Masters in Information Technology Online Degree Programs for 2022

Master’s Degree in Information Technology Career Options & Salary

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Why Earn a Master’s in Information Technology Systems?


A master’s degree in information technology is increasingly in demand for today's employers. Business is already intimately tied to computing, but computer and information technology is advancing more and more all the time. There are also increasing threats from cyber-thieves and other sorts of hackers. Big data is demanding higher levels of understanding of systems and how to make sense of all the available information. Thus, you need to have as much knowledge as possible to stay on top of this rapidly growing field. For most, this means returning to school, though that need not be as much of a hassle these days, with online learning so easily available all over the country. You can attend courses 100% online, through traditional classroom on the weekend, or through hybrid study, which includes online and in-person learning. Students in a regionally accredited college or university within the U.S. can expect to learn about the following subjects in the core courses of an advanced information technology degree (which will cover the majority of their credit hours), and may also want to choose concentrations or industry certifications to help them reach niche or management positions that mesh with their professional experience.

  • Project Management
  • Computer and Information Research
  • Computer and Information Systems
  • Network Security
  • Information Security
  • Business Intelligence
  • Database Management
  • Data Analytics
  • Software Development
  • And More

PROS

A Master’s Degree in Information Technology is loaded with advantages for the degree holder. If you decide to work toward a graduate degree in IT, you will reap great rewards in terms of heightened salary, more and better job opportunities, and professional status that is rewarding in itself. A graduate degree will also help you focus your career on a specific specialty.

If you are working in a specialized area, such as information security or project management, a master's degree will focus on that for approximately two years so that you truly master the subject. For example, you might choose a Master's in Information Technology, MS in Cybersecurity, master's degree in network architecture, or a master's program in software engineering. When you graduate with a degree in advanced information technology, employers will see both your professional experience and academic credentials and then reward you with a top salary.

IT positions are often tied to industry certifications, which are not necessarily academic in nature. However, even industry certifications can demand that you have a graduate degree before you sit for their examinations. You can also count on job advances that can perhaps take you into the C-suites. For instance, an MBA with concentrations that have an IT focus might help you become the Chief Information Officer of a large corporation.

Aditionally, many companies will cover part or all of your tuition when you choose to take your courses online so that they do't interfere with your work and when you prommise to stay with the company for a period of time afterward.

CONS

It may seem like achieving a master's in information technology is a no-brainer, a flawless decision. However, there can be downsides, even to a master's degree. For one thing, you will need to make time for your studies, even if you attend online. Where many certification programs you have access to after bachelor's degree programs allow you to take as much time as you need prior to taking their examination, colleges and even your state university might enforce deadlines with penalties that impact your GPA. You'll then need to make ample time for schoolwork for up to two years, if you attend a master's program's classes full-time.

Once you graduate with a master's degree in information technology, there's no guarantee that your salary will increase or that you'll get a promotion right away. Unless your employer offers tuition reimbursement, you'll likely have student loans to pay, as well. You'll need to account for these risks prior to applying to graduate school, but also consider the considerable upside should everything to according to plan.


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What are the Best Online Masters in Information Technology (MSIT) College Programs?


1

Purdue University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $9,208
    • Out-of-state: $28,010
  • Net Price: $12,294
  • Retention Rate: 93%
  • Graduation Rate: 83%
  • Total Enrollment: 46,655
  • Undergrad Students: 35,706
  • Graduate Students: 10,949
  • Diplomas Awarded: NA
  • Grads Salary: $78,000
  • Student-to-faculty:13:1
  • Purdue University
2

Missouri University of Science and Technology

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $10,452
    • Out-of-state: $29,558
  • Net Price: $13,476
  • Retention Rate: 85%
  • Graduation Rate: 67%
  • Total Enrollment: 7,642
  • Undergrad Students: 6,083
  • Graduate Students: 1,559
  • Diplomas Awarded: NA
  • Grads Salary: $82,000
  • Student-to-faculty:19:1
  • Missouri University of Science and Technology
3

