Accelerated Information Technology Degree
An accelerated information technology degree will put you in a market where there are more jobs than there are people to fill them. That means high salaries and job security.
Graduates with degrees in computer science are often starting with multiple job offers of $50,000 or more. Now is the time to be getting a traditional or online degree in information technology.
Types of Accelerated Information Technology Degrees
A degree in Information Technology has multiple areas that you could focus on. There are 8 different degrees in information technology and 5 degrees that are closely related to information technology
There could be 13 people each with a degree in information technology, and each would be slightly different.
List of Accelerated Information Technology Degrees
- Bachelor’s in Information Technology
- Bachelor’s in Information Technology – Information Management
- Bachelor’s in Information Technology – Information Security and Assurance
- Bachelor’s in Information Technology – Network Administration
- Bachelor’s in Information Technology – Programming and Software Development
- Bachelor’s in Information Technology – Gaming Design
- Bachelor’s in Information Technology – Web Development
Closely Related Majors:
- Bachelor’s in Electronics Engineering Technology
- Bachelor’s in Information Systems – Data Networking
- Bachelor’s in Information Systems – Database
Under each of these degrees is a long list of jobs. Find what makes you excited about information technology! There is most likely both a degree and a job for you in that field.
Accelerated Information Technology Degree Overview
If you love being on top of the latest technology trends, an everchanging work environment, and new products, a degree in information technology will suit you well.
Information technology is growing at lightning-fast speeds. Things that didn’t exist 20 or even 5 years ago are now commonplace and in almost every household.
Some of the programs we all use, like Google, Netflix, and Facebook were created by students or graduates of computer programming degree programs.
Information technology has changed life drastically, and a degree in information technology could put you at the front of a great career.
You will be taking classes like:
- Object-orientated Programming
- Web Architecture and Development
- Intro to Human-Computer Interactions
- Intro to Graphic Design
- Digital Imaging
- Intro to 3D Graphics
- Interactive Game Development
- Enterprise Systems and Integration
- Web and Mobile Programming
- Client-Side Programming
Classes like these will put you at the front of a career field that is rapidly expanding.
Accelerated Information Technology Degree Programs
An IT bachelor’s degree online can help you join those ranks and ensure job security. The following degrees will prepare you for the IT world in various ways, depending on your specific interests.
While they are generally ranked in order of popularity and career outlook, you should rank them according to your own interests and goals, as each degree here has the potential to introduce you to the IT world in exciting and promising ways.
1. Computer Science
Computer Science is one of the most popular IT degrees out there. There are many schools that offer it as an IT bachelor’s degree online, making it easy and convenient to earn this degree from your own home. As the name implies, a degree in Computer Science prepares students to become scientists.
For the most part, students pursuing an accelerated Computer Science degree online will learn operational, programming and coding skills. Advanced math courses are also usually required and essential for the work computer scientists do. There may be options for specializations within this degree like web development or systems operations.
Someone with a degree in Computer Science is prepared for a variety of high paying careers, including web and software development. There is also the option to continue at the graduate level and earn a Ph.D. in Computer Science, enabling graduates to become chief research scientists, inventing new, innovative technologies for companies.
2. Software Engineering
Companies rely on the health and efficiency of software programs. Software engineers design and develop these programs for companies. Students in software engineering programs learn an engineering approach to developing software.
They will have a different approach, set of skills, and knowledge than Computer Science students. For example, they may be required to learn electrical engineering components that might be integral in the creation of software.
Many programs that offer an IT bachelor’s degree online in Software Engineering require students to complete a number of hands-on projects. Some of those projects may involve working in groups, mimicking the team environment often found in the IT world.
It’s not uncommon for an IT team to have both a software engineer with a degree in Software Engineering and a software developer with a degree in Computer Science working side by side. This way, companies can reap the benefits of the varied ways of thinking among these closely related, but distinct fields.
3. Information Systems
Information Systems and Information Systems Management degrees prepare students to become administrators of technology. While engineers design software programs, IT managers maintain and diagnose those programs.
They often work with people as much as they work with computers and serve as liaisons within their companies between administrators with jobs outside of technology and employees who work directly with computers.
Information Systems administrators or managers advise companies about what systems are recommended for use and then maintain these systems on a daily basis. As such, this job can be demanding and sometimes stressful, as glitches and problems must be identified, diagnosed and fixed immediately.
