Best online information technology associate degree 2022: Top picks

Any business that stores information and operates online needs IT specialists to safeguard data troubleshoot tech. An information technology associate degree can prepare you to meet those needs in diverse work environments. 

While earning a degree, you can specialize in cybersecurity, software development, database management, and more. Potential career paths include technical support specialist, network specialist, and programmer. 

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects an impressive 13% growth in positions between 2020 and 2030 for computer and information technology occupations.

Launch your information technology career by exploring the information technology associate degree programs listed below. 

The best online associate in information technology degrees

Our experts analyzed extensive data to produce the following ranking. We developed a proprietary algorithm and a five-layer review process to give you up-to-date and accurate data. Learn more about ZDNet’s ranking methodology and extensive research to discover how we chose the following IT associate degree programs. 

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

1. Volunteer State Community College

Gallatin, Tennessee

About the program: Vol State’s computer information technology degree offers three possible concentrations: Cyberdefense, networking, or programming. Each program includes five core computer courses and 11 concentration-specific classes. 

Acceptance rate: 100%

Graduation rate: 21%

Avg. annual net price: $6,990

Years to completion: Two

SAT range: Not required

Minimum GPA: Not required

Enrollment periods per year: Three

Course delivery methods: Online; asynchronous

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

2. Purdue University Global

West Lafayette, Indiana

About the program: Purdue Global’s online associate of applied science degree in information technology provides five potential concentrations: Cybersecurity, data analytics, IT generalist, programming and software development, and networking. 

Acceptance rate: 100%

Graduation rate: 33%

Avg. annual net price: Not publically available

Years to completion: Two

SAT range: Not required

Minimum GPA: Not required

Enrollment periods per year: Rolling

Course delivery methods: Online; asynchronous

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

3. University of Cincinnati

Cincinnati, Ohio

About the program: This associate of applied business in information technology program’s curriculum emphasizes hands-on learning. Courses include database management, programming, and system administration.

Acceptance rate: 77%

Graduation rate: 66%

Avg. annual net price: $21,843

Years to completion: Two

SAT range: 1020-1350

Minimum GPA: Not required

Enrollment periods per year: Three

Course delivery methods: Online; asynchronous

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

4. St. Petersburg College

St. Petersburg, Florida

About the program: This computer information technology AS degree prepares students for certifications like CompTIA A+ and Microsoft Office Specialist Access. Enrollees also complete a technology support internship. 

Acceptance rate: 100%

Graduation rate: 33%

Avg. annual net price: $3,226

Years to completion: Two

SAT range: Not required

Minimum GPA: Not required 

Enrollment periods per year: Rolling

Course delivery methods: Online; synchronous or asynchronous

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

5. Seminole State College of Florida

Seminole, Oklahoma

About the program: SSC’s 60-credit information systems technology associate in science prepares students for 11 Cisco, CompTIA, and Microsoft certifications.

Acceptance rate: 100%

Graduation rate: 41%

Avg. annual net price: $8,326

Years to completion: Two

SAT range: Not required

Minimum GPA: Not required

Enrollment periods per year: Three

Course delivery methods: Online; asynchronous

Accreditation: Seminole State College of Florida is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

6. Keiser University

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

About the program: Associate of science in information technology degree program enrollees complete 12 credits in one of three concentrations: Networking, programming, or cybersecurity. Core IT courses cover operating systems and information security.

Acceptance rate: 51%

Graduation rate: 57%

Avg. annual net price: $33,428

Years to completion: Two

SAT range: Not required

Minimum GPA: Not required

Enrollment periods per year: Rolling

Course delivery methods: On-campus; hybrid; online and asynchronous

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

7. Campbell University

Buies Creek, North Carolina

About the program: Campbell’s information technology security program includes two possible concentrations: Information technology management and information security. Topics encompass information technology fundamentals and Windows operating systems. 

Acceptance rate: 78%

Graduation rate: 50%

Avg. annual net price: $24,544

Years to completion: Two

SAT range: 1030-1230

Minimum GPA: Not required

Enrollment periods per year: Rolling

Course delivery methods: On-campus; online and asynchronous

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

8. Central Piedmont Community College

Matthews, North Carolina

About the program: CPCC offers two online information technology degree programs: networking technologies and cloud and virtualization technologies. Both culminate in a capstone project.

Acceptance rate: 100%

Graduation rate: 23%

Avg. annual net price: $6,002

Years to completion: Two

SAT range: Not required

Minimum GPA: Not required

Enrollment periods per year: Rolling

Course delivery methods: On-campus; hybrid; online and asynchronous or synchronous 

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

9. Northern Virginia Community College

Springfield, Virginia

About the program: NOVA’s information systems technology degree program offers theory and hands-on learning. Courses like the introduction to network concepts prepare students for the CompTIA Network+ certification.

