Online courses have exploded in popularity over the past decade. Now, students can complete entire degrees, at both the undergrad and graduate levels, without ever seeing a fellow student in person. University of Phoenix, for example, is the largest university in the country by enrollment, with more than 300,000 students — only a small fraction of which actually show up at one of UP’s campuses. Traditional brick-and-mortar colleges have sat up and taken notice.
Several such institutions now have their own online degree programs. These schools also bring their highly regarded academic rigor to Internet delivery of course materials. One of the most obvious programs of study for an online degree is IT (information technology). The schools below have been singled out by U.S. News and World Report, as well as Top5.com as the best online IT schools in cyberspace.
University of Southern California
Through a system that rates schools based on faculty credentials and training, student services and technology, student engagement, and admissions selectivity, U.S. News has concluded the University of Southern California has the best online information technology program. Situated in urban Los Angeles, USC is a private university that is most well-known for its sports programs, but is also very selective, large, and is known in the education community as providing some of the best education money can buy. USC has recently expanded its education services to online courses, a service of which anyone interested in information technology should take advantage.
Sam Houston State University
Founded in 1879, Sam Houston State University, located 70 north of Houston, is the third oldest public institution of advanced education in the state of Texas. SHSU enrolls over 18,000 students a year in a variety of undergraduate, masters, and doctorate programs. While the school is most well-known for its college of Criminal Justice, it also boasts a comprehensive variety of online courses, included classes in information technology. SHSU has been recognized by U.S. News for the effectiveness and quality of its online programs in a variety of categories, including information technology, bachelor’s degrees, and graduate education.
Nestled in Blacksburg, Virginia, the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, most commonly known as Virginia Tech, is a public university well known for its affluence and expertise in the technology industry and applied sciences. Virginia Tech has pioneered an online system of computer software and feedback that streams one-on-one discussion and small group tutoring, which makes it the perfect learning environment for an individual interested in online classes. With classes from Virginia Tech, you can rest assured that you’ll have the resources and help to succeed in information technology.
University of Bridgeport
One of the most racially diverse campuses in America, the University of Bridgeport is an independent, privately funded university that ensures an individualized learning experience. This University was ranked by U.S. News as #1 for its information technology program in 2012 and is #4 in 2013, demonstrating that this program is consistently one of the best and most successful and reliable programs in the country. UB also has a variety of resources for English as a second language, or ESL students, if you wish to have a quality educational experience but worry about your mastery of English.
Pennsylvania State University – World Campus
Also known as “Penn State Online,” this is a component of the world-famous Penn State University that allows students from across the globe to get a quality education. This system was established in 1998 and hosts over 6,000 students every year from various states and countries, and offers more than 90 online undergraduate and graduate degrees. This program treats the student exactly as if they were a physical student at the University, holding them to the same academic standards; for instance, students must complete exams at educational institutions close to them in front of webcams. If you need an online educational experience but don’t want a watered down system where you aren’t treated like a real student, Penn State Online is an ideal choice.