Best Online Master’s in Information Technology 2021

by TBS Staff
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Earning a master's degree in information technology online prepares students for leadership roles in diverse industries such as computer networking, cybersecurity, IT management, software design and development, and system analysis.

Professionals who earn an information technology master's degree online can pursue lucrative, in-demand careers. For example, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that jobs for computer and information systems managers will grow 10% between 2019 and 2029. These professionals earn a median salary of $146,360 per year.

Featured Online Schools

The Best Online Master's in Information Technology Programs

Florida State University View School Profile $$ Tallahassee, FL 83% 38% 42% Florida State University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

FSU, founded in 1851, serves 41,000 students every year. The university provides 297 bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees.

The FSU School of Information offers a master's in information technology degree. This program focuses on IT governance, information systems management, user experience design, communication, and more. Upon graduation, students may work effectively in a professional IT environment.

Interested applicants need prior IT-related work experience or coursework, in addition to official transcripts. No Graduate Admissions Entrance Examination (GRE) score currently required for domestic students (international students still need a GRE score to apply).

University of South Florida View School Profile $$ Tampa, FL 73% 39% 54% The University of South Florida is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

USF, a younger research university founded in 1956, teaches 50,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Both on-campus and online options exist for most degrees.

The MS in information technology program allows students to enroll in an accelerated or traditional format. The program has a non-thesis option and may include a hybrid form of both online and in-person classes.

Coursework focuses on strategic business and organizational IT applications. Students become versed in the technical skills needed in order to provide technology solutions in a professional environment.

Interested applicants need a GRE score of 161 on the Quantitative portion and 150 on the Verbal portion. GRE requirement waived for applicants with three years of full-time professional IT experience or an undergraduate degree from an ABET-accredited program. Official transcripts must show a minimum "B" GPA.

Carnegie Mellon University View School Profile Pittsburgh, PA 89% 37% 9% Carnegia Mellon University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

Founded in 1900, Carnegie Mellon now hosts more than 14,500 students. The global research university provides students with both domestic and international study options within its many global campuses.

The online master's in information technology program, offered by the university's Heinz College, focuses on data-driven management strategies. Coursework includes key communication methods, technological expertise, and more. The same faculty that leads on-campus classes also leads online coursework.

The degree offers four different concentrations to choose from: IT management, Business Intelligence and Data Analytics (BIDA), Information Security and Assurance, and Cybersecurity in Washington D.C.

Florida International University View School Profile $ Miami, FL 58% 34% 65% Florida International University is regionally accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).

FIU, a public research university located in Miami, Florida, offers bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees both on-campus and online.

The MS in information technology offered by the Knight Foundation School of Computing and Information Sciences provides students with three different concentration options: Software track, Systems Administration track, and Security.

Interested applicants need a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution in computer science, computer engineering, information technology, or similar. Transcripts need to show a minimum 3.0 GPA in the last two years of coursework. Applicants without a degree need to complete prerequisites.

Purdue University View School Profile $$ West Lafayette, IN 81% 29% 21% Purdue University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Established in 1869, Purdue now operates out of 13 different colleges and schools. All colleges offer both on-campus and fully online programs.

The online master's in information technology program includes simulated learning labs. Coursework focuses on making the connection between communications, IT development, and business to prepare students for the professional world.

The program also includes coursework in how to develop effective system solutions and how to evaluate information system's ethical/legal implications.

Students can choose between three different concentrations: business intelligence and analytics, information security and assurance, and project management.

Interested applicants need a bachelor's degree in computer science (or similar) to apply.

Kennesaw State University View School Profile $$$ Kennesaw, GA 43% 49% 42% Kennesaw State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

KSU, a public research university with 11 colleges spread over two campuses, offers over 150 undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degree programs.

The MS in information technology degree allows completions 100% online. Experts with professional experience and/or PHDs lead all coursework.

The program offers five different graduate certificates upon completion: Data Analytics and Intelligent Technology, Health IT, IT Security, Enterprise IT Management, and IT Foundation.

Interested applicants need an accredited bachelor's degree in computer science (or similar) in order to apply.

Oklahoma State University View School Profile $$$ Stillwater, OK 61% 43% 40% Oklahoma State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Established in 1890, OSU serves over 35,000 students annually. It now functions as a public land-grant university.

