Accelerated Information Technology Degree [2021 Guide]

Jump-start your career with an accelerated information technology degree. Don't waste extra time sitting in class. Finish your IT degree fast online!

An accelerated information technology degree may put you in a market where there are more jobs than there are people to fill them. That means potential for high salaries and job security.

Accelerated Information Technology Degree Online

Graduates with degrees in computer science are often starting with multiple job offers of $50,000 or more (Bureau of Labor Statistics). Now is the time to be getting a traditional or online degree in information technology.

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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

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 may 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 help 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 may help 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 can help 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

software developers working together on a computer for a project

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 can help prepare 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.

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Someone with a degree in Computer Science may pursue 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 potentially become chief research scientists, inventing new, innovative technologies for companies.

2. Software Engineering

software engineers collaborating on a project

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 likely 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.

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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

IT manager checking the computer system in data room

Information Systems and Information Systems Management degrees prepare students to become administrators of technology. While engineers design software programs, IT managers may 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.

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Information Systems administrators or managers may advise companies about what systems are recommended for use and then maintain these systems on a daily basis. As such, this job may be demanding and sometimes stressful, as glitches and problems must be identified, diagnosed and fixed immediately.This type of career path is suited for those with strong interpersonal skills as well as advanced knowledge of computer systems.

4. Information Technology

software engineers working together on a project

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.

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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 may 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

game developer working together on a mobile game interface

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.

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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.

Alternative Degrees

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

Careers with an Accelerated IT Degree

A degree in information technology can help 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 11%. That is more than double the average. You are looking at 531,200 new jobs in the next 10 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 may bring in big bucks.

Career Annual Median Salary
Computer and Information Research Scientist $111, 840
Software Developer $102,280
Computer Network Architect $101,210
Information Security Analyst $92,600
Computer Systems Analyst $87,220
Database Administrator $84,950
Computer Programmer $79,840
Network Systems Administrator $79,700
Web Developer $66,130
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 may be 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, you may consider earning 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 may not be 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?

Information Technology student studying on her laptop in a sofa

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 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 may take 8-week classes online. Yes, it will require a lot of your time, but you might be finished with your degree in two years instead of four.

Convenient study times! You may do your schoolwork anywhere. No commuting to or moving to campus to be in class at a certain time. You may arrange your schedule how you like.

Accelerated online classes are the most convenient option for getting your degree quickly.

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3 Ways to Accelerate Your Information Technology Degree Even More

These 3 options to accelerate your information technology degree may save you years of schooling.

#1 – Test Out of College Classes (Save 1 Year)

Instead of going to class, you may take a test to get college 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 try and earn up to 30 credits by taking exams in the courses you need. You may test out of most of your electives and even a few core classes, like Intro to Information Systems.

If you pass 10 exams for credit, that could be a whole year of class you didn’t have to go to. You may grab the study guide, read through it, and then take the exam. As long as you get 50%, you pass and may get credit for the course.

#2 – Get College Credit for Your Life and Work Experience (Save a Full Semester)

Did you know you may 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 might 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. If your submitted portfolio is approved, you may get credit for the class.

You may also 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 may 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 might 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 may work out in your favor.

You may 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 may count.

Even if your previous classes don’t fit your new degree, you may still use your existing credit to fill your electives. That means fewer classes you have to take this time around.

Information Technology Degree Accreditation

logos of the six regional accreditors

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:

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

screenshot of FAFSA website

Online students may 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 may be eligible to receive in the form of grants and student loans. You may 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 may 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 helps equip you 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 typically take you 4 years. You may, 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 might be able to complete your degree in 2 years. You may 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?

Is a Information Technology Degree Worth It

Yes, an Information Technology degree is worth it. When you graduate, you may have the opportunity to benefit from a job market that is growing at a rate of 11% (Bureau of Labor Statistics). Depending on your job and location, you may earn between $50,000 and $100,000 per year.

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Joy Cromwelle
WRITTEN BY
Joy Cromwelle
Joy is pursuing her Ph.D. in Public Policy & Foreign Policy and holds a Master of Business Administration in Strategic Management, as well as a Bachelor's in Business Administration. Joy's focus is helping non-traditional students find accelerated degree options and credit for prior learning opportunities.