10 Factors to Consider When Choosing an Online IT Degree Program
It just makes sense. Why wouldn’t you pursue an IT degree online? After all, those computers you’ll be learning on as a student are also what you’ll be working with as a professional. But how do you find an online IT program that checks all the boxes for accreditation, affordability, instruction, and quality?
Here are the 10 factors to consider when choosing an online IT degree program:
1. Experience in Online Delivery
A lot of universities scrambled to put classes online in a hurry during the pandemic. But did they know what they were doing? Look for a university will real knowledge on how to best offer content and teach online. You want a school with years—not months—of online instruction experience.
2. Quality of the Curriculum
Be sure to compare course descriptions, required courses, and electives. Look for depth and relevancy. Find out whether they offer IT specializations such as network, web, cybersecurity, and programming. You want knowledge and skills that you can quickly transfer to the real world. Choose a school that offers a high-quality, comprehensive curriculum, that also allows you to build upon your knowledge so you might earn an associate degree and continue on to a bachelor’s degree.
3. Cost of Online Programs
Another interesting thing that happened during the pandemic was that all those schools offering their courses online didn’t lower the tuition. Not a penny. Compare programs and select a program that has been consistently affordable, inclusive of all fees and expenses.
4. Transfer Credits
Ask if your previous college credits will be accepted into your online IT program. Some schools will also give you credit for military training, certificates, and other work and life experience. The more credits you can transfer, the more quickly you can complete your degree and the more money you can save.
5. Support for Online Students
Just because you learn through a computer doesn’t mean you’re a machine. Ask what kind of support you can expect at the start and throughout your online program. Will you have an advisor that will help you select classes and make sure you stay on track to complete your degree? Will there be academic support if you need it? And what kind of eBooks and online reference materials will you have access to?
6. Experienced Online Instructors
Ask about faculty credentials and what real-world work experience they have. You want knowledgeable instructors who are up to date on all the latest technology and who are adept at teaching and helping you develop your skills.
7. Online Accreditation
Look for a regionally accredited online IT program. This accreditation ensures that experts in higher education have evaluated all the course offerings, instructors, and administration, and have determined the college meets strict education standards. Regional accreditation also rates academic reputation, transfer of credits, and the greatest possible acceptance by other colleges.
8. Length of Your Online Program
How long will it take to complete your IT program? Whether you attend full or part-time, you’ll want to finish in the shortest amount of time possible so you can hit the ground running in a great new career or position yourself for a promotion.
9. Tech Support
You can’t succeed in an online program if the technology doesn’t work. Find out what you need before you enroll. Then, make sure that there will be tech support for you if there are glitches. You want to be able to access your courses and take tests when it’s convenient for you. After all, that’s one of the biggest benefits of completing your degree online.
10. Contact with Instructors and Other Students
Make sure that the courses are set up in a way that provides regular interaction with your professors and peers. Whether that’s through forums and discussion boards, breakout meeting rooms, email or online chats, it’s important to know you’re not alone.
National American University has been offering online Bachelor’s and Associate degrees in Information Technology for more than 20 years. And we have a generous transfer policy that allows you to transfer credits to your degree program to save you time and money. Call 800-209-0182 to learn more now.