Fundamentals of Networking
The focus of this course is the management of communications in local area networks and wide area networks. Through analyzing both cable and wireless connections, students gain skills in identifying potential problems and the repair and maintenance of network systems.
Bachelor's Degree in Computer Technology
Students interested in pursuing an online bachelor's degree in computer technology can find Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree programs in computer engineering technology, computer science, and information technology. Participants in these programs develop skills that include applications development, network systems, database management, electronics theory, microprocessor design, and digital systems development.
Program Information and Requirements
The average length of a bachelor's degree in computer technology ranges from 125-140 semester hours. These programs are offered completely online; however, some programs require the final exams to be proctored. Coursework is often delivered in both synchronous and asynchronous formats, depending on the student's preference. Students can access course material through Websites and online learning platforms, as well as communicate to instructors and peers through discussion boards and Web-forums.
The design and construction of diode and transistor circuitry are introductory concepts to this course. Students gain an understanding of voltage amplifiers, semiconductors, AC prototypes, diode theory, power amplifiers, emitter followers, and many more electronic components and theories. Students are expected to construct their own diode and transistor circuits.
Students are introduced to the fundamental concepts of digital electronics. Course topics include logic gates, codes, flip-flops, counters, registers, number systems, and Boolean algebra.
This course places an emphasis on the structure, design, construction, and maintenance of relational database systems. Course concepts include structured query language, relational database structure, data management, and concurrency control. Students often construct database models and perform real-world applications.
Master's Degree in Computer Technology
Online master's degree programs in computer technology draw applicants from a wide range of computer science and electronics fields. These degree programs are designed to give students a mastery of computer science fundamentals, as well as computer theory, hardware, and software. Degree programs can be found under the titles of Master of Science (M.S.) in Computer Science and M.S. in Electronics and Computer Technology. Applicants must have an undergraduate degree in a related field of computer science. If a student's undergraduate degree is in a non-related field, applicants will need to take an equivalency exam or prerequisite courses.
Program Information and Requirements
The average length of a master's degree program in computer technology is between 30-36 semester hours. Programs can be completed entirely online. Students access course material, take quizzes and tests, communicate with instructors and peers, and complete assignments through Websites dedicated to online learning.
Management of Industrial Computer Systems
This course teaches students about the role of control computer systems in a business setting. Through researching the network and systems choices that industry firms need, students can determine the most cost-effective systems plan.
The emphasis of this course is on safety of computer systems and the confidentiality of computer operators' files on network computers. Concepts of study include firewalls, viruses, Trojan horses, worms, attack patterns, threat detection, cryptography, and security protocols.
Microcomputer Systems Technology
This course focuses on the concepts, structure and integration of microcomputers and how they relate to process control technology. Students utilize sensors and other peripheral tools to interface microcomputer systems.
Many graduates of an associate's degree in computer information technology find entry-level employment as a computer user support specialist. In May 2015, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics cited that the top-paying industries for this profession were aerospace product and parts manufacturers, monetary authorities, other pipeline transportation, securities and commodities exchange, and natural gas firms (www.bls.gov). This source also reported that the mean annual wage for this occupation was $52,430.
Graduates of a bachelor's degree program in computer technology are qualified to find entry-level employment as computer hardware engineers. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported in May 2015 that the mean annual wage for this occupation was $114,970 (www.bls.gov). The BLS also reported that the industries with the highest levels of employment for this occupation were computer systems design services, semiconductor manufacturers, computer equipment manufacturers, and scientific research firms, the Federal Executive Branch.
Graduates of a master's degree in computer technology are qualified to find employment as a computer and information systems manager. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) stated that the employment rate for this occupation is expected to rise by 15% between 2014-2024. The BLS also stated in May 2015, that the mean annual wage for this occupation was $141,000.
Associate's, bachelor's, and master's degrees in computer technology majors can be found online at all levels. Graduates have many options for careers, including support specialists, hardware engineers, and systems managers.