Master's in information technology degrees prepare students to enter dynamic, cutting-edge technology careers. Graduates with an information technology master's degree can work as computer programmers, information security analysts, and software developers. Professionals in these fields combine technical proficiency with problem-solving skills to develop and improve information technology (IT).
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects occupations in information technology to grow by 11% between 2019 and 2029. In 2019, IT professionals earned a median annual salary of $88,240, more than double the median annual salary for all occupations. Salaries vary depending on a position's responsibility level and the amount of education required.
Information Technology Master Degree Questions
Learners enrolled in a master's in information technology program gain the essential technical and interpersonal skills to succeed in careers like computer programming, database administration, and cybersecurity.
Jobs in fields like human-computer interaction or computer programming may require higher-level math or engineering skills.
Most IT jobs require at least a bachelor's degree. Managerial positions may expect candidates to hold a master's in information technology.
Learners who acquire technical skills find it easier to start a career in an IT field. Many students in IT programs also complete internships to help their job prospects.
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Why Get a Degree in Information Technology?
Online IT degrees offer many benefits. Degree-holders qualify for higher-paying jobs in thriving fields like computer programming and software development. A master's in information technology degree provides learners with access to managerial positions in both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors.
Many schools host online information technology degrees at the associate, bachelor's, and master's level. An online program often costs less than an on-campus degree. Learners also benefit from the flexibility and accelerated pace of online programs. Some students work while attending an online school, allowing them to continue earning an income.How Much Does an Information Technology Degree Cost?
The cost of information technology degrees varies by school type and location. Public schools typically cost less than private ones. Some state schools offer low-cost, in-state tuition even for online students. Degree-seekers can also pursue scholarships and financial aid to help fund their education.
Students enrolled in an online master's in information technology program benefit from decreased operating costs, greater flexibility, and accelerated learning options. Some online programs feature asynchronous coursework that learners can complete anywhere.
Online programs may charge technology or distance education fees in addition to tuition. Prospective students should check with individual schools about extra fees. Online degree-seekers should also factor in costs for internet and hardware and software purchases.
Break down your current financial situation, and receive a college tuition estimate you can afford to pay.
How Much Do Information Technology Majors Make?
Salaries for IT careers vary depending on responsibility level, location, and job type. Entry-level professionals earn less than those in supervisory positions. Jobs in urban areas pay more than similar roles in rural locations. Additionally, professions that require more technical training pay higher salaries.
For example, computer programmers typically earn around $86,000 per year, according to the BLS, while database administrators make nearly $94,000 per year. Both fields require a bachelor's degree. IT occupations that require a master's degree generally pay more. Students who wish to pursue a research career in IT may need a doctorate in information technology or computer science.
IT professionals may acquire additional certifications to advance their careers. Companies like Microsoft and Google offer specific certifications that appeal to software developers and programmers. Professionals who want to take on more responsibility may pursue a master's in information technology degree.
Courses in Information Technology
Information technology programs include courses that prepare learners to work in highly technical fields. Students learn coding languages, IT management concepts, and research methods. Programs may include specialized coursework in cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, and entrepreneurship. Some schools offer certificate programs that students can add to a master's or bachelor's degree to gain expertise in a specialized field.
Master's in information technology programs also provide career training through internships. Students may intern at major companies like Google or at small startups or nonprofits. Internships and other capstone experiences prepare enrollees to apply skills learned in the classroom to real-world projects. The list below highlights three common IT courses.
Information Technology ManagementThis course covers all aspects of management for information systems. Students learn how to manage complex information networks. They also study foundational issues in risk analysis, cybersecurity, and ethical computing. The class provides learners with key IT business skills and prepares them to lead IT units in large organizations.
Software DesignEnrollees explore cutting-edge software development tools and methods. The class features topics like computer-aided software engineering and object-oriented programming. Learners focus on building software products using the most current design techniques. This course serves as an overall introduction to software development.
CybersecurityThis class introduces students to foundational topics in information security. Enrollees learn the essentials of information governance, including privacy and regulatory compliance. The course also focuses on risk assessment and legal issues related to cybersecurity. Learners study how information security concepts apply across multiple media.
