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The Best IT Certifications Online in 2021

September 27, 2021 | Staff Writers

IT Certifications Online
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BestValueSchools.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Are you considering a career in Information Technology (IT)? If so, you’ve already made a sound choice. The IT industry is booming, and careers in information technology can offer good pay, a great work environment, and various remote work opportunities. IT certifications online may open doors for you.

By pursuing certificates in information technology, you can increase your knowledge, burnish your resume, and potentially open doors to fulfilling, well-paying careers. When it comes to earning an IT certificate online, you also have a lot of great options to choose from.

In this article, we’ll review some of the best online IT certification programs. While this list is not exhaustive, we believe that the following online IT programs offer a great way to further your education. Let’s look at some pertinent Information Technology career information, including the job outlook.

Trying to find the right online IT certificate program? We’ll help you find the best IT certificate by reviewing some of the best IT certs in the United States!

Career Opportunities and Outlook

IT certifications online, such as a certificate in Information Technology can prepare you for a wide number of job roles. One potential role is as a computer support specialist, who helps organizations and end users  operate computers, networks, and operating systems. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a strong job outlook for this job, with opportunities growing by 8% (much faster than average) between 2019 and 2029. Computer support specialists earn an average of $54,760 per year.

So how do you break into information technology careers, such as computer support specialist? Earning an online IT certification is a great start!

Do I Need an IT Certificate to Pursue a Career in Information Technology?

In some cases, you may not need to obtain a certificate or degree in Information Technology and can instead learn skills on the job. However, it’s often difficult to prove you have experience and knowledge in IT, especially if you don’t have extensive previous work history in the field. Earning IT certifications online can prove to prospective employers that you have the skills, interest, and commitment needed to become an IT professional.

Further, some employers may have various degree or certificate requirements. Work experience may not always be enough. Some jobs may require you to have a specific IT certification, such as Cisco certified network associate (CCNA) or Microsoft technology associate (MTA). Most of the IT certs we’re going to outline in this guide are more general, but the schools listed may offer more specific certifications.

If you’ve decided to earn a certificate in Information Technology, the next big question is whether you should earn it online or in-person.

Career Opportunities and Outlook

An online certificate in Information Technology can prepare you for a wide number of job roles. One potential role is as a computer support specialist, who helps organizations and end users  operate computers, networks, and operating systems. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a strong job outlook for this job, with opportunities growing by 8% (much faster than average) between 2019 and 2029. Computer support specialists earn an average of $54,760 per year.

Why Study an IT Certificate Online?

The first major choice you may make when pursuing further education in information technology is whether to complete your studies in person or online. There are advantages and drawbacks to both approaches.

The IT field is uniquely positioned to offer an excellent online learning environment. Most of your work will be with computers, software, and IT technology. It’s possible to learn how to use IT technologies through remote, online learning. Further, the more comfortable you become with the Internet, computers, and other IT tech, the better. Thus, pursuing IT certifications online may prep you for your career.

Remote work has also become more common in recent years, and many IT jobs can be performed remotely. By pursuing an IT certificate online, you’ll acclimate yourself to a remote work environment. If you ultimately decide to pursue your IT education in person, many of the schools below offer excellent in-person programs as well.

The Best Online IT Programs

1

Seminole State College – Information Technology Analysis Certificate

  • Sanford, Florida
  • Graduation Rate: 42%
  • Points: 94

If you happen to live in the sunshine state, Seminole State College is an excellent choice for continuing education. For online IT Certificate programs, you can choose from either the Information Technology Analysis certificate or the IT Client Specialist Technical Certificate. The Information Technology Analysis program focuses on operating systems, hardware, software packages, and also teaches you how to troubleshoot both IT equipment and software.