The Spears School of Business offers OSU's management information systems MS degree online. This STEM-designated degree requires 33 credit hours for completion. Coursework includes big data, health analytics, visualization, security, database management, and more.

Interested applicants need a minimum GRE score of 305 (or a GMAT score of 550). Official transcripts need a 3.0 GPA, with at least a 3.25 GPA in the designated major.

Montclair State University View School Profile $$$ Montclair, NJ 71% 57% 27% Montclair State University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

Montclair State University, a public research university located in New Jersey, offers over 300 different undergraduate and graduate majors.

The online master's in information technology degree with an applied information technology concentration provides advanced training in the development, design, and implementation of computing and communication technologies. Coursework in the applied IT concentration prepares students for work in business, industry, and government work environments.

The program also offers training on the legal implications of computer software. Students with previous work experience or a bachelor's degree can complete coursework in 18 months.

Students without work experience or a bachelor's degree can enroll in a bridge program consisting of one to four courses.

Liberty University View School Profile Lynchburg, VA 50% 60% 90% Liberty University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

A Christian university founded in 1971, Liberty University enrolls over 100,000 students. It offers more than 700 different undergraduate and graduate programs.

The MS in information technology program focuses on understanding the infrastructure of specific computer systems. Students learn how to write code, secure systems, and manage programmers.

Students can choose between 2 different concentrations in network design and security or software design and management.

All applicants need an accredited bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA to apply.

New Jersey Institute of Technology View School Profile $$$ Newark, NJ 65% 32% 29% New Jersey Institute of Technology is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

NJIT offers over 125 undergraduate and graduate degrees. Founded in1881, this public research university now works with a heavy focus on computing.

The MS in information technology administration and security program provides students with real-world examples of computer system management and administration in an entirely online format. Coursework focuses on both technical and managerial skills. Successful completion of the degree requires 33 credit hours.

Program completion also requires a capstone project. Completed in a team environment, projects can include application, web development, game programming, virtual reality, web security, and more.

Interested applicants need a bachelor's degree in a related field and experience working in a professional setting.

Towson University View School Profile $$$ Towson, MD 73% 50% 19% Towson University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

Established in 1866, Towson University now provides 64 undergraduate degrees and 46 master's programs.

The master's in information technology degree studies the implementation, development, and design of information systems. Coursework focuses on systems development and IT project management. The program also includes business analysis.

The degree prepares students for one or more graduate certificates upon completion.

Applicants need a bachelor's degree from an accredited university and a minimum 3.0 GPA.

Middle Georgia State University View School Profile $ Macon, GA 18% 46% 52% The program requires 30 hours of graduate coursework for successful graduation. Middle Georgia State University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Officially founded in 1929 after several name changes, MGA enrolls roughly 8,000 students every year.

The MS in information technology degree provides students with the option of an accelerated format (may be completed in one year). Five different concentrations include software development, health informatics, social media, data analytics, and cybersecurity/forensics.

Endicott College View School Profile Beverly, MA 76% 62% 35% Endicott College is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).

Endicott College enrolls roughly 5,000 students on a yearly basis. Founded in 1939, it now offers both undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

Students can pursue a master's in information technology on-campus, in a hybrid format, or entirely online. The coursework focuses on developing communication skills for tech development work in a professional setting alongside developing crucial IT knowledge.

The degree offers two concentration tracks and totals 36 credit hours. Students choose from a software engineering track or health and medical informatics concentration.

Applicants do not need a GRE or GMAT score to apply. Interested applicants do need official transcripts.

Concordia University-Wisconsin View School Profile Mequon, WI 59% 64% 36% Concordia University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Concordia University, affiliated with the Lutheran Church Missouri-Synod, functions as a Christian university. Founded in 1881, it now enrolls over 7,000 students.

The MS in information technology program focuses on the application of technology to solve organizational problems. The degree also looks at ethical computing pulled from its Christian foundation.

Students can enroll in an accelerated video format.

Interested applicants need either a bachelor's degree in a related field or equivalent work experience in the industry (one year of full-time employment).

University of Massachusetts-Lowell View School Profile $$$ Lowell, MA 63% 55% 31% The University of Massachusetts is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).

UMass Lowell, a research university with 6 different colleges, manages almost 200 undergraduate and graduate degrees.

The master's in information technology degree requires a minimum of 18 months of study. Students may take classes entirely online. Coursework covers information security, the collection and storage of big data, cloud computing, and more.

