Information Technology Management Degrees: Bachelor, Associate & Online Info

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What kind of job can you get with an associate or bachelor's degree in information technology management? Find out about degree program requirements, online options and information technology management courses.
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Studying Information Technology Management: Degrees at a Glance

Information technology (IT) management programs combine business principles with technical expertise to teach students to solve complex business problems. Studies in information technology management can lead to work in government, private businesses and public organizations.

An IT management graduate might find work as computer systems analyst, a career that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected would see a 22% increase in jobs from 2010-2020. This was faster than the average of all occupations. The BLS noted that healthcare, wireless networking and information technology consulting were likely to be higher growth areas in this field. Additionally, IT management grads might work as computer and information systems managers or computer support specialists. This group was expected to experience an 18% increase in jobs between 2010 and 2020.

Associate Bachelor's
Who is this degree for? Individuals seeking entry-level technical support and information technology positions People interested in information technology management careers
Common Career Paths (with approximate median annual salary) - Computer support specialist ($48,000)*
- Information technology generalist ($51,000)**
- Microcomputer specialist (salary unavailable)
- Chief technology officer ($194,000 - with at least 15 years of experience)**
- Computer and information systems manager ($118,000)*
- Information technology auditor ($53,000)**
- Computer systems analyst ($79,000)*
Time to Completion 2 years, full-time 4 years, full-time
Common Graduation Requirements - About 6-9 courses covering information technology concepts
- Roughly 6 business-related courses
- Internship/hands-on learning experience
- About 6-10 business and management courses
- Approximately 15 information technology courses
- Capstone/information technology project
Prerequisites High school diploma or equivalent High school diploma or equivalent
Online Availability Some hybrid programs available Yes

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (May 2011 figures), **Salary.com (September 2012 figures).

Associate in Information Technology Management

Associate degree programs offer high-level technical training in business technology mixed with business topics to give you a balanced education. Coursework usually emphasizes key information technology functions, including data management, networking and programming. You'll likely learn to install, configure and manage computer networks, telecommunications devices and information systems. Associate programs also give you a chance to get hands-on experience before you graduate.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Jobs that you'll be prepared for offer competitive salaries for associate's degree holders
  • The combination of business and information technology training can be applied to many jobs
  • Courses completed in an associate program can usually be applied to a bachelor's program if you wish to continue your education

Cons

  • May face strong competition for jobs from bachelor's degree holders
  • Since your training covers many aspects of information technology and business, you probably won't be an expert in any particular subject
  • You'll typically need to acquire substantial experience or a bachelor's degree if you wish to advance to a management position

Courses and Requirements

Associate degree programs help students develop a range of skills in the design, development and management of computer applications, websites and information systems. You'll generally complete a set of core business courses, such as marketing, management principles and computer applications. The hands-on nature of these programs may require laboratory work or an internship. Your information technology management courses might include:

  • Object-oriented programming
  • Web publishing
  • Network fundamentals
  • Database management
  • Web design
  • Information technology laws

Online Degree Options

Strictly online information technology management programs are not currently available. Some schools offer a blended learning format, which allows you to complete some of your coursework away from the classroom while still attending some class sessions for group projects and class discussions.

Stand Out with This Degree

Experience with and knowledge of different programming languages, mobile technologies, technical tools and industry-specific operating procedures might increase your marketability. Following are a few steps you can take to stand out with this degree:

  • Gain intermediate to advanced proficiency in programming languages like JavaScript, C++, PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor, Hyper Text Markup Language (HTML) and/or Structured Query Language (SQL).
  • Keep up-to-date on tools used in your specialization. Information technology is constantly changing, and knowing the latest developments in the industry can help you stand out.
  • Choose business courses that can help you the most in your desired industry. For example, if you plan on working with accounting technologies, you might take additional accounting courses to give you extra knowledge in that field.

