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2023 Most Affordable Online IT Degrees

By OnlineU Staff Writers | Updated 8/8/2023
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Without a doubt, information technology is one of the hottest fields to enter. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) notes that computer and information technology occupations are projected to grow by 15% over the next eight to ten years. What's more, the median annual salary for this category of occupations is $97,430, more than double the $45,760 median for all occupations.

While many people have entered the IT field with only a certificate or diploma, the BLS also recommends earning at least an IT bachelor's degree for most technology-related occupations. A bachelor's degree makes you more marketable and may allow you to earn higher salaries. By choosing one of the most affordable online bachelor's programs in IT listed below, you're likely to enjoy a healthy return on your investment in education.

View our methodology for more details about rankings or learn more about us. For further inspiration, you can check out our overall list of the most affordable online degrees.

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All tuition numbers were manually collected and verified
Rank School Locations Annual Tuition
# 1 #1 Middle Georgia State University Macon (GA) $3,410
# 2 #2 United States University National City (CA) $4,800
# 3 #3 Great Basin College Elko (NV) $4,935
# 4 #4 Columbus State University Columbus (GA) $5,464
# 5 #5 Kennesaw State University Kennesaw (GA) $5,562
# 6 #6 South Texas College McAllen (TX) (and 2 others) $5,670
# 7 #7 University of the Cumberlands Williamsburg (KY) $5,970
# 8 #8 Georgia Southern University Statesboro (GA) $6,169
# 9 #9 Fort Hays State University Hays (KS) $6,806
# 10 #10 Columbia Southern University Orange Beach (AL) $7,050
#1
#1
Annual Tuition: $3,410
Annual Tuition: $3,410
Annual Tuition: $3,410

Middle Georgia State University (MGA) is a public institution with a medium-sized student population, and it offers an online Bachelor of Science in Information Technology requiring 120 credit hours. The degree offers 10 concentrations students can choose from. Sample courses include Introduction to Information Technology, Application Development, and Web Development. Overall, the program’s admission requirements are a high school diploma or GED and a minimum high school GPA of 2.0.

At MGA, online students complete coursework, delivered in an asynchronous format, through the distance learning platform, Brightspace. Online student support includes counseling, a writing center, and academic advising.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 91%
  • Average SATs: 880 -1090
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,852
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 268
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
#2
#2

United States University

National City (CA)
Annual Tuition: $4,800
Annual Tuition: $4,800
Annual Tuition: $4,800

United States University (USU) — a small, private, for-profit institution — offers an online Bachelor of Science in Information Technology requiring 120 credit hours. The curriculum introduces students to a wide range of information technology knowledge that spans across sectors, from businesses and government organizations to the healthcare industry and the school system. The program’s courses include IT Fundamentals, Database Systems, and Discrete Mathematics.

USU facilitates online learning on the D2L learning management system. Online students can also access academic advising, tutoring, and IT support. Admission requirements are the same as in-person students, including an application, interview with an enrollment advisor, high school graduation or equivalent documentation, and official transcripts.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 0%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 94
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 1,097
  • School Type: For-Profit
  • School Accreditation: WSCUC
#3
#3
Annual Tuition: $4,935
Annual Tuition: $4,935
Annual Tuition: $4,935

Great Basin College (GBC) is a medium-sized, public institution that offers an online Bachelor of Applied Science in Digital Information Technology. Requiring 120 credit hours, the program helps prepare students for management roles in technical work environments, including the public and private sectors. Examples of courses from the curriculum are Web and User Interface Design, DQL Database Design and Implementation, and CCNP Switch.

At GBC, online students complete coursework in a synchronous format through WebCampus. Additionally, remote students can virtually access tech help, career resources, and the school's library. The program requires that students are at least 18 years old, and they must provide proof of their high school graduation.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 72%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 2,638
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: NWCCU
#4
#4
Annual Tuition: $5,464
Annual Tuition: $5,464
Annual Tuition: $5,464

Students interested in IT can pursue an online Bachelor of Science in Information Technology, requiring 123 credit hours, at Columbus State University (CSU). This medium-sized, public institution offers this online program, which includes hands-on experiences to help students thrive in various IT careers, from business analysts and database administrators to network specialists.

CSU’s online students complete coursework in an asynchronous or synchronous format through the learning management system, Blackboard. Remote student support also includes an online library and academic advising. The program’s admission requirements are an application, official transcripts, and ACT/SAT scores.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 92%
  • Average SATs: 860 -1100
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 674
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 786
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
#5
#5
Annual Tuition: $5,562
Annual Tuition: $5,562
Annual Tuition: $5,562

Kennesaw State University (KSU) is a large, public institution offering two online degrees in IT that are 120 credit hours each: a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology and a Bachelor of Applied Science in Information Technology. The first program offers four concentrations: (1) Data Analysis and Technology, (2) Enterprise Systems, (3) Cyber Operations Security, and (4) Technology and Innovation. The second program is designed for students who already have an Associate of Applied Science in Computing from a Georgia-based institution.

