August 9, 2022

Best online degrees in information technology 2021: Top picks

Table of Contents

An information technology degree prepares students to enter a field that touches virtually every aspect of modern life.

IT professionals develop and manage the computer networks and systems we use at work and home. IT graduates enter careers including database administration, information security, and web development.  

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports median salaries for computer and information technology workers of $91,250 per year. It also lists a 13% projected increase in employment between 2020 and 2030.

As technology evolves, opportunities for information technology degree-holders rise. Read on to discover the best information technology degrees available online.

The best online bachelor’s in information technology degrees

ZDNet’s ranking methodology centers on expertly curated and editorially reviewed data. Schools and programs cannot pay for inclusion on our lists, and we strive to present accurate and timely information.

Unless otherwise indicated, data is drawn from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System and College Scorecard.

1. Florida International University

Miami, Florida

About the program: FIU’s online bachelor of arts in information sciences accepts applications from students already enrolled in or completing another bachelor’s program from an accredited school or college. Graduates complete 39 credits.

  • Acceptance rate: 58%
  • Graduation rate: 64%
  • Average annual net price: $7,300
  • Time to completion: Variable depending on transfer credits; part-time and accelerated study available
  • SAT range: Critical reading 570-650; math 540-630
  • Minimum GPA: Not required
  • Enrollment periods per year: Fall, spring, and summer terms
  • Course delivery methods: Online and asynchronous

Accreditation: Florida International University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

2. New Mexico State University

Las Cruces, New Mexico

About the program: NMSU offers a 120-credit online bachelor’s degree in business information systems for those interested in IT security, management information systems, and business analytics.

  • Acceptance rate: 55%
  • Graduation rate: 52%
  • Average annual net price: $8,660
  • Time to completion: Four to six; part-time and accelerated study available
  • SAT range: Critical reading 480-580; math 470-570
  • Minimum GPA: 2.7
  • Enrollment periods per year: Spring, summer, and fall semesters
  • Course delivery methods: Online and asynchronous

Accreditation: New Mexico State University-Main Campus is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

3. Central Washington University

Ellensburg, Washington

About the program: Learners with associate or bachelor’s degrees from accredited institutions can apply CWU’s bachelor of science in information technology and administrative management and choose among five specialty areas.

  • Acceptance rate: 85%
  • Graduation rate: 60%
  • Average annual net price: $15,400
  • Time to completion: Variable depending on transfer credits; part-time and accelerated study available
  • SAT range: Critical reading 470-580; math 480-590
  • Minimum GPA: 2.5
  • Enrollment periods per year: Fall, winter, spring, and summer quarters
  • Course delivery methods: Online and asynchronous

Accreditation: Central Washington University is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).

4. East Carolina University

Greenville, North Carolina

About the program: Associate of applied science degree-holders can qualify for admission to ECU’s bachelor of science in industrial technology transfer program and select from among eight concentration areas. 

  • Acceptance rate: 79%
  • Graduation rate: 66%
  • Average annual net price: $15,800
  • Time to completion: Variable depending on transfer credits; part-time study available
  • SAT range: Critical reading 520-600; math 520-590
  • Minimum GPA: 2.5
  • Enrollment periods per year: Spring, summer, and fall terms
  • Course delivery methods: Online and asynchronous

Accreditation: East Carolina University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

5. George Mason University

Fairfax, Virginia

About the program: The online, 120-credit bachelor of science in information technology at GMU prepares graduates for advanced degrees or careers in IT support for businesses.

  • Acceptance rate: 87%
  • Graduation rate: 74%
  • Average annual net price: $21,000
  • Time to completion: Four years
  • SAT range: Critical reading 560-660; math 550-660
  • Minimum GPA: 2.75 preferred
  • Enrollment periods per year: Fall and spring semesters
  • Course delivery methods: Online and asynchronous

Accreditation: George Mason University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

6. Tarleton State University

Stephenville, Texas

About the program: Admission to TSU’s bachelor of applied arts and sciences in information technology requires 30 transferable credits. The curriculum is geared to working professionals with some IT experience.

