Information Technology Degree

Earn your AST degree in information technology at our Altoona, Pennsylvania and State College, Pennsylvania, campuses.

Our Information Technology Degree Program At-a-Glance

  • Earn your specialized degree in just 2 years
  • Accredited by ACCSC
  • Licensed by the PA Department of Education, Department of Private Licensed Schools

What You Need to Know About Our Information Technology AST Degree

Increasingly, so much of what we do evolves around computer and digital information systems, in both large and small businesses alike. Whether it’s network security, database management, network administration or cloud asset management, employers are in need of skilled information technicians who can help protect their digital assets and ensure everyone has the technology they need to work efficiently. At South Hills School of Business & Technology, you can learn the skills you need to become part of the IT field in just two years with our Associate in Specialized Technology Degree in Information Technology.

From classroom theory to practical experience, we bring the real world of IT into our program so that you are exposed to all of the training and technical skills you’ll need in to start your career. Our experienced instructors cover topics like:

  • Utilizing networking switches and routers to create local area networks
  • Demonstrating troubleshooting techniques that lead to resolving computer-related problems
  • Cloud computing and common use cases in information technology
  • Creating, retrieving, updating, and deleting information from modern database systems
  • Setting up and maintaining Windows and Linux operation systems and creating automation scripts for them using common scripting languages
  • Understanding the foundations of modern web-based applications
  • Protecting networks using common computer security practices

We include a 12-week internship with one of our partner employers as part of your program, so you’ll have the opportunity to put what you’ve learned to work. Previous IT internship locations have included:

  • Affinity Connections
  • CMIT Solutions
  • Falkner Technology LLC
  • Keystone Central School District
  • Penn State University
  • Penn State Outreach
  • International
  • ZoomTan

South Hills helps to prepare students to sit for internationally recognized certification exams by Microsoft, CompTIA, EC-Council, and CIW, including:

  • MCTS
  • MCSE
  • A+
  • Network+
  • CIW-A
  • Linux+

Students have the flexibility to customize their class choices based on their desired career choice. For those focusing on programming, strong math comprehension skills are an asset.

South Hills IT grads are working in careers including Computer Support Specialist, Network Administrator, Security Analyst, Applications Developer or Programmer, Webmaster, E-Commerce Specialist, Network Systems and Data Communications Analyst, and Database Administrator.

Successful students in this program will be fast learners, willing to explore and try new things with the computer, and not easily distracted by online temptations such as games and social media. For those focusing on programming, strong math comprehension skills are an asset.

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Why You Should Choose South Hills

South Hills School of Business & Technology has been in the business of helping our students gain the specialized career skills they need for over 50 years. We know that we can help you, too, as you prepare for your future career in IT. Here are just a few reasons why:

  • Important internship and networking opportunities — Every specialized associate degree program we offer at South Hills includes a 12-week internship component, which gives you not only hands-on experience, but also a chance to network and connect with our partner organizations.
  • Small class sizes — It’s important to us that each of our students feels seen, both in what they need out of their education and what their goals are. It’s why we keep our class sizes small, so you can build a personal relationship with your teachers and fellow students.
  • Experienced instructors and mentors — Our instructors are also experienced professionals who know what it takes to be successful in the job market. Information technology classes are taught by network admins, help desk techs, database managers, and other IT professionals who incorporate their experience into the curriculum.
  • Two convenient campus locations — We’ve been providing specialized skills training in Pennsylvania since 1970, starting with our campus location in State College, and expanding into Altoona in 2001.
  • Career and alumni services — South Hills is an education community, there for you from the day you enroll to graduation and for years afterward. We have a dedicated Career Services team to help ready you for finding and securing your first job and support you through your career.
  • Financial aid and scholarships — Finances shouldn’t stand in the way of you being able to train for the career you want. South Hills has a financial aid team that will help you every step of the way through the application process. Their goal is to help you to obtain all of the grant, loan, agency and military funding that you are eligible for.

Talking Tech with Guido Santella

Guido has been an Information Technology instructor at the South Hills Altoona campus since 2005. In the following videos, he shares advice for those interested in a career in technology.

Want more insight from Guido? Check out the full collection of Talking Tech with Guido Santella videos here.

A Closer Look at Our Information Technology Classes

The Associate of Specialized Technology Degree in Information Technology at South Hills is an on-campus program that features small class sizes and more opportunities for individualized attention.