Certifications and Licensure for Information Technology
Students in IT fields can choose from several prominent certifications to enhance their skills. These certifications ensure employers that professionals maintain the most current qualifications. Certifications for information technology may combine coursework with exams that cover topics like information security, hardware and software configuration, and data management.
This industry standard certification provides IT professionals with a solid understanding of all aspects of information technology. Candidates must take two core exams that focus on basic information security, data management, hardware configuration, and cloud-based software administration. Examinees typically possess at least one year of hands-on experience in their chosen field.
Microsoft sponsors a certification program aimed at providing IT security analysts with an industry standard credential. An exam tests candidates' ability to mitigate security risks using software such as Microsoft 365 Defender and Azure Sentinel. The certification appeals most to those working as security engineers at large organizations.
This program certifies IT professionals as Amazon Web Services (AWS) Solutions Architects. Employees with two or more years of experience in a solutions architect role may apply to take the exam. The test covers the design of AWS-based applications, data migration using AWS, and cost-control strategies. Candidates must know at least one scripting language.
Scholarships for Information Technology
Master's in information technology students can apply for numerous scholarships. These opportunities provide learners with funds that cover tuition and other expenses. Many enrollees also qualify for state and federal financial aid. Individual schools may also sponsor scholarships for information technology degrees. The list below features three national IT scholarships.
||Who Can Apply
||The U.S. Department of Defense sponsors this annual scholarship for students specializing in cybersecurity and other defense-related IT fields. The scholarship covers full tuition and fees and provides learners with additional stipends for health insurance and miscellaneous expenses.
William R. Reaugh Scholarship
||This scholarship supports students majoring in computer science and other IT subjects. Applicants must maintain a 3.0 GPA and U.S. citizenship. Only full-time students may apply.
AFCEA Educational Foundation Scholarship
||The Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association sponsors several annual scholarships for information technology students. Graduate applicants must maintain a 3.5 GPA. Only enrollees at four-year colleges may apply.
Online Master's In Information Technology Programs 2021
University of the Cumberlands
Online students at the University of the Cumberlands can earn a Master of Science in Information Systems Security in approximately 2 years. In this program, master's students learn the various ways to predict and prevent cyber threats, use big data to improve healthcare and improve the quality of life through data-driven policy changes. This 30-semester hour program requires 19 core courses and 12 electives. Prospective students must complete an online graduate application and submit their official transcripts. To be competitive, applicatants should have at least a 2.5 GPA. No GRE or GMAT is required for admission. Incoming students may transfer up to 9 semester hours toward their master's degree pending approval by the Program Director and Registrar. UC master's graduates typically pursue positions as Application Development Directors, Systems Analysts, Network Engineers and Computer Scientists. To help with your job hunt, online students can also take advantage of UC's career resources including career fairs for internships and career-track jobs. Counseling services and academic advising are also available.
Students enrolled at Saint Leo University can earn their Master of Science in Cybersecurity in an online or blended format. This 36-credit program is for those interested in processes and skills involved in protecting computer networks and electronic infrastructures. You will develop the essential knowledge to be a valuable member of the IT workforce in areas like network security, digital forensics, cryptography, biometrics, mobile security and cloud computing security. The hybrid option requires some in-class training which is offered on alternating weekends. Additionally, you will take courses online through a variety of formats including video conferencing. Students must also complete a community service project or an internship. Saint Leo graduates move on to career-track jobs in the cybersecurity and IT security fields as operations managers and project managers. Some graduates work in the public and private sectors as well as federal, state and local governments. Admissions for online students are rolling and the GRE or GMAT is not required. You may begin your coursework at any of the 6 start dates throughout the calendar year.
Towson University offers a Master of Science in Applied Information Technology degree for students interested in the study and development of information systems. You will explore a full range of professional IT and business-related areas, including systems development, IT project management and business analysis. Master's students must complete 33 credit hours. Specialization tracks currently offered at Towson are Computer Forensics, Database Management Systems, Health Information Technology, Information Security and Assurance, Information Systems Management, Internet Application Development, Networking Technologies and Software Engineering. Each 15-credit specialized track is coupled with 18 credits of electives. Most Applied Information Technology students choose 1 or 2 electives from an outside major, such as accounting, technical writing or human resource development. Applicants should have a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university with a minimum GPA of 3.0. Students with a 2.75 GPA may be considered for conditional admission. Towson may accept transfer credits from other accredited schools. You must fill out the online transfer of petition form for graduates for your credits to be evaluated.