At KSU, students complete their coursework, which faculty may either deliver in an asynchronous or synchronous format, through Brightspace. Online students can also access academic advising, a virtual library, and learning support. The general admission requirements for both programs are an application, official transcripts, and ACT/SAT scores (only necessary if the GPA is below 3.2).

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 92%
  • Average SATs: 1050 -1230
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 3,315
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 1,792
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
#6
#6

South Texas College

McAllen (TX) (and 2 others)
Annual Tuition: $5,670
Annual Tuition: $5,670
Annual Tuition: $5,670

South Texas College (STC) is a large, public institution offering an online Bachelor of Applied Technology in Computer and Information Technologies that totals 120-122 credit hours. The program’s curriculum focuses on modern technologies and applications in computer and IT. Sample coursework includes Computer Programming, Systems Analysis and Design, and Survey of Programming Languages.

STC facilitates online asynchronous and synchronous learning through the learning management system, Blackboard. Online student resources are academic coaching, IT support, and student success specialists. The program’s admission requirements are an application and official transcripts.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 89%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 3,694
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
#7
#7

University of the Cumberlands

Williamsburg (KY)
Annual Tuition: $5,970
Annual Tuition: $5,970
Annual Tuition: $5,970

At the University of the Cumberlands (UC) — a medium-sized, private nonprofit institution — there are two online bachelor's degrees in IT available: a Bachelor of Applied Science in Information Technology and a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology. Each requires 120 credit hours. The first program is designed for students who’ve already acquired an associate degree. The second program is devoted to providing a solid foundation in IT, with a heavier focus on math and science.

UC facilitates online learning via Blackboard, either asynchronously or synchronously, depending on the course. Distance learners can also access career services, an online library, and IT help. The program’s admission requirements are an application, official transcripts, and ACT/SAT scores.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 99%
  • Average SATs: 930 -1140
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,640
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 7,852
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
#8
#8

Georgia Southern University

Statesboro (GA)
Annual Tuition: $6,169
Annual Tuition: $6,169
Annual Tuition: $6,169

Georgia Southern University (Georgia Southern) is a large, public institution offering an online Bachelor of Information Technology that requires 124 credit hours. This remote program is designed to ensure that every graduate has the knowledge and skills required among professionals in today’s workforce. Sample coursework includes IT Infrastructure, Operating Systems, and Human Communication.

At Georgia Southern, students complete coursework on Folio, which faculty deliver in both asynchronous and synchronous formats. Also, remote students can access tutoring, an academic success center, and a writing center. Admission requirements are an application, a list of high school senior classes, official transcripts, and ACT/SAT scores.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 91%
  • Average SATs: 1050 -1200
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,088
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 1,619
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
#9
#9
Annual Tuition: $6,806
Annual Tuition: $6,806
Annual Tuition: $6,806

Fort Hays State University (FHSU) is a public institution with a medium-sized student population that offers an online Bachelor of Arts or Science in Information Networking and Telecommunications. Requiring 124 credit hours, this program helps students explore career opportunities in IT by offering several concentrations: (1) Computer Networking and Telecommunications, (2) Cybersecurity, (3) Health Informatics, and (4) Web and Mobile Application Development.

At FHSU, Blackboard is used to facilitate synchronous online learning. Online student resources at FHSU include a writing center, tutoring, career services, and technical support. The program’s admission requirements are an application, official transcripts, and ACT/SAT scores.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 96%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 4,411
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 2,453
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
#10
#10

Columbia Southern University

Orange Beach (AL)
Annual Tuition: $7,050
Annual Tuition: $7,050
Annual Tuition: $7,050

Columbia Southern University (CSU) is a medium-sized, private, for-profit institution. It offers an online Bachelor of Science in Information Technology requiring 120 credit hours. By the end of the program, students are expected to identify and resolve a variety of IT problems. The program covers topics like information systems management and interpersonal communication.

CSU facilitates asynchronous and synchronous coursework through the learning management system, Blackboard. Additionally, fully remote students can access academic advising, career services, and math and writing centers. The program’s requirements are an application and official transcripts.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 94%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 14,364
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 5,670
  • School Type: For-Profit
  • School Accreditation: DEAC

Overview of Online Information Technology Degrees

Information technology blends theory with practical applications in the fields of computer science, business, and communication. Online IT degree programs are designed to give graduates a comprehensive understanding of the way information and data management systems work within industries.

Once you enroll in an online IT degree program, you can expect to learn a variety of technical skills. These include computer programming, network management, database administration, cybersecurity, and data analytics. Course assignments give you the opportunity to work on real-world projects, such as creating and managing databases, developing and implementing security strategies, programming software, and troubleshooting network issues.