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $28,980
    • Out-of-state: $28,980
  • Net Price: $45,834
  • Retention Rate: 95%
  • Graduation Rate: 89%
  • Total Enrollment: 6,920
  • Undergrad Students: 4,892
  • Graduate Students: 2,028
  • Diplomas Awarded: 30
  • Grads Salary: $87,000
  • Student-to-faculty:13:1
  • Worcester Polytechnic Institute
4

Illinois Institute of Technology

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $29,075
    • Out-of-state: $29,075
  • Net Price: $28,161
  • Retention Rate: 87%
  • Graduation Rate: 72%
  • Total Enrollment: 6,325
  • Undergrad Students: 3,122
  • Graduate Students: 3,203
  • Diplomas Awarded: 130
  • Grads Salary: $83,000
  • Student-to-faculty:10:1
  • Illinois Institute of Technology
5

Florida State University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $9,684
    • Out-of-state: $24,116
  • Net Price: $12,815
  • Retention Rate: 95%
  • Graduation Rate: 84%
  • Total Enrollment: 43,569
  • Undergrad Students: 32,543
  • Graduate Students: 11,026
  • Diplomas Awarded: 36
  • Grads Salary: $65,000
  • Student-to-faculty:21:1
  • Florida State University
6

George Mason University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $12,594
    • Out-of-state: $33,906
  • Net Price: $18,285
  • Retention Rate: 86%
  • Graduation Rate: 72%
  • Total Enrollment: 38,541
  • Undergrad Students: 27,104
  • Graduate Students: 11,437
  • Diplomas Awarded: 79
  • Grads Salary: $76,000
  • Student-to-faculty:17:1
  • George Mason University
7

University of Massachusetts-Lowell

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $15,698
    • Out-of-state: $33,624
  • Net Price: $19,147
  • Retention Rate: 84%
  • Graduation Rate: 69%
  • Total Enrollment: 18,150
  • Undergrad Students: 13,813
  • Graduate Students: 4,337
  • Diplomas Awarded: 51
  • Grads Salary: $77,000
  • Student-to-faculty:19:1
  • University of Massachusetts-Lowell
8

Arizona State University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $11,720
    • Out-of-state: $26,160
  • Net Price: $14,653
  • Retention Rate: 86%
  • Graduation Rate: 66%
  • Total Enrollment: 74,795
  • Undergrad Students: 63,124
  • Graduate Students: 11,671
  • Diplomas Awarded: 28
  • Grads Salary: $72,000
  • Student-to-faculty:18:1
  • Arizona State University
9

University of Cincinnati

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $12,138
    • Out-of-state: $27,472
  • Net Price: $22,767
  • Retention Rate: 88%
  • Graduation Rate: 73%
  • Total Enrollment: 40,826
  • Undergrad Students: 29,933
  • Graduate Students: 10,893
  • Diplomas Awarded: 141
  • Grads Salary: $71,000
  • Student-to-faculty:19:1
  • University of Cincinnati
10

University of Michigan-Dearborn

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $13,850
    • Out-of-state: $24,672
  • Net Price: $12,639
  • Retention Rate: 82%
  • Graduation Rate: 55%
  • Total Enrollment: 8,783
  • Undergrad Students: 6,725
  • Graduate Students: 2,058
  • Diplomas Awarded: 1
  • Grads Salary: $74,000
  • Student-to-faculty:16:1
  • University of Michigan-Dearborn
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Overview of a Master's in IT


What Information Technology Master’s Degrees are Available?


  • Master of Science in Information Technology:
    This degree may sound like general IT degree but at the graduate level you are sure to find more opportunities to specialize your work. As an MS degree, your work will dive deep into the analytical side of the profession. Other aspects, such as management or communications may not be as prevalent. However, each program is individual. Many of these are available with variable amounts of online elements.
  • Master of Arts in Information Technology:
    This degree type will propel you deep into your IT specialization, but you'll likely find softer courses as well. That is, the program might offer choices that are less quantitative, such as technical writing, business communications, or management. An MA might be a good choice if you intend on pursuing a leadership role and these are also available online from many places.
  • Master of Business Administration - Information Technology:
    IT and business courses are increasingly tied together, and MBA programs have responded. If you've been working in IT for a while and would like to integrate your love of technology with a leadership role, this is the field for you. An MBA will steep you in graduate level business coursework prior to helping you hone your IT skills.
  • Master of Information Systems:
    An MIS degree isn't so different from an MS in IT. However, an MIS degree will focus more clearly on computer systems and technology. Each program will define them a bit differently, so investigate their curriculum to determine if they provide the sort of courses you need to reach your goals.