Oklahoma State University-Main Campus
In the Spears School of Business at Oklahoma State University, online students can earn a Master of Science in Management Information Systems. You will focus on solutions for commonly encountered challenges in the IT and business information fields. Students choose from a concentration in Data Science or the Corporate Program. Data Science focuses on developing your skills in IT analytics. You will explore descriptive, predictive and prescriptive analytics as well as the technological platforms needed to support that kind of work. Online students also work with open-source programming using R and Python. In the Corporate Program, you will work on enhancing your current skills and developing new techniques to be used in the IT industry. For this degree, only fall start-dates are available. Applications should include your GRE or GMAT results with scores above the 51st percentile in each section, as well as a statement of purpose, transcripts, resume and contact information for 3 references. Distance learners may take advantage of the school's online support services including library access, virtual labs and technical support.
Grand Rapids, MI
Online students can pursue a Master of Science in Computer Science online or in a hybrid format at Davenport University. Students choose between 2 concentrations: Computer Science or Security. Davenport will prepare you for the job market by focusing on high-demand areas like computer vision, artificial intelligence, pattern recognition and secure programming. Of the total 30 credits required for graduation, 18 credits are from the computer science core curriculum. You will focus on 4 main core, 7-week classes: Operating Systems, Data Communications and Networking, Theory of Computation and Design and Analysis of Algorithms. Each of the 2 concentrations entails an additional 12 credits, from Secure Software and Computer Vision to Legal and Ethical Security Topics. Online students must also complete a master's project or master's thesis. Incoming students may receive credit for previously earned credit and prior learning opportunities. Applications should include your resume, official transcripts, 2 signed letters of recommendation and a 500-word personal statement. The GRE and GMAT are not required, but you should have at least a 2.75 GPA.
The Master of Science in Information Systems can be earned entirely online at Dakota State University. In this program, you will focus on developing your leadership and business skills and work toward 1 or more specialization. You can choose from Data Management, Application Development, Network Administration and Security, Health Care Information Systems or a combination thereof. With this knowledge, you will enter the workforce with efficient management techniques and effective IT systems skills. At DSU, online learners use the top software technologies including CASE (Computer-Aided Software Engineering), DSS (Decision Support Systems), e-commerce and network-operating environments. To apply, you will need a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution with a 2.7 GPA or higher. DSU applicants must also submit their GRE scores if their GPA is below 3.25. While enrolled in the program, you will complete 30 total credits for graduation with a GPA of at least 3.0. Students with more than 6 credit hours with a C or lower must retake those credits to remain in good standing. Full-time students at DSU typically finish their degrees in 4 or 5 semesters. Online learners also have access to individualized student coaching, supplemental instruction and tutoring in writing, reading and reasoning skills.
Distance learners can earn their Master of Science in Management Information Systems degree at National University entirely online. NU students focus on managerial practices, business ethics, and global implications in decision-making processes. By completing courses such as Information Management for Leaders, Database Design and Implementation and Network Services and Protocols, you will acquire foundational technical and business skills for today's competitive IT job market. You may begin courses during any month of the year, depending on course offerings. NU subscribes to a rolling application policy and reviews applications all year round. Incoming students should have an undergraduate GPA of 2.5 or higher. Those with a GPA under 2.5 may still apply but must also submit their results from the GMAT, GRE or Miller Analogies Test. Transfer credits may be accepted toward this degree but are considered on a case-by-case basis. Military personnel receive a tuition discount and access to veteran services such as counseling, tutoring and college transition coaching.