School Overview

Requirements: Each program requires 18 credits to complete.
Costs: Both in-state and out-of-state students are charged $79.78 per credit. However, non-resident students are also charged a per-credit fee of $236.69.
Graduation Rate: Seminole State College reports a 4-year graduation rate of 41.5%.
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2

Santa Barbara Community College – Certificate in PC Support/Network Management

  • Santa Barbara, California
  • Graduation Rate: 36%
  • Points: 90

Located in a beautiful area not far from Silicon Valley, Santa Barbara Community College offers a great way to advance your technology career with a certificate in PC Support/Network Management certificate, which focuses primarily on helping end-users (i.e. company employees) use PCs and various other technologies. Through an IT certification online you’ll learn about cloud computing, Windows Server Administration, help desks, and more.

School Overview

Requirements: Students must complete 35 credits worth of classes.
Costs: Resident students pay a $46 enrollment fee per credit unit, while nonresidents pay the $46 plus a $290 out-of-state tuition fee.
Graduation Rate: Santa Barbara Community College reports that 36% of the 2015 cohort graduated by 2018.
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3

American River College – CIS Computer Networking Management

  • Sacramento, California
  • Graduation Rate: 27%
  • Points: 90

Students pursuing online IT certificates sometimes chose to focus on either PC end-users or network administration. If you’d prefer to focus on network administration, the CIS Computer Networking Management offered by American River College is an excellent choice. Through this Computer Networking Management program, you’ll learn about Linux-based operating systems (Linux is popular for networks and servers), CISCO Networking Fundamentals, TCP/IP Protocols, Network Tech, and more.

School Overview

Requirements: Students must complete at least 29 units, although some concentrations require more units.
Costs: Residents pay a $46 enrollment fee per credit hour. Nonresident students pay a combined enrollment/tuition fee of $353.
Graduation Rate: American River College reports that 27% of the 2015 cohort graduated by 2018.
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4

Cerro Coso Community College – Information Technology Certificate

  • Ridgecrest, California
  • Graduation Rate: 26%
  • Points: 89

California is home to the booming technology industry and the famed Silicon Valley. Tech talent is often in high demand throughout the state. Cerro Coso Community College offers IT certifications online, such as an Information Technology and Information Technology Plus online certificate of achievement that could launch your IT career. Both programs will provide students with a solid foundation in computer network fundamentals, an introduction to database design, programming concepts, and more. By completing these programs, you may be able to greatly advance your IT knowledge and further your career in a variety of IT fields.

School Overview

Requirements: Students must complete at least 23 credit hours.
Costs: Resident students are charged $46, nonresident students are charged $329.
Graduation Rate: Cerro Coso Community College reports that 26% of the 2015 cohort graduated by 2018.
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5

University of Washington- Cybersecurity Risk Management Certificate

  • Seattle, Washington
  • Graduation Rate: 66%
  • Points: 88

Cybersecurity is a major concern for organizations big and small. The average total cost of a cybersecurity attack now tops $1 million according to Radware. That’s why many IT professionals are pursuing cybersecurity certificates, such as the Cybersecurity Risk Management Certificate offered by the University of Washington. The online certificate takes roughly 8 months to complete. You’ll learn about information security risks, building a risk management tool kit, and security strategies among other things.

School Overview

Requirements: You will take three online cybersecurity classes over the course of 8 months.
Costs: This program costs $3,999.
Graduation Rate: The University of Washington reports a 66% 4-year graduation rate.
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6

Central Georgia Technical College – Help Desk Specialist Certification

  • Macon, Georgia
  • Graduation Rate: 30%
  • Points: 88

Many organizations have internal help desk specialists that help employees learn how to use computers, software, networks, operating systems, and the like. If you’re interested in pursuing a career as a help desk specialist, the online Help Desk Specialist Certification at Central Georgia Technical College (CGTC) is a great choice. Students will learn about networks, operating systems, hardware, and more. Students can take a wide variety of electives, including courses that cover Microsoft server courses, CISCO networks, and other areas.

