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Online information technology degree programs have become common, thanks to colleges and universities working to meet the demand of busy working adults in the field. IT programs online help working tech professionals who don’t have a bachelor’s degree earn the credentials to move up in their career and salary. Online programs offer flexible scheduling, convenient format and the opportunity to put new skills to work right away, in their current jobs, without having to sacrifice their careers, move to another city, or take time away from family obligations.
Many online information technology degree programs also offer a benefit everyone can appreciate – affordability. An affordable online information technology degree means working students can accomplish all of those goals without saddling themselves with a massive student loan debt, or going broke trying to pay tuition and fees. With a low-cost Information Technology program, graduates start out ahead, seeing a return on their investment faster than a graduate from a more expensive program. The Value Colleges Most Affordable Online IT ranking is all about return on investment.
Methodology: How We Selected the Most Affordable IT Programs Online
There are many ways to define value in higher education, but the most obvious is, simply, the most obvious – cost. Up-front tuition costs can be deceptive (many colleges will tack on fees to online programs to make them look affordable on the surface); VC editors have researched programs that deliver on affordability. The Most Affordable ranking is presented simply in order of tuition cost, from lowest to highest, so students can see without a doubt where their preferred programs stand.
Daytona State College
The BS in Information Technology from Daytona State College is an online information technology degree designed for students who have earned their Associate degree to advance their education to the next level. Fully available online, this program is the most affordable degree within the United States, minimizing the debt for graduates, as well as finding qualified employment within six months.
Daytona State College is listed as the most affordable institution for this online programming, as it is designed for working students who have a foundation in their field. In the surrounding counties around the campus, Volusia, and Flagler, this institution is responsible for over half of the workforce graduates in the area. This institution is nationally recognized for its ability to serve its surrounding communities as well as its student body. It is annually featured as one of the leading colleges for Associate degrees, as it offers a variety of programs and flexibility for their students.
The BS in Information Technology at Bellevue University is an affordable online information technology degree. Bellevue has been following the growth of computer systems and has crafted its program to match the needs of IT departments in companies across the globe. When completing this degree, students have solid foundations in cloud computing and network security among others. Their tuition and fees rate is highly affordable, especially with the military rates that are offered to those actively serving.
Bellevue University has both institutional accreditation and specialized accreditation that attracts online students from coast-to-coast, including the Higher Learning Commission. It has been listed as one of the Top Ten Universities in the nation for adult learners according to Washington Monthly, The Knowledge Review, and also College Factual. The student body in these programs is diversified with many being non-traditional students who are returning to complete their degree for a career change and enhancements.
Brigham Young University Idaho
For students who are looking to become programmers and project managers in IT departments, one of the best online information technology degree opportunities can be found at Brigham Young University Idaho. The BS in Computer Information Technology has a curriculum crafted for students to include minors that add to their specializations and is completely available online. Students have the ability to save money and accelerate their degree by taking multiple courses per term or spreading them out to meet their needs. The flexibility of this program and its return on investment are the reasons for steady student applications.
At Brigham Young University Idaho, the largest private institution in Idaho, takes pride in knowing that their staff and faculty are available for their students around the clock, and they are growing because of this continued support. They have been recognized as one of the leading universities in Idaho and the Midwest due to their advanced curriculum and affordability.
A program that has been designed to be as flexible as the industry, the BS in Information Technology from Pierce College provides students an online option to obtain the education they need, as flexible as they need it. Managing databases and server administration are among the leading skills that employers will find on students’ transcripts when they seek employment after graduation. Their affordability and rate of graduates gaining employment in the IT field have them listed as one of the leading IT programs online.
Peirce College is known for its flexibility and focus towards modern adult learners. Developing programs and tuition and fees rates for the non-traditional student is something that they have been awarded recognition for by Washington Monthly. They have both institutional accreditation and specialized accreditation in the IT department by The Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education. Peirce College is also a part of the State Authorization and Reciprocity Agreement, which allows students across the nation to take classes.
Western Governors University
For students looking to earn an online information technology degree in record time and affordability, they do not need to look further than Western Governors University’s online BS in Information Technology. Over 70% of students in this program graduate in less than two years, as tuition and fees are charged per term and not the course. The faster the student works per term, the faster they can graduate, making their program one of the most desired in the nation.
