Information technology (IT) refers to computing systems that collect, organize, record, and access data. There are many career paths available in this broad field. High salaries, the opportunity to work from home, and low unemployment rates within the industry are some of the biggest reasons individuals pursue a career in information technology.
Graduating with an online degree in information technology leads to a career with a far-reaching impact in today’s technological world. An IT degree allows you to work in an industry that connects people across the globe and facilitates advances in many sectors, effectively touching every corner and aspect of the business world.
An online bachelor’s degree in information technology provides graduates with the skills needed to begin a career in information technology. IT degree-holders can pursue a range of career paths, including:
- Computer programmers
- Computer network architects
- Information security analysts
- Web developers
- Software engineers
- Database administrators
- Systems analysts
- Computer support specialists
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics projects an additional 420K job openings between 2022 and 2030 for computer and information systems managers. This increase is faster than the average of all occupations. The majority of these jobs require only a bachelor’s degree.
Large and small businesses in every industry rely on professionals who have an IT degree. The above list is by no means exhaustive. You’re sure to find other roles and career paths in every industry globally, from finance to government to healthcare and beyond.
What is the difference between earning an online and an on-campus degree?
Whether an online or on-campus education is better for a student depends on the student.
Let’s look at the differences, so you can determine which is right for you – online, on-campus, or a combination of the two, sometimes referred to as a hybrid program.
On-Campus Education Advantages
An on-campus education is understood to be the more traditional college experience. With an on-campus education, students live on or near the college campus. They participate in extracurricular activities and sports, attend events, and have more hands-on experience while pursuing their degree.
Possible advantages of an on-campus education include:
- Structure – For students who don’t work well independently, the structure of on-campus classes can be very beneficial.
- Degree Programs - More degree programs are available for on-campus students. Some degree programs – such as science, health-related fields, and engineering – require students to be physically present to complete lab work which cannot be accommodated with online studies.
- Social Interaction – Although both online and on-campus students can interact, their forms of interaction differ. On-campus students have the advantage of face-to-face interactions with teachers and peers. They have the opportunity to live, eat, and play together. This may lead to closer bonds developing between on-campus students than is possible for online students.
- Instructors – On-campus students have face-to-face interaction and instruction with professors, creating deeper relationships and more excellent future networking opportunities.
- Facilities – On-campus students have access to the school’s various facilities beyond the classrooms, namely laboratories, athletic facilities, and the library.
Online Education Advantages
More and more students are choosing to pursue online education. This is especially true of students pursuing graduate degrees while continuing to work. Students also elect to study online instead of on campus due to childcare logistics and other commitments that interfere with on-campus attendance.
Online programs give students more freedom to study whenever and wherever they choose. If a school offers both programs, the curriculum for online programs is similar, if not the same as, its on-campus counterparts. Slight differences may be seen in lab classes and projects.
Online classes are flexible, allowing students to choose when and where to participate, even when a student’s schedule/availability varies weekly or even daily. This flexibility can be a boon for students who require it and can self-motivate. Online classes allow you to study at a pace that works around your personal and work schedules. On-campus courses, on the other hand, have a fixed schedule and provide no flexibility. On-campus classes do afford more accountability and reminders, however.
Both online and on-campus programs offer one-on-one contact with professors. Although online classes lack face-to-face communication with peers and instructors, various communication venues are available, including forums, chat rooms, email, texting, and opportunities for computer face time.
How will my curriculum be outlined?
Most online curricula are comprised of fundamentally the same material as their on-campus counterparts, including the basic core subjects. They then branch out into various niche subjects, specializations, or concentrations.
You're prepared for real-world challenges at University of the Cumberlands School of Computer and Information Sciences. Our curriculum includes everything needed for a successful IT career. UC’s bachelor’s program in information technology sciences (ITS) consists of 30 hours of introductory IT courses, such as:
- Business intelligence
- Server administration
- Web design
- Application software
- Intro to object-oriented programming
You then choose to specialize in one of the following concentrations:
- Software engineering
As part of UC’s bachelor’s in information technology online degree, you’ll be required to complete at least 120 semester hours as follows:
- 68 semester hours of General Education
- 30 semester hours in Bachelor Core Requirements
- The balance of required semester credit hours is covered with electives
- University of the Cumberlands offers bachelor’s programs in information technology and applied science.
Although not all are offered at UC, common industry-wide IT specializations include:
- Software development/engineering (programming)
- Website development and design
- Information security and cybersecurity analysis
- IT project management
- Network and computer systems administration
- Application development
- Database Administration
- Product management
- Data Science
- Information technology auditing
- User experience testing
- Configuration/quality assurance testing
- IT support/helpdesk
Why would I want to pursue an online IT degree?
An information technology degree helps graduates develop the knowledge and skills to manage computer networks and big data within professional contexts and to monitor and improve the security of said assets.
An online IT bachelor’s degree is worthwhile for the following reasons:
- Online learning offers unique benefits to students. UC’s online IT bachelor’s degree programs are more flexible than traditional on-campus degree programs. Our online program allows you to pursue new career opportunities and goals without leaving your current job. You can study online at a pace that works around your current career.
- Online learning may help to jumpstart a new career path. Many IT roles require knowledge of important tech concepts and business strategies. These can be learned online, preparing you for new opportunities.
- University of the Cumberlands is regionally accredited and provides the same great education to online and on-campus students.
- An online IT degree is ideal if you love all things tech. Our comprehensive online program allows you to dive into topics such as cybersecurity, computer programming, web design, and other cutting-edge subjects.
- An online degree in information technology can help you earn a better salary. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, computer and information systems managers earn an average annual salary of $159,010. That’s three times the median salary of all other jobs.
What does the career field look like for a graduate in online IT?
The career field for online IT graduates looks exceptional, and University of the Cumberlands works hard to be the best school possible for online learning. Our curriculum is designed to give you the IT skills in demand today, preparing you to begin or advance your information technology career.
Security is a major driving force in today’s IT industry. Hackers and cyberattacks put businesses and critical business information at risk. An online information technology degree prepares graduates to:
- Manage compliance with federal regulations
- Develop and implement security policies
- Recognize and prevent exploitation in software, hardware, and network configurations
- Create disaster prevention and recovery plans
- Write new software code to tackle security threats
Cyberattacks and data breaches happen daily, increasing the need for information security analysts. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics projects an increased demand of 33 percent for information security analysts between 2020 and 2030.
Getting Your Online Information Technology Degree at University of the Cumberlands
University of the Cumberlands is accredited by the SACSCOC (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges). Additionally, UC has been named a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber-Defense (CAE-CD) by the National Security Administration (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). There are only around 200 universities nationwide with CAE-CD designation.
Our goal at University of the Cumberland’s School of Computer and Information Sciences is to prepare you for the challenges you’ll face in the real world. We give you the tools you need to succeed in whatever corner of the IT world interests you. Whether you’re interested in cyber-security, cloud computing, systems management, or a different IT industry specialization, an IT degree helps you have an impact in an increasingly plugged-in world. Request more information today to speak to an admission counselor.