School Overview

Requirements: Students must complete 25 total credit hours.
Costs: CGTC charges in-state students $100 per credit hour and out-of-state students $200 per hour.
Graduation Rate: Central Georgia Technical College reports that 30% of the 2015 cohort graduated by 2018.
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7

Ivy Tech Community College – IT Support

  • Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Graduation Rate: 21%
  • Points: 88

If you complete the IT Support program at Ivy Tech Community College (Indiana), you’ll be exposed to a wide range of today’s most important technology topics, including networking and cybersecurity. You’ll learn the basics of informatics, databases, security, and other topics. Should you want to expand on your IT education afterward, Ivy Tech Community College offers a range of other IT certifications online, such as Cisco CCNA Certification Training.

School Overview

Requirements: Students must complete 24 credit-hours.
Costs: Indiana residents pay $149.55 while out-of-state students pay $175.38 for online classes.
Graduation Rate: Ivy Tech Community College reports that 21% of the 2015 cohort graduated by 2018.
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8

The University of Virginia – Information Technology Certificate

  • Charlottesville, Virginia
  • Graduation Rate: 89%
  • Points: 84

The University of Virginia (or UVa, for short) is one of the most prestigious universities in the world. And now, you can attend the University of Virginia by completing an online IT certification. The UVA online IT certification offers a well-rounded learning experience. You will learn about strategic business value, networks, databases, web design, and more. You can take electives in Agile project management, programming, and other high-value areas.

School Overview

Requirement: Students must take 6 courses for a total of 18 credits. Most students complete this online IT certification within 18 months
Costs: For both in-state and out-of-state students, UVa charges a flat $8,784 fee for this course.
Graduation Rate: The University of Virginia reports a 4-year graduation rate of 89%.
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9

Penn State World Campus

  • Online
  • Graduation Rate: 73%
  • Points: 84

As information technology continues to change, businesses and organizations will need computer and IT professionals with the right skills and training to help them meet their technology needs. Penn State World Campus’ certificate program is designed to prepare you for a leadership role in any IST–related field. You can enhance your existing skills or prepare for further study as you explore the social, ethical, and policy issues surrounding information technology.

School Overview

Requirements: 12 credits
Costs: $590/$632 per credit
Overall Graduation Rate: 73%
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10

University of Wisconsin- Stout Enterprise Technology Certificate

  • Madison, Wisconsin
  • Graduation Rate: 29%
  • Points: 84

This online IT certificate offered by the University of Wisconsin- Stout focuses specially on Enterprise Technology. Students will learn about umbrella data systems, the impact of enterprise technology on business processes, and other vital topics. The University of Wisconsin- Stout offers this program both in-person and online. The University also offers IT certifications online, such as certificates in Cisco networks, web technology, and more.

School Overview

Requirements: Students must complete three mandatory courses for a total of 9 credits.
Costs: Undergraduate students pay $370 per undergraduate credit for customized instruction programs regardless of residency.
Graduation Rate: The University of Wisconsin-Stout reports a 4-year graduation rate of 29%.
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11

Jamestown Community College – Information Technology Certificate

  • Jamestown, New York
  • Graduation Rate: 37%
  • Points: 82

Jamestown Community College (JCC) offers a well-rounded Information Technology Certificate that will help students prepare for a wide variety of roles in IT. If you enroll in this program, you’ll learn about programming concepts, computer hardware, system software, and more. This program also introduces students to business, HTML/CSS, and other important topics. Jamestown also offers IT certifications online, including an Information Technology Healthcare certificate for students looking for more specialization. IT is extremely important for hospitals, insurance companies, and other healthcare-related organizations.

