IST student at a lab

Associate in Science in
Information Sciences and Technology

Program Summary

Develop practical IT skills through hands-on projects and internships. This online degree program does not require prior formal IT training and can be customized to meet your educational or professional goals.
How To Apply
Apply by March 15 to start May 15

How To Apply 

Costs and Financial Aid

60 Credits $620/$664 per credit

Costs and Financial Aid 

The Employment Outlook for the IT Industry Looks Bright

Nearly all types of organizations — from retail establishments and manufacturing plants to service industries and health care facilities — need information technology (IT) workers. And as IT operations continue to expand, so does the demand for additional IT workers.

The online Associate in Science in Information Sciences and Technology is offered in partnership with Penn State's highly regarded College of Information Sciences and Technology. It is designed for working professionals with little or no formal background in information technology and for people who want to pursue a career in technology management.

Why Information Sciences and Technology Online at Penn State?

This online associate degree program combines flexibility with a highly relevant course curriculum. Acquiring an associate degree in IST can significantly boost your earning potential and broaden your career opportunities, compared to your having only a high school diploma.

Penn State’s online associate degree program can give you:

  • a thorough knowledge of information systems, with organizational and global perspectives
  • extensive practice using contemporary technologies in the creation, organization, storage, analysis, evaluation, communication, and transmission of information
  • technical knowledge about the structure of database systems, web and multimedia systems, and the design of information systems
  • hands-on knowledge through team projects, a required internship, and a capstone experience focusing on issues and technologies in the field

If you choose to continue your studies, some of the credits you earn toward your associate degree may be applied toward the requirements for a bachelor’s degree at Penn State. Please consult with an adviser.

The College of IST is a leader among information schools, and its faculty members are a diverse group of thought leaders from numerous fields, including computer science, engineering, psychology, chemistry, and artificial intelligence.

Options to Tailor Your IT Degree

Application Development Option helps students prepare for an entry-level position in applications and/or web development. It also can be a stepping-stone for IST–related bachelor’s degrees. Course work will cover web development and advanced java programming as well as usability.

Custom Option allows students to work closely with an adviser to develop a flexible academic program that provides a breadth of technical specialization. Students may select courses that support their current career path or add one of our undergraduate certificates to complete this option.

Cybersecurity Option — can prepare students for an entry-level position in the cybersecurity field. It also can position them for IST–related bachelor’s programs like cybersecurity analytics and operations or security and risk analysis. This option features introductory courses in cybersecurity and security and risk analysis as well as advanced hand-on courses in these fields of study.

Generalized Business Option — features courses in accounting, marketing, and management to help students build a framework of business concepts and practices that they can incorporate into their IT experience, add to their résumé, and use to improve marketability across industries.

Networking Option — provides an innovative curriculum that identifies and explains new and ever-evolving technologies in the IT field. This option balances theoretical knowledge with real-world experiences and is designed to bridge the gap between business and information technology professionals.

The networking option can help prepare students who plan to pursue professional IT certification examinations, including Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) A+, Network+, and Server+ exams, as well as exams to be certified as a Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) and Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA). 

Who Should Apply?

This program is designed for:

  • working professionals with little or no formal background in IT
  • people who want to pursue a career in technology management
  • people interested in changing careers

Career Opportunities for Graduates

The online associate degree in IST can prepare you for the following careers:

  • database administrator
  • web developer
  • computer support consultant
  • test engineer
  • data center operations support
  • information manager or technologist
  • local- and wide-area network administrator
  • systems administrator
  • media technician
  • network administrator
  • help desk analyst
  • network support technician
  • technical support specialist
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