Western Governors University is one of the leaders of the in graduating their students with minimal debt, and they have done so by taking advantage of a per term model for tuition and fees. This allows students to complete as much of their curriculum in six months and only be charged for the time. Western Governors University is a regionally accredited institution by the Northwest Commission on College and Universities and has received the award for “Best Value School” for several years.
New Mexico State University
The BA in Information and Communication Technology from New Mexico State University is an online information technology degree that has a diversified curriculum for students, ensuring that they gain the education they need for the leading IT positions in the workforce. Its affordability as one of the most valuable in the state of New Mexico is the reason why students are applying.
New Mexico State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, as well as the Commission for the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. With their tuition rates and these accreditations, students are truly obtaining quality IT degrees at a fraction of the cost of others. The university has a mission that serves the diverse population of the state and meets the needs of these students at the best rates and offers distinguished faculty and programs. They are working annually to increase the research on campus and continue community outreach across New Mexico.
University of North Texas
One of the fastest-growing online information technology degree options is the BS in Information Science from North Texas University. This program looks at the structure of informational technology and offers a solid foundation that allows students to take on a leadership position that includes technology but also communication interaction. The cost for the program is leading in its affordability for students who desire an online option and can access the online classroom from any network.
North Texas University has taken the last several decades to review the needs of their students and shift their program models to offer online access, encouraging growth for the institution. Since its beginning in 1890, students have continued to be the central focus of UNT, and they now offer over 100 different programs to fit the needs of their growing student population and the changes in the industries of Texas and the rest of the United States.
University of Nebraska Omaha
The BS in Management Information Systems from the University of Nebraska Omaha is a fast-growing option in IT programs online. Whether students are seeking a career in the corporate world or local government, the curriculum of this program gives them the fundamental skills they need to be successful. This program also has concentration options that give students the ability to secure employment with these specializations shortly after graduation.
At the University of Nebraska Omaha, they are leading in the state’s institutions for affordability and best value for students. They have also been ranked for several years as the No. 1 institution for Military Friendliness by Military Times. Offering quality programs at affordable rates for students has allowed the university to move forward and continue the growth of over 10,000 full-time students. Their programs also transfer friendly for students who have an Associate degree or work from another institution.
Western Kentucky University
When seeking out an online information technology degree, the BS in Computer Information Technology from Western Kentucky University is leading with its approach to award transfer students with scholarships. Transfer students have the ability to not only gain financial assistance, but also a reduced core requirement, allowing more room for specializations within the program. This program is designed to offer students both an affordable online information technology degree, and a program that has a reputation for academic excellence among employers.
Western Kentucky University holds several accreditations in regard to technology. They are accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, as well as The Association of Technology, Management, and Applied Engineering. Students have access to distinguished faculty who are distinguished in their fields and active in research. Western Kentucky University was also ranked as the leading institution in 2020 in a Benchmark University Comparison against 17 other schools.
University of Illinois at Springfield
For students who seek an online information technology degree that includes both managerial skills in addition to technical skills, the BS in Management Information Systems at the University of Illinois is the right option. A diversified curriculum that has captured the attention of employers across the nation are allowing students to gain competitive employment following graduation, and gain a significant return on investment with enhanced salaries.
At the University of Illinois Springfield, students find the tuition to be competitive of IT programs online, but the curriculum gives them the ability to not only work in IT positions, but become leaders. The online programs are taught by the same distinguished faculty found in the classrooms, providing the same curriculum. This institution has national recognition for its programs regarding curriculum and high graduation rates over the last decade. Government agencies from local and state to national understand the significance of a University of Illinois degree, making graduates much more marketable in their job search following graduation.
American Public University
Pursuing the right online information technology degree is something that IT students take seriously, and many find themselves enrolling at American Public University for the BS of Information Technology. Students find themselves gaining a flexible but competitive program that can be generalized or a concentration for a more specialized skill. The tuition at American Public University is one of the most affordable in the nation, making the degree not only economic for students but minimizing their overall student debt.
At American Public University, the mission is to offer premium education for students, both civilians, and military, at a rate that is affordable and will not leave them stumbling financially in years to come. They offer transfer credit for earned academic credit, military experience, and on-the-job experience that students may have. American Public University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and the U.S. Department of Education, and recognized by the National Security Agency for information systems security.