  • Acceptance rate: 56%
  • Graduation rate: 56%
  • Average annual net price: $19,000
  • Time to completion: Two to four years; part-time and accelerated study available
  • SAT range: Not required
  • Minimum GPA: 2.0
  • Enrollment periods per year: Fall, spring, and summer terms
  • Course delivery methods: Online plus two evening classes on campus

Accreditation: Tarleton State University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

7. North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University

Greensboro, North Carolina

About the program: A public historically black university, N.C. A&T offers a 120-credit bachelor of science in information technology program focusing on mainframe administration and computer networking.

  • Acceptance rate: 58%
  • Graduation rate: 46%
  • Average annual net price: $10,300
  • Time to completion: Four years
  • SAT range: Critical reading 490-580; math 480-570
  • Minimum GPA: Not required
  • Enrollment periods per year: Fall and spring terms
  • Course delivery methods: Online and asynchronous

Accreditation: North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

8. Santa Fe College

Gainesville, Florida

About the program: Applicants to SF’s online bachelor of applied science in information systems technology must hold at least an associate degree in information technology. The 60-credit curriculum focuses on upcoming IT trends.

  • Acceptance rate: Not publicly available
  • Graduation rate: 40%
  • Average annual net price: $11,400
  • Time to completion: Two years
  • SAT range: Not publicly available
  • Minimum GPA: 2.5
  • Enrollment periods per year: Fall, spring, and summer terms
  • Course delivery methods: Online

Accreditation: Santa Fe College is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

9. Indian River State College

Fort Pierce, Florida

About the program: Admission to IRSC’s 39-credit bachelor of science in information technology management and cybersecurity program requires an associate degree from a regionally accredited school. 

  • Acceptance rate: Not publicly available
  • Graduation rate: 38%
  • Average annual net price: $2,000
  • Time to completion: Two years
  • SAT range: Not publicly available
  • Minimum GPA: 2.0
  • Enrollment periods per year: Fall and spring terms
  • Course delivery methods: Online 

Accreditation: Indian River State College is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

10. Indiana State University

Terre Haute, Indiana

About the program: ISU’s 120-credit bachelor of science in information technology covers computer science, management information systems, and electronics and computer technology.

  • Acceptance rate: 90%
  • Graduation rate: 42%
  • Average annual net price: $13,900
  • Time to completion: Four years; part-time study available
  • SAT range: Not required
  • Minimum GPA: 2.0-2.5
  • Enrollment periods per year: Fall, spring, and summer sessions
  • Course delivery methods: Online and asynchronous

Accreditation: Indiana State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

11. Western Governors University

Salt Lake City, Utah

About the program: Distance learners at WGU can pursue a bachelor of science in business administration — IT management degree. Most students graduate in 41 months.

  • Acceptance rate: Not publicly available
  • Graduation rate: 49%
  • Average annual net price: $9,800
  • Time to completion: Three to four years; accelerated study available
  • SAT range: Not required
  • Minimum GPA: Not required
  • Enrollment periods per year: Rolling
  • Course delivery methods: Online and asynchronous

Accreditation: Western Governors University is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).

12. Daytona State College

Daytona Beach, Florida

About the program: Candidates with associate degrees can apply to Daytona State’s online bachelor of science in information technology and specialize in web system programming or cybersecurity and cyber forensics. 

  • Acceptance rate: Not publicly available
  • Graduation rate: 36%
  • Average annual net price: $8,800
  • Time to completion: Two years
  • SAT range: Not publicly available
  • Minimum GPA: 2.5
  • Enrollment periods per year: Fall, spring, and summer terms
  • Course delivery methods: Online

Accreditation: Daytona State College is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

13. Southern Illinois University

Carbondale, Illinois

About the program: Students interested in focusing on computer users’ needs can earn an online bachelor of science in information technology at SIU. Graduates complete 120 credits and can focus on one of five concentration areas.  

  • Acceptance rate: 66%
  • Graduation rate: 54%
  • Average annual net price: $16,900
  • Time to completion: Four years; accelerated study available
  • SAT range: Critical reading 520-630; math 510-620
  • Minimum GPA: 2.75 (applicants with lower GPAs submit SAT or ACT scores)
  • Enrollment periods per year: Fall, spring, or summer terms
  • Course delivery methods: Online

Accreditation: Southern Illinois University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

14. University of Nebraska Omaha

Omaha, Nebraska

About the program: The 120-credit online bachelor of science in management information systems at UNO offers five optional concentrations, including internet technologies and information assurance.

