Be In-Demand with a Low-Cost Online Degree in Information Technology

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Information technology, or IT, represents one of the fastest growing sectors of employment. As technology changes rapidly, so do the IT skills needed to keep up with the demand. However, advancements in information technology are currently outpacing the skills of its workforce.

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To fill this growing gap in skilled IT workers, Mount Washington College  has announced a new, low-cost online degree program in Information Technology. Classes begin on January 6, 2014, and applications for associate’s and bachelor’s degree programs are currently being accepted.

Tuition for the program starts as low as $4,800 per year ($2,400 per term), and students can earn a four-year bachelor’s degree for less than $20,000. This makes Mount Washington’s online IT degree one of the most affordable degrees from a regionally accredited program in the country.

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The online degree program is geared toward career-focused, self-motivated adult learners looking to enter the field of information technology.  “While the information technology sector continues to grow, employers also report difficulty filling positions with highly skilled, qualified candidates,” said Andrew Temte, Mount Washington College’s interim president. “Our new IT program was developed to help bridge this skills gap,” he described, “providing motivated adult learners increased access to quality training at a very competitive price point to meet the future demands and requirements that will be placed on IT professionals.”

In reviewing the industry’s statistics, information technology is certainly in demand. The IT industry grew by 37% since 2003, even during the recession, and is projected to grow by 72% through 2020. Median wages in 2010 for IT jobs that required some college education were over $46,000, while jobs for those with bachelor’s degrees ranged in pay from $60,000 to $90,000.

The combination of a growing need for skilled IT employees, potential earnings with a degree, and the flexible, low-cost IT degree program from Mount Washington College make this a good time for re-careering adults to earn degrees in information technology.

In addition to making it affordable, Mount Washington College also promises to integrate the benefits of flexibility and gamification into its IT degrees. Students who seek IT degrees through Mount Washington’s program can pace themselves as they learn, managing the intensity of their workloads so that they can continue to balance full-time or part-time jobs, family commitments, and other scheduling demands with the requirements of their online education.

The gamification aspect of the courses has students working to earn badges as part of a curriculum that will include classes in cloud computing, security, and forensics, as well as the ethical, legal, and social issues involved in IT administration. The badges will indicate that students have mastered the knowledge necessary for industry certification exams. Online colleges like Mount Washington are hoping to leverage the badge systems to gain hiring advantages for their students over students from traditional colleges. As Scott Dams, Vice President of Admissions for Mount Washington College, points out, “Hiring managers are finding that the badges can sometimes say more about what a student has accomplished than the typical degree.”

To enroll in Mount Washington’s online IT degree program, students are required to complete an application and present their qualifications. A self-assessment entrance exam is also available to applicants to prove online learning readiness. For more information, visit www.MountWashington.edu.

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*Mount Washington College and StudentAdvisor are both owned by the Graham Holdings Company, formally the Washington Post company.

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