Bachelor's in Information Technology Management

Bachelor's degree programs focus on analyzing business operations to implement computer systems that meet the needs of an organization. These programs can prepare you to manage information technology projects, conduct cost-benefit analyses and ensure the security of sensitive business information. Programs offer a breadth of knowledge in business topics, including marketing, business law, organizational management and computer systems administration. Many programs integrate training for industry-standard certification exams into their curricula, not only preparing you for the exams but sometimes giving you a discount on their cost.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Skills taught in these programs can be useful for a variety of technical and non-technical jobs in different industries
  • Opens up a number of career options not available to associate degree holders
  • Integrated certification courses can reduce the costs of gaining a professional designation and provide a solid foundation for marketing your skills to employers

Cons

  • Employers may prefer or even require some computer and information systems managers to have a graduate degree
  • Curricula cover a number of topics and concepts, which means you may not get in-depth instruction in any particular subject
  • Staying abreast of changes in information technology requires a commitment to lifelong learning

Courses and Requirements

A bachelor's degree program can give you a chance to learn a number of skills and theories in business and information technology management. You'll learn to plan and organize the execution of complex information technology initiatives using the resources available to you. Some programs combine classroom learning with hands-on experiences; the completion of an internship or large project is a common requirement.

Some programs include a core set of management and business courses, but other programs include these management courses as part of the information technology management core requirements. Typical management and business courses include project management, information security management, business law and financial management. Some of your technical course options might consist of network administration, programming, cryptography, wireless security and designing networks.

Online Degree Options

An online bachelor's degree program can be a convenient option for working professionals. Distance learning programs typically cover the same topics that are found in traditional programs. You'll likely still have a capstone course, but you might miss out on some of the hands-on learning experiences that are often a part of on-campus programs. If you don't have a solid background in basic computer technologies, you might want to gain this knowledge before enrolling in an online program to ensure that you can understand the concepts covered in the courses.

Stand Out with This Degree

Experience plays a significant role in securing a management position in information technology. For example, computer systems analysts can advance to information technology director or chief technology officer positions after they gain enough experience. You can start accumulating relevant experience while you're still in school by picking up a part-time job working with computer technologies. Having knowledge of multiple programming languages also might come in handy for some jobs, so you might want to look into learning additional programming languages on the side while you pursue your degree.

You also might obtain one or more industry-standard certifications to boost your marketability. Consider pursuing the CompTIA Project+ designation, which can be earned after passing an exam. You don't need a specific amount of experience to earn this certification, so you could prepare for the exam while you're still in school.

Popular Schools

  • Online Programs Available
    1. Herzing University

    Program Options

    Associate's
      • Associate of Science - Information Technology Admin and Management
      • Associate of Science - Technology Studies
  • Online Programs Available
    2. Keiser University

    Program Options

    Associate's
      • Associate of Sciences - Information Technology
  • Online Programs Available
    3. Excelsior College

    Program Options

    Associate's
      • AAS in Technical Studies (Computer Technologies)
      • AAS in Technical Studies (Electromechanical Technologies)
      • AAS in Technical Studies (Electronic / Instrumentation Technologies)
      • AS in Science in Technology (Computer Technologies)
      • AS in Science in Technology (Electromechanical Technologies)
      • AS in Science in Technology (Electronic / Instrumentation Technologies)
  • Knoxville, TN

    Pellissippi State Technical Community College

  • Milwaukee, WI

    Milwaukee Area Technical College

  • Campus Locations:
    6. Virginia College

    Program Options

    Associate's
      • Associate: Network Engineering

Featured Schools

Herzing University

  • Associate of Science - Information Technology Admin and Management
  • Associate of Science - Technology Studies

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Keiser University

  • Associate of Sciences - Information Technology

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Excelsior College

  • AAS in Technical Studies (Computer Technologies)
  • AAS in Technical Studies (Electromechanical Technologies)
  • AAS in Technical Studies (Electronic / Instrumentation Technologies)

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Virginia College

  • Associate: Network Engineering

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