Taking on an online information technology degree from an institution that specializes in online learning is a consideration for many adult learners today. At Purdue Global, the online institution of Purdue University, the BS in Information Technology offers students the ability to pursue their education at the rate they desire. Their accelerated program has captured the interest of students throughout the nation making the degree more affordable and providing a return on investment that is higher than other institutions.
Purdue Global has crafted programs to include quality education and tuition to match the needs of the thousands of adult learners in their programs. Over 80% of Purdue Global graduates find employment shortly after graduating with their Bachelor degree. As a non-profit organization, they have been awarded as one of the most affordable institutions in the nation, as well as in the top 40 for return on investment for graduates in all degree types.
Fort Hays State University
Obtaining IT programs online that include business is a marketable degree for students to review when considering programs. Both business and IT have a healthy and fundamental collaboration in the Bachelor of Business Administration in Management Information Systems from Fort Hays State University. This program awards scholars with financial scholarships making the degree a more affordable option, as well as producing alumni that have sought careers In some leading government agencies and Fortune 500 companies.
Since the founding of Fort Hays State University in 1902, providing quality education has been central to the mission and values of the institution. 92% of graduates of all programs at Fort Hays State University find themselves with full-time employment or enrolling in graduate school following their undergraduate graduation. Fort Hays State University is also leading in Kansas as having the lowest tuition rate of the Kansas Board of Regents members at this time.
The BS in Computer Information Systems at Monroe College, located in Bronx NY, offers students a vital and reputable curriculum that is designed with the leading IT careers in mind. When earning this degree, students are provided specialized technical skills, certifications, and tools to market themselves in IT positions. This online information technology degree is both affordable and has allowed graduates to obtain employment in their field of expertise.
Monroe College, founded in 1933, is an institution that prides itself on preparing its students thoroughly for the various job industries. It has been listed with the award, “Most Affordable Private College in New York State,” and the online Bachelor’s program has been recognized as leading in the state. The faculty at Monroe College serve as more than just instructors, but also mentors and career counselors, as they prepare each of their students for the working world ahead of them beyond graduation.
Rogers State University
When seeking out IT programs online, the BS In Business Information Technology from Rogers State University has a modern curriculum that fuses together the two industries of IT and business. With this degree comes three track options that give them a specialization in one of the leading areas of IT. This online information technology degree has shown graduates a healthy return on their investment, as they are able to take specialized positions within the IT industry.
At Rogers State University, located in Claremore OK, students are met with an atmosphere that is flexible to their needs, and staff and faculty committed to seeing each student complete their academic goals for their future. As a member of the Higher Learning Commission, Rogers State University is an accredited institution with industry-based accreditation in nursing and emergency medical services. For those who are seeking a program with an articulation agreement for transfer, Rogers State University participates in this with some of the two-year colleges in Oklahoma.
East Carolina University
For the students who have already achieved an Associate’s degree and are looking at online information technology degree options in Bachelor programs, they may find the Bachelor of Science in Industrial Technology transfer program at East Carolina University to be exactly what they need. Designed to follow an Associate degree, students are expected to spend the majority of classes in depth and specializing in particular areas with this degree. Depending on what they want to pursue a career, this program has a reputation for academic excellence and the ability to customize the program to fit students’ needs.
East Carolina University has quite the rankings and recognition. Since its founding over a century ago, Social Mobility Index ranks East Carolina University in its top 10% due to its economic value for students. Washington Monthly has also recognized East Carolina University in the top 40% for low-cost and high return for those who have graduated.
Granite State College
When seeking an affordable online information technology degree, Granite State College offers a Bachelor’s of Science in Information Technology that is both flexible and affordable for students. Students will master the information technology craft and fundamentals of programming after completion. For those who come with an Associate’s Degree, they have the option to secure the transfer pathway option for earning their degree. Over half of those graduating from this program apply to graduate school within ten years of their graduation date.
At Granite State College, students have access to a regionally accredited institution by the New England Commission on Higher Education. U.S. News & World Report have awarded this degree in one of their top 100 Bachelor’s degrees. Granite State College wants to invest in their students, which is why over 80% of the applicants and students for this program are transfers who are maximizing the potential of their Associate or other transfer credit.