Bellevue University offers a Master of Science in Computer Information Systems that will prepare you for careers in the increasingly technical world. Students choose from concentrations in Databases, Software Development or Security. Bellevue students focus on systems development, management, project management, software development, design and information systems security. Graduates typically go on to careers as Database Administrators, Systems Administrators, Software Developers and Network and Computer Systems Administrators. Incoming students should have already taken courses in Applied Statistics and Introduction to Programming Using Java or Introduction to Programming Using C#. Of the 36 required credits, 27 are major core classes including Cloud Computing and Storage Systems. Your chosen concentration consists of 9 credits. No matter which concentration you choose, you must complete a capstone project that showcases the knowledge you acquired while at Bellevue. Master's degree applicants should have a 2.5 GPA or higher. Submitting both letters of recommendation and GRE scores is optional.
Western Governors University
Salt Lake City, UT
As an affiliate of Western Governors University, WGU Tennessee is a private, nonprofit institution that offers an online Master of Science in Information Technology Management. In this program, you will train for IT executive-level leadership positions by completing practical and relevant coursework. Your studies will focus on areas such as leadership skills, project management, finance, emerging technologies and solutions development. The majority of master's students in this program complete the program in less than 24 months. This degree is flexible, with asynchronous courses starting on the first of every month. You will take a total of 10 courses, including major-specific classes like Sourcing and Development in a Global Economy; Power, Influence and Leadership; and Financial Management for IT Professionals. A capstone project that represents the culmination of your work at WGU is required for graduation. All applicants must submit official transcripts verifying receipt of your bachelor's degree and participate in an interview with an Enrollment Counselor.
University of South Florida-Main Campus
The University of Florida offers a Master of Science in Intelligence Studies online that can be completed in about 2 years. Students choose from concentrations in Strategic Intelligence or Cyber Intelligence. Focusing on analytic competencies grounded in Information Science and Informatics, this STEM-based program helps you acquire the analytic and technical skills to work in both the public and private sectors. The Strategic Intelligence track focuses on the formulation of policy and plans at the agency, corporate, national and international levels. The Cyber Intelligence concentration teaches you data acquisition techniques, information analysis skills and methods for predicting and stopping cyber threats. You must complete 10 required courses that are 3 credits each. Students must also complete an experiential learning internship, a capstone project or integrated portfolio of competencies. In addition to having a bachelor's degree, applicants should have a 3.0 GPA or higher and a GRE Verbal score of at least 153. Online students in the program have access to resources and supplemental training opportunities at the Florida Center for Cybersecurity.
At the University of Maine, you can earn your Master of Science in Information Systems degree entirely online. This curriculum focuses on the technical, managerial and policy issues commonly encountered by information systems specialists. You will learn to create and maintain information systems for private and public entities and acquire skills in information system design, human-computer interaction, database design, computer networks and information law and ethics. Of the 30 required credits, 15 are elective courses that you may choose to fit your needs and interests. Common elective courses in this program include Knowledge Management and System Support Systems, Electronic Commerce and Digital Preservation. Some UM students take advantage of the school's vast course offerings in Spatial Information Science and Engineering and supplement their information systems degree with training in Geosensor Networks, Engineering Principles and other related specialty courses. Applicants must submit their GRE scores and have an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher. All prospective students should have completed a university-level course in algebra as a minimum math prerequisite before applying.
Mercy College offers a Master of Science in Cybersecurity online or in a hybrid format. In this program, you will train to provide cyber protection for various companies, governments and law enforcement agencies. Many MC graduates move on to work in cybersecurity positions at private companies, hospitals, health care organizations and IT departments, as well. There are 30 major credits required for this degree, including classes like Cryptography, Foundations of Cybersecurity, and Topics in Information Security. Online students in this program also choose several electives which help fashion your degree to fit your career aspirations. A capstone project or master's thesis is required for graduation. All students enrolled in the program must maintain a 3.0 GPA to remain in good standing and to be eligible for degree conferral. Applicants must submit official transcripts, 2 letters of recommendation, and a 2-page written personal statement. Prospective students entering from other fields should have completed courses in Local Area Networks, Database Management Systems, Cryptography, and Statistics before applying.