In the process of completing these assignments, you'll start to develop creative problem-solving, analytical, and communication skills. You'll also be asked to collaborate with classmates so that you can learn to function effectively within multidisciplinary teams.

Online bachelor's degrees in IT typically require the completion of 120-124 credit hours. Full-time students often earn their degree in four or five years, while part-time students may need five or six years to finish. In addition to all of the general education and major-related courses, IT programs may also include an internship and a senior project before graduation.

Looking for more online IT programs? Discover additional options on our list of the best online IT degrees.

Common Courses

In general, the curriculum for an online IT bachelor's degree teaches you how to create systems and networks, develop faster processes, and improve software. Many courses are project-oriented labs, allowing you to gain hands-on experience with specific IT functions. These projects can later be used in your portfolio to demonstrate your skills and experience to prospective employers. 

Some schools allow you to customize your degree by taking courses that focus on a specialization within IT, such as information security, systems administration, project management, or web development. Among the core courses often included in an online IT program are the following:

Introduction to Computer Systems

Often one of the first courses in a program, this class provides foundational knowledge of computer hardware and software. Students discover how they work together to process, store, and communicate information.

Data Structures and Algorithms

This course delves into the design, implementation, and analysis of data structures. Coursework also covers the algorithms associated with data structures.

Networks and Communications

In this course, students learn the fundamentals of network design and management, as well as data communication principles.

Introduction to Cybersecurity

This course covers the two core functions of cybersecurity: identifying cyber threats and breaches of security, and applying tools and techniques for protecting systems and data

Database Design and Management

Projects in this course give students the opportunity to design, implement, and manage databases by using various data management technologies.

Basic Software Development

Another project-based class, this course covers programming concepts, data structures, and design techniques for developing quality software.

Funding an Online IT Degree

Earning a bachelor's degree is a significant financial investment, but there are steps you can take to minimize your expenses. Consider some of the following cost-saving choices:

Earn your degree online. Colleges often charge in-state tuition rates or possibly slightly reduced tuition rates for distance education students, regardless of where they live. Our list above highlights the most affordable online programs, but there are many more accredited schools offering less expensive options. Also, as an online learner, you won't have to pay for room, board, and transportation. 

Enroll in a public university. Data from the National Center for Education Statistics shows that the average tuition and fees for an in-state student attending a public school in the 2020-21 school year was $9,375, as compared to $32,825 for attending a private school.

Attend community college first. Community colleges are generally less expensive, so you can complete many of your general education courses at a lower price before transferring to a four-year university to finish your degree. Additionally, most community colleges offer online courses.  

Pick an economic place to live. Although online students don't have to pay for room and board, you'll still need to pay for housing, food, and other living expenses. As an online learner, however, you can choose to live someplace that's affordable. 

Work while you attend school. You can use the income you earn from a full-time or part-time job to help pay for your college education. It may mean taking fewer courses each semester and needing a little additional time to finish your degree, but it's a trade-off that may be worth making.

Financial Aid

One of the most common ways many students reduce college expenses is by obtaining financial aid. Funding for financial aid comes from many sources, including the federal and state government and the schools themselves. There are also many organizations that provide private scholarships based on need, merit, or other criteria such as your chosen major. 

Grants and scholarships are the preferred forms of financial aid because they generally don't have to be repaid. However, if you don't qualify for enough grant or scholarship funding, you may need to take out a student loan. Keep in mind, however, that the interest on a federal or private student loan can add a significant amount to the total cost of your degree. Before accepting a student loan, use a student loan repayment calculator to calculate the full amount of the loan. 

Online learners enrolled in accredited online degree programs are eligible for financial aid. Simply fill out and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Once your application has been reviewed, you'll be notified if you qualify for aid and, if so, how much aid you're going to receive from the various schools where you've submitted admissions applications.

Scholarships

Although an online degree can be a more affordable higher education option, it is still a significant financial investment, and prospective IT students may be interested in funding their higher education. Because of the importance of technology in our current and future economy, many organizations encourage students to study information technology by sponsoring private scholarships, a few of which are listed below. 

Generation Google Scholarship: This scholarship awards $10,000 to students pursuing a degree in computer science or a related technical field. Applicants must demonstrate financial need and strong leadership skills.

Palantir Women in Technology Scholarship: Palantir awards $7,000 to students who identify as women and are pursuing degrees in tech-related fields. Recipients also receive a paid trip to Palantir to attend a tech workshop.

Women at Microsoft Tuition Scholarships: To encourage diversity in the tech field, Microsoft offers several different scholarships in varying amounts for students majoring in computer science and other STEM subjects.

Armed Forces Communication and Electronics Association Cybersecurity Scholarship: The AFCEA awards scholarships of $5,000 to students pursuing a degree in a range of STEM fields, including IT. The cybersecurity scholarship is open to U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents enrolled in at least their second year of college.

