Enter the Growing Field of IT
The demand for college-educated IT professionals continues to increase as organizations from retail to manufacturing, business to science, improve and upgrade their IT infrastructures.
During the technology boom of the 1990s, workers with a high school diploma landed these high-paying IT jobs. Today, however, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that most employers are looking for candidates who have at least a bachelor’s degree.
If you want a career with growth potential that can provide opportunities across numerous industries and occupations, you can prepare for it by enrolling in Penn State's online bachelor’s degree program in IST.
Online IT Degree — The Right Choice for You
This degree is particularly suitable if you can bring your current real-world IT experience to your studies; however, you do not need previous experience in the field.
The online bachelor’s degree in information sciences and technology is a good fit if:
- you are currently employed in IT, have an associate degree, and want to continue your education to advance your career
- you are currently employed in other professional or preprofessional positions and wish to expand your employment opportunities
- you are already employed in IT and want to enter a bachelor’s degree program, but you have no previous credits toward an IT degree
- you want to change your current career and do not have an IT background
Customize Your Degree With Options
Explore the role of information technology within and between businesses.
The Integration and Application option (ITINT) prepares you to use IT to support high-level strategic organization and problem solving. You can learn to analyze the needs of an organization, formulate and implement technology-based solutions, and evaluate outcomes. You can also learn how technology impacts the world at large, and what you can do with this information to shape the future. Coursework in this option consists of team-programming experiences.
Create software and applications to drive technology forward.
The Information Systems: Design and Development Option (ISDEV) helps you expand the skills needed to develop advanced information technology systems. You'll use state-of-the-art tools to learn how to develop applications and software, troubleshoot existing and new technology, and solve complex coding challenges. Coursework in this option is project-oriented and consists of team-programming experiences.
Information Sciences and Technology Video
Learn more about the World Campus IST programs in this video:
Build Credentials Along the Way
In the IT profession, continued learning is key to advancing your career. With this in mind, you might want to enroll in the associate degree in IST or the certificate in IST programs as you work toward your bachelor’s degree. Many of the credits in these programs can be applied to the requirements for your bachelor’s degree, so that means you can benefit from Penn State's highly respected name on your résumé even sooner. Your adviser can help you plan the best path for you to achieve your goals.
Career Opportunities for Graduates
IT professionals often work as associate systems designers, network managers, application programmers, web designers, and web administrators. Robert Half Technologies, leading provider of IT professionals on a project and full-time basis, cites the following four industries in which IT growth is expected:
Health care: In an aging population, the need for constant technology upgrades and government funding should result in continuing rapid growth for IT in health care and related industries.
Government: U.S. stimulus funding is likely to fuel IT hiring, both in government agencies and in firms that rely on government contracts.
Financial services: Technology investments and hiring may increase as firms strive to meet reform and compliance requirements.
Education: Technology investments and hiring should remain strong, thanks to stimulus funding, rising student enrollments at all levels, and the growth of e-learning.
The Penn State Advantage
Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology is a leader among an emerging group in higher education known as i-schools, or information schools. Your faculty members in this online program are the same faculty who teach our respected on-campus programs. They are a diverse group of thought leaders from numerous fields, including computer science, engineering, psychology, chemistry, artificial intelligence, and more.
Here’s what you can expect:
- an academically rigorous, yet career-focused curriculum
- courses taught by highly respected faculty members
- access to a full-range of student support services
- technology to support your learning goals, not simply for convenience
When you have successfully completed this program, you will receive the same Penn State diploma that all of our graduates receive. You will become part of a worldwide network of alumni and can choose to join the largest dues-paying alumni association in the world with more than 170,000 members.
Online Education at Penn State
Penn State has a history of 100+ years of distance education and more than a decade of experience in online learning. We create an online learning environment that offers you the same quality education our residential students experience in a face-to-face setting. Learn more about Penn State World Campus.