Information technology (IT) is a hands-on engineering discipline, concerned with the collection, storage, transmission, and management of data within businesses and other organizations. IT professionals help individuals, departments, and entire enterprises with their computer services and repairs. The online information technology bachelor’s degree is an excellent option for those want to enter the field with a broad understanding of IT applications and technologies. Additionally, this degree will prepare candidates who want to further their education and contributions to the field with a master’s degree in information technology.

Why a Bachelor’s Degree?

The first step toward a career in information technology is completing the necessary level of education and training in this field. It is certainly possible to get an IT job with only an associate degree in information technology, but you can greatly increase your employment opportunities and annual earning potential by pursuing the bachelor’s degree. This undergraduate degree provides both specialized instruction and general education in a variety of subjects. Upon graduation, students will be able to apply their diverse knowledge and skills to real-world settings in information technology and beyond.

Getting Into a Bachelor’s Degree Program

One of the best ways to break into information technology is to earn a bachelor’s degree in this field. Although admissions criteria vary from school to school, most bachelor’s degree applicants need to have the following:

  • High school diploma or its equivalent
  • Desired score on the SAT, ACT, and/or entrance exam
  • Minimum required GPA

Inside an Information Technology Bachelor’s Degree Program

Most online information technology bachelor degree programs can be completed in four years, depending on your individual program, course load, and pace. IT majors will take a wide variety of major courses, such as introduction to computer security, systems acquisition and sourcing, web development, database systems, Unix fundamentals, and introduction to programming. General education courses, like writing, mathematics, and speech are also directly applicable to information technology professionals’ work.

Whether you’re taking a few classes online or completing the entire bachelor’s degree from home, it’s important for distance learners to maintain good communication and involvement throughout their IT program. To ensure academic success, students should log in to their classes’ learning management system on a daily basis. Here, they’ll find course material, lectures, assignments, grades, and messaging tools to communicate with your instructors and classmates about school.

What’s Next for Information Technology Bachelor’s Degree Holders?

Graduates of the IT bachelor’s program will be equipped and ready to do various entry- and middle-level jobs. There are many career options for bachelor’s degree holders, including the popular computer support specialist and network and computer systems administrator positions. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of computer support specialists and network and computer systems administrators is expected to grow at a higher rate than most other occupations. Computer support specialists could experience an 18% increase in employment, and network and computer systems administrators could experience a 28% increase in employment by 2020. Both occupations also have favorable annual salaries, depending on the individual’s employer, location, education, and experience. According to the 2010 BLS report, computer support specialists made an average annual salary of $46,260. Two years later, in 2012, network and computer systems administrators made $76,320.

A bachelor’s degree in information technology is the minimum educational requirement for many entry-level IT positions, but that does not mean you shouldn’t or won’t be asked to pursue a higher degree in the future. If you want to continue your IT education beyond the undergraduate level, you should consider earning your master’s degree in information technology. Not only will completing a graduate degree expand your knowledge and skills, but it also makes you more valuable and competitive in the job market.