In this ranking, we examine the best value colleges for online technical degrees in 2016.
Our online technical degrees ranking takes an intentionally broad survey of undergraduate programs related to technology and other practical, high-tech subjects. Instead of focusing solely on online information technology degree programs (although we do describe a number of schools with online IT degrees on this list) we considered distance education programs ranging from Cybersecurity to Information Systems to Communication Technology, plus interdisciplinary options like “Technology and Innovation.” In other words, if you’re interested in technical subjects of any kind, you’re bound to find a good fit in at least one of the top online colleges listed below.
10. Central Washington University
Online BS/BAS-Information Technology and Administrative Management
Although Central Washington University’s baccalaureate program in IT has many elements of online technical degrees, there’s a lot more to it than just computer training. The goal of this program is to prepare students for careers as diverse as agriculture, healthcare, manufacturing, retail, and finance by providing a multidimensional curriculum that can adapt to the needs of numerous industries. Within the program, students can choose from specializations in Administrative Management, Retail Management and Technology, and Cybersecurity (new as of fall 2015), enabling them to combine classes in networking and web development with the career-relevant training they need.
Net Price: $14,199/yr
9. George Mason University
Online Technology Degrees
George Mason University offers more than 50 online and hybrid degrees, minors, and certificates through “Mason Online,” which provides an “active and collaborative learning environment” with the “same academic rigor and intensity” as on-campus classes. Among the choices is a BAS degree with two tech-related concentrations: Cybersecurity and Technology and Innovation. These distinct but equally comprehensive options make this one of the best technical degrees online; both blend essential skill development in critical thinking and analysis with industry-specific classes like IT Architecture Fundamentals and Information Defense Technologies (for Cybersecurity specialists) or Multimedia and Web Design and Managing in a Global Economy (for T&I specialists).
Net Price: $17,347/yr
8. University of Nebraska at Omaha
Online Bachelor of General Studies in Information Assurance, Information Technology, or Management Information Systems
One of the unique features of the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s affordable online technical degrees is their incredibly flexible structure; a “General Studies” program forms the core of the curriculum, but students can choose from more than 50 different concentrations to tailor the major to suit their interests. Specifically, UNO has developed concentrations in Information Assurance (blended program), Information Technology, and Management Information Systems to mirror similar on-campus degrees in technical fields. What’s more, you can take BGS classes at the Omaha campus, online, and/or at satellite campuses around the state, giving you maximum flexibility as you plan your schedule and your future.
Net Price: $10,979/yr
7. New Mexico State University
Online Bachelor of Information and Communication Technology
The Information and Communication Technology degree at New Mexico State is an interdisciplinary program that brings together topics related to both the design and implementation of computer information systems. As a degree completion program, this online technical degree offers courses primarily at the junior and senior levels, so applicants should already possess an associate’s diploma and/or have sufficient experience in a related field, such as engineering technology or computer-aided design. The organized curriculum covers everything from computer hardware to network security and culminates in a final project, during which students form teams, design personal websites, and address real-world problems in the technology industry.
Net Price: $10,299/yr
6. American Public University
Online Technology Degrees
As a pioneer of online learning, American Public University offers a long list of highly developed distance ed. programs that mimic traditional curricula in all ways but one – price! Its cheap technical degrees online, including the BSIT, favor a targeted approach to career training over an interdisciplinary one, swapping supplementary classes in communication and administration in order to double down on relevant IT coursework. Through an asynchronous online system that still allows you to interact regularly with professors, you’ll acquire the knowledge you need to declare yourself an expert in web development, programming, systems analysis, and more.
Net Price: $9,572/yr
5. Monroe College
Online Bachelor’s IT Degree
Monroe College gets right to the point, stating clearly that its online BSIT “focuses on developing employable technologists.” And at the end of the day, that’s exactly what you want! In support of this mission, MC has developed a curriculum that can adapt to the newest technologies and most important networking needs; current topics include wireless communications, cryptography, 3D virtual reality networks, and grid processing. Along with courses in business and opportunities to obtain technical certifications, this online information technology degree features both the breadth and depth you need to secure a position in just about any industry.
Net Price: $12,104/yr
4. Indian River State College
Online Bachelor of Science Degree in Information Technology Management/Cyber Security
Indian River State College is another option that stands out for its forward-thinking curriculum. In order to ensure your “well-paying future,” IRSC had adopted a set of courses that place equal weight on management, information technology, cybersecurity, and all the other topics you’d expect from an accredited technical degree online. From Computer Forensics to Database Design to Network Security and Cryptography, Indian River’s carefully designed BSIT program spares no detail. And considering the incredibly low net price, it’s almost impossible to believe that this school is able to offer so much for so little.
Net Price: $1,807/yr
3. Columbia Southern University
Online Information Technology Degree (BS)
One of the great features of Columbia Southern University’s B.S. in Information Technology is that it doesn’t require new admits to have any previous knowledge in the field. Unlike online technical degree completion programs, you can enroll in this affordable program as a complete novice, working your way towards becoming an expert as you study everything from e-commerce and data communication to maintaining microcomputer systems and programming concepts. Students also complete a six-credit, two-semester Capstone Course, which requires them to design and implement their own (faculty-approved) IT project management plan.
Net Price: $10,054/yr
2. East Carolina University
Online Information Technologies, BSBE
What’s different about the Information Technologies degree at East Carolina University? In short, there’s a reason that ECU uses the plural form – “technologies.” Unlike some IT programs, which focus exclusively on computer science and networking, this degree covers an incredibly wide array of technical topics. Electronic Information Processing, Financial Information Systems, Introduction to Virtual Environments, Website Design, and Microcomputer Business Graphics Applications are just a few of the diverse classes you’ll have access to at East Carolina. Along with an affordable net price and course credit for your relevant work experience, the BSBE from ECU is one of the best on this online technical degree ranking.
Net Price: $12,908/yr
1. Murray State University
Online Bachelor of Science in Business: Computer Information Systems
This 42-credit degree completion program is organized, streamlined, and conveniently available through 100% online courses. After you’ve earned your associate’s degree, you can transfer to Murray State University’s Bachelor of Science in Business program and opt for a specialization in Computer Information Systems. Follow a sensible progression through core business courses, required CIS classes, and supplementary electives that will help you identify your unique interests while also distinguishing your resume. Finally, a senior capstone project gives you the opportunity to synthesize your knowledge and prepare for a successful career after graduation.
Net Price: $9,970/yr
This concludes our ranking of the best value colleges for technical degrees online – but be sure to visit our Technical Degrees Online: More Best Values for more of the best online technical degrees, including online information technology degree programs.
See our methodology page for more information about how we calculated this ranking.
By CVO Staff
Published April 2016