This type of career path is best suited for those with strong interpersonal skills as well as advanced knowledge of computer systems.
4. Information Technology
A degree in Information Technology is probably the most general IT bachelor’s degree online that’s included in this list. Many Information Technology degree programs allow students to specialize in fields that appear on this list (Software Engineering or Computer Science, for example).
It’s kind of a jack of all trades degree in the IT world and can be very valuable in opening up multiple doors of potential employers because graduates aren’t tied down to any single area within the field.
Because this degree is wide open to a variety of specializations, students have the opportunity to decide which direction they desire to take later on in the program. This is beneficial to students who know they want to obtain an IT-related degree but aren’t yet ready to commit to a specific area yet.
With a program in Information Technology, students can take their general education and computer requirements and then determine which area they want to specialize in a year or two into their degree.
5. Game Development
This specialized degree is very new to the industry. It is a “hot” degree right now though and an exciting choice for students seeking a more thrilling position in IT. As it implies, game development prepares students to design and create video and computer games.
Like software engineers, game development majors must learn the ins and outs of developing software. They must also have artistic skills because they design multiple aspects of digital games. Some programs label this degree as Game Design, emphasizing the design elements.
Game development students, although already specialized, can learn niche areas of game development such as virtual game creation and other interactive game modes.
Game development degrees often require a number of foundational courses in software development and information systems, preparing students to enter the more general IT field as well.
Not everyone who works in the IT world has to possess a computer-related degree. In fact, some employers are starting to search for recent graduates with liberal arts or business degrees that accompany their computer skills and knowledge. Students with general science degrees (Chemistry, Biology, etc.) also find success in working in IT settings.
Thinking outside of IT bachelor degrees online might help you combine your interests in the IT world with your skills in another field. Having multiple sets of knowledge might be valuable during a job search so long as you have experiential and demonstrable knowledge.
If you already hold a bachelor’s degree, you might be eligible for a job in the IT world already. Like in many sectors, networking is essential in locating and securing new employment opportunities, so look to others for guidance before launching into a whole new degree that you may not need.
Careers with an Accelerated IT Degree
A degree in information technology will get you a career that offers, according to Forbes, not only some of the best paying jobs but also the healthiest job growth.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that jobs related to computers and information technology will grow by 12%. That is more than double the average. You are looking at 488, 500 new jobs in the next 7 years.
This is a field that is exploding with opportunities!
And yes, money too. You might not be a millionaire by age 23 but a career in Information technology brings in big bucks.
|Career||Average Annual Salary|
|Computer and Information Research Scientist||$111, 840|
|Computer Network Architect||$101,210|
|Information Security Analyst||$92,600|
|Computer Systems Analyst||$87,220|
|Network Systems Administrator||$79,700|
|Computer Support Specialist||$52,160|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
The types of jobs available are as numerous as the number of apps for your iPhone. Every office has a computer, operating system, and technology in place.
Fields like health care, insurance, development or gaming are open to you with a degree in information technology. Business Insider highlights 10 Information Technology jobs in their list of the top-paying jobs in North America.
Plus, some of these entry-level positions may only require an IT associate’s degree to start off. Experience will be vital to help you climb up the ladder, but if you want to get there quicker, consider an online master’s in information technology or an online PhD in information technology.
Careers in Information Technology
It seems as if everyone these days is “in IT.” To use a brief analogy, IT is the technological brain of any corporation, business or organization. Since almost every business relies on technology to operate and function, IT professionals are integral to a business’s success. The efficiency of an IT team can make or break a company’s profits and reputation.
It’s quite common for a company to employ a large team of IT professionals that work in various capacities. Many of these team members probably possess the degrees listed below or similar degrees.
This team usually reports to a CIO (Chief Information Officer) who serves as a team manager and administrator. The team must work together to ensure the technological well-being of their company.
Working in the IT world almost always implies working with computers in some capacity. There are sometimes auxiliary positions that don’t involve direct work with computers, but even employees in those positions must usually possess computer knowledge to a certain degree.
If you don’t like or “get” computers, the IT world is most likely not for you. You can still work for an IT company (one that specializes in computers), but in another capacity (such as in a Human Resources department).
Why Enroll in an Online Accelerated Information Technology Program?
There are three main advantages of taking online accelerated classes.