This AST degree program consists of 135 credits that can be completed in just 2 years. It includes courses like:

  • IT201 UNIX/Linux Essentials
  • IT209 Cisco Networking
  • IT210 Server Administration
  • IT216 SAN Administration and Disaster Recover
  • IT219 Ethical Hacking and Defense
  • IT239 Cloud and DevOps Fundamentals
  • IT238 Content Management Systems

Complete Course List

Information Technology Course List

Information Technology Course List for 2020-21

TermCourse #Course NameCreditsClock Hours
First TermGE117Applied Algebra460
GE183Business English I460
GE130History of IT224
CP127Introduction to Operating Systems2.536
CP132Introduction to Programming & Logic460
IT200Networking Essentials460
PD110Professional Development224
Second TermGE184Business English II460
CP134Web Site Design460
IT201UNIX/Linux Essentials460
Technical Elective #1*460
*Technical Elective #1 Choices
IT100Intermediate Programming460
GA124Introduction to Computer Graphics460
Third TermCP135Business Applications460
CP129Introduction to SQL Databases460
Technical Elective #2**460
Technical Elective #3**460
**Technical Elective #2 & #3 Choices
IT209Cisco Networking460
IT230Data Structures and Algorithms460
IT206Microsoft Server Operating Systems460
Fourth TermIT202Database Administration460
IT210Server Administration460
CP130Technical Presentations224
GE259Technical Writing2.536
Technical Elective #4***460
***Technical Elective #4 Choices
IT214Android Application Development460
IT231Software Engineering & Application Development460
IT212VOIP Telephony460
Fifth TermIT237Cloud and DevOps Fundamentals460
CD207Job Search Skills224
CP277Project Management560
IT215Web Server Administration460
Technical Elective #5****460
****Technical Elective #5 Choices
IT217Apple Application Development460
IT216SAN Administration and Disaster Recovery460
Sixth TermGE178Human Relations in the Workplace2.536
IT225Information Technology Capstone Project7120
MG116Introduction to Business4.560
GE213Oral Business Communications224
Technical Elective #6*****460
*****Technical Elective #6 Choices
IT219Ethical Hacking and Defense460
IT228Python Programming460
Seventh TermIT227Information Technology Internship11330
CD214IT Career and Certification Prep221
135.0 Credits2,139 Clock Hours
Information Technology

Bright Outlook Occupation

Computer User Support Specialist

Computer User Support Specialists play a vital role in a company by working with and providing support for different hardware, software, networking, etc.

See the Bright Outlook for this Occupation

Information Technology

Bright Outlook Occupation

Software Developer

Software Developers play a key role in the design, installation, analysis, and maintenance of computer programs and applications as well as software systems.

See the Bright Outlook for this Occupation

The Outlook for Information Technology Jobs and Careers

The Information Technology program at South Hills is designed to prepare you for entry-level jobs like:

  • Network Technician
  • Systems Support Specialist
  • Customer Support Specialist
  • Help Desk Technician
  • Computer Repair Technician
  • Desktop Support Technician
  • Database Administrator
  • IT Technician
  • Server Administrator
  • Network Administrator

The field of information technology is expanding fast, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics projecting that the entire field will grow 13% and add 667,600 new jobs through 2030. One of the fastest-growing careers overall is for information security analysts, which is expected to jump up by a whopping 33% over the next several years.

With a specialized associate degree in information technology, you also lay the foundation to increase your opportunities for success. The BLS found that people who earned their specialized associate degrees average almost 20% higher wages and had an unemployment rate two percentage points lower than those who had only a high school diploma. A specialized associate degree is also a potential jumping off point to getting your bachelor’s degree or even master’s degree later on as you advance in your career.

Careers in Information Technology

With two years of hands-on training and strong skillsets, our Information Technology graduates are prepared for a variety of career options, including:

Each student completes a summer-long internship before graduation, providing real world experience. We have placed interns at locations including:

South Hills Information Technology graduates are well-trained and in demand for their knowledge and work ethics. Some of the many firms employing our graduates include:

Meet the Faculty

Program Advisory Committees

State College Main Campus
Member NameJob TitleCompany
Frank WalkSystem AdministratorClearfield County Career and Technical Center
Jim LeousIT ManagerPenn State University
Rusty MyersSystem AdministratorPenn State University
Matthew RaupDesktop ManagerPenn State University
John StitzingerCEOThe Make Space
Ellen ThorneSWQA Specialist LeadInFocus
Kyle CrainSystems and Network Security SpecialistPenn State University
Gina BeiselSenior Manager of Creative and Custom Development ServicesBlackboard
Adam RootDatabase Program DeveloperRBA Professional Data Systems
Altoona Campus
Member NameJob TitleCompany
Joe Merilli Owner PS Solutions
Matt Paonessa Owner JMG Systems
Wes Neal Owner/Software Engineer Practical Inventions
Josh Wakefield Director of IT Juniata Valley School District
Chris Beaver Owner/Developer cbCodeStudio, LLC
David Wertz President PCWorksPlus
Lee Johnson CEO Roasch Visionary Systems
Ryan McCracken Hosting Services Engineering and Security Manager Tessitura
Michael Lingenfelter Technology Coordinator Bellwood-Antis School District
Matthew Becker Director of Product Security EAB
Brandon Hazenstab Business Analyst/Team Lead PS Solutions

Get Started on Your Information Technology Career at South Hills

If you’ve been considering a move to the information technology field, now is a good time to reach out to South Hills School of Business & Technology. Contact us today to learn more about our Associate in Specialized Technology Degree in Information Technology, and we can walk you through everything South Hills has to offer.

Ready to enroll in the Information Technology program?

Apply Now >>