Information Security Undergraduate Scholarship(ISC)2

(ISC)2 offers 20 awards annually, ranging $1,000-$5,000, to high school seniors or undergraduate students pursuing an online bachelor's degree related to cybersecurity or information assurance. Applicants must demonstrate financial need and have a minimum 3.3 GPA.

To learn more about IT degrees, scholarships, career opportunities, certifications, and more, visit our Guide to Information Technology Degrees.

What Can You Do With An Online Information Technology Degree?

An online information technology degree can open the door to a wealth of career opportunities. Naturally, graduates are likely to find employment in the tech industry, but there are plenty of additional options in other industries, including finance, healthcare, manufacturing, and more. The BLS has identified many high-paying, in-demand career paths for IT students, including the following:

Computer Systems Analysts

Median Annual Salary: $99,270
Job Growth Rate: 9%

Also called systems architects, computer systems analysts evaluate an organization's computer systems and implement improvements that enhance functionality. They may also look for ways to improve procedures and training.

Information Security Analysts

Median Annual Salary: $102,600
Job Growth Rate: 35%

Information security analysts play an essential role in protecting an organization's computer systems, networks, and data. They continuously monitor their systems for threats and security breaches, and they look for ways to minimize issues and install the appropriate solutions. Some students interested in this aspect of IT may be interested in earning a degree in cybersecurity.

Web Developers and Digital Designers

Median Annual Salary: $78,300
Job Growth Rate: 23%

Web developers and digital designers use their programming and user experience skills to develop the look and functionality of websites. While some may work directly for large organizations, most work for business service providers or as freelance consultants.

Certification and Further Education

Although an online degree in information technology will prepare you for a range of job opportunities, you may also want to train for specific positions by pursuing additional education. Both certification and an advanced degree may make you a more competitive job candidate, depending on your career goals.

Certification programs are fairly affordable and can often be completed in a year or two. Not only does certification demonstrate your commitment to professional development, it shows employers that you have current skills and expertise in a specific area, such as digital security or cloud computing. Microsoft, Cisco, and CompTIA are just a few of the organizations that offer certification in an array of IT topics.

You may also want to consider going to graduate school. Master's programs allow you to study an aspect of IT, such as project management or cybersecurity, in depth. There are also MBA programs that combine IT courses with business management courses if you're hoping to land higher-level managerial positions in the future. If theoretical research and academia interest you, consider earning a Ph.D. in information technology.

Thinking about earning a master's degree in IT? Discover the possibilities on our lists of best master's programs in information technology and most affordable master's programs in information technology.

FAQs About Online Information Technology Degrees

How Do I Choose An Online IT Degree?


As you're reviewing the many possible options for earning an IT degree online, you'll want to take several factors into consideration. 

One of the most important qualities to look for in an online program is accreditation. Enrollment in an accredited program is required for you to qualify for financial aid, and it may be needed if you decide to transfer to another school or apply for graduate school. Other significant factors include the school's tuition rate and financial aid opportunities, as well as curriculum, specializations, faculty, and student services.

Is An Online IT Degree Cheaper Than In Person?


Overall, an online IT degree may be cheaper than an in-person degree, especially if you select one of the most affordable schools listed above. Many schools charge the same or possibly lower tuition rates for fully online learners. Additionally, earning a degree online eliminates college room and board fees and expenses related to commuting to and from school.

Do I Need A Bachelor's Degree In IT?


No, in today's work environment you do not necessarily need a bachelor's degree to land a job in IT. You may qualify for many entry-level positions with just a boot camp certificate, diploma, or associate degree. In fact, research shows that even the biggest employers in tech hire job candidates without bachelor's degrees. However, a bachelor's degree can be a valuable long-term asset if you want to advance in your career, especially into management positions with higher salaries.

Can My Company Help Fund an IT Degree?


In the tech industry, many companies do not require job applicants to have a bachelor's degree for an entry-level IT position. Instead, they are willing to hire individuals with only a certificate or hands-on experience. Some of these employers may offer tuition reimbursement programs for employees who want to further their education in a related field. Check with your employer to see if the company is willing to help fund your IT bachelor's degree.

Is an Online IT Degree Worth The Cost?


Although an online IT degree requires a significant investment of time and money, pursuing a degree through one of these affordable options is likely to pay off in terms of better career opportunities and the potential for a higher lifetime income. 

In the process of earning an IT degree, you'll develop the technical skills and broad base of knowledge employers are looking for. You'll also acquire valuable soft skills, such as problem-solving, critical thinking, and effective communication. Additionally, the flexibility of online learning may help you balance your studies with other personal and professional responsibilities. 

Given all of the benefits of earning an affordable online degree in IT, it seems well worth the cost.

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