No wait to start! A large majority of universities that offer accelerated information technology degrees will have new start dates each month. There’s no waiting until next semester to start.
No wasting time! Instead of taking 16-week classes on campus, you can take 8-week classes online. Yes, it will require a lot of your time, but you’ll be finished with your degree in two years instead of four.
Convenient study times! You can do your schoolwork anywhere. No commuting to or moving to campus to be in class at a certain time. You can arrange your schedule how you like.
Accelerated online classes are the most convenient option for getting your degree quickly.
3 Ways to Accelerate Your Information Technology Degree Even More
These 3 options to accelerate your information technology degree can save you years of schooling.
#1 – Test Out of College Classes (Save 1 Year)
Instead of going to class, you can take an exam and get credit for it. You don’t go to class. You don’t do assignments. You just take the exam.
You can register with the College Level Examination Program to earn up to 30 credits by taking exams in the courses you need. You can test out of most of your electives and even a few core classes like Intro to Information Systems.
If you take 10 exams for credit, that is a whole year of class you didn’t have to go to. You can grab the study guide, read through it, and then take the exam. As long as you get 50%, you pass and get credit for the course.
#2 – Get College Credit for Your Life and Work Experience (Save a Full Semester)
Did you know you can get credit for your work and military experience? Meaning again, less time in class.
Liberty University, like many universities, has a program set up that will allow you to earn credit for your experience through a submitted portfolio. This portfolio usually goes by the name Credit for Prior Learning. You can earn credit for your experience in:
- Information systems
- Web development
- Network security
Working with your Faculty Advisor, you put together a document with your training, experiences, credentials, and reference letters. Once your submitted portfolio is approved, you get credit for the class.
You also need to look at the American Council on Education website, where they will have a list of courses or training you may have done through your employer. This list of ACE-recommended credits is recognized by most colleges.
#3 – Stay Continuously Enrolled with the Max Course Load
An average student will enroll in 30 credits each year, taking them about 4 years to finish a degree. You can, however, take up to 18 credit hours every semester. You can do this even in the summer.
The beauty of this is that in 12 months, you will have 54 credits. That’s almost two years of college done in one year
Bonus: Transferring Your Existing College Credits
Did you start a degree and end up not finishing it? That can work out in your favor.
You can transfer your existing college credits into your Information Technology degree. As long as your existing credit is from an accredited college and you earned a C in the class, it will count.
Even if your previous classes don’t fit your new degree, you can still use your existing credit to fill your electives. That means fewer classes you have to take this time around.
Information Technology Degree Accreditation
Although there are many ways to “get a degree,” the only degree that will benefit you is one that comes from an accredited college.
Look for a college or university recognized by one of these regional boards:
- Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
- Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
- New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)
- Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
- Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
- WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)
Accreditation guarantees that you’ll receive a high-quality education and that other universities and potential employers will recognize the value of your degree.
Financial Aid for an Online Information Technology Degree
Online students qualify for the same benefits as on-campus counterparts. Start by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You’ll see the amount of money you can choose to receive in the form of grants and student loans. You can then supplement this amount by applying for:
- State funding
- Scholarships from your college and other organizations
- Your employer if they have a tuition assistance program
Every source of funding helps and can help you get through school quickly without coming away with a huge debt to pay.
Questions Related to Earning an Accelerated Information Technology Degree
Here are our answers to a few more questions you might have.
What Is a Degree in Information Technology?
A degree in Information Technology equips to set up and maintain the computer systems of a business. You’ll take classes in computer engineering, database management, and network security.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Information Technology Degree?
If you take classes on campus, earning 15 credits per semester, it will take you 4 years. You can, however, earn a degree in 18-24 months if you test out of classes, submit a portfolio for prior learning, and take accelerated classes to earn 18 credits per semester, including over the summer.
How Long Does an Accelerated Bachelor’s Degree Take?
Accelerated classes usually last half as long as traditional classes, meaning you can complete your degree in 2 years. You could shave even more time off if you test out of classes, earn credit for prior learning, and take the max course load of 18 credits year-round.
Is a Information Technology Degree Worth It?
Yes, a Information Technology degree is worth it. When you graduate, you’ll benefit from a job market that is growing at a rate of 12%. Depending on your job and location, you could be earning between $50,000 and $100,000 per year.