Many schools offer online associate's and bachelor's degrees in Internet technology. These programs can often be completed entirely online, with students viewing lectures and downloading course materials as their schedules permit, or in a hybrid format that combines online and on-campus coursework. Online master's degree programs in Internet technology are much less common, but a few do exist, both in online and hybrid formats. Students may be required to have specific software and complete an internship, depending on the program.
In addition to general education courses, students in associate's and bachelor's degree programs complete courses in the basics of Internet technology, such as Web page development, e-commerce and search engine optimization (SEO). A bachelor's degree program may give students the opportunity to choose a field in which to specialize, such as digital media or information management. They may be required to complete an internship as well.
Students in a master's degree program complete core courses, then finish their studies with a concentration in a particular field, such as telecommunications. Most master's programs require students to research and complete a thesis or final project.
Associate's Degree in Internet Technology
Through an online associate's degree program, students can enhance their knowledge of Internet technology or acquire new skills in the field. Major areas of study typically include electronic commerce (e-commerce), Web programming, Web administration and Web publishing. These programs are intended to provide a foundation in all aspects of the Internet, establishing a path for future specialization.
Program Information and Requirements
Because most programs require students to get their assignments, participate in discussions and submit their homework online, Internet technology students should have access to a computer with high-speed Internet access. Most courses require software programs such as Dreamweaver, NetObjects Fusion and Caspio, and textbooks and videos also may be used. Associate-level programs in Internet technology may be offered entirely online; however, they often include a mix of distance education and on-campus classes.
Associate's degree candidates examine the functions of various Internet technology platforms, such as communications and business applications. Students should be comfortable working with computers and have a basic knowledge of the Windows PC environment.
Introduction to HTML
In this online course, students learn to use HyperText Markup Language (HTML) code to create Web pages that include text, images and links. They develop an understanding of page organization, as well as incorporation of graphics into Web documents. Students are tasked with creating their own websites and developing plans to enhance them.
Students are introduced to structured programming techniques using C++ programming language and syntax. Topics covered include arrays, variables, functions, expressions and algorithms. Particular emphasis is placed on object-oriented analysis and design.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
This course teaches students the fundamentals of search engine optimization (SEO), which is the application of techniques designed to draw traffic to a website. Areas of study include website programming for search engines, such as Google, and the development and application of keywords and phrases to enhance a website's search rankings.
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Bachelor's Degree in Internet Technology
Bachelor's degree programs allow students to build on their knowledge of Internet technology by exploring one or more specialized areas of study, such as information management, networking, Web and digital media or project management. Many online bachelor's programs combine textbook assignments and classroom discussions with research projects.
Program Information and Requirements
Some institutions require bachelor's candidates to complete prerequisite coursework in computer programming, database management or networking technologies. Most programs are taught completely online and include downloadable lectures and discussion board participation; however, some schools require students to take part in group assignments on-campus. Students also may be required to participate in an internship in an interdisciplinary area, such as education, the arts or new media.
Bachelor's students explore more complex areas of Internet technology with a particular focus on the relationships between databases and websites. They also learn how information is delivered in an online platform.
Webmaster: Roles and Responsibilities
In this course, students learn to install and configure Web and application servers and run Common Gateway Interface (CGI) scripts. Other topics covered include Web security, UNIX and Windows/NT basics, and legal and privacy issues.
Creating and Managing Web Databases
This course focuses on the design, performance and scalability of Web database systems. Students are introduced to relational database structures, as well as related terminology and theoretical concepts. Course assignments might include using Sequel Query Language (SQL) to create a database application.
Master's Degree in Internet Technology
Although programs are rare, it's possible for students to pursue an online master's degree in Internet technology. Students generally must complete a set of core classes, which may be available in both fully online or hybrid formats, before declaring an area of focus, such as telecommunications management or network administration. A capstone project often is required to complete an online master's program in Internet technology.
Program Information and Requirements
Applicants typically must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. Most classes are conducted online, but students may be required to attend on-campus lectures or meet in-person with their professors.
Master's students examine key components of Internet technology to hone their skills in areas such as systems and project management.
E-Commerce Website Security
This online course allows students to explore and examine the numerous security threats that e-commerce websites face. They also learn to develop security protocols, including best practices for dealing with hackers, spoofing attacks and security breaches in server-side executable files.
Telecommunications System Management
This online course introduces basic principles and major components of telecommunications systems. Students examine key networking technologies, such as ATM, ADSL and mobile wireless networks, as well as networking services and applications.
Students receive an overview of methods commonly used to search for significant patterns and trends in large databases. Topics of discussion include machine learning, in addition to statistical and visualization techniques used to discover and present knowledge in a comprehensible form.
Associate's degree graduates can pursue a number of entry-level career options, such as Web applications programmer, Web services team leader or network architect, with various businesses or government agencies. Salaries vary depending on the position and skill set required. In November 2016, the median salary for a Web designer was $71,574 according to Salary.com.
Graduates with a bachelor's degree in Internet technology generally are equipped for senior- or managerial-level positions, such as website manager, senior application developer or Web and digital media producer. Salaries fluctuate by industry. The median salary for a website manager was $94,110 in November 2016, as reported by Salary.com.
Those who've completed a master's degree might attain positions such as Web and collaborative services director or senior applications analyst. In November 2016, Salary.com reported that the median annual salary for an e-commerce marketing director, a position for which a master's degree is usually required, was $147,977.
Students interested in an Internet technology degree program can earn their undergraduate or graduate degree completely online, with the exception of a possible internship. Depending on the program, students can learn about different technology platforms, networking, information management, and creating and managing Web databases.