School Overview

Requirements: The Information Technology certificate requires 30 credit hours to complete (note: the IT Healthcare cert requires 31 credit hours).
Costs: JCC charges $217 per credit hour to resident students and $433 per credit hour to nonresident students.
Graduation Rate: Jamestown Community College reports that 37% of the 2015 cohort graduated by 2018.
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12

University of Massachusetts Lowell – Certificate Program in Information Technology

  • Lowell, Massachusetts
  • Graduation Rate: 41%
  • Points: 82

This University of Massachusetts Lowell certificate program is offered completely online and provides a broad introduction to Information Technology for interested students. Students start by gaining a broad overview of information systems. Through electives, students can focus on computer programming, web technologies, databases, or other areas. Students can apply for courses from this program to a B.S. or A.S. in Information Technology at UMass Lowell, should they choose to further their studies.

School Overview

Requirements: Students complete 18 credit hours worth of courses.
Costs: Both in-state and out-of-state students are charged $380 per credit hour.
Graduation Rate: U. Mass-Lowell reports a 41% 4-Year graduation rate.
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13

Central Texas College – Computer Helpdesk Specialist Certificate

  • Killeen, Texas
  • Graduation Rate: 17%
  • Points: 80

Central Texas College is a community college that offers a number of IT certifications online. For students interested in IT careers, the Computer Helpdesk Specialist job is especially promising. As a helpdesk specialist, you would help end-users at organizations understand and utilize their computers and other technologies. The Computer Helpdesk Specialist online certificate at Central Texas College covers business computer applications, IT security, project management software, and more. You’ll also be introduced to programming and network technologies.

School Overview

Requirements: Students must complete at least 29 credit hours in a variety of IT-related topics.
Costs: Central Texas College charges in-state, in-district students $95 per credit hour and resident out-of-district students $119 per credit hour. Non-resident students (including out-of-state and international students) pay $248 per credit hour.
Graduation Rate: Central Texas College reports that 17% of the 2015 cohort graduated by 2018.
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14

University of Nebraska at Omaha – Information Technology Administration Certificate

  • Omaha, Nebraska
  • Graduation Rate: 24%
  • Points: 78

Among other IT certifications online, the University of Nebraska at Omaha offers an affordable Information Technology Administration certificate that will provide students with knowledge of database management, programming, and more. This program requires at least two semesters of programming to complete. You will also learn about security administration for both Windows and Linux systems. The coursework in this degree is rather technical, so you may want to already have a solid grasp of IT before enrolling.

School Overview

Requirements: Students must complete a total of 14 credit hours.
Costs: Resident students will pay $293 per credit hour, while nonresident students are charged $524 per credit hour.
Graduation Rate: The University of Nebraska-Omaha reports a 24% four-year graduation rate.
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15

Erie Community College – Network Support Technology Certificate

  • Williamsville, New York
  • Graduation Rate: 23%
  • Points: 76

If you’ve been looking at careers in Information Technology or otherwise have a strong interest in IT, you may have heard of the “Internet of Things” (IoT), which refers to the increasingly large and powerful network of interconnected devices. With the online Network Support Technology certification from Erie Community College, you’ll learn more about networks, including Cisco networks, as well as network viruses, and more. You can also advance your knowledge of hardware, operating systems, and the like.

School Overview

Requirements: You must complete 24 credits to earn the Network Support Technology certificate.
Costs: Erie Community College charges New York state residents in the sponsored area $211 per credit hour and students outside of the sponsored area $422 dollars per credit hour.
Graduation Rate: Erie Community College reports that 23% of the 2015 cohort graduated by 2018.
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Please Note: If you work for or represent any of the above colleges or universities and feel anything is misrepresented or incorrect, please feel free to reach out to our team. We work alongside educational institutes to improve student outcomes and to advance education.

Our Ranking Methodology

Using data from US News, we first gathered graduation percentages for each program on our list. Then, we ranked based on the highest percentages, giving the highest performing university/college 50 points, and the lowest scoring university/college 35 points.

We then calculated total program cost based on the number of credit hours and cost per credit hour (in-state). The most affordable program was given a score of 50 while the most expensive program was given a score of 35. We then added both numbers, with higher scores corresponding with a higher rank.

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BestValueSchools.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.
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