  • Acceptance rate: 83%
  • Graduation rate: 50%
  • Average annual net price: $14,000
  • Time to completion: Four years
  • SAT range: Not publicly available
  • Minimum GPA: 3.0
  • Enrollment periods per year: Fall, spring, and summer terms
  • Course delivery methods: Online and asynchronous

Accreditation: University of Nebraska Omaha is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

15. DePaul University

Chicago, Illinois

About the program: Designed for transfer students, DePaul’s online bachelor of science in information technology program requires 45 quarter-hours or 20 semester-hours for admission. Distance learners can concentrate their studies on media engineering or web development.

  • Acceptance rate: 68%
  • Graduation rate: 68%
  • Average annual net price: $30,000
  • Time to completion: Variable depending on transfer credits
  • SAT range: Not publicly available
  • Minimum GPA: 2.0
  • Enrollment periods per year: Rolling
  • Course delivery methods: Online and asynchronous

Accreditation: DePaul University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

16. Western Kentucky University

Bowling Green, Kentucky

About the program: The online bachelor of science in computer information technology degree at WKU provides learners with technical skills in their area of interest. Admitted students with associate degrees can complete the program with just 36 hours of coursework.

  • Acceptance rate: 97%
  • Graduation rate: 47%
  • Average annual net price: $12,000
  • Time to completion: Variable depending on transfer credits
  • SAT range: Critical reading 500-620; math 490-600
  • Minimum GPA: 2.0
  • Enrollment periods per year: Fall, spring, and summer semesters
  • Course delivery methods: Online; asynchronous and synchronous

Accreditation: Western Kentucky University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

17. Loyola University Chicago

Chicago, Illinois

About the program: The Jesuit university’s bachelor of arts in information technology program teaches database management, Java programming, networks and telecommunications, object-oriented software development, and web development.

  • Acceptance rate: 67%
  • Graduation rate: 74%
  • Average annual net price: $35,400
  • Time to completion: Variable; accelerated study available
  • SAT range: Critical reading 570-660; math 560-660 
  • Minimum GPA: 2.0
  • Enrollment periods per year: Rolling with five session start dates
  • Course delivery methods: Online; asynchronous and synchronous

Accreditation: Loyola University Chicago is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

18. Keiser University

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

About the program: Distance learners with computer-related associate degrees can apply to KU’s bachelor of science in information technology management program. The 60-credit curriculum focuses on the business side of technology.

  • Acceptance rate: Not publicly available
  • Graduation rate: 57%
  • Average annual net price: $33,400
  • Time to completion: Two years
  • SAT range: Not required
  • Minimum GPA: Not required
  • Enrollment periods per year: Rolling
  • Course delivery methods: Online and asynchronous

Accreditation: Keiser University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

19. Kennesaw State University

Kennesaw, Georgia

About the program: The online bachelor of science in information technology at KSU requires 120 credits and offers concentrations in cyber operations security, data analytics and technology, enterprise systems, and technology and innovation.

  • Acceptance rate: 75%
  • Graduation rate: 48%
  • Average annual net price: $17,200
  • Time to completion: Four years
  • SAT range: Critical reading 530-620; math 520-610
  • Minimum GPA: 2.5
  • Enrollment periods per year: Rolling
  • Course delivery methods: Online and asynchronous

Accreditation: Kennesaw State University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

20. Colorado State University Global Campus

Aurora, Colorado

About the program: CSU-Global’s 120-credit online bachelor of science in information technology program prepares graduates for careers as IT leaders and to pass professional certification exams like CompTIA A+. Optional specializations add customizability. 

  • Acceptance rate: 99%
  • Graduation rate: Not publicly available
  • Average annual net price: Not publicly available
  • Time to completion: Four years; accelerated study available
  • SAT range: Critical reading 460-600; math 490-540
  • Minimum GPA: 2.8
  • Enrollment periods per year: Rolling
  • Course delivery methods: Online and asynchronous

Accreditation: Colorado State University Global Campus is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

21. Campbell University

Buies Creek, North Carolina

About the program: Campbell’s 124-credit bachelor of science in information technology security trains graduates for careers in information security and technology management.