The degree also covers the ethical implication of general IT principles, alongside basic skills used in Windows, Apple, and UNIX/Linux platforms.

GRE and GMAT test requirements are temporarily waived for all applicants.

George Mason University View School Profile $$$ Fairfax, VA 71% 44% 34% George Mason University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Established in 1972, GMU now teaches 37,000 on-campus students alone. This public research university offers flexible degree options for online students.

The master's in information technology degree focuses on designing, developing, managing, and sustaining large IT systems in an organizational setting.

The program requires 30-credit hours with 18 credits taken in the student's concentration of choice. The program offers several concentration tracks to choose from, with 3 more in development.

Interested applicants need a bachelor's degree from an accredited university with a 3.0 GPA in the 60 highest level credits.

University of Arizona View School Profile $$$ Tucson, AZ 64% 37% 39% The University of Arizona is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

The University of Arizona now provides more than 300 major choices. Established in 1885, this land-grant university provides both undergraduate and graduate degrees.

The MS in information systems management program offers flexibility by allowing students to complete coursework in any order and jump in at six different points throughout the year. It focuses on providing students with the skillset necessary to manage large information systems in an organizational setting.

Students need a bachelor's degree or at least two years of previous work experience in the industry. Applicants need to complete an online application and send official transcripts.

Murray State University View School Profile $$ Murray, KY 55% 46% 40% Murray State University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges Commissions on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Established in 1922, this public university now provides multiple campus locations for students across Kentucky. Murray State enrolls 10,000 students annually.

The MS in information system degree offers students the flexibility of being 100% online. The STEM framework of these courses focuses on visualizing data, using predictive analysis, and implementing scientific decision-making.

Coursework also includes industry tools to manage classroom tasks, like data retrieval, security, distribution, and more.

Interested applicants need previous work experience in the industry and/or a bachelor's degree.

University of Maine View School Profile $$$ Orono, ME 60% 60% 32% The University of Maine is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).

A flagship university of the University of Maine System, UMaine started teaching higher-level education in 1865. It's one of few land, sea, and space grant institutions in the country.

The MS in information systems degree focuses on policy, management, and technical issues with building computer-based systems in an organizational setting. The program requires 30 credit hours in coursework.

Students from a wide variety of bachelor's degrees may apply. Applicants don't need previous work experience or a degree in the industry.

The College of Saint Rose View School Profile Albany, NY 61% 73% 18% The College of Saint Rose is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

Established in 1920 as a women's college by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, Saint Rose now serves both male and female students.

The master's degree in information technology degree provides students with advanced knowledge of data structures, database management systems, data communication, computer architecture, and more.

The program includes a Software Engineering Capstone course that simulates being a software engineer in a professional setting. Students can enroll in the weekend hybrid format, which allows for a combination of online and on-campus evening classes.

Applicants need previous experience in computer science to apply. However, no new applications are currently accepted.

Online Master's in Information Technology Programs Ranking Guidelines

We ranked these degree programs based on quality, curricula, school awards, rankings, and reputation.

The motto of TheBestSchools.org is Finding the best school for you. Here is how we do it:

The value of any ranking list of schools and/or degree programs depends on having a methodologically sound assessment of each school’s/program’s characteristics, especially insofar as these can be objectively measured. A college or university is a complex entity, with numerous factors to consider, and distilling these down to the place where meaningful comparisons can be made to form a defensible ranking list becomes part science and part art.

To meet this challenge—and thereby provide you with the most useful and insightful educational rankings on the Internet — TheBestSchools.org formulates our rankings based on five informational categories (six, when considering online schools). The major metrics and qualities for which we rank are these (with expanded, detailed considerations and weights listed):

1. Academic excellence based on a school’s curriculum generally or within the selected discipline [weight = 25%]

  • Weighs school against known leading schools in that discipline
  • Weighs number of core curricula listed as advanced courses within that discipline and compares against introductory courses
  • Weighs school’s curriculum against known knowledge needs of major employers in that discipline
  • Considers number and types of specializations offered within that discipline
  • Considers faculty expertise in that discipline
  • Considers range of electives within that discipline
  • Considers quality of online environment offered to students (if applicable), particularly within that discipline

