If you would like to improve your marketability by going back to school and earning a new credential, consider pursing an information technology degree online. Not only has the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that IT is one of the fastest growing job markets over the next decade, but online learning is a flexible way for students to earn their degree. The information technology online degree is designed to provide both traditional and non-traditional students easy access to the courses they need to complete their studies.
Information Technology Online Degree Levels
Through an IT online degree program you can take classes from the comfort of your home at any time of day. An information technology degree can be earned online at all levels, including associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees, as well as professional certifications and diplomas.
Certification and diploma programs will typically offer a concentrated curriculum in one specific aspect of IT, whether it be software products, such as Cisco and Microsoft, or areas of study, such as project management and PC support. Associate’s and bachelor’s degrees often provide a broader educational background than do certification programs. Courses will typically combine general education requirements with classes specific to IT, which may include computer programming, computer science, network and security administration, and database concepts.
Master’s level courses for an information technology online degree in an MIS or MBA program generally blend business topics, such as finance, marketing, and accounting with computer-related offerings. A doctorate program is the terminal degree in IT, which culminates in a research thesis supported by your online advisor and would be tailored to your specific area of study.
Online Courses vs. Face-to-Face Courses
The advantage of an online computer degree is that you can attend class when it is convenient for you, work at your own pace, and still have access to your classmates and professors for the social aspect of education. Although there has been much debate about the effectiveness of online learning, there have been several reports that suggest that online degrees offer the same quality of courses and faculty as face-to-face learning.
One example is the 2008 study conducted by SRI International for the US Department of Education, which aggregated results from 99 studies over a 12 year period, and concluded that “online learning appears to be as effective as conventional classroom instruction,” and that blended learning—using a mixture of online learning and face-to-face learning—is actually more effective than classroom learning by itself.
Findings from the Distance Education and Training Council (DECT), a nationally recognized accrediting agency, is also in line with the Department of Education. In their 2010 survey of distance learning graduates from 24 different degree granting institutions, the DETC reported that 98% of their 603 survey respondents believed that the degree program they enrolled in was adequate or superior in providing them with the knowledge and skills they were seeking.
Is Online Learning for You?
Earning an information technology degree online provides the flexibility of scheduling courses around work and personal commitments without sacrificing your education. Online study programs can be a good match for students who are just beginning their information technology degree and also for those who would like to pursue a graduate program.
In order to get started earning your online information technology degree, review the programs available, and decide which one best suits your interests. Prepare yourself to enter a growing job market by enrolling in an online computer science degree program today.