  • Acceptance rate: 78%
  • Graduation rate: 50%
  • Average annual net price: $24,500
  • Time to completion: Four years; accelerated study available
  • SAT range: Critical reading 520-620; math 510-610
  • Minimum GPA: 2.5
  • Enrollment periods per year: Rolling
  • Course delivery methods: Online

Accreditation: Campbell University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

22. Regis University

Denver, Colorado

About the program: The 120-credit online bachelor of science in information technology curriculum at Jesuit-founded Regis focuses on designing, supporting, and troubleshooting elements of the IT infrastructure. It offers cybersecurity and web application development tracks. 

  • Acceptance rate: 71%
  • Graduation rate: 57%
  • Average annual net price: $25,500
  • Time to completion: Variable depending on transfer credits; accelerated study available
  • SAT range: Critical reading 520-630; math 510-610
  • Minimum GPA: Not required
  • Enrollment periods per year: Rolling with six start dates
  • Course delivery methods: Online

Accreditation: Regis University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

23. King University

Bristol, Tennessee

About the program: King’s online bachelor of science in information technology degree requires 124 credits and features tracks in cloud computing and systems administration, cybersecurity management, and digital business and game development.

  • Acceptance rate: 77%
  • Graduation rate: 44%
  • Average annual net price: $13,800
  • Time to completion: Variable depending on transfer credits; part-time and accelerated study available
  • SAT range: Critical reading 470-560; math 470-560
  • Minimum GPA: 2.2
  • Enrollment periods per year: Rolling
  • Course delivery methods: Online and asynchronous

Accreditation: King University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

24. Misericordia University

Dallas, Pennsylvania

About the program: This Catholic school’s career-focused bachelor of science in information technology prepares professionals with technical, business writing, and presentation skills and offers an IT security specialization.

  • Acceptance rate: 86%
  • Graduation rate: 70%
  • Average annual net price: $25,500
  • Time to completion: Four years; part-time and accelerated study available
  • SAT range: Critical reading 520-610; math 530-610
  • Minimum GPA: 2.5
  • Enrollment periods per year: Rolling
  • Course delivery methods: Online and asynchronous

Accreditation: Misericordia is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

25. Columbus State University

Columbus, Georgia

About the program: CSU’s 123-credit bachelor of science in information technology includes optional cybersecurity or web development certificates. In addition to core skills, the curriculum emphasizes communication and the role of IT in business.

  • Acceptance rate: 79%
  • Graduation rate: 37%
  • Average annual net price: $12,058
  • Time to completion: Four years
  • SAT range: Critical reading 480+; math 440+
  • Minimum GPA: 2.5
  • Enrollment periods per year: Summer, fall, and spring semesters
  • Course delivery methods: Online

Accreditation: Columbus State University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Insights from an information technology graduate

Headshot of Victoria Wildhorn, a woman with long curly hair and glasses

Victoria Wildhorn is a skilled digital marketing professional with experience in link building, social media marketing, email newsletters, and content marketing. 

A graduate of Nova Southeastern University with a bachelor of science in information technology, Victoria worked at a law firm SEO agency for three years and has since dived into content marketing for a top mattress review site. 

Responses have been edited for length and clarity.

ZDNet: What are the advantages of pursuing an information technology degree specifically, among many other possible computer science degrees?

Victoria Wildhorn: IT gives you a wider breadth of knowledge than traditional CS programs. Both degrees have programming courses, but IT also has more human-based and technical courses, like network security, human-computer interaction, and legal aspects of technology. 

ZDNet: Was there anything about majoring in information technology that you didn’t expect or anticipate?

VW: I didn’t expect the mandatory education on coding and back-end website development, including database management. I am much more of a front-end/UX-centric person and would have preferred to learn more about those development aspects that can be leveraged in my marketing career. 

ZDNet: What was the most challenging course you took as an information technology major? What advice would you give to students who are about to start this course?

VW: My most challenging course was web programming and design. There were many new tools and programs introduced in this course and a short period to actually learn them prior to assignments being due. 

My advice is to download these programs early on (they should be listed in the course syllabus) and try to teach yourself as much as possible before the first few assignments. If your instructor offers office hours, definitely take advantage of that as well. Web development, with the design aspect, is much more than simple coding. 

ZDNet: What would you recommend that students do in addition to their information technology degree program, in order to stand out to employers?

VW: Experience is your greatest asset. Whether it’s a one-off job, side gig, or professional employment, your skills will be obtained through hands-on work. 

If you aren’t able to procure freelance or part-time employment while in school, seek out an internship, which will be extremely beneficial to gaining job skills and makes a highly necessary addition to your resume. 