2. Strength of faculty scholarship [weight = 25%]

  • Considers education background of the faculty
  • Considers years of faculty experience both inside and outside of academia.
  • Considers faculty membership and leadership within relevant, prominent associations
  • Considers academic papers published by faculty in relevant, prominent periodicals
  • Considers awards and recognitions given to faculty members from prominent organizations and from other sources

3. Reputation [weight = 20%]

  • Considers a school’s reputation among academic peers and employers regarding the following:
    • Faculty
    • Curriculum
    • “Freshness” of academic knowledge
    • Adaptability to changes in employment sectors
    • Suitability of graduates for the workplace

4. Financial aid [weight = 10%]

  • Mandatory: Requires full accreditation from an agency endorsed by the U.S. Department of Education and listed on the federal register to accept student federal financial aid
  • Considers range of school-sponsored financial aid such as scholarships and grants

5. Range of degree programs [weight = 20%]

  • Considers range of degree levels: associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral and professional
  • Considers range of degree subjects offered, such as art & design, computers & technology, education & teaching, criminal justice, and business

6. Strength of online instruction methodology (if applicable) [weight = 25%; subtract 5% from each of the above for online schools/programs]

  • Considers the following of the online classes:
    • Types of online technology used to deliver content
    • Pedagogy style: asynchronous, synchronous, or both (depending on the degree)
    • Extent and quality of the online, community learning environment, including options for communication, interactivity, and collaboration between students and also between students and instructors
    • Variety, breadth, and depth of coursework, and its support, including project options and online tutoring
  • Considers the following of instructors:
    • Extent of training for teaching within an online learning environment
    • Amount of timely, consistent feedback to students
    • Extent of collaboration with prospective employers to ensure suitability of instructional materials for achieving desired skills
    • Ratio to number of students in a class
  • Number and quality of internships in a student’s geographical area for applicable degrees

Because students tend to review a variety of information when choosing a school, the weight a student gives any one criterion will vary. For instance, it’s not enough to offer a carefully constructed ranking of great schools if many are too expensive or too difficult to get into.

To better serve the needs of prospective students, we are therefore increasingly offering filters that help you better use our rankings to find the schools that match your specific needs. These supplement our ranking criteria and include:

  • Accreditation
  • Public or private status
  • Acceptance rate
  • Retention rate
  • Graduation rate
  • ACT/SAT requirements
  • Cost in-state / out of state
  • Undergrad, grad, or both offered
  • Region
  • State
  • City

Get the best rankings here AND get them to suit your personal needs. That’s TheBestSchools.org advantage!

If you have any questions about our ranking methodology, please contact us.

Citations: For a broader account of our ranking methodology, especially as it relates to TheBestSchools.org's underlying educational philosophy and, in other ranking articles, looks beyond academic excellence (as here) to such factors as return on investment or incidental benefit, see our article "Ranking Methodology: How We Rank Schools at TBS." Reputation of schools and degree programs can at least in part be gauged through the school or department's publishing activity, citations, and desirability. At TheBestSchools.org, we keep track of such social and peer validation: "Making Sense of College Rankings." For nuts-and-bolts information about colleges and universities, we look to the National Center for Education Statistics and especially its College Navigator. Insofar as salary and inflation data are relevant to a ranking, we look to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Finally, nothing beats contacting schools and degree programs directly, which our researchers often do, with the result that all the entries in this article should be considered as belonging to this citation!

What Is a Master's in Information Technology Degree?

A master’s in information technology degree provides students with the advanced knowledge and skills necessary to pursue high–level careers in the IT field. Students also prepare to act as leaders in the field, overseeing other IT personnel.

Master’s in information technology degrees typically explore a variety of IT issues, including database management, IT project management, programming, software and hardware engineering, information systems design and architecture, and IT security. In addition, the degree combines theories of management and business administration.

With numerous specializations available among many different programs, students may focus their studies on areas like web design, network security, IT project management, IT governance, and more.

Online Master’s in Information Technology Programs

Online programs offer students flexibility and accessibility. Students arrange their coursework around work or family obligations, with many programs designing their degree for working IT professionals. Depending on the program, students may take classes synchronously or asynchronously.

Online IT programs incorporate lectures, homework, and tests through online learning technologies.