Purdue University-Main Campus
West Lafayette, IN
The Polytechnic Institute at Purdue University offers 2 information technology master's degrees that can be earned 100% online: Master of Science in IT Business Analysis and Master of Science in IT Project Management. Both degree programs require 34 credit hours of coursework. Courses are presented in an 8-week format, and students may take anywhere from 1 to 5 years to complete the program. Criteria for admission into either degree program include a bachelor's degree earned with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better. A bachelor's degree in computer science, information technology or other computer-related field is recommended. Applicants must also have at least 2 years of IT-related experience. Other requirements include submittal of a resume, statement of purpose essay and 3 letters of recommendation. Additionally, international students whose first language is not English must submit proof of English proficiency in the form of acceptable TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE test scores. Purdue provides a wide range of support services to online students, including the Academic Success Center, Center for Career Opportunities, Disability Resource Center, Online Writing Lab and the Purdue Libraries System, which offers electronic access to nearly half of its volumes.
University of Maryland-University College
The University of Maryland-University College's online Master of Science in Information Technology degree provides specialized skills in both technology and business to individuals currently in the IT field and those interested in joining. The degree is offered with 8 specializations, including Database Systems Technology, Informatics, Systems Engineering and Telecommunications Management. This 36-credit hour program is typically completed in 4 years, although completion time may be shortened with the transfer of up to 6 credits from other postsecondary institutions. All coursework can be completed fully online. Admission into the degree program requires a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university. However, degrees from other institutions will be considered on a case-by-case basis. There is no specific GPA requirement and GRE or GMAT scores need not be submitted. The program is open to bachelor degree holders in any field, but some specializations require specialized work experience or a background in mathematics or computer studies for admission. Reduced tuition rates for federal employees and military personnel are available. Support services for distance learning students include tutoring and writing help, as well as access to online journals, articles, databases, ebooks, and other resources through the UMUC Library.
Central Washington University
Central Washington University's fully online Master of Science in Information Technology & Administrative Management (MS-ITAM) degree is designed to fill the gap between the fields of administrative management and information technology. Students choose from among 4 specializations: Administrative Management, Cybersecurity Management, Information Technology and Structures of Data Analytics for IT Managers. The regular study format for the degree is designed for most students to complete in 1 year. However, the MS-ITAM degree also features 2 additional study options through its FlexIT Pro Performance-Based Learning program. The part-time option is geared for students with professional and/or family commitments and provides them more time to complete their degrees. The Accelerated option allows highly motivated self-starting students to finish their studies in less time by increasing the number of credit hours attempted during each 3-month term. Admission requirements for the MS-ITAM program include a minimum overall 3.0 GPA on the last 90 quarter or 60 semester credits of college-level work, 3 letters of recommendation, and submittal of a statement of educational and professional objectives. Applicants must also participate in a telephone interview. There is no GRE or GMAT requirement for admission. International students must additionally demonstrate proficiency in English by providing a passing score on either the TOEFL or IELTS test and submit a confidential financial statement.
The University of Arizona's online Master of Science in Management Information Systems degree program is designed for working professionals interested in boosting their career potential by adding to their technical, analytical and management skills. This 30 credit hour (10 course) program is designed to be completed in 10 months. Topics covered in the curriculum include information security and risk management, business intelligence data mining, enterprise data management and IT business foundations. Courses are presented in an asynchronous format and all coursework is completed 100% online. Admission requirements include possession of a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited U.S. college or university (or comparable degree from a non-U.S. institution) earned with an overall 3.0 GPA, and 2 years of relevant work experience (exclusive of internships). Applicants with an undergraduate GPA below 3.0 may begin their studies as "non-degree seeking" students taking 2 or 4 classes, and changing their status to "degree seeking" once completing these initial classes with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Applicants must also submit a resume, purpose of graduate study statement, and 3 letters of recommendation. International applicants must additionally provide TOEFL scores. By completing the MS degree, students can additionally obtain UA Certificates in Business Intelligence and Enterprise Security.