University of Minnesota-Crookston
At the University of Minnesota-Crookston, the Bachelor of Science in Information Technology Management is offered fully online, and one of the more affordable options for an online information technology degree. This degree provides a well-rounded curriculum that allows students to find employment in the IT office of several businesses, finance, and telecommunication sectors after graduation. Financial aid is also an option for this course, as the University of Minnesota strives to make this program leading in affordability and flexibility for students.
One of the initial institutions to take on higher education through the digital platform, the University of Minnesota strives to offer the same quality curriculum online as they do in the classroom. The online format offers required discussion and interaction that allows students to speak and discuss their curriculum with other classmates and the instructor. Students can continue with their daily lives and responsibilities at home while advancing their career with an affordable program.
University of Wisconsin Stout
For the students seeking an online information technology degree that also includes an emphasis on communication and leadership, the BS Information and Communication Technologies degree from the University of Wisconsin-Stout can be delivered online or on campus, meeting the student’s career needs. Beyond computer networking and system analysis, this programs well-rounded curriculum includes computer science, software development, project management and leadership development. Students who are looking to land a specialized position after graduation should consider this program as its employment rate after graduation is successful.
At the University of Wisconsin-Stout, this program is designed to promote the success and leadership of graduates. The institution has a central focus to prepare and use applied learning to promote career-focused programs. They can also further add to the program potential by including a minor to their program. Students in this program have interned with well-renowned organizations, including NASA. For those who desire an in-depth understanding of their career, UW-Stout may be the place for them.
Central Washington University
At Central Washington University, the BAS in Information Technology online bachelor’s degree is designed to provide a core understanding of technology and develop both soft and hard skills through the duration of the program. Because it requires an Associate degree for admission, this completely online informational technology degree is designed to provide students with the necessary skills that allow them to stand apart from colleagues. This program is also offered as an accelerated option and affordable for students.
The Information Technology and Administrative Management department at Central Washington University is unlike other IT departments in campuses across the United States. This department has core values that teach students the fundamentals of IT and leadership, preparing them for leadership in areas like health information technology. CWU has been ranked as one of the leading online institutions in Washington due to their nature to stay hands-on while using a digital classroom. They are also ranked as one of the most affordable institutions on the West Coast.
Tennessee Tech University
For students who are seeking a professional degree that includes information technology, the Bachelor of Professional Studies with a concentration in Information Technology offered at Tennessee Technological University is an affordable option. Offering students the flexibility to take as many courses as they need and financial aid, they provide a program that will equip students with the skills they need.
Located in Nashville, TN, Tennessee Tech University is an accredited institution that has a long history of providing their students with the essential tools they need to be successful in their careers. This institution is governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents, which review and approve all program curriculum for their students. Offering online programs since 2001, Tennessee Tech University was one of the first institutions in the state to offer this type of instruction, allowing them to grow and perfect the craft of online classrooms over the last two decades.
Old Dominion University
The Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in Information Systems and Technology from Old Dominion University is one of the leading affordable IT degrees online throughout the nation. IT provides a thorough understanding of software engineering to e-business. Students who want a degree that offers a return on investment should consider this program when seeking them out.
Old Dominion Online has been working in online education for nearly three decades. They are ranked as the leading online college in the state of Virginia. Their students have the ability to engage in web conferences and special online events that keeps them a part of the institution while they may be miles away. Student outreach and a distinguished faculty allow students to receive the same quality education online as those sitting in a traditional classroom. This institution is one that has mastered online education and provides a quality curriculum for all of its programs.
University of Central Florida
For students who are looking for an online BS in Information Technology program that does not require an Associate degree prior, the University of Central Florida has a program that is 100% online and affordable for students across the nation looking to expand their IT education. Students who live in Florida or out-of-state find the tuition rates at the University of Central Florida to be competitive and more affordable than most other degree programs.
The tuition at the University of Central Florida has been reviewed by both The Princeton Review and by Forbes as one of the most affordable online institutions. The last decade has made strides for this institution in terms of research and their established online programs. With numerous accreditations in different colleges and steady reviews, the University of Central Florida is leading in online colleges across the United States in programs like IT and other areas.