Synchronous classes meet at a set time, often in the evening to accommodate working students, and offer the benefits of a live classroom experience. Asynchronous classes let students complete lectures, projects, and tutorials on their own time. Online IT programs incorporate lectures, homework, and tests through online learning technologies. Graduate students also connect with members of their cohort through discussion boards and group projects.

Many students prefer the accessible nature of an online program. Established professionals can attend the top programs in the country without relocating or leaving their jobs. Online students complete their graduate coursework, choose a concentration area, and work with a faculty advisor to earn their degrees. Many continue working while enrolled in a graduate program. For some students, an online program provides a convenient path to career advancement. However, prospective online students must be self–motivated and driven. Admissions advisors can help prospective students decide whether an online program best fits their needs.

Earning a master’s degree in information technology helps professionals advance their careers and qualify for job titles like computer and information research scientist.

Earning a master’s degree in information technology helps professionals advance their careers and qualify for job titles like computer and information research scientist. With a master’s degree, IT professionals pursue opportunities as IT managers, senior computer systems analysts, and systems architects. A graduate degree also meets the qualifications for management–level positions within an IT department. After earning a bachelor’s degree, professionals qualify for entry–level positions in IT, but a graduate degree leads to advanced career opportunities.

Graduate degrees let IT professionals increase their salary potential. While professionals with a bachelor’s degree in IT earn $70,000 a year on average, a master’s degree allows them to seek high–paying, supervisory roles. According to Payscale, professionals with a master’s degree make $14,000 more a year than those with a bachelor’s degree. Many master’s–level IT jobs offer even higher salaries, with computer and research scientists earning nearly $115,000 in median annual salary.

The Advantages of a Master's Degree in Information Technology

Earning a master’s degree in information technology helps professionals advance their careers and qualify for job titles like computer and information research scientist. With a master’s degree, IT professionals pursue opportunities as IT managers, senior computer systems analysts, and systems architects. A graduate degree also meets the qualifications for management–level positions within an IT department. After earning a bachelor’s degree, professionals qualify for entry–level positions in IT, but a graduate degree leads to advanced career opportunities.

Graduate degrees let IT professionals increase their salary potential. While professionals with a bachelor’s degree in IT earn $70,000 a year on average, a master’s degree allows them to seek high–paying, supervisory roles. According to Payscale, professionals with a master’s degree make $14,000 more a year than those with a bachelor’s degree. Many master’s–level IT jobs offer even higher salaries, with computer and research scientists earning nearly $122,840 in median annual salary.

Average Salary by Degree Level

$70,000

$84,000

Source: Payscale

Choosing an Online IT Graduate Degree Program

A growing number of colleges and universities offer online master’s in information technology programs. Prospective students may feel overwhelmed by the number of choices. Choosing the right IT graduate program can shape your career prospects for decades, so make sure to research each program before submitting an application. Key considerations, including the program cost, the length of the degree, and on–campus requirements, can help certain programs stand out. Prospective students often choose in–state programs, for example, as the most affordable option. However, some public universities offer in–state tuition to all online students. By researching the options, students can find the best fit for their interests and career goals.

  • Program Cost: The cost of a master’s degree varies widely. In general, public, in–state universities charge the lowest tuition rates, while private schools charge the highest rates. In addition to tuition, prospective students should research technology fees, the cost of books, and other expenses.
  • Transfer Policies: Students with some graduate credits need to research transfer policies at their potential programs. Some graduate programs let students transfer in credits toward their degree, while others require students to complete their coursework at the degree–granting institution. A generous transfer policy can save money and help you earn a degree faster.
  • School Size and Type: Some students prefer a large university with an expansive cohort of other information technology graduate students. Bigger institutions may also feature wider alumni networks. Other students prefer a smaller class size with more focused attention from their professors. Students can research class size, school size, and the type of institution — public versus private — to find a school that fits their needs.
  • Program Length: While most master’s programs in IT require 30–36 credits of coursework, program length can vary from 1–3 years. Programs may also require an internship or practicum, which can add to the program’s length. Prospective students should research program length, including part–time or accelerated options.
  • On–Campus Requirements: Many online master’s in IT programs offer the degree fully online with no on–campus requirements. Some programs, however, require mandatory on–campus experiences, including weekend residency requirements or an orientation. Students considering programs in other states may prefer a program with no on–campus requirements, while online students at local universities may prefer on–campus opportunities.
  • Thesis, Fellowship, and Work Requirements: The program requirements for a master’s degree in information technology vary. Programs may include a master’s thesis or project at the end of the degree, while others include an internship or other work requirement to gain hands–on experience.

