Should I Choose an On-Campus or Online IT Degree Program?

When you look into IT programs near me, you will notice that you have many options for your degree. A key concern that may arise is choosing between an online degree program and an on-campus degree program. By clarifying the advantages of each program and identifying the option that fits your situation, you will be able to find the right program for your goals.

The Importance of Accredited Programs

Before you consider any program for your degree, you want to clarify if the program is ABET accredited. What is ABET accreditation? It is an assurance from a non-profit and non-governmental agency that a school offers a high standard for students in information technology. The information technology accreditation gives employers confidence in your skills by ensuring that you meet a set standard for your training in college.

ABET accreditation requirements start with ensuring that the program is recognized as a degree. It must also be in an institution that is able to give out degrees, like a college or university. The program must also have at least one graduate and must have a name that describes the program as something that ABET accredited. In the case of an IT program, it must be described as an information technology program. The school must apply under the correct section of the ABET standards, and it must go through a readiness review.

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ABET accreditation advantages range from giving employers confidence in your degree to ensuring that your program meets a certain standard for excellence. It also gives you confidence that a program is legitimate, particularly when you are looking at online degree programs or have concerns about a smaller college or university.

Advantages of On-Campus Degree Programs

After you clarify the accreditation, you will want to compare on-campus programs to online programs. The advantages of going to a traditional college or university for your degree help you determine if it is a good choice for your IT degree.

The obvious advantage of taking an on-campus degree is access to computer labs. You will also have access to the library and research materials to look up data that may not be readily available in your textbooks. Since a college or university may have more technology available or up-to-date technology, it will help if you have limited access to materials in your home.

On-campus degree programs also help with networking. You work directly with your peers and gain access to campus events where you can meet professionals in IT companies. That allows you to build up a community and network that benefits your career goals.

The final advantage to consider is the opportunity to get help from professors when you ask questions. You do not have a delay and you can even ask about mentorship opportunities through the school. That helps you stay focused when you have questions or concerns.

The Benefits of Online Degree Programs

Although on-campus programs have advantages, an online degree may also offer benefits that help with your goals. The obvious benefit of information technology online schools is the flexibility. You work at your own pace and do not need to follow a structured schedule. That allows you to work on a degree when it fits your situation. You can also keep working in a job while you obtain your degree, so you will not lose any income or face challenges that may arise by taking a break.

If you are already working in an IT job, then you can also apply the skills you learn in college classes to your career. The flexibility means you are not limited in your options for your career and work, so you can advance when you finish the program. By learning and applying skills, you are able to improve your work and impress your employer (who might actually be willing to pay for your improvements).

Online and on-campus programs offer different advantages. The key is focusing on the type of program that fits your situation and helps you obtain your career goals.

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