Golden Gate University
The Bachelor of Science in Business from Golden Gate University offers a competitive curriculum in the IT specialization. For students who need a concentration that teaches the fundamentals of software engineering, such as database management systems, as well as professional skills for the business sector, this program collaborates these two needs thoroughly for students while being an affordable option.
The central purpose of Golden Gate University is to offer an online degree option for those students who did not seek the traditional path of education and need modern flexibility to move forward in their careers and earning their degrees. Financial aid is available for students who do not have the traditional means to afford an education. Because of their flexibility and economic standing, they are one of the leading online institutions in California. They also have an Alumni Network that provides students and graduates with the proper contacts when they reach the professional industry across the nation.
Georgia Southern University
The BS in Information Technology offered at Georgia Southern University has an online option for students who are working professionals and looking to expand upon their education. Because of the accelerated online program, these students are able to receive a thorough curriculum that expands upon the fundamentals of systems and software and giving them the experience employers’ desire. Graduates of this program have found that the return on their investment for this program has offered them promotions in their current jobs or positions in large corporations such as Coca-Cola, CSX, and General Motors for example.
At Georgia Southern University, the faculty ensures that students receiving the online BS in Information Technology receive the same advanced curriculum and hands-on experience as traditional students receive. Georgia Southern has been recognized for this student-focused atmosphere and design, as well as being a “military-friendly” institution. In 2020, Georgia Southern University was ranked as the second most affordable institution within the state of Georgia by the College Affordability Guide.
How Can I Save Money on an Online IT Degree?
Many people looking to enter the IT industry or even looking to advance in the IT industry are interested in completing a degree online. Completing an online IT degree allows students a greater degree of flexibility when it comes to both schedule and location. Of course, many prospective students are specifically interested in getting a cheap online information technology degree. It is possible to simply compare tuition rates to make choosing a cheap online information technology degree as simple as possible. However, this may rule out some high-quality programs.
Instead of simply trying to find the cheapest tuition rates possible, prospective IT students may want to learn more about doing an accelerated information technology degree online. This will certainly help students get their degree more quickly. However, getting an accelerated information technology degree online may even result in lower tuition costs, depending on the program.
Some students may already be employed in the IT industry. Prospective students in the industry should ask their employers if they might be willing to pay for part or all of their tuition. Many employers, especially start-up tech companies, actually encourage employees to continue their education by contributing to tuition costs. This helps IT professionals contribute to their employers more effectively by using their additional education.
Do I Need a Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology?
While IT professionals do not necessarily need to have a bachelor’s degree, having a degree will certainly help them advance in the field. Many IT professionals have only information technology certifications, but the barrier to entry in the IT industry is higher due to an increased level of competition for jobs. If a prospective IT professional hasn’t at least completed an IT associates degree online, it can be difficult to obtain even an entry-level position. It looks like the days of having a successful IT career after only completing information technology certification programs are likely over.
Thankfully, it is now common for universities to offer enough online information technology courses for students to complete an IT associates degree online and then continue on to a bachelor’s degree. There are many industry-standard information technology certifications, and most online IT degree programs will actually incorporate information technology certification programs into their overall degree program. Many mobile app developers, for instance, have only a certification. This ensures that students have both a bachelor’s degree and certifications when they graduate. The flexibility of online information technology courses also ensures that students can complete their degree at their own pace.
Is an Online IT Bachelor’s Cheaper?
Of course, many prospective online students are interested in the average cost of an online college. The average cost of online college is hard to determine because of the wide variance in the average cost online bachelors degree. The cost of online classes vs traditional classes is different from school to school. It’s easy to assume that comparing online college vs traditional college cost shows that the average cost online bachelors degree is cheaper due to online students utilizing less of the university’s resources. This can be the case, but some schools add significant fees to the cost of online classes vs traditional classes.
Prospective online IT students should compare online college vs traditional college cost on a school by school basis as part of their search for the right educational path. While this will certainly take longer than comparing online college vs traditional college cost as a whole, prospective students should keep in mind the benefits of finding the right educational program to contribute to their chosen path in the IT field.
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Aya Andrews is a passionate educator and mother of two, with a diverse background that has shaped her approach to teaching and learning. Born in Metro Manila, she now calls San Diego home and is proud to be a Filipino-American. Aya earned her Masters degree in Education from San Diego State University, where she focused on developing innovative teaching methods to engage and inspire students.
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