Accreditation for Online Information Technology Master’s Degrees

Prospective information technology graduate students should always choose an accredited college or university. Accreditation recognizes institutions that follow the best practices in education. Independent accrediting agencies grant accreditation after an extensive evaluation, which considers the school’s student learning outcomes, graduation requirements, and faculty qualifications. Accreditation also benefits graduate students. Students at accredited institutions qualify for federal financial aid and typically meet the requirements for professional certifications. Some employers only hire candidates with an accredited degree, meaning accreditation status affects job prospects after graduation.

Some employers only hire candidates with an accredited degree, meaning accreditation status affects job prospects after graduation.

At the institutional level, colleges and universities can hold regional or national accreditation. Generally, regional accreditation evaluates liberal arts and research institutions, while national accreditation reviews technical and vocational schools. Overall, regional accreditation remains the highest standard. Programs can also hold programmatic accreditation from specialized agencies. For example, business schools, teacher preparation programs, and social work programs typically hold programmatic accreditation. In information technology, graduate programs earn accreditation through the institution rather than a programmatic accrediting agency.

Prospective students should look for a regionally accredited institution. Both the Department of Education (ED) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) validate accrediting agencies and maintain lists of regionally accredited institutions. Students can check the ED website or CHEA website to see whether a college or university holds regional accreditation.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Master’s Degree in Information Technology?

Earning a master’s degree in information technology usually takes two years for full–time students. Most IT master’s programs require 30–36 credits of coursework to complete the degree, which includes advanced courses in the student’s concentration area. Programs may offer a part–time option, which often takes three years, or an accelerated pathway to the degree, which can take as little as 15–18 months. These enrollment options can affect the cost of a master’s degree, depending on whether the university charges a per–credit rate or a flat fee per term.

Each program sets its own graduation requirements, potentially affecting the length of the degree, and includes an internship or a practicum to gain hands–on experience. Graduate students may need to complete a master’s thesis or final project at the end of their programs.

Courses in an Online Master’s in Information Technology Program

  • Advanced Information Technology: Many graduate programs begin with a course providing advanced knowledge and skills in IT. The class may cover databases, web and software development, hardware management, and telecommunications. The course introduces graduate students to specialties within IT, preparing students for advanced work within their IT concentration.
  • Systems Analysis: Classes on systems analysis train students to design efficient systems and evaluate systems for their effectiveness. Graduate students gain familiarity with system design, functional design, and system requirements while learning common software programs for systems analysis. Most systems analysis courses incorporate projects to measure student learning.
  • Database Design: Database design courses prepare students for careers in database management or database architecture. Graduate students learn database design through diagramming tools, data modeling, and functional dependencies. The course also trains graduate students with database management skills, preparing graduates for leadership roles in the field.
  • Network Security: Courses on network security teach graduate students to protect networks and computer systems. Students learn about cybersecurity methods, malicious software, and security systems like firewalls. The class may also cover encryption methods and file security. Graduates pursue careers in network security or information assurance.
  • Data Analytics: A growing field, data analytics courses prepare students to work as data scientists or in any field of analytics. Students learn about data identification, analyzing data sets, and software for data analysis. Graduate students may also apply programming language skills to solve data analytics problems by designing their own programs.

Master's Degree in Information Technology Salary Information

A master’s degree in information technology prepares graduates for many in–demand career paths. With a master’s, IT professionals work as IT managers, computer network architects, and database administrators. Some careers, such as computer and information research scientist, require a master’s degree, while others like IT manager prefer candidates with a graduate degree. IT professionals work in several industries, including tech, healthcare, government, and business. These career opportunities provide above–average salaries with growth potential.

IT Manager
Median Salary: $146,360 Projected Job Growth: 10%

IT managers, also known as computer and information systems managers, oversee IT departments. They plan and direct an organization’s information technology strategy and needs, implementing plans to reach the organization’s goals.

Computer and Information Research Scientist
Median Salary: $122,840 Projected Job Growth: 15%


Computer and information research scientists study complex problems in computing. They also invent and design solutions to computing challenges, including innovating uses for current technology.