North Carolina A & T State University
Emphasizing sound theoretical concepts and hands-on experience, the fully online Master of Science in Information Technology degree offered by North Carolina A&T State University prepares students for both technology and management professional positions throughout all sectors of the economy. The degree program is offered in 2 formats: thesis and coursework. Both formats require a minimum of 30 credit hours of coursework, allowing students to complete the entire program in 2 years or less. Transfer credits applicable to the degree subject may be accepted, decreasing program completion time. In addition, students can choose from among 5 specializations. Most courses are offered in an asynchronous format. However, some courses may contain online group work scheduled at a specific time. Unconditional admission into the MSIT program requires possession of a bachelor's degree in information technology or related field earned with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher. Applicants with an undergraduate GPA below 3.0 may be admitted on a conditional basis, but will be subject to additional requirements that may include passing exams and/or taking additional courses to demonstrate knowledge in specified relevant subjects. International students must additionally provide proof of English proficiency for admission.
Murray State University's fully online Master of Science in Information Systems degree program requires successful completion of 30 credit hours of coursework and is designed to be completed in 15 months. Students can choose between 2 concentrations: Business Analytics and Information Security. Courses are presented in an asynchronous format, meaning that students can log in and complete their coursework at anytime. Admission into this degree program is open to applicants with a bachelor's degree in any major earned with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher and no more than 3 failing grades in their undergraduate coursework. Applicants must also submit test scores for the GRE (288 or higher combined Verbal and Quantitative score on the Revised General Test, or combined score of 980 or higher on the old GRE) or GMAT (490 or better). International students whose native language is not English must additionally submit proof of English proficiency. Non-Kentucky online students pay lower tuition rates than their on-campus counterparts, and residents of a few nearby Tennessee, Illinois and Indiana counties pay the same tuition rates as in-state students.
University of Massachusetts-Lowell
The University of Massachusetts Lowell's Master of Science in Information Technology degree program provides students with the skills and knowledge necessary for designing, deploying and managing networked computer systems with an emphasis on Apple, Windows and Linux/Unix platforms. This fully online, 10-course program is designed to be completed in 2 years. Admission into the program requires a bachelor's degree in information technology from an accredited college or university. Applicants must also have completed (or demonstrate an equivalent experience for) at least 1 semester each of precalculus, discrete mathematics and statistics, as well as a demonstrated proficiency in C Programming (minimum of 1 semester each of C Programming and Data Structures, or equivalency). Additional requirements include submission of a statement of purpose, letters of recommendation and official transcripts for all prior college-level coursework. Tuition costs for this degree are the same for both Massachusetts and out-of-state students. Online students benefit from a range of support services, including access to program coordinators and academic advisers and 24/7 online technical support.
Coastal Carolina University
Coastal Carolina University's fully online Master of Science in Information Systems Technology with Concentration in Security and Analytics prepares students to be leaders in the IT field by teaching them the skills needed to create and implement secure technology systems and infrastructure. This 33-credit-hour program is designed to be completed in approximately 2 years. The curriculum consists of core and elective coursework culminating in a capstone project (research thesis, special topics electives or research project). Admission into this MS degree program requires a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution or international equivalent earned with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher. Applicants must also submit a copy of their resume or CV, 2 letters of recommendation, and a written statement of career and education goals. Applicants with a non-IT or closely related bachelor's degree may be admitted into the program on a probationary basis and must complete 4 major-related courses to obtain regular status. International students whose native language is not English must submit acceptable test scores from either the TOEFL or IELTS.
Virginia International University
Virginia International University provides online education programs that are equivalent to their on-campus degree offerings. The Master of Science in Information Technology is relevant for students interested in pursuing a career in a variety of tech fields. The program provides coursework in a wide array of topics including computer networking, IT, software development, database technologies, web development and information assurance. To graduate, students must complete 36 credit hours of coursework, 21 of which are core courses such as Computer Networks, Web Applications Development and Computer Architecture and Implementation. Elective courses allow students to pursue different interests such as Operating Systems, Mobile Applications Design and Development and Software Engineering. All incoming students must complete the following prerequisite courses (or equivalent): Programming II, Operating Systems, Essentials of Networking and Database Concepts. Students who take a full course load of 3 courses per semester could complete the program in as few as 4 semesters.
Dr. Amy Mallory-Kani has nearly 15 years of experience as a professor, writer, and student advocate in higher education. Her work has appeared in a number of online publications and scholarly journals. She lives with her family in Indianapolis.