Admission Requirements


To enter a Master of Information Technology program, you will have to prove that you are capable of handling the coursework and that you are driven to succeed with the degree after graduation. Thus, you'll need to provide undergraduate transcripts that show that you meet the minimum GPA requirements. Those attending online will have the same documentation requirements as those attending in-person courses. You should also provide GRE scores, a work history, letters of recommendation, and perhaps an admissions essay that details your experience and intentions with the degree.

Keep in mind that not only should your transcripts show a healthy GPA, but your alma mater should have been fully accredited. A regional accreditation is often preferred, but if you have a strong work history, including a few professional certifications, your admissions counselor should weigh these items appropriately.

How long does it take to earn an Information Technology Master’s online?


A graduate degree in information technology can take up to two full academic years to complete if you attend courses full-time and take a summer break. However, you can potentially finish earlier if your program offers appropriate courses over the summer. That said, students tend to take more time with their studies when they take online courses, so it's important that students attending online keep an eye on the required timeframe for completing their degree.

For that reason, consider the time you have to dedicate to your studies. Try to prioritize your school work, as it will pay off down the road. Many graduate students even save up prior to entering school so that they can work part-time or not at all while they advance their credentials.

Potential Careers in Information Technology with a Master’s


  • Software Developer:
    You will need strong programming skills and the ability to work with end-user designers and clients to ensure that the applications meet their expectations. To succeed, you should know one or more computer coding languages such as C++, Java, Python, PHP, and Unix shell scripting, among others. Some developers specialize in only one or two languages at a time, however.
    Your expertise and experience will be well rewarded, as the average salary for this position is $71,900.
  • Cybersecurity Analyst:
    Hackers and other cybercriminals are running rampant these days. They are hacking financial, medical, and business databases and holding them for ransom. Now that we are recognizing the breadth of this problem, cybersecurity is becoming more of a priority both in the private and public sectors.
    Thus, average pay for cybersecurity analysts is currently $76,600.
  • Information Technology Manager:
    When you complete your graduate degree in Information Technology, you will likely move up into management. If this is your goal, you might consider an MBA with an IT focus. Regardless, once you are in this position, you'll find that your value has risen significantly.
    The average salary for IT management is $88,500.
  • Network Architect:
    In this position, you will design, build, and maintain computer networks either on a local basis (LAN) or over a wider area (WAN) – perhaps both. You will need to have management and leadership skills as you assemble a team and create a budget for both labor and any necessary hardware.
    The average salary for a network architect is $121,800.
  • Database Administrator:
    To excel in this job you will probably need to know the Linux operating system, as that is increasingly the standard for server applications. You should also be well versed in cloud computing and SQL, among other technologies. Some database administrators work on an on-call basis, since any database problem must be addressed and contained immediately.
    The average salary for database administrators is $74,000.

Options to Advance


If you would like to advance your career in information technology, you should consider not only a master's degree in IT, but also adding certifications to your resume. When you have upgraded your credentials from a bachelor's degree, your resume will look all the more enticing, not only to your managers but also to other employers and recruiters. In fact, once you add new credentials to your LinkedIn profile you are sure to hear from recruiters on a regular basis. If you achieve a professional certificate, make sure you keep it current with continuing education courses, if those are required. Regardless, any IT professional should strive to be a lifelong learner.

In fact, while any education is valuable, strive to take courses that will lead to a credential of some sort. Even a graduate certificate will be helpful, and then can be applied to a degree later. Employers will be more impressed with some indication of completion over and above a string of unrelated courses.

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