Computer Network Architect
Median Salary: $112,690 Projected Job Growth: 5%


Computer network architects design networks for organizations, including enterprise–level networks. They can specialize in cloud infrastructure or other emerging technologies. Network architects analyze an organization’s goals to create a network that advances its business plan

Database Administrator
Median Salary: $93,750 Projected Job Growth: 10%


Database administrators manage an organization’s data and files, including medical records, financial information, or customer records. They maintain the security of the database and prevent unauthorized access

What is an IT Manager?

An IT Manager oversees a team or department of IT personnel with the purpose of ensuring the group operates efficiently and meets company goals. Working with network security professionals, web designers, and software engineers, IT managers organize and direct their teams through a combination of IT and administrative expertise.

Information Technology Manager Certifications

Information technology professionals can choose from numerous certifications to help advance their career, including:

Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert

Cisco offers the CCIE credential with several concentrations, including security, wireless, data center, and service provider. Candidates must take a written exam and a hands–on lab exam to earn the credential.

Certified Associate in Project Management

An entry–level certification, CAPM recognizes candidates with at least 23 credits in project management education. Candidates do not need professional experience in project management to take the exam.

Certified Information Security Manager

Information security specialists qualify for the exam with a master’s in IT and three years of information security work experience. Candidates must pass the CISM examination, and scores remain valid for five years.

Certified Information Systems Security Professional

A credential for professionals in information system security, candidates must pass an examination to earn the CISSP designation, which remains valid for three years.

Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control

Specialists in risk management qualify for the CRISC credential with at least three years of work experience in two of the four CRISC domains. Candidates must also pass the certification exam.

Certified IT Architect Professional

IT architects qualify for the CITA credential depending on their education and experience. At the professional level, candidates demonstrate industry leadership in the skills taxonomy, a primary specialization, and a subspecialization.

CompTIA Project+ Certification

A CompTIA credential for professionals with project management skills, the certification tests project management knowledge, management abilities, and project documentation abilities through a 90–minute exam.

ITIL Expert Certification

At the expert level, candidates demonstrate advanced skills in information technology infrastructure library management. Candidates complete ITIL modules and demonstrate their knowledge through an examination.

Microsoft Certified Solution Developer

Microsoft offers multiple MCSD specializations, including in cloud, mobility, core infrastructure, and data. Credentialled MCSD professionals maintain their certifications by taking the recertification exam every two years.

Oracle Certified DBA Professional

Database administrators can earn the OCP certification by passing an SQL exam and database administration exam. Oracle offers multiple levels for its OCP credentials.

Project Management Professional

The Project Management Institute offers this certification for candidates with experience as project managers. Candidates pass an examination on project management concepts and must complete continuing education requirements every three years to maintain the credential.

Six Sigma Green Belt or Black Belt Certification

Six Sigma recognizes professionals with quality improvement, analytical, and problem–solving skills. Green belts must hold three years of work experience, while black belts must hold three years of experience plus complete a Six Sigma project.

Information Technology Membership Associations

IT students and professionals benefit from the resources offered by professional organizations. These organizations host conferences and events with networking opportunities, offer scholarship opportunities and in–demand certifications, and connect job seekers with opportunities through their career centers. Professionals also stay up to date in their field with the publications and technical resources provided by professional organizations.

AITP represents IT professionals and provides research on IT salaries, in–demand professional skills, and technical research. Members rely on AITP for training videos, networking opportunities, IT awards, and local chapters. The association also runs technology events and offers career resources for members.

ACM connects computing professionals with educators and researchers. Members attend conferences with networking opportunities, join special interest groups, and benefit from the association’s research publications. Students can join student chapters, use the association’s resources to advance their careers, and win awards at the International Science and Engineering Fair.

In addition to granting IT certifications, CompTIA also offers membership opportunities and resources for IT professionals. Members receive resources on the IT industry and attend events to network with other IT professionals. CompTIA also offers trainings, webinars, and podcasts so that IT professionals can stay current in their field.

An association for IT professionals, NPA publishes articles and interviews about the field. The association’s regional chapters host events that offer networking opportunities, and NPA delivers the certified network professional credential. NPA also runs a job board and provides career strategies for job seekers.

Association of Software Professionals
IT professionals and students who work in software development or any software–related tech field benefit from the ASP blog, newsletter, and developers’ tools. Professionals can submit articles for publication in the newsletter. The association also sells software and hosts discussion groups to solve software problems.

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