In our modern world of rapidly developing technology, an online degree in information technology provides qualifications to pursue a lucrative career in an industry with a strong future. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ projections, there will be over two million new jobs in information services between now and 2018–with an average annual salary of over $80,000.

A degree in information technology can be obtained online for any level, from a certification to a Master’s Degree. Consequently, online degree programs not only allow high school graduates to begin a career, but also create an opportunity for experienced professionals to update their credentials. The convenience of distance learning, given that it allows you to work and study simultaneously, also provides a chance for professionals in other fields to change careers entirely.

An online degree program makes even greater use of many relevant applications than traditional colleges or universities, by nature of the fact that it is almost entirely computer-based. And, when considering this computer- and internet-intensive career path for which information technology degrees prepare, extra familiarity provides a competitive edge.

However, there are many details you must take into consideration when choosing a specific degree program. Here are some tips:

  • Make sure the school is an accredited institution. Only schools accredited by certain regional or national accreditation agencies are valid.
  • Be wary of degree programs which seem “too good to be true”. Schools that offer degrees which can be completed abnormally quickly, require little or no effort, or are priced by degree (instead of credit-hours) may be diploma mills rather than providers of a good online education.
  • Research the faculty. Find out how much experience and what education the instructors for the program have had. Make sure they are up to date with the online technology–a good place to check this is in the curriculum. Courses which use more interactive web applications tend to teach you more.
  • Think about time constraints. Does the program allow you to take courses part time? Is there a limit to how long it can take you to complete the degree?
  • Check if courses are fully online. Some schools offer “blended” programs which require some time to be spent on a campus, while others offer a purely online education.
  • Do they offer the specific degree for which you are searching?
  • How much does tuition cost? Will you need to get financial aid? If so, there are resources to help. Consider applying for scholarships, grantsFeature Articles, and student loans.

Looking for more IT career advice? Check out IT Support London 365.