Getting Your Master’s Degree in Information Technology

masters degree in information technology

Master’s Degree in Information Technology 

Information Technology is a growing field that offers relatively secure positions for those who have solid technical skills and also have a bachelor’s degree in Information Technology. The field covers the design, administration, and support of computer and telecommunications systems. 

People going into the information technology field work with businesses and organizations to set up and support viable computer networks that keep systems efficient and reliable. The field encompasses all hardware and software used in the storing, creation, and accessing of information. 

According to BLS, employment in computer and information technology occupations is expected to grow 11% from 2019 to 2029, which is much faster than the average for all occupations.

The median annual wage for computer and information technology occupations was $88,240 in 2019. 

A Master’s of Information Technology

When you are in a master’s of information technology program, you should learn skills that are necessary when working with software, computers, and networks. You would master specialized skills that would help in your future career path. The course work blends technology and business together. A master’s program will be about 30 credits, which at full-time status, will take about two years. 

Concentrations

Different concentrations will have different types of coursework. Here are some of the most common that you might find in a master’s of information technology program:

  • Bioengineering – where students will focus on applications of computer science, mathematics, and engineering to help develop the methods for solving problems in surgery as well as medicine. 
  • Network Security – where students learn about networking interfaces as well as technologies, and digital communication tools that protect against threats to computer security, focusing on topics such as firewalls and computer forensics. 
  • Multimedia – where students study topics such as entertainment, streaming media as well as e-commerce. 
  • Database Design – where students focus on the design and development of database applications, with client or server systems, and data warehouses.
  • Cybersecurity – where students learn how to protect against the hacking of sensitive information, including financial, medical, and homeland security information.

Common Classes 

The classes you take in an information technology program will depend on the concentration. Here are a few examples of classes you might take while getting your master’s. 

  • Computers in Education – this class would be about using classroom technology and using hands-on skill development with software and hardware. 
  • Information Literacy – this class is about learning to teach information literacy and digital citizenship. 
  • Advanced Website Design – this class is about learning skills in programs such as Java, Flash, and CSS. Students will also learn about the guidelines in web design. 
  • Designing Information – this class is all about how to organize ideas in multiple media, graphics, text, and audio media. 
  • System Analysis – this class is about how to design efficient systems and evaluate them for their effectiveness. 

Master of Information Technology Admission Requirements

Admission requirements differ based on the school and program, however, most will require students to have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited school, to complete an application essay, and submit letters of recommendation. 

Some schools might also require professional experience, but even if the school doesn’t, it can help to have that work experience to put on the application. Schools usually also want students to have a 3.0 GPA or higher. 

How to Choose a Master of Information Technology Program

There are many different factors when choosing the right information technology master’s program. Students should look at the length of each program, the course format, available concentrations, and final project requirements. Most programs are two years long, but students might also be able to find an accelerated program and be done in a year. It also might depend on if the student goes full or part-time. Students should also consider the curriculum and the cost. 

Accreditation status for each program can also make a difference and can affect future career opportunities. Departments often receive accreditation from field-specific accrediting bodies. Accreditation will indicate that the program meets set standards of quality for the profession. 

Top Master’s in Information Technology Programs 

There are many different master’s in information technology programs, some are in-person, and some are online. 

Top Master’s in Information Technology Programs

Here are 10 of the top master’s in information technology programs

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • The University of Washington – Seattle
  • The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • The University of California – Berkeley 
  • The University of Texas at Austin 
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • The University of Michigan – Ann Arbor
  • Georgia Institute of Technology 
  • Princeton University
  • The University of California – San Diego

Online or In-person

When it comes to getting your master’s degree in information technology, you can go to an in-person program or an online one. The benefits of an online program may appeal to working professionals or those looking for a career transition. In-person programs may appeal more to those coming from undergraduate programs or those who simply want that in-person experience.

Top Online Master’s in Information Technology Programs

Here are 10 of the top online master’s in information technology programs:

  • Georgetown University
  • University of West Florida
  • Utica College
  • Stevens Institute of Technology
  • The University of Dallas
  • George Washington University 
  • Purdue University – Main Campus
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University 
  • The University of Denver 
  • Illinois Institute of Technology
  • Indiana University – Bloomington
  • Florida State University 

Jobs With a Master’s Degree in Information Technology

Computer Systems Analyst

Annual Median Pay in 2019: $90,920 according to BLS

Computer Systems Analysts are responsible for studying an organization’s computer systems and optimizing them. They will also add new functionality to existing computer systems and implement new ones. 

Software Developer 

Annual Median Pay in 2019: $107,510 according to BLS

Software Developers are responsible for developing applications that allow computer users to accomplish different tasks. They are able to design and create software that is needed by users. 

Computer Programmer

Annual Median Pay in 2019: $86,550 according to BLS

Computer Programmers write and test code and make sure that it operates properly when applied by the computer. 

IT Director

Annual Median Pay in 2019: $146,360 according to BLS

IT Directors provide leadership to departments, work with teams to research, and test, and deploy new technology and software. 

Database Administrator

Annual Median Pay in 2019: $93,750 according to BLS

Database Administrators manage an organization’s data and files to include medical records, financial information, or customer records. They also maintain security and prevent unauthorized access. 

Scholarships for Students Getting a Master’s in Information Technology

Here are a few scholarships for those getting their master’s in information technology. You can also find our longer list of scholarships for information technology majors at College Recon. 

The Adobe Research Women-in-Technology Scholarship 

This scholarship includes a $10,000 award, a Creative Cloud subscription membership for a year, an Adobe Research mentor, and an opportunity to interview for an internship out of Adobe. Students must be female, currently enrolled as an undergraduate, 2nd year or above or be a master’s student. The student must be majoring in computer science, computer engineering, or a closely related technical field, have a strong academic record, and can’t have a close relative working for Adobe Research. 

Google Student Veterans of America Scholarship

This scholarship is in partnership with the Student Veterans of America and is for $10,000. Students need to be either an undergraduate or graduate student at a college or university. They must be enrolled full-time at a university in the United States, maintain a strong academic performance, pursuing a computer science, computer engineering degree, or a degree in a closely related technical field. They also need to be a current student veteran or a student on active duty, who has received an honorable discharge or is in good standing with their branch of service. 

Aspiring Tech Pro Scholarship Program

The CompTIA Scholarship Program honors aspiring technology professionals that are positively impacting local IT communities. Applicants must be a paid CompTIA Student Member. The CompTIA Rising Star Scholarship offers 10 awards, at $2,000 each. The scholarship is open to students looking to pursue a career in technology. It is also for student chapter members who are contributing significantly to the success of their student chapter and their local IT community, making a lasting and valuable impact on their school’s technology program or the IT industry. 

(ISC)² Graduate Cybersecurity Scholarship

This scholarship will be given out to multiple students, and each will receive between $1,000-$5,000. Students must be pursuing a master’s degree program or doctoral studies. They can be going at either the full or part-time level, focusing on cybersecurity or information assurance. 

GMiS STEM Scholarship

This scholarship is the Great Minds in STEM scholarship, which awards between $500-$10,000. Students must show merit through academic achievements, leadership, and campus and community activities. They must be pursuing a degree in science, technology, engineering, or math and must be of Hispanic descent and/or must demonstrate significant leadership or service within the underserved community. They can be enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program. 

Related Majors

  • Computer Science
  • Data Processing
  • Information Science
  • Computer Information Systems
  • Technology

 

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About the author

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Julie Provost is a freelance writer, blogger, and owner of Soldier's Wife, Crazy Life, a support blog for military spouses. She lives in Tennessee with her National Guard husband and three boys.