Acceptance rate: 100% 

Graduation rate: 26%

Avg. annual net price: $10,005

Years to completion: Two

SAT range: Not required

Minimum GPA: Not required

Enrollment periods per year: Rolling

Course delivery methods: On-campus; hybrid; online and asynchronous or synchronous

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

10. Lenoir Community College

Kinston, North Carolina

About the program: Lenoir’s information technology associate of applied science program offers a comprehensive curriculum. Courses cover network foundations, software support, programming, and required work-based learning.

Acceptance rate: 100%

Graduation rate: 24%

Avg. annual net price: $5,212

Years to completion: Two

SAT range: Not required

Minimum GPA: Not required

Enrollment periods per year: Rolling

Course delivery methods: Online and asynchronous

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

11. Jamestown Community College

Jamestown, New York

About the program: JCC’s information technology associate program covers programming, software, and HTML fundamentals. Enrollees tailor the program to their career goals with electives.

Acceptance rate: 100%

Graduation rate: 34%

Avg. annual net price: $8,416

Years to completion: Two

SAT range: Not required

Minimum GPA: Not required

Enrollment periods per year: Rolling

Course delivery methods: On-campus; online and asynchronous or synchronous

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

12. College of Southern Maryland

La Plata, Maryland

About the program: CSM’s cloud and information technology associate program prepares enrollees for the CompTIA A+, Network+, and Amazon Web Services certifications. Students participate in a capstone project or internship.

Acceptance rate: 100%

Graduation rate: 23%

Avg. annual net price: $8,205

Years to completion: Two; accelerated program lasts 15-18 months

SAT range: Not required

Minimum GPA: Not required

Enrollment periods per year: Rolling

Course delivery methods: On-campus; online and asynchronous or synchronous

Accreditation: College of Southern Maryland is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

13. Southern New Hampshire University

Manchester, New Hampshire

About the program: SNHU’s IT associate degree online covers cybersecurity, project management, scripting, and operating systems. Hands-on learning prepares graduates to become web developers or support specialists.

Acceptance rate: 88%

Graduation rate: 47%

Avg. annual net price: $41,095

Years to completion: Two

SAT range: Not required

Minimum GPA: Not required

Enrollment periods per year: Rolling

Course delivery methods: Online and asynchronous

Accreditation: Southern New Hampshire University is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).

14. Western Piedmont Community College

Morgantown, North Carolina

About the program: The information technology associate of applied science degree at WPCC covers secure network management, database concepts, and software installation. Enrollees can gain experience through work-based learning courses.

Acceptance rate: 100%

Graduation rate: 18%

Avg. annual net price: $3,663

Years to completion: Two

SAT range: Not required

Minimum GPA: Not required

Enrollment periods per year: Two

Course delivery methods: Online; asynchronous

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

15. Randolph Community College

Asheboro, North Carolina

About the program: RCC offers three information technology associate programs: IT support specialist, network and cybersecurity specialist, and IT support specialist apprenticeship. Each covers IT fundamentals like security, software support, and networks.

Acceptance rate: 100%

Graduation rate: 28% 

Avg. annual net price: $6,124

Years to completion: Two

SAT range: Not required

Minimum GPA: Not required

Enrollment periods per year: Rolling

Course delivery methods: On-campus; hybrid; online and asynchronous

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

16. Saint Leo University

St. Leo, Florida

About the program: Saint Leo’s online information technology associate degree covers programming, business, and mathematics. A Catholic institution, Saint Leo includes religious courses in each degree plan.

Acceptance rate: 72%

Graduation rate: 43%

Avg. annual net price: $18,869

Years to completion: Two

SAT range: Not required

Minimum GPA: Not required

Enrollment periods per year: Rolling

Course delivery methods: On-campus; online and synchronous or asynchronous

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

17. Cerro Coso Community College

Ridgecrest, California

About the program: Cerro Coso’s information technology A.S. degree prepares students for CompTIA’s A+ and Network+ certifications. Enrollees explore application development, network design, and software installation.

Acceptance rate: 100% 

Graduation rate: 14%

Avg. annual net price: $7,684

Years to completion: Two

SAT range: Not required

Minimum GPA: Not required

Enrollment periods per year: Rolling

Course delivery methods: Online and asynchronous

Accreditation: Cerro Coso Community College is regionally accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC).

18. Peirce College

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

About the program: Peirce’s A.S. in information technology curriculum prepares graduates for A+, Network+, and Security+ certifications. Courses include database management, server administration, and ethics. 

Acceptance rate: 100%

Graduation rate: 30%

Avg. annual net price: $10,128

Years to completion: Two

SAT range: Not required

Minimum GPA: Not required

Enrollment periods per year: Rolling

Course delivery methods: Online and asynchronous/synchronous options

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

19. Bladen Community College

Dublin, North Carolina

About the program: BCC offers four information technology associate degree programs: Information systems, systems security/cybersecurity, web administration and design, and computer programming and development. Each includes project or work-based courses.

Acceptance rate: 100% 

Graduation rate: 18%

Avg. annual net price: $7,551

Years to completion: Two

SAT range: Not required

Minimum GPA: Not required

Enrollment periods per year: Rolling

Course delivery methods: Online and synchronous or asynchronous

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

20. Franklin University

Columbus, Ohio

About the program: Franklin’s A.S. information technology program teaches students to design query databases, manage networks, and create websites. The networking course prepares graduates for the Cisco Certified Design Associate certification.