Also, it’s never too early to start networking with individuals in your preferred field. A completed LinkedIn profile is a must! 

What to expect in an online bachelor’s in information technology degree program

Online IT programs build the knowledge and skills required for tech careers. Learners take online courses in computer programming, information systems, and computer networking. In online programs, self-motivated, proactive students tend to thrive. 

IT courses provide a theoretical foundation for computing technologies while also emphasizing practical applications.

These courses often build hands-on skills through project-based and experiential learning. Students may also take exams, make presentations, and complete an internship. 

In addition to analytical and problem-solving abilities, IT courses strengthen technical skills. Learners may complete a capstone project.

Online bachelor’s in information technology courses

Students on the path to learning about information technology often take similar core courses, which cover introductory topics in business applications, networking, server administration, and web development. 

The course descriptions listed below summarize four courses common among bachelor in information technology degrees.

Computer operating systems

This course introduces students to the fundamentals of operating systems, such as concurrency and deadlocks, memory and file management, multi-tasking, processes, threads, and virtualization.

Computer and network security

Students explore the principles and practices of cybersecurity, including network attack methods and impacts, security policies, and internet protocol vulnerabilities. Also discussed are defense techniques such as access control, authentication, and encryption.

Introduction to web design

This course presents web page design, development, and maintenance basics. Topics usually include programming, architectural elements, graphics, HTML, and interfaces.

Network management

Enrollees learn about managing networking technologies used in business settings. Covered topics typically include design and management of communication protocols, data communications, human interaction with networks, and reporting issues.

Information technology degree levels

An associate degree in information technology can land you an entry-level IT job with minimal time spent in school. Increasingly, many companies require a bachelor’s degree. 

Advanced degrees garner higher salaries and more opportunities for advancement. IT professionals may pursue graduate degrees to move into upper-level, academic, and management roles. 

Associate in information technology

Length: One to two years

Cost: $70-$540 per credit

Post-grad careers: Computer systems analyst; computer support specialist; computer programmer

An associate-level information technology degree introduces designing, supporting, and using IT within organizations. Graduates can qualify for entry-level computer support and programming positions. Most programs take two years to complete. Accelerated programs last 12-18 months. 

Curriculums of approximately 60 credits include core courses that cover the fundamentals of database systems, information security, project management, and web design. Many programs include internships and capstone projects. 

Bachelor’s in information technology

Length: Three to four years 

Cost: $186-$913 per credit

Post-grad careers: Database administrator; information security analyst; network architect

Bachelor’s degrees in information technology expand learning into general education and delve into computing’s mathematical and theoretical aspects. Topics may include algorithms, artificial intelligence, programming, hardware, and software. Specializations such as network management, security, and software application help define career goals.

Most programs comprise 120 credits that prepare graduates for industry certifications. Internships provide hands-on experience and future employment contacts. While four years is typical, students with transferable credits and accelerated program enrollees can finish in as soon as 16 months.

Master’s in information technology

Length: One to two years 

Cost: $255-$2,196 per credit

Post-grad careers: Biomedical engineer; computer and information research scientist, IT manager 

Experienced IT professionals pursue master’s degrees to specialize in fields like data science, information security, software development, and web design. Master’s programs feature internships and opportunities to strengthen industry connections. Graduates qualify for research and leadership roles.

Master’s level concentrations may include bioengineering, e-commerce, and software development management. Curriculums generally include 45 credits, and full-time students can finish in 18 months. 

Doctorate in information technology

Length: Three to five years 

Cost: $500-$1,000 per credit 

Post-grad careers: Computer or information research scientist; computer or information system manager; postsecondary computer science teacher

Doctoral information technology degree programs offer opportunities to customize curriculums and explore and specialize in such areas as advanced software development, enterprise database design, and healthcare information technology. Graduates earn either Ph.D.s in IT or doctor of information technology (DIT) degrees. 

A Ph.D. opens doors to careers as university professors and researchers. DITs tend to focus on industry practice. Programs sometimes include a capstone project, but most Ph.D. tracks require a research-based dissertation. Doctoral students also complete internships and fellowships.

In conclusion

An online bachelor’s degree in information technology sets you on the path to graduate study or an IT career in an ever-changing and continuously growing field.

Our school listings can help you identify the best programs for meeting your goals, and our guide to IT degree scholarships can offer ideas for funding your education.