Acceptance rate: 100%

Graduation rate: 34%

Avg. annual net price: $12,895

Years to completion: Two

SAT range: Not required

Minimum GPA: Not required

Enrollment periods per year: Rolling

Course delivery methods: On-campus; online and synchronous or asynchronous

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

What to expect in an online associate in information technology degree program

An associate in information technology program combines theoretical and hands-on courses. 

Early courses prioritize problem-solving and critical thinking. You learn the theory behind algorithms, variables, and systems structures. You then apply these concepts to homework assignments and projects. 

Some programs include math or business classes. By learning about discrete mathematics, statistics, and calculus, you can understand algorithms and database systems. Business courses prepare you to handle sensitive data and build effective systems for companies. 

Most programs include a capstone project or a work-based learning opportunity to develop an entire computer system or work for a local tech employer. 

Information technology courses

Information technology associate degrees offer a broad introduction to IT. While some programs offer specialization options and business focuses, most include these foundational courses.

Principles of networks

This course introduces network architecture, implementation, and design. You learn to apply protocols and create a computer network. Some institutions design this course as prep for the CompTIA Network+ exam.

Information systems security

Curricula may include this cybersecurity introduction as a core class, elective, or part of a specialization. You explore risk management, data protection, policies, and security planning. 

Programming

A foundational computer programming course covers functions, algorithms, and general problem-solving skills. You may also take language-specific classes like Java, C, or C++.

Database management systems

This core course explores information management technologies, data modeling, security, and administration. You learn to identify organizational requirements, design a database system, and build a functioning database structure. 

Information technology degree levels

A certificate or associate degree program is ideal if you want to start in an entry-level tech position immediately. A bachelor’s degree program lasts longer but covers more topics and IT skills. 

Master’s and doctorate degrees in information technology build on undergraduate knowledge with research. Graduates qualify for high-paying IT positions. 

No matter which degree program you choose, you can apply for IT scholarships to help cover the costs.

Certificate in information technology

Length: 4-12 months 

Cost: $3,084-$13,125 

Post-grad careers: IT help desk support specialist, computer systems analyst, computer network support specialist

Pursuing an undergraduate IT certificate is the fastest way to land entry-level tech positions like an IT help desk specialist or systems analyst. In these non-degree programs, you may study network fundamentals, server installation, programming, and database management. 

Some certificates prepare you for information technology certifications like CompTIA’s Linux+, Cloud+, or Network+. Most courses prioritize practice over theory to help you develop in-demand IT skills. 

Associate in information technology

Length: Two years 

Cost: $2,702-$41,217

Post-grad careers: Technical support specialist, network specialist, IT specialist

An associate degree in information technology is ideal for individuals interested in entering the workforce or transferring to a four-year program. This degree covers theory and practical skills. It often includes a capstone project or work-based course. 

Some programs offer specializations. Common options include cybersecurity or network management. Core classes may prepare you for some of the best tech certifications, like CompTIA’s Network+ and A+ exams. Graduates generally land technical support or entry-level specialists positions.

Bachelor’s in information technology

Length: 4 years 

Cost: $2,702-$41,217

Post-grad careers: Business systems analyst, software developer, network administrator

A bachelor’s degree in information technology provides a comprehensive education. Many industry roles require at least a bachelor’s. 

Students take general education courses, foundational computing courses, and advanced IT classes. Core courses may include cloud computing, OS architecture, emerging technologies, and programming. 

A bachelor’s in information technology degree program often includes internship requirements and senior projects. You may also select a concentration, such as data science, project management, software development, or business management for IT.

Master’s in information technology

Length: 15-24 months

Cost: $13,896-$27,162

Post-grad careers: Cloud architect, IT director, chief information officer

If you already hold a bachelor’s degree in another field but want to pursue a technology career, an information technology master’s program can give you the skills you need. This advanced program also provides specialization opportunities for tech professionals.

You can choose a concentration in cybersecurity, software development, data analytics, healthcare informatics, or enterprise technology management. This degree typically includes a capstone project or field experience. 

Doctorate in information technology

Length: Two to five years 

Cost: $13,896-$27,162

Post-grad careers: Technology professor, director of data science, research scientist

A doctorate in information technology is the field’s terminal degree. It prepares you for high-paying academic, government, or managerial careers. The program generally includes advanced IT courses like cybersecurity principles for managers, IT innovation in global environments, and artificial intelligence for data science. 

Additional classes cover research, analysis, and writing strategies to prepare you for the thesis project. You typically spend at least one semester researching a specific thesis topic and composing a dissertation.

In conclusion

Information technology is a rapidly growing field. Whether you want to become a network administrator or a computer systems analyst, your career can begin with an online information technology associate degree. 

Continue exploring the programs outlined above and consider which courses and concentrations fit your desired career path before applying. 

https://www.zdnet.com/education/computers-tech/best-online-information-technology-associate-degree/

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